Jerusalem/Gaza: Israel has apprehended 150 alleged Hamas members as it intensified its 17-day-old military campaign despite international calls for ceasefire and the toll in Gaza rising to 718.

The Hamas members were apprehended overnight on Thursday in the Rafah area, near the border with Egypt, a military spokesperson told Xinhua.

Most of them were taken away from their homes, the Ha'aretz daily reported.

A photo posted on Israel's Walla website shows the detainees walking near the sandy Israel-Gaza border, wearing only underwear, as armed soldiers transferred them for questioning by the Shin Bet, the Israeli security service.

Palestinian Ma'an news agency reported that 29 people were killed in Gaza by Israeli strikes overnight, including 10 members from the same family.

Palestinian health officials said the death toll in Gaza reached 718, including 540 civilians. About one in four casualties was a minor, according to UN statistics. Some 32 Israelis were killed, including three civilians.

On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) decided to form a committee to look into possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza, in a move that angered Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the decision as "a travesty".

Moshe Ya'alon, the Israeli minister of defence, said he instructed his troops Wednesday to prepare for a wider ground war.

US Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel late Wednesday after a day-long visit aimed at brokering a ceasefire agreement to end the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also visited the region, but there have been no official reports regarding a possible breakthrough in the ceasefire efforts.