Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar
Hamas leader Yahya SinwarAttia Muhammed/Flash 90

Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said on Thursday that Hamas has not yet handed mediators its response to the latest ceasefire proposal and is still studying it, Reuters reported.

Al-Ansari added that Qatari, Egyptian and the US mediators are still making efforts.

His comments came after two Egyptian security sources said talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza war continued but had shown no sign of a breakthrough.

Earlier on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has rejected the Biden administration's ceasefire proposal, vowing that the terrorist organization will keep its weapons.

According to the report, Sinwar told Arab mediators, “Hamas will not surrender its guns or sign a proposal that asks for that.” He further stated that the only ceasefire Hamas would accept is a permanent one that ends Israel's military operations in Gaza for good.

Also on Thursday, the leaders of 17 nations, including the United States, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, published a joint statement calling on Hamas to accept the ceasefire deal outlined by US President Joe Biden last week and to release the hostages.

According to the proposal outlined by Biden, the first phase of the three-phase process would last for six weeks and would include a full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, and the release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian Arab prisoners.

Phase two would see the release of all remaining living hostages, while phase three would encompass "a major reconstruction plan for Gaza," said the President, as well as the repatriation of the remains of deceased hostages to their families.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller on Wednesday published a video to his social media account in which he outlined Biden’s three-phase plan and urged Hamas to accept it.

“The only thing standing in between the people of Gaza and an immediate ceasefire is Hamas,” Miller said.