The Gaza Strip’s Health Ministry says dozens of people were killed and injured in the attack on the overcrowded Jabalia camp.
Israeli airstrikes hit the densely populated Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, with initial reports suggesting large numbers of casualties.
Monday’s attack comes as Israel launched a massive air campaign against targets in Gaza following an unprecedented Hamas attack that began on Saturday.
The Palestinian news agency WAFA said the attack hit a market area, “killing and injuring dozens of people and causing heavy destruction.” The Reuters news agency also cited the Gaza-based health ministry as saying the attack killed and injured dozens of people.
Footage captured by Al Jazeera showed frantic scenes as rescuers began pulling people from the rubble.
A school run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) was also hit in the camp attack, according to Al Jazeera’s Youmna ElSayed.
From Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, ElSayed said “dozens” of victims had been brought there, including children.
She added that another Israeli attack hit the Shati refugee camp, also known as Beach Camp.
In total, more than 500 Palestinians were killed and around 2,700 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza on Monday afternoon.
In Israel, the death toll has surpassed 800, with more than 2,200 injured in attacks that began Saturday with the sending of Hamas fighters into Israel and the firing of thousands of rockets.
Fighters broke through Israeli barriers with explosives and carried out attacks that killed civilians in towns and on highways while others were taken prisoner and transferred to Gaza. More than 250 people attending a music festival were among those killed, according to the Zaka volunteer group, which helped recover the bodies.
Also on Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel would impose a “total blockade” on Gaza, including a ban on the entry of food and fuel and a power cut.
Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz also issued an order “to immediately cut off the water supply” to Gaza, his spokesperson said.
Gaza has been under a crippling air, land and sea blockade since 2007, with devastating consequences for its more than two million residents, who face shortages of water and electricity, as well as a lack of medicine.
“No one can anticipate what will happen in the coming days,” Al Jazeera’s Jamileh Abu Zanoon said, reporting from Gaza City.
“The power plants are running out of electricity. … There will be no electricity, no food, no water.
Palestinians in Gaza are preparing for what many fear will be an Israeli ground attack aimed at defeating Hamas and freeing at least 100 Israeli hostages.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned civilians to stay away from all Hamas sites, which he vowed to turn “into rubble.”
The army said it had called up around 300,000 reservists and said in a statement it would aim to end Hamas’ rule over Gaza.
“We have never recruited so many reservists on such a scale,” Israel’s chief military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, told reporters. “We are going on the offensive.”