Vice Premier Shimon Peres on Tuesday commented on the new peace initiative of Defense Minister Amir Peretz.
During a visit to the Negev, Peres said: "I don't believe we need to come up with something new everyday. Plans can be drafted everyday, but they also need to be implemented."
Peretz's plan, "to combine the Saudi initiative with the road map", is comprised of three phases: Stabilizing the economic and security situation, general negotiation on a permanent solution and extension of Palestinian sovereignty, and specific negotiation regarding the details of the permanent solution.
Peres meets Negev locals (Photo: Herzl Yosef)
Peres also spoke of his presidential candidacy: "Why should I deal with this now? There is a serving president. I have a general work plan, the Negev, the Galilee and the Peace Valley, I have work piled up over my head. At the moment my presidential candidacy is irrelevant."
Peres said that the meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was very important and represents the first step towards implementing peace plans.
"The situation with the Palestinians is not simple. Divisions among them are charged and extremely worrying," he said.
Investment in education needed
Peres is in the Negev to promote plans to encourage young couples to move there.
Roni Flamer, CEO of Or Movement - National Missions, whose mission it is to encourage young Israelis to move to the Negev and the Galilee, told Ynet that over the next few years 108,000 families will make the Negev their homes.
"The state needs to give education a strong push so that it won't bring failure upon families who move to live in Negev communities. There are 5,000 families in the process of moving to the Negev, and waiting lists are longer than usual," he said.
Falmer said that his organization needs the government to fund playing grounds for children in new communities.