Hamas Gaza chief calls unrest a new 'intifada'

Palestinian Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh takes part in the Eid al-Fitr prayer on July 17, 2015 (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Hamas's chief in Gaza on Friday called violence that has hit the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem in recent days an "intifada" and urged further unrest.

"We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada.... It is the only path that will lead to liberation," Ismail Haniyeh said during a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City.

"Gaza will fulfil its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation."

Islamist movement Hamas rules Gaza, the Palestinian enclave squeezed between Egypt and Israel and separated from the West Bank. Hamas remains deeply divided from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party.

Gaza has been the site of three wars with Israel since 2008, but it has remained mainly calm amid the recent unrest in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

However, a march of about 300 people on Friday near the border with Israel saw youths throw stones toward Israeli soldiers on the other side of the frontier, who responded and caused two injuries, Gazan rescue services said.

Last summer's 50-day war between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel left more than 2,200 people dead and 100,000 homeless.

Stabbing attacks in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel itself along with rioting have raised fears of a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising.