Israel closing its doors to ‘official visits from Sweden’

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Israel has announced it is banning visits by Swedish officials.

In doing so, Jerusalem said it was “sending in the clearest manner possible a very sharp message to Sweden saying that it is backing terror and giving a tail wind to Islamic State to act throughout Europe.”

The move by Israel came after Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told Swedish parliament on Jan. 12 that Israel’s “extrajudicial killings” of Palestinians during the current wave of terrorism should be investigated.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. /AP
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom. /AP

Swedish press reported that Wallstrom said “it is vital” that there be a “thorough, credible” investigation into the deaths of Palestinians “to clarify and bring about possible accountability.”

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Jan. 13 that Wallstrom’s comments were a “bad combination of folly and diplomatic stupidity, and Israel will close its door to official visits from Sweden.”

The Foreign Ministry said Wallstrom’s comments were “irresponsible and delirious,” and that she was “giving support to terrorism and encouraging violence.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, National Infrastructure Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Wallstrom was singling out Israel for killing terrorists, but “did not voice any such criticism of the United States or Russia, which are bombing terrorists in Syria, or France which shot and killed terrorists there.”

Wallstrom “is being pulled after an anti-Semitic sentiment,” Steinitz said.

Steinitz added that Wallstrom was trying to “cover for hundreds of Swedish citizens who are involved in terrorism. Sweden is apparently the EU champion in the percentage of participants from their Muslim population who have joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.”

Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman said “the only thing the Swedish foreign minister still has not done is physically join the Palestinian terrorists and stab Jews. In the light of her behavior up until now, we need to hope that this will not happen.”