Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will return to the table for cease-fire talks with Hamas.

Friday’s announcement marks yet another attempt to reach a deal with the militant group that would pause Israel’s military offensive in Gaza in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages. Several rounds of negotiations have faltered.

Netanyahu says he has spoken with Israel’s lead negotiators and authorized Israeli delegations to join talks in Qatar and Egypt over the coming days.

With the war now grinding through a sixth month, the United States, Qatar and Egypt have spent months trying to negotiate another cease-fire and hostage release. But those efforts appear to have stalled.

Hamas has previously proposed a phased process in which it would release all the remaining hostages in exchange for an end to the war and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the opening of its borders for aid and reconstruction, and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including top militants serving life sentences.

Netanyahu has called the demands delusional and vowed to resume Israel’s offensive after any hostage release and keep fighting until the militant group is destroyed.

Hamas is believed to be holding roughly 100 hostages, as well as the remains of about 30 people killed in the group’s Oct. 7 attack, which triggered the war, or who died in captivity.

Currently:

— Doctors visiting a Gaza hospital are stunned by the war’s toll on Palestinian children.

— Talks resume on bringing Israeli officials to the U.S. to discuss Gaza operation, the White House says.

Israeli strikes in Lebanon kill 16, militant rockets kill 1 Israeli as cross-border violence soars.

U.S sanctions online media site Gaza Now and its founder for allegedly supporting Hamas.

— Israelis who fled towns near Gaza border must weigh whether to return.

— Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.

Here’s the latest:

ISRAELI STRIKE IN RAFAH KILLS AT LEAST 12 PEOPLE, INCLUDING WOMEN AND KIDS

RAFAH, Gaza Strip — An Israeli airstrike killed at least 12 people when it slammed into a residential building late Thursday in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which is overflowing with displaced civilians, according to health officials.

Two children and four women were among the dead pulled from the rubble, said Dr. Saleh al-Hams, the head of the nursing department at the European Hospital.

Eight of the bodies, including two mangled and unidentifiable corpses, were transferred to the European Hospital. The rest of the remains were taken to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital, according to hospital records. After almost six months of war, about a dozen of Gaza’s 36 hospitals are only partially functioning.

Israel has promised to launch a ground invasion of Rafah, saying the city on the border with Egypt is the last remaining Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have continued to bombard areas where they told civilians to take shelter — including Rafah.

Over half of Gaza’s population has sought refuge in Rafah, many in makeshift tent camps, United Nations shelters and crowded apartments. The U.S. says it shares Israel’s goal of defeating Hamas but a major assault on the city would be a mistake.

U.N. COURT: ISRAEL MUST OPEN MORE LAND CROSSINGS IN GAZA

In a legally binding order, the top United Nations court says Israel must open more land crossings into Gaza for food, water, fuel and other supplies.

The International Court of Justice issued two new so-called provisional measures Thursday in a case brought by South Africa accusing Israel of acts of genocide in its war in Gaza — charges Israel strongly denies.

The U.N. has reported that 100% of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are at severe levels of food insecurity.

Aid deliveries have been impeded by Israeli military restrictions, ongoing hostilities and the breakdown of public order, according to the U.N. and international aid groups.

And in the West Bank, Israeli authorities say an attacker wounded three people Thursday after opening fire at several vehicles on a main route in the territory. The military says it’s still searching for the shooter.

Tensions in the West Bank have surged since the start of the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 32,000 people and wounded 74,000, according to the Gaza’s Health Ministry. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its tally, but says women and children make up two-thirds of the dead.

Some 1,200 people were killed in Israel and another 250 people abducted when Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel, triggering the war in Gaza.

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