At least 20 Palestinians are dead and dozens more wounded in a major ongoing Israeli military incursion in the southern Gaza Strip.
Israeli tanks backed by helicopter gunships raided the Rafah refugee camp today (Tuesday), as troops conducted house-to-house searches for gunmen and weapons.
Israel says most of those killed were gunmen. But Palestinians say at least six of the dead were civilians. At least two of the dead were teenagers.
President Bush called the violence in Gaza "troubling" but said Israel has the right to target extremists.
Israel deployed hundreds of troops and vehicles to the area Sunday, following bomb attacks by militants in Gaza last week that killed 13 Israeli soldiers.
Israel says the operation is aimed at arresting or killing gunmen and destroying tunnels used to smuggle weapons from Egypt. Israeli officials say only homes linked to tunnels will be demolished.
Israel is pressing ahead with the operation despite international condemnation, including from the European Union and United Nations.
The U-N Security Council will hold closed door consultations later today on a draft resolution in support of the Palestinians.
The Arab League said it will begin legal proceedings to bring Israelis to trial for what it says are Gaza war crimes.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Supreme Court has rejected a petition by 46 Palestinian families in Rafah seeking a hearing on Israeli plans to demolish their homes. The petitioners said their homes had never been used as bases for attacks on Israeli patrols.