Israel denies reports of Hamas negotiations

Israel’s prime minister denied media reports that it is negotiating with the militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza, but said there will be Israeli "consultations" Sunday "regarding the situation in the south." “Should a decision of any kind be required, it will be made only via a meeting of the Security Cabinet and after taking into account all of the new political circumstances that have been created in the wake of the recent Israeli elections,” Yanki Galanti, the media adviser for Ehud Olmert, said Saturday night in a statement. The consultations are to take place among Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Israel held elections Tuesday which resulted in a near-tie between Livni’s centrist Kadima party and the right-wing Likud party, led by Benjamin Netanyahu.