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GAZA STRIP, (Palestinian Territories): Mediators in Cairo made a renewed push for a Gaza ceasefire, but differences remained as fighting raged on in the Palestinian territory gripped by desperate food shortages.

US, Qatari and Hamas envoys travelled to Cairo for the latest effort towards a six-week truce, stepped-up aid deliveries and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

But sticking points remained, including a Hamas demand that the Israeli armed forces entirely withdraw from the Gaza Strip after almost five months of devastating war.

And Israel, which has so far announced no plans to join the Egypt talks, has demanded Hamas provide it with a list of all 130 remaining captives, including more than 30 it fears are dead.

Despite the latest push to halt the fighting sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel, Israeli bombing and urban combat again rocked Gaza, home to 2.4 million people, most of whom have been displaced.

Another 90 Palestinians were killed within 24 hours, said Hamas-ruled Gaza’s health ministry, which put the war’s overall death toll at 30,410, mostly women and children.

Two of the latest victims, twin babies Naeem and Wissam Abu Anza, were buried on Sunday as their mother Rania wept in agony, an AFP photographer said.

A relative, Shehda Abu Anza, said “only civilians” were in the house when it was bombed, killing 14 members of one family.

“All of them were sleeping when suddenly a missile hit and destroyed the whole house,” he told AFP as residents searched the rubble with their bare hands, for bodies and also to salvage scarce food.

An Israeli siege on Gaza has sparked dire warnings from the United Nations of famine, leading the United States to start airdropping food rations into Gaza on Saturday.

Jordan and some other countries have already done so.

Screaming Palestinian children ran toward food parcels that drifted on black parachutes onto the Mediterranean beach.

At least 16 children have died of malnutrition in recent days as “famine spreads” in Gaza’s north, said health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra.

Gaza’s desperation was grimly highlighted last Thursday when more than 100 people were killed in chaotic scenes around a convoy of aid trucks.

Gaza health officials said Israeli forces opened fire into the crowd, causing a “massacre”, while Israel’s army said most victims were trampled or hit by trucks in a chaotic crush for food aid.

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