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Israel: Sweden actions 'immoral' and 'stupid'

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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Gail Tibbons/TT
07:37 CET+01:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has slammed what he called "stupid" and "immoral" remarks of Sweden's Foreign Minister who has demanded investigations into the killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

Sweden's top diplomat, Margot Wallström, called earlier this week for "thorough and credible investigations" into the deaths of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the wave of violence raging since October.

"I think what the Swedish foreign minister said is outrageous, I think it's immoral, it's unjust and it's just wrong," Netanyahu told members of the foreign press.

"It's outrageous, it's immoral and it's stupid," he said, taking care to avoid endorsing accusations of anti-Semitism made by some Israeli officials.

"The other day in Paris a knife-wielding terrorist was shot to death, is that extrajudicial killing? Does the Swedish foreign minister suggest that there be examinations of what happened there in Paris," he asked.

Israel and the Palestinian territories have seen a wave of Palestinian attacks in recent months, with 23 Israelis killed since October 1st.

Over the same time period, 152 Palestinians have been killed, most of them while carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians or security forces.

Netanyahu comments came after the Times of Israel reported on Wednesday afternoon that Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely had declared that Stockholm officials were no longer welcome in the country following controversial statements by her Swedish counterpart.

"Israel is closing its gates to official visits from Sweden," the newspaper quoted Hotovely as saying.

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But a spokesperson later confirmed to Swedish newswire TT that the ban only extended to Wallström herself.

Ties between Israel and Sweden plummeted when the Nordic country recognised the Palestinian state shortly after Wallström's centre-left Social Democrats won a parliamentary election in 2014. The decision caused Israel to recall its ambassador to Stockholm, although he returned a month later.

Wallström also stirred controversy at the end of last year with a statement on the need for Israel to avoid "extrajudicial executions".

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