Sami Abu Zuhri
Sami Abu ZuhriReuters

Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official and spokesman for the organization, has said that the terror group's leadership is steadfast in its decision to insist on a ceasefire in Gaza before holding negotiations on a new prisoner swap which would see innocent Israeli hostages freed in exchange for convicted terrorists.

Speaking to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Abu Zuhri said that Israel's statements on a new deal to free hostages were made due to internal Israeli needs.

Quoting senior sources in the various terror groups in Gaza, the paper also said that Israel offered a one-week ceasefire, while the terror groups rejected this offer and demanded a permanent ceasefire.

The sources also said that any Israeli proposal which does not include a long-lasting ceasefire is worthless, and statements in Israel and the US regarding progress on a new deal only aim to show their populations that there are efforts being made to return the hostages.

Meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh traveled to Cairo for the purpose of discussing a new prisoner swap.

According to reports, Hamas is demanding the release of several high-ranking terrorists, including Marwan Barghouti, who headed the Fatah party's military arm during the Second Intifada; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) leader Ahmad Saadat; and Abbas al-Sayed, who orchestrated the Park Hotel terror attack in 2002 and other terror attacks.