With at least 200 people reported killed in the latest strikes, the United States also escalated pressure on Israel to do more to avert the heavy civilian casualties that are turning public sentiment worldwide against a continuation of the war.
Many of the strikes were in southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had taken refuge after the Israeli military had told them to relocate there for their safety. Israel has said that it believes Hamas commanders are also hiding there alongside civilians.
The shift in focus to the south suggested Israel is preparing to expand its ground operations beyond the Gaza City area where it has established control of some neighborhoods. Israeli aircraft dropped leaflets on several regions in southeastern Gaza ordering civilians to evacuate further west, triggering speculation that a new ground incursion from Israel could be imminent.