PRIME Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will return to the table for ceasefire talks with Hamas.

Friday’s announcement marks another attempt to reach a deal with the militant group that would pause Israel’s plausible genocide 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 authorised Israeli delegations to join talks in Qatar and Egypt over the coming days.

With the assault now grinding through a sixth month, the US, Qatar and Egypt have spent months trying to negotiate another ceasefire and hostage release. But those efforts appear to have stalled.

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A campaign of airstrikes and a ground offensive from Israel has left more than 32,000 Palestinians dead, according to local health authorities. The fighting also displaced over 80% of Gaza’s population and caused widespread damage.

The UN and international aid agencies say virtually the entire Gaza population is struggling to get enough food, with hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine, especially in hard-hit northern Gaza.

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.

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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 October 7 attack, which triggered the war, or who died in captivity.

It comes as the Syrian army says Israeli airstrikes near the northern city of Aleppo killed or wounded “a number of” people and caused damage.

Hezbollah has had an armed presence in Syria since it joined the country’s conflict fighting alongside government forces.

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and once its commercial centre, has come under such attacks in the past that led to the closure of its international airport. Friday’s strike did not affect the airport.

The strikes have escalated over the past five months against the backdrop of the war in Gaza and ongoing clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces on the Lebanon-Israel border.