We monitor rocket attacks from Gaza closely and make very clear our condemnation of them. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Sderot in November 2008 and I visited Ashkelon in December 2008 to see the effects. Our embassy in Tel Aviv reported rockets being fired at Israel on 3 December 2008.
However, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is also well aware of the rocket attacks against Israel over the past several years.
Our ambassador and officials in Tel Aviv frequently travel to towns in southern Israel that have been subject to indiscriminate rocket fire from terrorist groups in Gaza. They have called on schools, hospitals, families and community leaders in and around Sderot and Ashkelon to assess the impact of rocket and mortar attacks.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary also visited Sderot in November 2008, and I visited Ashkelon in December 2008. In recent months the frequency and indiscriminate nature of the attacks that target citizens has had a highly damaging impact on people's everyday lives in these areas. The extent of the psychological damage, especially to children, is clear. In addition to the psychological damage to children, the need to shelter from attacks while at school has had a disruptive effect on education. Likewise, the general disruption and physical threat of rocket fire has impeded economic growth and deterred investment. We continue to condemn all terrorist attacks, on southern Israel and elsewhere.
It would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the contents of an internal report that was leaked to the press. We have made clear our position that we believe that a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis will mean, among other things, the creation of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. We are strongly opposed to any attempts to change the facts on the ground in East Jerusalem by excluding Palestinians from the city and by increasing the number of settlers living there. Such acts raise tensions and undermine prospects for peace. We have made these concerns known to the Israelis both in private and in public, most recently in the form of statements by the EU on the threat of house demolitions in Silwan village and house evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs there have been two Israelis killed in terrorist attacks since 3 February 2009. The UK condemns all terrorist activity. We call on all groups to pursue their objectives through peaceful means: the only way forward in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is through dialogue; violence can lead nowhere but to more violence and suffering.
[holding answer 26 March 2009]: The EU Heads of Mission Report on East Jerusalem is a classified document. It would not be appropriate to comment in detail on the contents of an internal report that was leaked to the press.