Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar
Hamas leader Yahya SinwarAttia Muhammed/Flash90

Hamas leadership has conducted intense internal discussions over the past 36 hours, and reached a decision to pass the brokers the same answer they offered on March 14, Israel Hayom reported, quoting Al Akhbar.

The paper's editor, Ibrahim al-Amin, quoted sources involved in the negotiations as saying that Hamas leadership has reached the conclusion that Israel will not show flexibility or make additional compromises which would provide assurance of a ceasefire and an end to the war in Gaza. The report also said that the pressure applied to Hamas by Arab and international sources will not manage to change this position.

The sources also said that they told the brokers that Hamas is not willing to compromise on a clear system, with a timetable, for a general end of the war. Hamas is also no longer concerned about Israel's threats to expand the war and enter Rafah.

Hamas' military arm is already prepared with "plans for fighting any operation in Rafah," and even for raids from more than one direction. The sources also said that it may be that the delegation returning from Cairo will not travel back to Egypt any time soon, instead sufficing with the provision of a new document to the brokers in Egypt and Qatar. The document would be a new but unchanged copy of the March 14 statement.

Hamas also told the negotiators that they are no longer interested in discussions - only in four central matters: 1. A clear announcement of a ceasefire throughout all of Gaza; 2. the completion of Israel's withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza; 3. expanded aid and a full and "safe" return of Gazans to their homes, as well as removal of debris, rebuilding of Gaza, and the provision of temporary refuge for those who were displaced; 4. achieving a prisoner swap deal which includes "proportionate" release of convicted terrorists, according to clear criteria.

It was later reported that Hamas' response to the proposed hostage deal was negative, since "the ideas did not meet Hamas' demands for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of the forces."