GAZA, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Around 17 artillery shells hit a public market in downtown Gaza city on Wednesday afternoon, killing at least 17 Palestinians and wounded more than 160, medics and witnesses said.
Witnesses said that Israeli tanks kept shelling the area despite the presence of paramedics and journalists there. Paramedics said many of the 160 wounded were in critical conditions.
The market, located in Sheja'eya neighborhood, was overcrowded with residents to buy food there after Israel announced earlier a four-hour humanitarian cease-fire, which, however, was rejected by Hamas.
In addition to the strike on the market, a Gaza Health Ministry spokesman said that four more people were killed in Israel's artillery shelling on eastern Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip.
The death toll in Gaza has risen to 1,327 Palestinians by Wednesday since a large-scale Israeli offensive on Gaza started on July 8, officials said.