As regards the security fence, I wish to clearly reiterate three points:

The fence is solely a defensive measure, intended to protect Israelis from suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks. It is not a political act. It is not intended to be a border or to prejudge any future negotiations with the Palestinians. It has no effect on the status of the land on which it is constructed. It is simply the most effective method we have found, after over 20,000 separate terrorist attacks in the last three and half years, to save the lives of our civilians.

Second, the fence is temporary. Its sole purpose is security, and it can be moved or removed in accordance with any agreement we may reach. Israel has moved hundreds of kilometers of fences in the past, despite the expense involved, when we signed peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, and when we left Lebanon. The fence is reversible. The lives taken by terrorism are not.

And finally, we are keenly aware of the impact of the fence on the lives of Palestinians. We have no wish to damage Palestinian quality of life. That is why we are constantly reviewing the humanitarian arrangements and the routing of the fence, and have already introduced changes. We are committed to continuing to review all aspect of the fence, to find the most effective and humane way of protecting lives without causing unnecessary hardship to the Palestinian population.

As the Prime Minister has said, we remain committed to fulfilling our commitments under the Roadmap, and will do everything we can to promote peace. Protecting the lives of our citizens and taking terror out of the equation is a crucial step in this direction.