Contrary to earlier claims that it had only used Hellfire missile in a raid at the crowded Nusseirat refugee camp in Gaza, the Israeli army on Wednesday finally admitted using far deadlier weapons in the raid on 20 October.

"Perhaps due to the operation and security sensitivity before our eyes, we erred in the way in which we chose to describe the means of operation," a military spokesman said.

But he still did not specify the weapon that was used.

The Israelis initially said they had used Hellfire missile. But the high casualties led to accusations that the army was lying over the weapon they used.

Heavy-handed

Palestinians say that Israel's army cares little about casualties when it strikes into their cities.

Israeli lawmaker Yossi Sarid of the left-wing Meretz Party said the number of casualties in the Nusseirat had been high and suggested the Israeli air force had used a more lethal weapon than it had admitted.

"The question is whether the lives of people, women and bystanders, weren't lost unnecessarily," he said.