Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Sunday praised the Treasury for agreeing to promote his map of Israeli towns and cities that will receive preferred benefits from the government. Among the benefits are tax breaks, grants, and preferential placement in schools and in other programs, for residents of areas commonly referred to as "the periphery," which are relatively less well-off socio-economically.
Among the areas included in the map are the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley, and Southern Hevron Hills, which, Steinitz said, was very appropriate. The idea of the map is to enhance the periphery, he said, and “anyone who wants to enhance the periphery without including the Golan Heights and Jordan Valley is discriminating between residents of the periphery.
"I congratulate the Finance Minister for understanding this,” Steinitz said. “I hope the government will finally approve this map, which will for the first time include these areas. It's the right thing to do,” he said.
Commenting on negotiations between Iran and Western powers on Tehran's nuclear program, Steinitz said that the talks were at a critical juncture “which will determine whether we have a safer or more dangerous world. We do not close the door on diplomatic activity. We hope the talks will be the solution that prevents Iran from becoming not just a nuclear power, but also a country on the edge of nuclear capability” that could put together a nuclear bomb quickly, he added.