Israeli forces have killed at least six Palestinians during protests along Gaza's border, according to a spokesman for Gaza's Health Ministry.

The ministry did not immediately identify the victims, but said they had been killed as thousands of protesters approached the heavily-guarded Israeli border.

Four Palestinians were killed along the border east of Al-Bureij in the centre of Gaza, while one died east of Gaza City and one near Rafah in southern Gaza, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

Around 140 others have been wounded.

The Israeli army said approximately 14,000 people had gathered at various sites along the border.

A statement said troops "spotted a number of assailants who climbed the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip".

It said they planted an "explosive device" which blew up and "set the security fence on fire".

They assailants subsequently approached an Israeli border post and were shot, the statement said.

"The assailants were killed," it said, without giving a number.

At least 203 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since protests began on 30 March.

The protesters are demanding an end to an Israeli and Egyptian blockade on the narrow coastal strip, which is home to around 2 million Gazans.

They also seek the right to return to lands that Palestinians fled or were driven from upon Israel's founding in 1948.

Israel accuses Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that controls Gaza, of orchestrating the protests to provide cover for attacks.