Peri: Adopt Arab peace initiative with corrections

Former Shin Bet head says he sees Abbas as a partner for peace, denies reports Lapid does not view Abbas as partner.

June 1, 2013 19:49
1 minute read.
Yaakov Peri

Yaakov Peri 370. (photo credit: Knesset)

Former head of the Shin Bet and current Minister of Science and Technology Yaakov Peri said on Saturday that he is in favor of adopting the Arab League Peace Initiative, but with Israeli corrections.

Speaking on Channel 2's Meet The Press, the Yesh Adit minister said he believed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a partner for peace.

He denied reports Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid did not view Abbas as a leader willing to negotiate with Israel, and said there is an "intensive debate" within the party on the diplomatic issue.

Peri also stressed it is important to return to the negotiating table soon, to avoid a situation in which Israel turns into a binational state.

Regarding Israeli construction in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, Peri said he is against funding new settlements, but is in favor of "not suffocating" existing settlements.

"Like Yair Lapid said, you have to fund the natural growth of settlements. If [the settlement] Efrat needs a new kindergarten, we have to help it build one," he said.

Peri, who headed a legislative committee on the enlistment of haredim into national service, said the integration of ultra Orthodox youth into the IDF is a gradual process that will start in August with the bill's approval and will continue until 2016, after which all will have to enlist.

After the law's approval, Peri said, enforcement will be increased. A yeshiva that encourages enlistment among its students will receive incentives, while ones that don't meet draft goals will suffer economic consequences.

He added that if the process of increasing haredi enlistment to the army is successful, his committee will work to increase the length of service of Hesder yeshivot, that currently only serve for 16 months.

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