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Israel blasts Sweden over organ harvesting report

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08:29 CEST+02:00
Israel has announced that it intends to lodge an official protest to Sweden over its refusal to condemn an article in a national newspaper which claimed Israeli soldiers harvest the organs of dead Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed Stockholm for distancing itself from a statement by Sweden's Ambassador to Israel Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier expressing outrage at the article.

"Lieberman will send Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt a strong protest over the foreign ministry's distancing from the condemnation published by the ambassador," the ministry said in a statement.

"It is regrettable that the Swedish foreign ministry does not intervene when it comes to a blood libel against Jews, which reminds one of Sweden's conduct during World War II when it also did not intervene," the statement quoted Lieberman as saying.

"Freedom of press means the freedom to publish the truth and not lies."

Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper claimed on Monday that Israeli soldiers snatched Palestinian youths and returned their dismembered bodies a few days later, sparking a storm of outrage in Israel.

A spokeswoman for Sweden's foreign ministry on Thursday said that "the Tel Aviv embassy must have responded in accordance to the public opinion in Israel."

Lieberman further instructed his ministry to examine the possibility of revoking press credentials from the newspaper's representative in the Jewish state.

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