“It was an unpleasant situation but the Swedish security service dealt with it quickly and efficiently,” Björklund told daily Aftonbladet.
Björklund has been in Israel since Sunday and the Swedish delegation was on Wednesday visiting Hebron to look at the Israeli settlements and visit the organization Temporary international presence in Hebron (TIPH), according to the paper.
But one female settler apparently took exception to Björklund and his party, deciding to make a lunge for the minister.
“During the tour a settler became aggressive and attacked Jan Björklund. His body guards from the Swedish Security Service, Säpo, deemed it necessary to intervene,” confirmed Björklund’s press spokesperson Eva-Marie Rydberg to news agency TT.
Though Björklund said that the woman suddenly approached him and seemed very aggressive, she never managed to actually hit the minister but doled out some punches to his guards before being overpowered.
“A sort of scuffle ensued between the guards and the settler,” confirmed Rydberg to TT.
Maria Kabatanya, an observer for the Christian Council of Sweden (Kristna Rådet) witnessed the incident.
“She got the Säpo guard instead of Jan Björklund and hit him three times before she fell to the ground. She continued screaming there,” Kabatanya told Aftonbladet.
After speaking to one of the Israeli soldiers accompanying the group, Kabatanya was told that the woman was enraged by the presence of a Palestinian among the visiting party, which allegedly was strictly forbidden on that street.
The Israeli soldiers quickly decided to interrupt the tour as the settlers continued to act aggressively.
“They thought it best that we stop the tour of the area immediately, which we did,” Rydberg told TT.
Björklund has been meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu while in Israel and will on Thursday meet with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.