Undeterred by a United Nations resolution condemning its invasion and mounting international fury, Israel unleashed another helicopter missile attack late on Thursday night, following similar raids during the day.
Dozens of Israeli tanks entered the Rafah refugee camp and a helicopter fired on the area of Tal al-Sultan.
Among those killed on Thursday was Khalid Abu Anza, 37, the local head of the armed wing of Hamas, who died in a morning air strike.
Five of the victims were killed in overnight air strikes in the Jenaina neighbourhood of Rafah and the Brazil quarter of the neighbouring refugee camp. Two others were shot by Israeli troops in the district of Tal al-Sultan.
The latest killings raise the toll to 46 Palestinians killed since Israel launched its invasion into Rafah on Tuesday.
Throughout Wednesday night, buildings burned and gunfire rattled the Brazil and al-Salam districts of the impoverished camp, said residents. Dozens of Israeli armoured vehicles stormed the areas.
More civilians killed
Israel has vowed to continue its campaign in Rafah, despite international condemnation of the campaign which left some 15 peaceful Palestinian demonstrators killed on Wednesday.
Many of the demonstrators were
Another 50 protesters were injured when Israel opened helicopter, tank and machine gun fire at protesters in the city of Rafah, reported Aljazeera’s correspondent. Many of the wounded were women and children.
They were demonstrating against the ongoing invasion in the neighbouring refugee camp.
In Geneva, the UN special human rights envoy for the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip said Israeli attacks against the Gaza refugee camp were war crimes and a violation of humanitarian law.
On Wednesday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution by 14-0 criticising Israel for its campaign of destroying Palestinian homes. Staunch ally Washington abstained from the vote.
West Bank invasion
In related developments, Israeli soldiers shot dead a 15-year-old boy in the al-Fawwar refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, according to Aljazeera’s correspondent. Another three Palestinians were injured in clashes.
Israel also detained some 40 Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin and its neighbouring refugee camp on Thursday, reported Aljazeera.
Clashes erupted between occupation troops and resistance fighters of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, leaving two soldiers injured, reported correspondent Ali Samudi.
Dozens of Israeli armoured vehicles backed by helicopters stormed the city and camp as troops broke into civilian homes in search of resistance fighters.