Israeli soldiers are seen next to the border fence on the Israeli side of the border with the northern Gaza Strip, Israel. Picture: Reuters/Amir Cohen

Gaza Strip - At least seven Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured by Israeli security forces confronting one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years, Gaza medical officials said.

One of the dead was aged 16 and most of the casualties were struck by gunfire, according to Palestinian medics who estimated the number of wounded at around 500 by mid-afternoon.

The Israeli military said that its troops had used "riot dispersal means and firing towards main instigators" and that some of the demonstrators were "rolling burning tires and hurling stones" at the border fence and at soldiers.