Israel Hamas Gaza
An Israeli soldier prays in front of a tank at a military staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip.Reuters

Hamas' military wing, the Qassam Brigades, has claimed to have killed eight Israeli soldiers in northeastern Gaza City in what would be the deadliest attack on the IDF since Israel's ground operation began last week.

The group said they had launched an attack on Israeli soldiers in the al-Tuffah neighbourhood, destroying an armoured personnel carrier with an RPG 29, a rocket-propelled grenade, according to Palestinian Maan news agency.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said she did not have enough information available on the incident to comment.

Last week, Hamas militants killed seven IDF soliders in separate attacks, one a rocket attack on an Israeli military jeep which killed four.

They also alleged the capture of Israeli soldier Oron Shaul, who the IDF has said was killed in action during the Gaza fighting. It is currently unknown whether he is dead or alive.

Israel claim to have launched the ground and air offensive following a barrage of Hamas rockets while the militant group claim provocation.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has expressed serious concern at the situation in Gaza while UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay condemned both sides for their actions.

"We have over 118,000 people now who are sheltering in UN schools... people are running out of food. Water is also a serious concern," said Amos.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that civilian deaths and repercussions were "the responsibility of Hamas".

He also described the UN Human Rights Council's vote for an investigation into Gaza war crimes as "grotesque" and "a travesty of justice".

According to the Gaza health ministry, at least 710 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's Operation Protective Edge. Thirty-two Israeli troops and three civilians have been killed in fighting in Gaza.

According to the UN, 74 per cent of the Palestinians killed by Israeli air strikes are civilians and one third of the civilians killed are reportedly children.