Gaza (CNN)At least 17 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 injured in confrontations with Israeli security forces during protests in Gaza on Friday, according to Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations.
Gaza protests: 17 Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israeli forces
Israeli officials estimated tens of thousands of Palestinian protesters marched in Gaza toward the border fence between Israel and Gaza during protests called the March of Return. The march quickly turned bloody as Palestinian protesters and Israeli military clashed along the fence.
In northern Gaza, CNN witnessed at least two dozen people being taken away by ambulances in the span of half an hour as protests started across Gaza. They witnessed a small number of protesters in the crowd throwing rocks. People were injured by live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas. The majority were young men -- one woman was among the injured.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that thousands of Palestinians were "rioting throughout the Gaza Strip, rolling burning tires and hurling stones at the security fence and at IDF troops, who are responding with riot dispersal means and firing towards main instigators."
An IDF official warned any breach of Israeli sovereignty will be treated severely, following a week of numerous attempted and successful breaches of the border fence from Gaza.
Confrontations escalated into Saturday. Israeli fighter jets targeted three Hamas sites after an IDF position was shot at in northern Gaza, according to an IDF statement. Tank fire also targeted the three sites, following an exchange of fire.