In the morgue of the Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, workers wrap the corpses of people killed in Israeli airstrikes in white cloth amid the stench of death. They record whatever basic facts they can about the dead: name, identity card number, age, sex.

Some of the bodies are badly mutilated. Only those that have been identified or claimed by relatives can go for burial and be included in the Gaza Health Ministry's death toll for the war. The rest are stored in the morgue's refrigerator, often for weeks.

The toll stood at around 20,000 people on Thursday, amid renewed international calls for a fresh cease-fire in Gaza. The ministry says thousands more dead remain buried beneath the rubble. About 70% of those killed are women and children, it says.