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Sweden 'appalled' by synagogue murders

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Sweden 'appalled' by synagogue murders
Sweden's Foreign Minister has been speaking about the middle east crisis. Photo: SVD/TT
10:06 CET+01:00
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has said the killing of four Israelis at a Jerusalem synagogue is deeply concerning and called on Palestinian leaders to condemn the violence.

Four Israeli citizens were murdered on Tuesday and scores were left injured after being attacked by Palestinians carrying a pistol and meat cleavers. The perpetrators were shot dead after a shoot-out with police, which also claimed the life of an policeman who died of his injuries on Tuesday night. 

"We have seen clashes and unrest earlier that built up to what now looks like being a movement towards a religious conflict. It is stirring up this conflict, as you can tell from the reactions which are very severe, also on the Israeli side. This is serious and everyone feels worried about the development," Wallström told Sveriges Radio.

Speaking to the TT news agency, she said: "Obviously we want it to be understood for Palestinian leaders to disassociate themselves from this type of terrorist action like it is done around the world...we do not want it to escalate into a spiral of violence."

The attack was the worst in Jerusalem for six years and was condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who branded the incident as part of a "wave of terror."

Sweden's Foreign Minister talks to The Local

US President Barack Obama was outraged by the attack saying there was "no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians."

The four victims who were killed in the synagogue were all rabbis, three of whom held joint US citizenship while the other was a joint British citizen.  

Sweden officially recognised the state of Palestine last month, a move that infuriated Israel which responded by recalling its ambassador to Stockholm.

Following the decision, Wallström said: "We are not picking sides. We're choosing the side of the peace process".
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