Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, head of the Hamas-led cabinet, Wednesday demanded an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in Beit Hhanoun in the Gaza Strip.

"I call on the Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to stop
these massacres against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West
Bank," the prime minister told reporters shortly before an urgent
meeting of his cabinet.

At least 20 Palestinian civilians, including seven children were killed and scores injured on Wednesday
morning due to Israeli army shelling residents' houses in the Town of
Beit Hannoun, north of the Gaza strip.

Palestinian sources reported that army tanks stationed at the borders betwen Israel and Gaza shelled residents' houses.  Al Othmani family house that consists of four apartments, was leveled to the ground and the number of houses sustained heavy damage, causing a high number of deaths and injuries.

According to medical sources, 5 of the 20 killed were moved to Kamal Adawan hospital and the other 13 were moved to Beit Hannoun Hospital. Doctors said that they were unable to identify most of the killed civilians because the bodes arrived severely mutilated. Doctors added that there are the critical among the wounded, which led the doctors to say the number of the killed may increase.

Earlier at around 1:00 am on Wednesday, several tanks and army bulldozers invaded the town of Beit Hannoun, destroyed some farm lands and fired at residents' houses causing damage to their property, eyewitnesses reported.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniya demanded an International investigation of war crimes committed against Palestinian civilians in Beit Hanouan and the all Palestinian areas.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Israeli destroyed chances for peace saying that Israel is responsible for the consequences. 

The Israeli army has redeployed around Beit Hannoun on Tuesday morning after a six-day military operation that left 63 Palestinians dead and more than 150 wounded.