EVENT TRANSCRIPT: A Strategic Assessment of Israel’s Frontiers
DATE: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, 7 March 2019
VENUE: Committee Room 14, House of Commons, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom
SPEAKER: Yaakov Peri
EVENT CHAIR: John Howell MP
John Howell: I’m John Howell and I’m the member of the Parliament for Henley. And it’s a great pleasure to welcome you all here today. I must that I’ve chaired a number of events, but this is the first time I have ever been invited to chair an event with Israel’s top spy. So it’s a great pleasure, it’s a great pleasure, Yaakov, to have you here. And you come at a very important time. You come at a time when we have, at last, gotten around to outlawing to whole of Hezbollah, rather than just an individual part of it. So no longer will Hezbollah’s flags be seen at marches in London. And I think that that’s very important point that we send out. I know that you’re going to speak about Israel’s frontiers, and a number of different aspects of that, but one of what you’re going to pick out is the question of Israel in Europe. And I’m also a member of Council of Europe, which is a non-EU body, so we stay as a member of that despite Brexit. And you too, are members of that as a partner organization. And I have been very frustrated throughout my time at the Council of Europe by not being able to get Israel to what I would see as taking it seriously. But the Palestinians are also partner members of it, and they take it seriously by sending a long five or six people, whereas you send along one member of the Knesset each time and I wonder why there is such antagonism. So I do think that there is a lot of work that can be done in order to boost Israel’s standing in Europe and if I can help in any way to do at the Council, then I am always willing to do so. So, I’m not going to spend a long time introducing Yaakov. He is the former director of Shin Bet and also a Minister of Space Technology and therefore, given that we are at the stage of Israel’s Moon shot, it is very appropriate that we have in here. So, over to you.
Yaakov Peri: Thank you for your kind presentation. And thank you all for coming.to hear this session. I’m going to make some remarks about Israel’s security situation, and the summary remarks about other civilian issues which are not related to only to security. Though, I must admit that almost everything is attached to the security situation and to the fact that Israel, which have celebrated almost a year ago, its 70th birthday. I must start with it, my friend, is a miracle. Because before I’m going to dig into security issues, I must say as a proud Israeli, that what we have achieved in 70 years, it’s really (inaudible). Almost in every field, and Israel is one of world’s leader in science and technology. My dear MK mentioned space and, it’s a country that was composed for 144 origins. Jews came to this country from all over the world, Holocaust survivors, which are still living between us, not all of them in good conditions. And we’re now in one of the most fragile and sensitive, I would say, um, situations, because Israel is surrounded by numerous terror organisations, starting from the north, Hezbollah, Hezbollah holds nowadays, ladies and gentlemen, more than 120 – 130,000 missiles which are covering Israel from north to west. From south to the west. And I wouldn’t call it (inaudible) enough but the present situation is that Hezbollah is involved mainly in the mutiny which goes on still in Syria, and involved politically in what’s going on Lebanon because when a terror organisation becomes a political power, it limits in a way their desire or the motivation to act. It doesn’t say that Hezbollah is not going to act, act, or attack tomorrow. Going back from or down from Hezbollah to Iraq, we had until half a year ago, couple months ago, Daesh, what we are calling ISIS, which is in kind of decline now, but I wouldn’t be I would say happy or satisfied because for the time being the western coalition had succeeded to beat or to down grade Daesh or ISIS activity in the Middle East and, I hope, in Europe. But it doesn’t say that they’re not going to awake again, they have still the power, the economic power, and of course their ideology. So Daesh didn’t die but he’s not in his best shape. Let’s call it like that. We have other organisations which I’m not going for because of the time shortage, to go inside Syria. Some of them are hostile to the regime, the Syrian regime, some of them hostile to Israel regime, some are hostile to Lebanese regime. But what is the main interest of our main enemy in Syria is the Iranian presence. Iranian presence which is quite large, quite with, uh, military ability, stays in Syria and comes couple of meters near the Israeli border in the Golan Heights and the fact that Israel is attacking, Israel is attacking ammunition and the war tools which are supplied by Iran to the Hezbollah. So Israel is now in two fronts the northern fronts which is the Lebanese border and attached to it is the Syrian border mainly in the Golan Heights and these two borders two fronts are very sensitive, very fragile and one mistake, of Syrian terrorist or Hezbollah or an Israeli soldier can burst a fire that nobody will have really a considerable control on what will happen. Going down to the Jordan valley, we have to look for one second about the Jordan Hashemite Kingdom, we have their friends. Don’t forget that Israel signed two peace treaties. One is Jordan, 1994, and one is Egypt. These are cold peace. A peace, I would say, we are not embracing each other. It’s not that you can see in the streets of Tel Aviv hundreds of thousands of Egyptian tourists or Jordanian tourists. But the two governments, the Israeli government, the Jordanian government, Egyptian government, are doing at its utmost to keep this treaty, to keep this peace and it gives us a kind of comfort. Though, the situation in Jordan, security-wise, economic-wise, the amount of refugees, is weakening the status of the king, and Israel is their saviour. Israel is the one (inaudible) behind if the crisis would occur in Jordan. So I’m coming down to the south and here we come to our biggest enemy for the last twenty-five, thirty-five years, which is Hamas, which is a terror organisation, no doubt. And they, um, very brutal. Hamas dominates the Gaza strip from 1996 when they took over the Hamas regime in the Gaza strip and since then we had couple of rounds of Israeli operations. And we didn’t go out from these wars or operation as winners. Because the situation is still very tense. The humanitarian situation in the Gaza strip is on the edge of a humanitarian crisis. And here I’m blaming my government, for the fact that we didn’t initiate for the last four, five years enough, in order to ease the economic situation. Because two million people, and I’m not going to be Hamas advocate, no. But I have to stick to facts and two million people are squeezed in the narrowest territory in the world. There is almost 65, 70 percent unemployment, there is shortage of water and electricity, medicines, hospitals. And no doubt, the world, which true or not true, it doesn’t (inaudible) will put the whole blame on Israel. And we have to ease the situation which brings me to political issue. No doubt that every negotiation between Israel and Palestinians failed. Put the blame on Israel put the blame of the Palestinians, let’s divide it half, half. I will settle for half. But we are not advancing and the fact that nothing shows or (inaudible) in the future is a disaster. We are now in a (inaudible) to it. We are now in an edge of new elections, end of April. And when you are looking what are the candidates promising to the Israeli potential voter, almost nothing will re to the peace process. The Likud party, the Likud is headed by the existing prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, says no Palestinian state. Okay, but what’s the alternative? The centre party which is built from three ex-chief of staff made most, I would say, the party that never have been in so many ex-security experts. They are saying let’s do a regional conference. Okay, good idea, but what’s the outcome of a regional conference. I can understand and I can explain the logic. And the logic is that the biggest Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf countries are sharing with Israel two main interest nowadays. One is the anti-Iranian one, Saudi Arabia is much more afraid from a nuclear Iran than Israel. And second interest is fighting the radical Islam. These are the two interests which can combine in order to make a regional conference but what’s on the agenda? Nobody says. So we are coming and here I’m representing a fantastic organisation called Our Soldiers Speak. and I’m making the tour my personal tour. This organisation. We have a new state solution, which says to ask the Egyptian to contribute, to say, to purchase, to contribute ten percent of the Sinai desert the Sinai desert is sixty thousand square kilometres. If you are taking from this sixty thousand ten percent, it’s six thousand square kilometres. To attach it to the Gaza strip. Your first (inaudible) territory, which millions of people will be able to live in reasonable conditions, then we can build on this shore an airport, a naval port, to make from the Gaza strip a tourism place because it’s the nicest, prettiest sea shore in all our area. And that will avoid something that I am always afraid of. Let’s assume that Israel and Palestine helping by the EU and Russia and United States and the whole world. We’ll make it Palestinian independent Palestinian state which will be composed from the Gaza strip and from the West Bank. I cannot see an Israeli government, will it be a left government, will it be a right government, will it be a centre government, which will allow three passage of Palestinians in the heart of Israel from the West Bank to Gaza, from Gaza to the West Bank. So we have to find a solution, which will avoid this passage inside Israel and new state solution in the Gaza Strip or (in) in the Gaza Strip, is a very good start. We are not going to force any Palestinian from the West Bank to immigrate to Gaza. They can stay, they have to find a kind of autonomy or an attached state something which will force us to be much more creative, but to some, this remark I will tell you a separation between Israel and Palestinian is a must. What kind of separation it will be and independent state, an autonomy, a whatever new state solution we have to be creative and it is Israel’s role to start because we are the strongest, and we can (inaudible) take generations, and we have to be with a lot of patience. In my country, not always we are patient. We want everything to be done now and immediately and in that case we’ll have to be very patient, and to be helped by the international community, and I think that we can find, in the other side of the border, partners to do it. Not everyone, and we have the branch of the terrorists as well. And we have also extremists in our country. Luckily, minority, individuals, but we have. And we have to lead it to a solution which will promise Israel’s future and existence. Now, of course we can debate it’s the right solution to go to the Sinai desert, or a right solution to do it in the West Bank. Let’s stick to reality. In the West Bank, Israeli settlements are holding today more than half million Jews. I cannot see to be real, if I’m against settlements, or with the settlements, doesn’t matter. I don’t see an Israeli government that evacuates these people who have built their houses and their families. So we have to stick to reality we are not going to evacuate these settlements in any solutions we are now waiting for Mr. Trump’s program for the peace in the Middle East and as far as I know, and I don’t know the (inaudible), nobody knows, and I doubt if Trump himself knows it, but that’s another side remark. He will not, the blocks of settlement in the West Bank, in any solution, we will have to compromise on things that Israel will not like it. I hope that you will not attach something that every Israeli will stand and will fight for to unite Jerusalem. But talking about united Jerusalem, you have to go into the details and to look what is united Jerusalem. United Jerusalem nowadays, is twenty-six villages. Palestinian villages around Jerusalem that no Israelis is (inaudible) foothold. In this villages. We can’t take these villages and bring them back or give them back to Palestinian authority. The problem is the holy places. The Wailing Wall, Al-Aqsa, Christian churches and etc. and for that we can’t find a solution which is satisfying all these three religions and I’m not going to go into it, if you are interested, later, ask me and I’ll try to comment on it. As time goes and I have only five minutes left, I think. It’s okay? Thank you Chairman. I would like to make two or three comments about things that are not related to security and the first one is the fact that Israel is leading in the amount of research institutes, universities, and we are lacking housing, a young couple in Israel, if the two sides are working, working hard, cannot afford to buy an apartment in this (inaudible) area. I’m not talking about Tel Aviv. We are lacking places and hospitals, we are lacking doctors, and we are lacking a sense of community. We became quite hostile to each other. If you are coming with another opinion, people have to patience to hear you. And you are immediately either a traitor or a leftist or whatever. And I think that one of the strengths of a nation, many small nations like Israel surrounded by 400 million Arabs, the majority is not believing that we have the right to exist. Unity is something essential. Unity is something, I don’t mean that you have to believe in my party or beliefs but we are losing a little bit from various reasons the sense of being together and it’s our generations, the old generations’ role to bring it back. Because this used to be our main force, our main strength. And I will finalise saying or telling you, some of you will accept it, some will not, but it’s my duty to tell you that I (inaudible) a wonderful amazing country. And as a proud Israeli, I must urge you to go into the (inaudible), because some of the critics against Israel, BDS, demonstrations, the fact that Israel’s image in some places as a conqueror, as peace refusals, the images are not true. Critic is 100% accepted, but look into the details. When you are talking about Jerusalem, look what’s the detail about united Jerusalem. When you are talking about murders or things that Israel is nicknamed often, on the daily basis, look at what are the reasons. And I’m not justifying every deed or every step that Israel is doing. But you must give us a chance to look into the details in order to understand what people like to understand, doesn’t want to understand, or cannot understand. So, I’ll finalise here. I would like to thank our organisation Our Soldiers Speak and Mrs. Rosita for bringing me here. The MK that nicknamed me top spy, I tend to accept the compliment, and I’m opening the session for questions and answers. Thank you very much.
John Howell: I’m going to use my position as a chairman to ask you the first question and just to preempt that by saying, over the last few years, I’ve been to Israel ten times.
Yaakov Peri: And you’re welcome again.
John Howell: Thank you, and I completely endorse what you said about the country. I completely endorse that. You spoke at the beginning about the influence of Iran is having on the region and particularly about how that is creating more opportunities for Israel to ally with Arab states. How do you think that is going to play out?
Yaakov Peri: I personally I don’t think that military confrontation between Israel and Iran would occur. There were times, 6, 8 years ago, that our air force was almost on the runway. To attack the nuclear installations, I think that we will not follow a military clash between Iran and Israel states, but the Iranian presence in two or three places, first of all, I mentioned Syria, the heavy involvement of Iran in Syria, the heavy involvement of Iran and Hezbollah, and not so heavy but a kind of involvement between Iran and Hamas in the Gaza strip. It still could occur clashes between Iran and Israel now, you mentioned when you questioned, Arab states. There is a very positive advance in the relationship between Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries it’s not overt yet. It’s under cover but they think that in the near future, will it be government headed by Mr Netanyahu or will it be a government that will replace Mr Netanyahu, I think those relationships are in very advanced stage and one of the interested combing is Iranian issue so we are looking forwards for a bright future in our area but I cannot promise you know politics is politics and you know what’s the game.
Audience 1: I’m a Baloch from Baluchistan in Iran. We are oppressed nation under Iran (inaudible) to Israel and Saudi Arabia. There is some reference to (inaudible)…… direct, open threat by the Iranian regime to Israel to Saudi Arabia and Arab countries. The America imposed sanctions and in my opinion sanction alone does not work. Is it time that (inaudible).
Yaakov Peri: Well, there are elements within Israel who will fully support your question or speech about Tehran. I’m not one of the supporters. I think that the force is not the right mean to change the regime or to stop a kind of an ideology. Mainly because Iran is showing it as a religion war. Not only war between powers and the nuclear issue is a kind of worry to devolve western world because Iran claims that the nuclear escalation will be for peaceful purposes. We know the cheaters we know the stories. We shouldn’t believe it but I think that not only Israel but the world has a balance of threatening against Iran not to use the nuclear and there are elements in the world that say we are on the edge of change of a regime in Iran because the public is not satisfies demonstrations and et cetera. I’m not also a supporter of this trend. So what we have to do is to have the sanctions and that was the big mistake with the deal done by the EU and the United States in the Trump has a little bit corrected but not enough. The fact that we have got the sanctions down immediately was a mistake. And I don’t believe that the Iranians are advancing they are much more advanced than stated or published. But I think that Israel United States has the force to stop it if needed so for the time being, we cannot stop oppress nations or oppress regimes by war. It has to be done by other means as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
John Howell: Gentleman there with the beard.
Audience 2: Thank you very much indeed. The (inaudible) former UK Customs and (inaudible) for transnational organised crime. 18 months ago I was working in Jordan where GID, the armed forces, and the interior ministry. It was very clear (inaudible) about how there was a strong understanding of Israeli support and expertise. and there was a professional understanding (inaudible). My question is various aspects of the same thing. The European countries and the EU as a collective, do you see any prospects of the very considerable technological and military intelligence expertise of Israel which could help the European countries being (inaudible) with intelligence and security support of Israel, but also perhaps by economic aid to the Palestinians. In other words, hopefully to an extent everybody will benefit.
Yaakov Peri: Thank you very much. Nice to meet you. When you are speaking of paradise which we do not have. I’m really sad. It’s not only because the EU and I’ll phrase it very rudely, is against Israel. Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit. But we are feeling it. I’m so sad because the international corporation in intelligence and in technology of intelligence, international cooperation in trying to push cooperation between Israeli businessman and Palestinian businessman, is done at a minor, really minor, if at all. People are speaking, people are declaring, people are giving speeches and drawing visions and expectations on the ground almost zero. Almost. I wouldn’t call it zero. And it’s a shame. Because look, right, the blame is on Israel. We have put the Gaza strip under a seize for a security reason, et cetera. Blame us. Shoot us. But that is the whole world, where two million people, worse almost half a million or almost a million people were slaughtered in Syria. That’s also Israel’s blame? Look (inaudible) situation in the Gaza strip. People are starving. No decent (inaudible) installations, it’s amazing, the world doesn’t look at it or doesn’t help and put the blame either on Lebanon or Israel or Iran. You can’t find the guilty one on the ground, I’m sorry, I cannot help personally, as much as I could, I have done it when I was in politics but. My answer is, sorry to tell you, no. it’s not looking like that and it’s a shame.
John Howell: Okay. Gentleman at the front there.
Audience 3: thank you very much for giving me time for this question. (inaudible) I can give many examples (inaudible) racist and apartheid, expansionist policy Iran is not supporting all the (inaudible) I say that’ Iran, that’s the expansionist policy around the globe. I am representing over 25 (inaudible) not only us but also other nations (inaudible) so-called country of Iran brutally attack. Terrorist invasions. What do you think if (inaudible) in the charge of Iran, is it Persian terrorist regime, not the old (inaudible). What do you think as a best alternative, is holding down this professional global terrorist government in Iran?
Yaakov Peri: There is no answer. Because I can feel your pain, I can feel your suffering, and I can identify with your pain and suffering but I cannot tell you make an independent state. I don’t think it’s your ability or your people ability. It’s known that Iran is terror state. Their policy, the Iranian regime policy is take (inaudible) by terroristic rules. And it’s almost impossible to eliminate terrorist organisations which has their ideology. That is what I mentioned earlier with Daesh. Let me have your ideology and it doesn’t matter if the ideology makes sense or it doesn’t make sense, you cannot eliminate it totally. So there will be the only solution is a political solution. The international involvement, keeping out the existent Iranian regime and bringing some regime that will be much more liberal and much more conservative than this brutal inhumane regime. You know how much we are disappointed by UN? I can give hours of lectures.
John Howell: I’m going to take questions in groups of three now to trying to get them in. I will be very grateful if you can keep your question short.
Audience 3: you spoke before about external friends of Israel. I wanted to ask you, do you believe that the growing orthodox community can be an internal strategic threat in the long term for Israel? Thank you.
Audience 4: thank you. On your new state solution, (inaudible), the only question is you need to get Palestinian leadership to accept it (crosstalk) if that is going to happen in our lifetime.
Audience 5: my question is what is Iran’s ideology? Before, with the Shah, Iran and Israel were friends. I’m struggling to understand why they (inaudible). What is their worldview?
Yaakov Peri: well it’s a very good question. I don’t think that they are going to be a threat to Israel because Israel in that sense is doing a lot to I would call it normalise their lives. Either by recruiting to the army, putting them in the economy, and yes it used to be a problem and if it will not be handled, we will face two problems. One is the orthodox, which are not working, which are not in the cycle of economy, and the second one, the Israeli Arabs which are twenty percent of the Israeli population, so these two groups have to be cared of and I mentioned the government is doing a lot with the orthodox and I don’t think it will be a threat, and in the Arab sector we have to be, to do still a lot, but for the time being, it’s under control so it doesn’t look as a potential threat. Second question about, you are absolutely right. It’s not only if the Palestinians will accept. The Egyptian have to accept to give land. The Palestinians have to accept to the whole idea, the Israelis have to accept that a lot of Palestinians, maybe millions will still stay in the West Bank. and we will have to find a solution to the transfer. If they want to go to Gaza, if they are not going inside Israel, we will have to find ways in order to bypass. It’s not an easy solution. But it’s a start of something that can work with pressure. And here comes the answer to your question. With the pressure and the help of the United States, Russia, European community, et cetera. Look, West Bank and Gaza Strip are without natural resources. They will have to be dependent of money coming from the world or the Arab states. And if they will push, it will take a lot of time, it will be difficult, but it will be a start of a solution that can work. But the answer is, if everybody will say no, or part will say no, it will not work. We are used to it by the way. And Iran’s ideology, it’s all about hegemony. We can see it very clearly when you are looking at the Turks. Erdogan wants to a hegemon of the Middle East. Iran wanted to be and they are still very influential, and it’s all about influence. And who will be the most influential and who will rule the oil fields, the natural resources in the Gulf in the Iranian gulf. So it’s about who will be the strongest guy in town. That’s their ideology. Of course, the Islam and Shia accompanies it but that’s less.
Audience 6: you touch on the subject of (inaudible) housing, the pressure on the medical services. In this country, they call it austerity. Now, given that (inaudible) the security credentials of Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon, how is it that austerity, whatever you want to call it, seems to play a very little part in the election?
Audience 7: Yesterday (inaudible) we had our annual Israel lobby day in the parliament and what was discussed quite a lot (inaudible) and we spoke to parents of (inaudible), I was wondering what you think is the realistic chance of ever getting back.
Audience 8: Can Israel trust Mr. Putin?
Yaakov Peri: everybody talks about solutions to the housing to the budgets to the health system. When you are being elected, you are facing the effect that the government of Israel or the governments of Israel are holding 95% of land in Israel. If they will ease five or seven percent of the holdings, we can make the housing cheaper 30 or 40 percent. But everybody talks about it, when it comes to the chair of the city, the chair, he says, well you know, it’s something that we shouldn’t do because land is something that Israel is always afraid from the fact that we think that it can be taken by the Arabs, so we have to keep it as a national property. Same goes with the health system. We have to open more hospitals, to open more faculties of medicine, because the situation is quite terrible. It doesn’t show in the election because everybody talks about it. If you are hitting the (inaudible) of every party, everybody touches it. But when they are coming to power. And I was them. Almost nothing happened and it’s also a shame. For the soldiers kept in Gaza, first of all, as far as we know, we have the bodies of the two solders Goldin and Shaul, and we have two of three civilians to passed the border and are kept by the Hamas, there is a coordinator which works in the prime minister’s office, attached to the prime minister, working on this issue day and night, we had some successes. I personally was the coordinator for the MIS for Mr Netanyahu. Mr. Rabin and then Mr Netanyahu. It’s very complicated but it will happen if there will be a kind of a crisis. I’m calling it a positive crisis. We’ll have an exchange and give money and get it back. There is a chance to release these two or three civilians and get back the bodies of two soldiers. Putin. Putin is something that I cannot say yes and I cannot say no. so let’s stay in the middle. No. The fact is that the ability for cooperation between Israel and the Russians in Syria is amazing. Though Israel had shot Russian plane and we had the crisis, but they overcame it and we overcame it. So there is a full military cooperation in the region. There is a huge wave of immigration which came to Israel, and it made for Israel a very positive (inaudible), doctors, and computer scientists. They are working in every job they are given. I met, in the gas station, a guy who filled my gasoline in the car, and I asked him what have you done in the Soviet Union, so he was a little ashamed, he told me, I was a commander of a submarine. In Israel, he’s filling gas and he is not ashamed to do it. He’s working in (inaudible). Going back to Putin. A very smart politician. Politicians should learn from his way of behaviour. Very strict and I think the relationship between Israel and Russia is very well. I am not a Bibi follower, but I think that the relationship between Israel and Russia is on the highest point and in that sense we can believe him, because he has no interest to harm, but as when Trump plan will be published, then he will reveal his voice and reaction. I think so.
Audience 9: I just would like to ask, you mentioned about the (inaudible) technology, where state actors and religious (inaudible) influence within the state or even in the places such as Gaza Strip. What does Israel have to do to deal with these frontiers? Basically, what are you doing to prepare yourself against the state actors and religious actors?
Audience 10: what do you think has been the biggest obstacle on why they haven’t been deterred to to be contained, because war keeps happening.
Audience 11: If I heard you correctly, you said that the majority of Israelis today do not believe, deep down, that Israel does not have the right to exist (crosstalk)
Yaakov Peri: I meant that about 400 million Arabs who are surrounding Israel, the majority doesn’t believe that we have the right to exist. I have the question, maybe I didn’t understand, maybe it’s my poor English, but I’ll try to elaborate. You asked me about Jewish extremists who are fighting in the Gaza strip and in the Palestine? Jewish extremist? Ah, okay. We are really on what we call a cyber-war. And in that war Israel is an expert. Both in defending and attacking. Of course on the attack side, I’m not going to talk. I’m not allowed. It’s a state secret. If there is an attack, on the defensive side, I think that we are winning and the abilities we are facing against us to attack the security installations, banks, transportation, you name it. It’s something on a daily basis, very intensive and for the time being, Israel is on the right side of winning it, but it’s the next war, no doubt, the next war will be a cyber-war, not between tanks or airplanes. As for Hamas, if I understood your question, there is a big criticism in Israel of the way Israel handles the war or the daily relations with Hamas and there are very many elements that says that Israel has to go in to eliminate the terrorist forces and free Palestinians from this terror. It’s certainly not an easy task and I think that for the time being, both sides, Hamas and Israel are not interested in a new clash. What is really happening, in the last days, Israel is under an ultimatum to transfer twenty million from Qatar, which are brought in suitcases from Qatar and if Israel will not grant this twenty million to go into Gaza, they are going to upgrade the balloons, the firing, yesterday night, there was a firing so it’s very sensitive and I hope that while we are sitting there is not a new war in the near future.
John Howell: Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you coming. Yaakov, I thank you very much for the way in which you answered your questions and for your presentation.