Efforts towards a truce in the Israel-Hamas war appeared to rekindle on Saturday after a new proposal from the Palestinian Hamas group which also called for more aid into Gaza, where the first food shipment by sea reached shore.

Israel said it would send a delegation to Qatar for a new round of talks on a possible deal. It also advanced plans for a military operation in Rafah, where most of Gaza’s population has sought refuge from more than five months of war and deprivation.

The US charity World Central Kitchen said its team had finished unloading almost 200 tonnes of food, the first shipment to arrive on a new maritime aid corridor from Cyprus.

“All cargo was offloaded and is being readied for distribution in Gaza,” it said in a statement.

The Cypriot government said that a second aid ship, the Jennifer, was set “to depart for Gaza today (Saturday) or tomorrow”.

The vessel was expected to carry 240 tonnes of food, World Central Kitchens said.

The United Nations has reported particular difficulty in accessing north Gaza to distribute food and other aid.

Residents say they have resorted to eating wild plants and animal fodder, and some have stormed the few aid trucks that have made it through.

“Doctors are reporting that they no longer see normal-sized babies,” Dominic Allen, of the United Nations Population Fund, said after visiting the area.

‘God help us’

With the situation increasingly dire, donors have turned to deliveries by air or sea.

Multiple governments have begun daily aid airdrops over Gaza. The German air force said on Saturday it successfully made its first aid drop over north Gaza.

The new maritime corridor is to be complemented by a temporary pier which US troops are on their way to build.

But air and sea missions are no alternative to land deliveries, UN agencies say. Humanitarians have cited Israeli restrictions as among the obstacles they face.

Before the war an average of around 500 trucks a day entered Gaza, the UN has said, but the current number is a fraction of that.

The health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza said at least 63 people had been killed over the previous 24 hours.

Earlier Saturday, ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra reported 36 deaths from a strike on a house sheltering displaced people in Nuseirat, central Gaza.

AFPTV images showed a building blown apart. Yussef Tabatibi said survivors were trying to recover the dead with only their bare hands.

“What should we do? God help us,” he said.

Witnesses reported air strikes and fighting in the southern Gaza Strip’s main city Khan Yunis as well as parts of the north.

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