A Palestinian man died on Saturday after being shot by Israeli troops while fishing on the beach in the Gaza Strip, said Hamas officials, while an Israeli military spokeswoman said the man was shot when he approached the border fence.

Israeli army patrols deem the Gaza border area off limits because militants try to attack them by planting explosive devices or shooting at them.

Initially, his wounds were not thought to be life threatening. An Israeli military spokeswoman said two men came right up to the border fence and ignored calls from troops to back away before they were shot at.

Officials from Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules the coastal enclave, said the 22-year-old man was fishing with his brother on Friday when he was shot.

Local residents said the man, who was buried on Saturday, was known to be a fisherman.