Aides to the Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, said on Thursday that he “plans to go all the way in evacuating illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank in full force”, even if the evacuation will cause a conflict with the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert.Meanwhile, Olmert rejected Israeli media reports that stated that his relation with Peretz has reached an all-time low.

 Peretz stated that Olmert always spoke about evacuating the illegal outposts but never put his word into action. 

“We cannot keep delaying this issue”, Peretz said, “The outposts should have been evacuated a long time ago”.

 The Israeli news reported that Olmert’s aides said that he held talks with settler leaders on evacuating illegal outposts in the occupied West Bank, but all talks failed.

 The aides added that there is no other way right now but to evacuate these outposts without an agreement, and without understandings.

 On the political level, Peretz said that he supports the Saudi Initiative for peace in the Middle East and that he supports strengthening Israel’s relations with moderate countries in the region.

He added that this Saudi role is important and that the Saudi initiative “should be taken seriously” since it achieved a unity agreement between the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya.