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Israel to bar Sweden from any role in future diplomatic process with Palestinians

  •  Hotovely says Swedish FM not welcome in Israel after ‘extrajudicial killing’ comments
  •  Palestinians praise Swedish FM’s ‘brave humanitarian stance’ against Israel

Sweden will not have any role to play in the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process as a result of Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s hostility toward Israel, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

The statement came as the ministry announced that its deputy director-general for Western Europe, Aviv Shir-On, called in Swedish ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser to protest Wallstrom’s comments.

The decision to summons Nesser was made by Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who directed Shir-On to protest not only the statements, but to register the government and the country’s anger at what they see as Sweden’s imbalance and hostile attitude toward Israel.

Wallstrom on Tuesday called for an investigation to determine if Israel was guilty of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians during the current wave of terrorism. “It is vital that there is a thorough, credible investigation into these deaths in order to clarify and bring about possible accountability,” she said during a parliamentary debate, according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The Foreign Ministry said Wallstrom’s comments indicate that “she does not understand what is happening in our region and is apparently not aware of the difficult situation facing Israeli citizens, and the continuous danger of murderous terrorism.”

Foreign Ministry director- general Dore Gold, speaking to a group from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said that anyone attacking Israel over its right to defend itself from terrorism is “in practical terms encouraging terrorism.”

Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said Wallstrom would not be welcome to visit Israel. His comments served as a clarification to remarks made earlier in the day by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely who said Israel was closing its door to visits from Swedish officials in the wake of Wallstrom’s words.

Speaking during a tour of Samaria with cadets in the Foreign Ministry diplomatic training course, Hotovely said “Israel was sending in the clearest manner possible a very sharp message to Sweden saying that it is backing terrorism and giving a tail wind to Islamic State to act throughout Europe.”

Wallstrom’s comments were a “bad combination of folly and diplomatic stupidity, and Israel will close its door to official visits from Sweden,” Hotovely said.

Knesset House Committee chairman David


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