(MENAFN - Arab News) GAZA CITY Gaza Strip: Hundreds of Palestinians carried bodies through the streets in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday as they buried those killed in Israeli airstrikes. On the other side of the border Israelis braced for rocket fire and soldiers massed on the border.
An Israeli offensive aimed at stopping near-daily Palestinian militant rocket attacks has set off the heaviest fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas since an eight-day battle in November 2012 and it is taking a heavy toll on civilians.
Palestinian children played in the rubble of a house that was destroyed by an Israeli strike on Tuesday in the northern Gaza town oBeit Hanoun while hundreds of angry men carried the bodies of seven people laid out on orange stretchers for their funeral in the Khan Younes refugee camp in the south. Trails of smoke meanwhile could be seen as Palestinian militants fired rocket salvos toward Israel.
Palestinian medics say a total of 49 people have been killed in Gaza including 22 on Wednesday. Of the total dead medical officials have confirmed at least 15 are civilians and 10 militants with the remainder uncertain.
No serious casualties have been reported on the Israeli side but rockets have hit homes damaged infrastructure and spread panic as air raid sirens wailed over major Israeli cities.