BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The bodies of 20 Palestinians were recovered from the rubble of destroyed buildings in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday evening, as Gazans took stock of a 23-day Israeli assault that has killed 1,360 people so far with no end in sight.
The announcement by Gaza medical teams of the recovery of the bodies in Jabaliya came only hours after Israeli shelling killed 17 in a crowded market in Shujaiyya, as thousands took advantage of a temporary Israeli ceasefire to shop on the third day of the Muslim Eid holiday.
Ambulances raced racing towards the site of the blast as medics and residents frantically tried to gather up the dead bodies.
An AFP correspondent saw at least five bodies being shoved onto stretchers and driven off to hospitals or mortuaries as quickly as the ambulances could take them. Even civilian cars were used to evacuate the dead and the wounded.
"The first shell hit, and people immediately started evacuating the wounded," said a man called Abu Maysarah. "They (the Israelis) saw them evacuating the wounded, and they struck them again," he said as a nearby building burned, belting out smoke as debris littered the street.
A bloodied, limp lifeless body lay in a pool of petrol and mud, his head crushed.
"There were journalists over here, and they hit them as well as they stood next to the ambulances," he shouted.
TV images showed at least one journalist lying motionless in the street, his flak jacket with "Press" on the front soaked in blood.
"We want a battle," Abu Maysarah cried, furious.
"We want Qassam to strike back, in the heart of Tel Aviv!" he said of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. more