Three Palestinians were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip on Sunday, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry.

A ministry spokesman said emergency crews were transporting the bodies of the dead, who appeared to be in their early teens, to hospital in Gaza, AFP reported.

The Israeli military said an aircraft had fired on a group of Palestinians near the Gaza border.

“A short while ago, three Palestinians approached the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip, attempted to damage it and were apparently involved in placing an improvised explosive device adjacent to it,” a statement said.

“In response, an IDF [Israel Defence Forces]  aircraft fired towards them.”

Tensions have been high along the Gaza-Israel frontier since Palestinians began a series of border demonstrations in March.

At least 217 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the months of protests and clashes along the border.

One Israeli soldier has been killed during the violence over the same period.