President congratulates mega tycoon Tshuva whose company was part of conglomerate that developed Tamar gas reservoir.

President Shimon Peres telephoned mega tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva – whose Delek Group was part of the conglomerate that drilled and developed the Tamar gas reservoir – to congratulate him on the start of the gas flow.

“Without you, this tremendous phenomenon would not have happened,” Peres told Tshuva, adding that bringing a flow of natural gas to Israel was a historic, unprecedented process. “I don’t have sufficient blessings in my heart to bestow on you.”

Tshuva said that this new development could reduce the cost of electricity by as much as 50 percent and he hoped that this would prove beneficial both to private consumers and to factory plants dependent on this kind of energy.

Earlier in the day, in the course of meetings with chief rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger, as well as with Shas spiritual mentor Ovadia Yosef, Peres had praised Tshuva, saying that he had remained stubbornly optimistic in the face of the general lack of enthusiasm in Israel, and that he had found an American drilling company to carry out the essential work. It was Tshuva’s persistence and vision which had brought Israel to this new level of energy independence where it stands today, Peres underscored.

Yet for all that, Peres acknowledged during his meeting with Amar, that to continue drilling on the Sabbath and to also make the announcement of the flow of natural gas into Israel on a Saturday had been a mistake.

In conversations with all three rabbis, Peres spoke of the importance of maintaining Jewish values.