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Health officials: Israeli fire wounds 33 Gaza protesters

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By the Associated Press

Health officials say Israeli army gunfire has wounded 33 Palestinians protesting along the Gaza-Israel perimeter fence.

Palestinian medics move a wounded youth who was shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Palestinian medics move a wounded youth who was shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated Friday despite wintry weather, throwing rocks with slingshots at Israeli troops deployed behind the fence. The soldiers repeatedly fired volleys of tear gas and live fire, witnesses say.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group controlling Gaza, has maintained such protests on a weekly basis since March, accelerating or scaling them down to pressure Israel and mediators into easing Gaza’s crippling blockade.

Some 175 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier have been killed in the demonstrations.

Meanwhile, thousands of Hamas’ civil servants queued outside banks to collect paychecks donated by Qatar.

For the second straight month, Israel allowed Qatari mediators to inject cash for the much-needed salaries, hoping it would calm tensions.

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