Gaza’s Shifa Hospital was filled with panic early on Sunday morning as bleeding and wounded men, women and children were carried in on stretchers following a deadly Israeli airstrike on the home of Gaza’s police chief, the deadliest bombing since Israel launched its campaign on Tuesday.
All 18 people killed in the attack were members of Tayseer Al-Batsh’s family. The Gaza health ministry said 45 people were wounded and others were still trapped under the rubble where rescue workers were searching.
Shifa Hospital was also treating survivors of an Israeli strike in the early hours of Saturday morning that hit a care home for Palestinians with special needs.
Israel has carried out more than 1,200 air strikes over its six-day campaign to try to diminish Hamas’s ability to fire rockets at Israel.
Gaza medical officials say 25 children were among those killed by Israeli air strikes.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian families arrived in Gaza City early on Sunday after fleeing their homes in the northern Gaza Strip.
The families sought refuge at a United Nations school upon their arrival in the city.
The Israeli military said on Saturday it was ordering Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate the area “for their own safety”.
Gaza’s Interior Ministry urged residents in the area to ignore Israel’s warnings and to stay in their homes, saying the announcement was Israeli “psychological warfare” and an attempt to create confusion.
Ignoring international appeals for a cease-fire, Israel on Saturday widened its range of Gaza bombing targets to civilian institutions with suspected Hamas ties and announced it would hit northern Gaza “with great force” to prevent rocket attacks from there on Israel.
More than 160 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli aerial bombardment.