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Israel kills two Palestinians, ceasefire talks muted

Israel kills two Palestinians amid continued airstrikes over Gaza, including several targeting large residential complexes, while ceasefire talks appear muted
Palestinian rescue amid rubble of house destroyed in Israeli strikes in Beit Lahia, Gaza on 25 August (AA).

Two Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes over the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, taking the death toll from Israel's weeks-long onslaught to 2,135, a Health Ministry spokesman.

Three other people were injured in the attack, Health Minister Ashraf al-Qodra told reporters. 

Israeli planes also struck a 14-story building in central Gaza City, leaving at least 20 Palestinians injured. A similar attack targeted an 11-story building in southern Gaza, leaving nearly 50 Palestinian families homeless.

It was the second night in which Israeli air strikes targeted large residential complexes

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari on Tuesday denounced the attacks on the buildings as "crimes against humanity".

In response to the attacks against the residential complexes, Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement that they fired a rocket at Haifa and four at Tel Aviv. One of the rockets was destroyed by Israel's Iron Dome air defence system in the greater Tel Aviv area, the army stated.

Twenty Israelis sustained light injures from the rocket attacks, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. Four mortar shells fell in an open area in Eshkol Regional Council earlier on Tuesday.

Two rockets were also fired at Israel from Lebanon late Monday, an army spokeswoman said. Israel responded by shelling areas in southern Lebanon.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces detained 23 Palestinians from different parts overnight. On its official Twitter account on Tuesday, the Israeli army said the 23 Palestinians were "wanted" by security forces, but did not elaborate on the charges facing the detained Palestinians.

Ceasefire talks

Egyptian mediators proposed on Monday a new ceasefire after the collapse of negotiations on 19 August.

The initiative that would open the crossings of the blockaded Gaza Strip and allow in aid and reconstruction materials, a senior Palestinian and Egyptian officials said on Monday.

It would defer to a later date negotiations on disputed points that have prevented a long-term ceasefire deal, they also said.

While Palestinian officials confirmed the Palestinians, including Hamas negotiators, would be willing to accept such a deal if Israel does, a Hamas leader rejected talk of a new truce agreement.

"There is no new Egyptian initiative on the table for a ceasefire in Gaza," Hamas spokesperson Abu Marzouk was quoted as saying by Israeli Army Radio.

Israel has not commented on the proposal so far.

Nearly 11,000 Palestinians have been injured in relentless Israeli attacks since 7 July, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Thousands of homes have also been destroyed in the offensive.

Over the same period, at least 68 Israelis – 64 soldiers and four civilians – have been killed, according to Israeli figures.

The Palestinian death toll from the Israeli offensive alone has surpassed the combined total fatalities from two past major operations - including 2008/9's operation "Cast Lead" which killed at least 1500 Palestinians in three weeks.