A funeral was held in Beit Lahiya for the killed fishermen on Friday [Reuters]

A Palestinian fisherman has been shot dead by the Israeli navy off the Gaza Strip.

"Fisherman Mohammed Bakr died by a bullet by the Israeli navy today in the sea north of the Gaza Strip," Adham Abu Selmiya, heading the Palestinian territory's medical services, said on Friday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the fisherman was in restricted waters "heading towards Israel".

"Troops ordered him to turn back. As he refused to obey they fired warning shots and then shot towards his boat," she said.

Slogans raised

Hundreds marched in the funeral for the 20-year-old fisherman in Beit Lahiya, shooting in the air and chanting slogans.

Israeli navy vessels enforcing a naval blockade on the Palestinian territory regularly fire at Palestinian fishermen to prevent them from venturing more than a few kilometres from shore.

Palestinians say the Gaza fishing zone they use is too narrow to provide for the impoverished territory.

Israel says patrolling by its navy is aimed at preventing seaborne Palestinian attacks on Israeli territory and to stop the Palestinian group Hamas from smuggling weapons into Gaza.

Source: Agencies