Contrary to reports announcing that negotiations are taking place between Israel and Hamas, Prime Minister Olmert’s media advisor issued a statement Sunday that “Israel is not conducting any negotiations with Hamas and will certainly not reach any understandings with it.”
Consultations were held Sunday on the continuation of Israel's policy regarding the situation in the south, during which a range of matters were considered. In any case, the Prime Minister’s Office stated that 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.
The Prime Minister’s Office also emphasized that the security of residents of the south and the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit are currently at the top Israel's priorities. Prime Minister Olmert's position is that Israel will not reach understandings on a lull, including opening passages to Gaza, before Gilad Shalit's release.