The United Nation's human rights chief has demanded that the international community immediately push "with one voice" for a cease-fire in Gaza as the plight of civilians deepens.
“Palestinians in Gaza are living in utter, deepening horror,” UN High Commissioner Volker Türk said at a Geneva news conference on Wednesday.
"As an immediate step, I call for an urgent cessation of hostilities and the release of all hostages."
The ceasefire calls come as the Israeli army claimed it had discovered "one of the largest weapons depots in the Gaza Strip", notably containing missiles, rocket launchers and drones, “in the heart of the civilian population”.
According to a statement the weapons, including "long-range missiles intended to reach central Israel" were discovered "near a clinic and a school in the north” of the Palestinian territory.
Soldiers destroyed some of the weapons on site and sent others off for investigation.
The press release stated that the Israeli army believes this to be "further proof of Hamas’s cynical use of the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip as human shields”.
Israel’s widening air and ground offensive in southern Gaza has displaced tens of thousands more Palestinians and worsened the territory's dire humanitarian conditions.
Fighting is preventing the distribution of food, water and medicine outside a tiny sliver of southern Gaza and new military evacuation orders are squeezing people into ever-smaller areas of the south.
On Wednesday, the Israeli army continued to shell the Gaza Strip, claiming to direct its strikes and ground operations against Hamas fighters and senior officials, stocks of weapons and explosives as well as tunnels.
In Khan Younis, a large southern city besieged and shelled by the Israeli army, the streets were almost empty with residents trying to shelter from bombings and artillery fire.
According to the Hamas government press office, artillery fire caused "dozens of deaths and injuries" during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday in several villages east of Khan Younis.