Israel on Monday denied it intended to push Palestinians seeking refuge from its bombardment of Gaza over the border into Egypt as international relief agencies said hunger was spreading among the besieged enclave's civilian population.

Amid the worsening humanitarian crisis, Hamas fighters and Israeli troops fought across the territory, with the militants trying to block Israeli tanks from advancing through the shattered streets.

The Gaza health ministry said 18,205 people had now been killed and 49,645 wounded in Gaza in just over two months of warfare — including hundreds since the United States vetoed a proposal for a cease-fire at the United Nations Security Council on Friday.