Palestinian officials have laid the cornerstone for the rebuilding of a residential high-rise flattened in last summer's war between the Islamic militant group Hamas and Israel.

Wednesday's ceremony by Gaza's public works minister was a symbolic move to boost the spirits of the nearly 500 residents of Zafer 4 Tower, which was hit by two bombs from the air during fighting in August.

The high-rise was evacuated after Israeli warnings and before it was destroyed.

Officials and residents of the building gathered in a tent set up for the ceremony, next to the remainder of the debris of the 11-story building.

The project was paid for by Qatar Charity, which raised $3.5 million.

Hundreds of buildings were damaged in the 50-day war, which killed about 2,200 Palestinians and 72 Israelis.