An Israeli operation yesterday killed 27 people and wounded more than 100 in Gaza, emergency services said, in the deadliest day of violence in the coastal strip since 2012.
Air strikes on Gaza killed 23 people, including an eight-year-old child and two teenagers, and Israeli forces killed four Hamas militants who staged a beachfront assault on an army base just north of the besieged Strip.
In the worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in the southern city of Khan Yunis after people had reportedly formed a human shield to protect it, killing seven people.
Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told the media that two teenagers were among the dead and that at least another 25 people were wounded.
An eight-year-old child wounded in the strike later died of his injuries.
Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house as a human shield and that, shortly afterwards, an F-16 warplane fired a missile that levelled the building.
In response, Hamas said “all Israelis” would be potential targets for retaliation.
Shortly afterwards, two Palestinians were killed in a strike in Shejaiya, east of Gaza City, Qudra said.
The blast shook buildings in the city, and Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV replayed what it said was a video of the strike, which sent a tall cloud of debris rising into the air.
A further three separate air strikes killed three people, including a teenager.
Earlier, three people were killed when a missile struck a car in the centre of Gaza City.
Hamas´s Al-Aqsa TV showed gruesome images of charred body parts being loaded onto ambulance stretchers.
In a separate strike near Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, another man was killed.
Meanwhile, the army shot dead four men from the Brigades on a beach in Israel after they had infiltrated, not far from the Gaza border.
One soldier was lightly injured.
The Brigades said its men carried out an attack at Zikim although it did not report losses, saying instead there were heavy casualties on the Israeli side.