Up to sixty members of one family in Gaza were rounded up into one house and then bombed to death by the IDF:
In what the United Nations fears could be the bloodiest single attack of the Israeli assault, as many as 60 members of the extended Samouni family were killed near their homes in the Gazan town of Zeitoun while nine more died in hospital.
Dozens of bodies are believed to remain under the rubble of a large house hit repeatedly by Israeli shelling in the incident.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has formally requested permission from the Israeli army to visit the scene of the attack to establish the exact scale of the slaughter.
Israel has so far not granted permission to the ICRC due to ongoing fighting
"There are many houses where we live and they ordered us into the house of my brother, Wael,” Nael said.
Wael, 39, another survivor, said as many as 100 members of the clan crowded into his single-storey home with strict orders from the Israeli soldiers not to move.
Three teenage members of the family – Walid, Moussa and Imad – were taken away for questioning by the Israeli army while the remainder waited anxiously without adequate food or water until night fell and fighting intensified outside.
They thought they had survived the night when at 6.35am on Monday the house was suddenly hit by a shell that brought the roof down. It was then hit again and again.
"I saw my father and mother, and three of my children killed,” Wael said. "There was blood and bodies everywhere but some people were lost under the rubble.
The IDF also managed to blow up at least 30 Palestinians who had sought refuge inside a United Nations school:
At least 30 people were killed and 55 injured when Israeli artillery shells landed outside a United Nations-run school in Gaza, UN officials have said.
A number of children were among those who died when the al-Fakhura school in the Jabaliya refugee camp was hit, doctors at nearby hospitals said.
Israel said its soldiers had come under fire from militants inside the school.
Earlier, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned of a "full-blown humanitarian crisis" in Gaza.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the IDF is using aggressive tactics as a means of force protection:
The incident in which some 40 Palestinian civilians were killed when Israel Defense Forces mortar shells hit an UNRWA school in the Jabalya refugee camp Tuesday surprised no one who has been following events in Gaza in recent days. Senior officers admit that the IDF has been using enormous firepower.
"For us, being cautious means being aggressive," explained one. "From the minute we entered, we’ve acted like we’re at war. That creates enormous damage on the ground … I just hope those who have fled the area of Gaza City in which we are operating will describe the shock. Maybe someone there will sober up before it continues."
What the officer did not say explicitly was that this is deliberate policy. Following the trauma of the war in Lebanon in 2006, the army realized that heavy IDF casualties would erode public (and especially political) support for the war and limit its ability to achieve its goals. Therefore, it is using aggressive tactics to save soldiers’ lives. And the cabinet took this into account when it approved the ground operation last Friday, so it has no reason to change its mind now.
This is a massacre – paid for by the United States government, using US-made bombs and bullets, launched from US-made fighter planes and heavy weapons.