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Middle East

Israeli airstrikes level Gaza buildings

Seven-storey office building and 11-floor residential tower collapse injuring dozens, as death toll crosses 2100.

Last updated: 24 Aug 2014 07:13
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Israel has carried out a series of airstrikes on several commercial and residential targets across Gaza, with a seven-storey office building being the latest one.

On Sunday morning, Gaza police said Israeli airstrikes collapsed Zafer tower, a day after a 11-storey residential tower block in the centre of Gaza City was bombed wounding 22 people, including 11 children.

 

An Israeli military spokeswoman said that the residential tower building, which collapsed completely, had been used as a command centre by Hamas fighters. Local residents said the building housed 32 families.

On the same day, a building containing shops in Rafah was hit by an Israeli airstrike, causing a fire. Six Palestinians were injured in the incident, according to Gaza health officials at Najjar hospital in Rafah.

In another incident, an Israeli airstrike killed two people on a motorcycle in Gaza City on Sunday, medical officials said.

Meanwhile, a rocket fired from Lebanon has struck a house in northern Israel. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Early on Sunday, Israeli army said that five rockets were fired into the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights from Syria but there were no reports of casualties.

"At least five rockets fired from Syria hit different locations across the Golan Heights," the Israeli army said in a statement.

An army spokeswoman told AFP news agency that the rocket attacks occured at around 1:30am (22:30 GMT) but it was not known who launched them, and the Israeli military did not return fire.

Last month a rocket from Syria prompted Israeli artillery to shell Syrian army positions.

At least 11 Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli air strikes on Saturday, as the Israeli military offensive continues.

Israel said it had carried out 55 air strikes over the Gaza Strip on Saturday and that around 64 rockets and mortar rounds hit Israel, with another 14 intercepted, according to AFP.

Abbas holds talks in Egypt

Amid the violence, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks with senior officials of the Arab League on Saturday night in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The meeting was aimed at discussing ways to resume the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that collapsed earlier this week, bringing the Egyptian-brokered talks to a halt.

Earlier that day, Abbas stressed his willingness to achieve a long-term ceasefire between the two enemies.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Saturday urged Israel and Hamas to resume indirect talks and agree to an open-ended ceasefire.

Since the fighting began in July, 2,106 people, most of them civilians, have been killed, according to Palestinian health officials. Three Israeli civilians, a Thai national in Israel and 64 Israeli soldiers have also been killed.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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