Among the bodies placed around al-Shifa Hospital’s mortuary refrigerators, Um Hani tried to search for her son’s body to kiss him on the forehead one last time.
But the sight of corpses placed on the floor - due to the absence of space inside the refrigerators of the morgue - threw the woman into panic, making her lose consciousness at the end.
“She had never thought that she would search for her son’s body in a morgue overflowing with corpses one day," Um Wael, a cousin of Um Hani, who accompanied her to the mortuary, told Anadolu Agency.
“There is no room on the morgue’s floor to put a single foot on,” she added.
On Sunday, dozens of Israeli tanks and military vehicles forced their way into the eastern Gaza City Shujaya residential neighborhood amid heavy artillery fire.
The operation forced thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes toward the center of the city in the bloodiest day since Israel unleashed its onslaught on the besieged coastal enclave on July 7.
Hani Fayez, the woman's son, and at least 59 other people were killed in the attack, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Among the fatalities were 17 children, 14 women and 4 elderly Palestinians, a report of the ministry said.
It said 210 other Gazans were injured in the shelling of the neighborhood.
Hospital Director Sobhi Sakik said mortuary refrigerators can only accommodate 30 bodies at most.
“This was why we could not accommodate all the bodies that have arrived to the hospital," Sakik said. “It is a human disaster when more than 50 people are killed in the same neighborhood," he added.
Since July 7, Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip with air and naval bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire.
The operation have, however, left 425 Gazans killed and 3008 others injured so far.
On Thursday night, Israel stepped up its offensive to include ground operations, sending thousands of troops into the embattled Palestinian territory.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against Gaza in the last six years.
By Nour Abu EishaAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.