On the 13th day of the ongoing military offensive against the Gaza Strip, residents said invading Israeli forces committed “a new massacre” in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City.
At least 40 people have been killed and hundreds have been injured in the eastern neighborhood, (Ma’an) News Agency reported medics as saying on Sunday.
The death toll is expected to rise as more bodies are uncovered.
Medical sources said seven Palestinians were killed in other areas across the coastal enclave.
Spokesman of the Palestinian ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said rescue teams evacuated at least 40 dead bodies from destroyed houses. More than 200 injured people were taken to al-Shifa Hospital.
Medical sources identified some of the victims, while others still haven’t been identified.
Palestinian medical sources in al-Shifa Hospital told (Ma’an) that the hospital was unable to cope with the large numbers of residents who fled their homes in Shujaiyya “under fire” to the hospital for shelter.
They highlighted that Sunday’s death toll hit 20 since midnight.
Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman of the Palestinian ministry of health, said that among Shujaiyya’s victims were family members of senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya.
He identified them as Osamah Khalil al-Hayya, his wife Halah and his sons Khalil and Umamah.
Al-Qidra highlighted that the last few hours were the “fiercest” against Palestinian houses. Residents, he said, have been appealing for help since midnight saying that large numbers of people have been killed or injured in the houses as shells continued to hit them from all directions.
Al-Qidra highlighted that Israeli forces denied ambulances access to attacked houses to evacuate victims despite the uninterrupted efforts to coordinate through the International Committee of the Red Cross.
“The Israeli occupation forces told the Red Cross Committee that Shujaiyya was a closed zone because of military operations,” the medical official explained.