At least 572 Palestinians have been killed and 3,350 wounded injured in 14 days of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip, the deadliest since the 2009 Operation Cast Lead, Palestinian emergency services said Monday.
Israeli fighter planes struck homes across Gaza, in at least four cases buryingd two or more members of the same family under the rubble, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a Palestinian health official.
One of those strikes killed nine members of a single family in Gaza City, another killed 10 in the southern half of the coastal strip.
Also, rescuers going through the wreckage of a house targeted late Sunday retrieved 28 bodies in the town of Khan Younis, including at least 24 from the Abu Jamea family, according to al-Kidra and a local human rights group.
"Doesn't this indicate that Israel is ruthless?" said family member Sabri Abu Jamea. "Are we the liars? The evidence is here in the morgue refrigerators. The evidence is in the refrigerators."
Israeli tank shells also hit the Al Aqsa Hospital in the central town of Deir el-Balah, killing at least four people and wounding 60, al-Kidra said.
A doctor at the hospital, Fayez Zidane, said the third and fourth floors and the reception area were damaged, and patients were evacuated to the lower flowers.
The Israeli military said an initial investigation suggests that anti-tank missiles were stored near the hospital and that the cache was successfully targeted. "Civilian casualties are a tragic inevitability of the brutal and systematic exploitation of homes, hospitals and mosques in Gaza," the army said.
The military has consistently said it makes great efforts to minimize civilian casualties but Hamas puts Gazans in danger by hiding weapons and fighters in residential areas.
Following the deadliest day in Gaza since 2009, with at least 140 Palestinians killed on Sunday, medics pulled another 68 bodies from the rubble on Monday, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Kidra said.
In fighting, the Israeli military said 10 Hamas infiltrators trying to sneak in through the tunnels were killed after being detected and targeted by Israeli aircraft.
Refugees and reconstruction aid
Since the Israeli operation began on July 8, huge numbers of Gazans have fled their homes, with more than 100,000 people taking shelter in 67 schools run by UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, a spokesman said.
"This is a watershed moment for UNRWA, now that the number of people seeking refuge with us is more than double the figure we saw in the 2009 Gaza conflict," the agency's spokesman Christopher Gunness said in a statement.
By Monday morning, a UN school on the outskirts of Shejaiya was packed to overflowing with people seeking shelter, many sleeping in the corridors, an AFP correspondent said.
And several families were sleeping in the gardens of Gaza City's Shifa hospital in the hope they would be safe from the bombing.