Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP said that “we recognise that Israel has the right to ensure its own security, and that its citizens have the right to live without fear of attack”.
He condemned the increase in rocket attacks from Gaza in recent months: “Rocket attacks threaten the daily lives of Israelis indiscriminately and make achieving peace more difficult”.
Minister Burt added that the UK “continues to support a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians which will protect Israeli citizens and ensure their safety”, and called for an end to violence in the region.
The Middle East Minister’s comments came in response to a written question from Labour MP Ian Austin, who asked the Foreign Secretary “what recent discussion he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the security situation in those Israeli cities within range of rocket and terror attacks”.
Since the 2014 war, there have been, on average, around one or two missiles per month fired towards civilian areas in Israel from Gaza, in violation of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
There were around 46 rockets fired towards Israel in 2017. Most of the rockets were fired from Gaza, with at least 28 fired following US President Trump’s announcement to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Over 8 were fired by Islamic-State affiliated militants in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
At least 10 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel in 2018 so far.