The Israeli navy fired on a Palestinian boat off the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, killing a fisherman, the territory's Hamas administration said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that naval vessels shot at a fishing boat after it approached the limits of waters where Israel, which keeps Gaza under blockade, permits Palestinian maritime traffic.

"We fired warning shots to turn them back, and when they did not respond, we fired at the boat," the spokeswoman said. "We are checking the claim that there was a casualty."

Palestinians say the Gaza fishing zone is too narrow to provide for the impoverished strip. Israel says the navy is preventing arms smuggling to Hamas and seaborne Palestinian attacks on neighboring Israeli territory.