Palestinian protesters run to take cover from tear gas canisters fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes near the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, on Aug. 17, 2018. Picture: Xinhua.

Tel Aviv - Israel closed a pedestrian border crossing with the Gaza Strip on Sunday in response to violence along the Gaza border on Friday, an Israeli defence body said.

The move comes days after Israel eased restrictions on the Gaza Strip amid efforts by Egypt and the United Nations to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza's rulers, the Islamist Hamas group.

A spokeswoman for Cogat, Israel's chief liaison office with the Palestinians, said that Erez Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip will remain open to humanitarian cases, journalists and aid workers.

The spokeswoman said the decision to close the crossing was made after violence along the Gaza border on Friday.

Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on Friday when clashes broke out during weekly protests in the Gaza Strip on Friday.

Palestinians have held protests every Friday near the border since March 30. The protesters, sometimes using violent tactics, are calling for an end to the blockade on Gaza and a right of return to lands now in Israel.

Israel says that Hamas - considered a terrorist group by the US and much of the West - is using the protests as a mask to attempt attacks on Israeli border communities.

Hamas is demanding that Israel lift a 11-year blocked of the Gaza Strip in return for a ceasefire, while Israel is demanding - along with the return of the captured Israelis - that Hamas cease firing rockets, incendiary balloons and staging protests along the border.

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