(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning (Wednesday), 19 July 2006, telephoned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and expressed his appreciation for Canada’s statements of support for Israel in the campaign against Hizbullah and Hamas. Prime Minister Olmert also thanked his Canadian counterpart for the latter’s role in bringing about the recent G-8 declaration.

Prime Minister Olmert also expressed his regret and his condolences over the deaths of eight Canadian citizens (of Lebanese ethnicity) in southern Lebanon and said that Israel was fighting Hizbullah and attacking its targets, and was being as careful as possible not to hurt innocent civilians. The Prime Minister said that Israel would render as much assistance as it could so that Canadian citizens would be able to leave Lebanon.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper expressed his support both for those steps that Israel is taking against Hizbullah and for Prime Minister Olmert at this difficult time.