VIDEO - Witnesses described graphic bloody scenes of horror after Wednesday morning's daunting incident in Beit Hanoun. "We pulled out bodies, all women and children, dismembered, without heads or hands," says Khaled Abu Saada, a Palestinian ambulance driver who evacuated the wounded to hospitals. Eighteen Palestinians were killed in the northern Gaza town, after an Israel Defense Forces artillery shell apparently deviated from its course and hit seven buildings on Hamed street, where the Utamna family lives. One of the women standing near the street said she had lost four of her children in the incident: Muhand, Mahadi, Arafat and Saad. "I am proud to be the mother of the Shahids (martyrs), it is a great honor and we pray to Allah to compensate us," the bereaved mother said. The ambulance driver who arrived at the scene was also the first to treat the Ghalia family in the Gaza beachfront incident several months ago. He said that all of Beit Hanoun "is busy with only one thing, moving the dead and wounded. All this between puddles of blood, lots of blood and body parts, next to some of the bodies were the schoolbags and sandwiches of children preparing to go to school." Another witness said that the shelled houses had been completely destroyed. Several residents assaulted medical teams who arrived at the scene to help, saying that they had taken too long. Two emergency medical personnel were wounded from the assaults. Witnesses reported that the majority of the casualties were killed in their beds. Atef Hamed, 22, told Reuters: "It is the saddest scene and images I have ever seen. We saw legs, we saw heads, we saw hands scattered in the street." Reuters also reported that the town was filled with cries for help. One man was screaming "Where is my son?". Neighbors did not have the heart to tell him his son was dead. After the shelling (Photo: Reuters) The incident came just one day after IDF forces pulled out of Beit Hanoun after operation Autumn Clouds ended. The operation, aimed at reducing Palestinian rocket fire at Israel's south, resulted in the deaths of 63 Palestinians, most of them gunmen. Ahmad al-Madhoun, a resident of Beit Hanoun told Ynet "We haven't recovered yet, we rush from one mourning tent to the other because of the operation that only ended yesterday and already we have to deal with a new massacre. Difficult images, dead children, injured children with their faces torn. It's unbelievable." There were difficult images in the town's hospital as well, where mothers cried out as they carried their injured children. The Arab and Palestinian media are providing broad coverage of the incident, which they are calling 'the Palestinian Qana village', compaing the incident to the IDF attack of Qana during the recent war in Lebanon. 'Incident must be investigated to the maximum' Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz appointed Maj. Gen. Meir Kalifi, deputy commander of the IDF Ground Forces corps, to head a team of experts who will investigate the incident in Beit Hanoun. Halutz ordered Maj. Gen. Kalifi to give the matter the utmost priority and present his findings as soon as possible. Maj. Gen. Kalifi also headed the investigation of the Ghalia family incident in June. Brig. Gen. (res) Danny Kasif, former IDF Chief Artillery Commander, spoke with Ynet about the Beit Hanoun incident, saying that "if the shell deviated 500 meters from its target, then it could very well be a mistake. The coordinates of the target must be examined, to see if they were accurate until the deviation." "We have to remember the reality we are living in, with terror organizations using all means and launching Qassam rockets at Israel, also from populated areas and from homes," a senior military source said. "We have no interest in hurting a civil population. We are trying to use a very cautious policy and are succeeding with that. Those who are endangering the civil population are the terror organizations," the source added. In any case, the IDF launched a comprehensive inquiry into the incident, and an instruction may be issued to freeze the artillery fire in the coming hours. Military sources told Ynet that an initial investigation revealed that an IDF gunner battery fired 12 missiles at a spot from where Qassams were fired at Ashkelon on Tuesday, as well as a nearby spot from where terrorists were planning to fire Qassams on Wednesday morning, according to information obtained by the IDF. According to military sources, the distance between these spots and the area where the civilians were residing was approximately 500 meters (1,640.5 feet), and so far it is unclear whether an artillery shell hit the building and caused the killing of Palestinian civilians.