Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip killed 52 people Saturday, including two severely handicapped women in a care facility, medics said.
The toll made Saturday the bloodiest day yet in the five-day conflict, and hiked the overall toll to 157.
The deadliest strike came in the Tuffah district in eastern Gaza City, where 18 people were killed in strikes that hit a home and a mosque, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
Among at least 50 people injured in the strike was Hamas police chief Tayseer al-Batsh, who was reportedly in critical condition.
Elsewhere, three people were killed in Rafah in southern Gaza, and one person in Jabalia, in the north of the coastal enclave.
The evening strikes came after defiant fighters in Gaza responded to the relentless Israeli assault by firing rockets towards Israeli occupied territories, including long range armaments that hit Tel Aviv.
Earlier, eight people were killed in raids on Gaza City, central al-Bureij and northern Jabalia.
They included a woman aged 25, and a 16-year-old, Qudra said.
photo from Quds News Network
And six men, including two nephews of former Hamas premier Ismail Haniya, were killed in an afternoon strike on the Sheikh Radwan district of western Gaza City.
Aged from 21 to 58, they were sitting outside their homes in the area when the strike hit, eyewitnesses said.
Their deaths followed an early morning strike that killed two women at a charitable association housing the disabled in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.
The women, Suha Abu Saada and Ola Washahi, both had severe mental and physical handicaps, association director Jamila Alaywa said.
Four others were wounded in the attack — three residents and a helper, she said.
Another three people were killed in eastern Gaza City and three in an attack on the western side of town in early Saturday attacks.
Earlier, Qudra announced the deaths of eight other Palestinians in raids that hit targets including a bank, two mosques and the houses of Hamas officials.
On Friday, the United Nations said 77 percent of those killed in the Israeli raids were civilians.
No Israelis have been killed.
Dr. Mona El-Farra: “The medical resources are exhausted”: LISTEN HERE
photos from Quds News Network:
Israeli occupation forces target a residential house in the eastern #Gaza Strip belongs to Taysir al-Batsh, killing 18 of his family members.
6 children and 4 women among them
List of martyrs:
1. Anas Alla’a al-Batsh, 10
2. Qusai Isam al-Batsh, 12
3. Manar Majed al-Batsh, 13
4. Muhammad Isam al-Batsh, 17
5. Ibrahim Majed al-Batsh18
6. Yahyia Ala’a al-Batsh, 18
7. Khaled Majed al-Batsh, 20
8. Zakaria Ala’a al-Batsh, 20
9. Mahmoud Majed al-Batsh, 22
10. Marwa Majed al-Batsh, 25
11. Jalal Majed al-Batsh, 26
12. Ahmed Neman al-Batsh, 27
13. Baha’a Majed al-Batsh, 28
14. Nahed Naim al-Batsh, 41
15. Amal Hassan al-Batsh, 49
16. Aziza Yousef al-Batsh, 59
17. Majed Subhi al-Batsh
18. Qusai Ala’a al-Batsh
Israel tell northern Gaza residents to evacuate:
**Benevolent, and all, but where shall they go??
The Israeli military says it is ordering Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate the area “for their own safety.”
In a statement Saturday, the military said it would send messages to residents overnight to leave the area.
Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz, the chief military spokesman, said Israel planned to hit the area with heavy force in the next 24 hours as it steps up an offensive against Gaza militants.