CAIRO, May 12 (Reuters) - Israel sent tanks into eastern Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday after a night of heavy aerial and ground bombardments, killing 19 people and wounding dozens of others, Palestinian health officials said.

The death toll in Israel's military operation in Gaza has now passed at least 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza's health ministry. The bombardment has laid waste to the coastal enclave and caused a deep humanitarian crisis.

The war was triggered by a Hamas-led attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7 in which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 250 people taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel says 620 soldiers have been killed in the fighting, more than half of them during the initial Hamas assault.

Jabalia is the biggest of Gaza's eight historic refugee camps and is home to more than 100,000 people, most of whom were descendants of Palestinians who were driven from towns and villages in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that led to the creation the state of Israel.

Late on Saturday, the Israeli military said forces operating in Jabalia were preventing Hamas, which rules Gaza, from re-establishing its military capabilities there.

"We identified in the past weeks attempts by Hamas to rehabilitate its military capabilities in Jabalia. We are operating there to eliminate those attempts," Israeli military's spokesperson Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters.

Hagari also said Israeli forces operating in Gaza City's Zeitoun district killed about 30 Palestinian militants.

Israeli forces thrust deep into Jabalia camp, deeper than the first time when they invaded northern Gaza, with tanks close to the local market, residents said. They also reported the fiercest gun battles in months there.

"They were bombing everywhere, including near schools that are housing people who lost their houses," Jabalia resident Saed, 45, told Reuters via a chat app. "War is restarting, this is how it looks in Jabalia."

The army sent tanks back into Zeitoun, as well as Al-Sabra, where residents also reported heavy bombardments that destroyed several houses, including high-rise residential buildings.

The army had claimed to have gained control of most of these areas months ago.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday warned that Israel was risking facing an insurgency in Gaza without a post-war plan for the enclave.

The Israeli Defence Forces said air sirens had sounded in the southern Kerem Shalom area and it had successfully intercepted two rockets launched from the vicinity of Rafah. It said there were no injuries and no damage reported.

Later on Sunday, sirens sounded in the Israeli city of Ashkelon as a result of incoming rocket fire from Gaza, which signalled militants there were still able to launch rocket attacks after over seven months of war.

Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV said on its telegram account, the rockets were launched from Jabalia, despite the active army raid.

Photo from Reuters