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NORWAY

Swedish prof ‘insinuates’ Israel tie to Breivik attack

A Swedish academic has come under fire in Norway after writing an article suggesting that Israel played a part in the July 22nd massacre carried out by Anders Behring Breivik that claimed 77 lives.

Swedish prof 'insinuates' Israel tie to Breivik attack

Swedish-born Ola Tunander is a research professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), a research institute where he has spent most of his career since receiving his PhD from Linköping University in 1989.

But a recent article authored by Tunander in which he seeks to discover what might have driven Brevik to set off a car bomb outside government offices in Norway and gun down 69 people at a summer camp for young Labour Party supporters, has prompted the head of PRIO to distance himself from the piece.

PRIO director Kristian Berg Harpviken told Norwegian magazine Minerva that Tunander’s article left him with a feeling of “considerable unease”.

Harpviken was also dismayed with what he viewed as a serious lapse in judgment on behalf of Nytt Norsk Tidsskrift, a multidisciplinary peer review journal, for agreeing to publish the contentious text in its latest issue.

In his article, Tunander reaches the conclusion that terrorist acts of such magnitude are seldom possible without the involvement of state forces, “and we can’t rule out that being the case this time too.”

In the midst of a web of alternative theories, Tunander lays out a “simple chronology” detailing the fractious diplomatic relationship between Norway and Israel in the months before the massacre, with Oslo indicating it would be willing to recognize a Palestinian state.

On two occasions, Tunander notes the significance of the date of the attacks.

First, he travels back to 1973, when members of the Israeli spy agency Mossad were arrested on July 22nd after a botched operation in which they assassinated the wrong person on Norwegian soil.

He also calls to mind the bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by Zionist paramilitary group Irgun, which took place on July 22nd 1946.

“We have discussed the right-wing extremist Israeli and Judeo-Christian side of Breivik’s network, Israel’s interest in disciplining Norway, and Israel’s celebration of bomb attacks. In this respect, Breivik’s attack appears to resemble a new king David Hotel attack: July 22nd,” he writes.

Tunander told Norwegian news agency NTB it was unfair to conclude from his article, as for example Norwegian writer Øyvind Strømmen has done, that he wished to link Israel to the worst atrocity in Norway’s peacetime history.

“Why he wishes to interpret the article that way is something he’ll have to answer himself,” said Tunander.

Writing in Minerva, Strømmen said there was little doubt as to the intentions of the 63-year-old academic.

“Does he insinuate that Israel was behind July 22nd, or was in some way involved? The answer, unfortunately, is yes,” he writes.

The Local Norway

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NORWAY

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland

Norway, which has suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine until further notice, will send 216,000 doses to Sweden and Iceland at their request, the Norwegian health ministry said Thursday.

Norway to send 200,000 AstraZeneca doses to Sweden and Iceland
Empty vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

“I’m happy that the vaccines we have in stock can be put to use even if the AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in Norway,” Health Minister Bent Høie said in a statement.

The 216,000 doses, which are currently stored in Norwegian fridges, have to be used before their expiry dates in June and July.

Sweden will receive 200,000 shots and Iceland 16,000 under the expectation they will return the favour at some point. 

“If we do resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, we will get the doses back as soon as we ask,” Høie said.

Like neighbouring Denmark, Norway suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab on March 11 in order to examine rare but potentially severe side effects, including blood clots.

Among the 134,000 AstraZeneca shots administered in Norway before the suspension, five cases of severe thrombosis, including three fatal ones, had been registered among relatively young people in otherwise good health. One other person died of a brain haemorrhage.

On April 15, Norway’s government ignored a recommendation from the Institute of Public Health to drop the AstraZeneca jab for good, saying it wanted more time to decide.

READ MORE: Norway delays final decision on withdrawal of AstraZeneca vaccine 

The government has therefore set up a committee of Norwegian and international experts tasked with studying all of the risks linked to the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which is also suspected of causing blood clots.

Both are both based on adenovirus vector technology. Denmark is the only European country to have dropped the AstraZeneca
vaccine from its vaccination campaign, and said on Tuesday it would “lend” 55,000 doses to the neighbouring German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

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