GAZA - A official from the Gaza health ministry said Israeli tank shelling killed 18 Palestinians from a single family in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday, shortly before a 12-hour humanitarian truce agreed by Israel and Hamas went into effect.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf Al-Qidra said that the 18 members of the Al-Najar family had been trapped inside their house in Khuzaa village east of Khan Younis since Thursday and that many others were wounded in Israeli tank shelling.