• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Bildt calls for 'immediate' Gaza cease-fire

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 14 Jul 2014, 10:42

Published: 14 Jul 2014 10:42 GMT+02:00

"As we strongly urge an immediate cease-fire in the conflict we are doing our utmost to help Swedish citizens to leave Gaza," Bildt said via Twitter on Sunday.

Bildt furthermore cited a UN report which showed that some 70 percent of Palestinian fatalities since July 7th have been civilians, of whom 30 percent are children.

The foreign minister added that the Middle East crisis will be an obvious topic of discussion when EU foreign ministers meet this week in Brussels.

Meanwhile, the opposition Social Democrats leader Stefan Löfven continued to face criticism for stating in a Facebook post on Saturday night that "Israel has the right to defend itself."

The comment was met with a barrage of angry replies from users of the social network. 

"Israel must respect international law but obviously has the right to defend itself. It is a huge tragedy that the violence escalates," Löfven wrote.

Most of the comments were critical of the political party leader's stance, with some accusing him of betraying the legacy of the late Olof Palme and Anna Lindh, who were critical of Israel when they were in office.

The Swedish foreign ministry has long since advised against travel to Gaza due to the precarious security situation and the fact that the Swedish authorities have limited capacity to assist citizens in the area.

The foreign ministry advises all Swedish citizens seeking to flee the area that the UN is offering assistance in coordinating with Israel and Egypt to secure exit permits. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Swedish embassy in Tel Aviv and the consulate in Jerusalem, preferably by email.

Story continues below…

According to media reports several thousand people fled from northern Gaza on Sunday fearing an Israeli ground invasion and after Israeli warnings that it was targeting the area in its push to end rocket attacks from Gaza militant groups.

The BBC reported that some 17,000 people had sought refuge in its camps, and that according to Gaza officials some 172 Palestinians have been killed.

The current conflict began last Monday following a period of tension after the killing of three Israeli teenagers and one Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem. 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Watch out for rail delays this holiday weekend
Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Make sure you bring plenty of entertainment if you’re taking the train between Sweden’s two biggest cities this weekend.

Interview
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
One of the cartoons in the new book. Copyright: Julien S. Bourrelle

Dating happens after sex and Swedes can struggle to show their emotions.

Interview
Why I bared my breasts for a school photo
Photo: Private

“I think it’s a social construct that we should think of breasts as such a big deal.”

Weary asylum seekers choose to leave Sweden
Police supervise a queue of asylum seekers at Hyllie station near Malmö in November 2015. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Year-long waits are one reason.

Disgraced celeb surgeon defends work in first interview
Paolo Macchiarini. Photo: Lorenzo Galassi/TT/AP

Scandal-hit Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is accused of using Swedish patients as guinea pigs.

The Local List
Nine startling ways Sweden's capital will steal your heart
Living in Stockholm isn't all about Abba and meatballs. Photos: Hasse Holmberg/Anders Wikström/Christine Olsson/TT

It's easy to fall in love with Stockholm's architecture, parks and sense of style. But there are so many more reasons to be passionate about the stunning city.

Couple terrified after new tenant bakes hash cake
This gingerbread cake is perfectly innocent. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

He doesn’t Iive with them any more.

Fury as sacked boss gets job with migration agency
Angeles Bermudez-Svankvist in 2011. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

“People were screaming in the corridors.”

Sculptor Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd dies at 81
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd's famous sculpture sits outside the UN in New York City. Photo: Tim Brakemeier/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

He made his iconic sculpture after the murder of his friend John Lennon.

Police resources back to normal after terror threat
The headquarters where Säpo, Sweden's security police is based. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Swedish police say they're no longer deploying extra resources following a reported terror threat in the run-up to Eurovision.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Eurovision heads to the US (kind of)
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
3,276
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se