Peres: 'Convergence' only a last resort

Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said on Sunday morning that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would stress in his meeting with US President George Bush this week that the convergence plan would only be a last resort. "Ideally we want to continue on the path of the road map and the prime minister will discuss with George Bush ways to continue with the plan," Peres told Israel Radio. Peres was on his way to Sharm e-Sheikh where he is due to meet Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He said that although the two would not solely discuss the developing humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories, they would not carry out concrete political negotiations. He described the situation in the Palestinian Authority as "gloomy" and said that Hamas was making grave mistakes, which were putting its power in jeopardy. Peres said that Israel would steer clear from direct involvement in the continuing civil unrest in Gaza and that the Israeli government had no influence on the Hamas-Fatah conflict. "The escalation is entirely Hamas's fault," claimed Peres, "they want to turn the whole world into Hamas, and at the same time they are being used as a vessel by Iran who are threatening Israel and are seeking to rule over the Middle East," he continued.