The international Red Cross said it was "appalled" that nearly two dozen people -mostly women and children - had been killed during IDF operations Wednesday in the northern Gaza Strip.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, called on Israel to respect its obligations under international humanitarian law, which prohibits attacks against civilians.
"The ICRC is appalled that at least 21 persons, including seven children and seven women, lost their lives and at least 58 others were wounded, some of them very severely, as a result of Israeli military operations in Beit Hanoun," said Dominik Stillhart, the neutral agency's head of delegation in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
"Civilians must not pay the price of conflict," Stillhart said. "Any civilian loss of life further fuels the conflict and generates more loss, suffering and grief."