Israel has bombed areas of southern Gaza after telling Palestinians to flee ahead of an expected invasion, killing dozens of people.
In Gaza, people wounded in the air strikes were rushed to hospital after heavy attacks outside the southern cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, residents reported.
Basem Naim, a senior Hamas official and former health minister, reported 27 people were killed in Rafah and 30 in Khan Younis.
An Associated Press reporter saw around 50 bodies brought to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.
Family members came to claim the bodies, wrapped in white bedsheets, some soaked in blood.
An air strike in Deir al Balah reduced a house to rubble, killing nine members of the family living there.
Three members of another family that had evacuated from Gaza City were killed in a neighbouring home.
The dead included one man and 11 women and children. Witnesses said there was no warning before the strike.
What Israel said
The Israeli military said it was targeting Hamas hideouts, infrastructure, and command centres.
‘When we see a target, when we see something moving that is Hamas, we’ll take care of it. We’ll handle it,’ said Richard Hecht, an Israeli military spokesman.
However, Iran’s foreign minister warned that ‘pre-emptive action is possible’ if Israel moves closer to a ground offensive.
Israel has sealed off and bombed Hamas-ruled Gaza since the militant attack on southern Israel on October 7 killed over 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and left about 200 hostages held captive in Gaza.
Israeli strikes have killed at least 2,778 people and wounded 9,700 others in Gaza, according to the Health Ministry.
The strikes have not stopped Hamas militants from continuing to attack Israel with rockets launched from Gaza.
Another 1,200 people across Gaza are believed buried under the rubble, health authorities said.