• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Israel 'bans' Swedish visit over deaths row
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Israel 'bans' Swedish visit over deaths row

AFP/The Local · 14 Jan 2016, 06:25

Published: 13 Jan 2016 07:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2016 06:25 GMT+01:00

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.

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

"It's just Margot Wallström," said Emmanuel Nahson from the Israeli foreign ministry. He later added that Sweden would not be allowed to play a role in the Israel-Palestine peace process as a result.

Wallström stirred debate after she responded to a question in parliament by an opposition member on the controversy raised in December by her statement on the need for Israel to avoid "extrajudicial executions".

She was referring then to the more than 100 Palestinians killed in two months, most while committing or attempting to commit knife attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and others in clashes or attacks.

Since then the Palestinian toll has reached 149, including an Israeli Arab.

"It is essential that thorough and credible investigations be conducted concerning these deaths with the aim of providing clarity and bringing about possible accountability," Wallström said on Tuesday.

Israel's foreign ministry responded angrily.

"In her irresponsible and delusional statements the foreign minister of Sweden gives support to terror and in so doing encourages violence," it said in a Hebrew-language statement.

Later, Hotovely spoke during a meeting with future Israeli diplomats, suggesting that Sweden was responsible for encouraging terrorism.

"For over two years, relations with Sweden have been at some level of disconnect. (...) At the clearest level, the State of Israel is sending a very stark message to Sweden that says that (when) you encourage terror (in Israel), you encourage Islamic State to act in all parts of Europe: in Brussels, in Paris," Hotovely was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying. 

"We're currently at the front line of the battle against terror. (Wallström) is de facto supporting it, encouraging it, and the State of Israel is sending a blunt message."

But Wallström defended her comments in an email to TT late on Tuesday.

Story continues below…

"We want a good relationship with Israel and pursue active dialogue that also includes values. (...) The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs stressed as early as in October the importance of carefully investigating the circumstances of Palestinian deaths as a result of intervention by Israeli security forces," she wrote.

Ties between Israel and Sweden plummeted after Stockholm recognised the Palestinian state shortly after Wallström's centre-left Social Democrats won a parliamentary election in 2014.

A day after the Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State group, Wallström again attracted Israeli condemnation when she said the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict was a factor in radicalisation.

The Israeli foreign ministry said then that Wallstrom "has consistently demonstrated bias against Israel".

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Today's headlines
Video
Heckler humbles Swedish golf champion with perfect putt
Henrik Stenson met his match in the final practice for the Ryder Cup. Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP/TT

Well that wasn't supposed to happen...

Presented by Invest Stockholm
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges

It’s no secret that Stockholm is serious about sustainability. We took a look at how the city's emerging startups are tackling global challenges, making the world a better place.

Warm weather melts H&M profits
An H&M store in central Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

A warm autumn may be good news for Swedes, but it was bad news for Sweden's biggest clothing brand.

Rail delays after heavy winds batter Sweden
The weather is expected to clear up. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Commuters were advised to take it easy in traffic on Friday, after harsh winds toppled trees across roads and railways across Sweden.

Volvo recalls 127,000 cars worldwide
Volvo is recalling 127,000 cars. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Do you own a Volvo? Read this.

The Local Recipes
Swedish food: How to make sweetened lingonberries
Sweetened lingonberries. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Possibly the most Swedish food there is. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local's readers.

Opinion
Sweden bad, Norway good, Trump better? I'm confused
Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold/NTB scanpix/TT & Kristin Streff/AP/TT

Sweden is neither a socialist paradise nor an internationalist hell. The truth, argues The Local's reporter Lee Roden, lies somewhere in the middle.

Sweden loses fastest internet crown
Good luck untangling those. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman /SvD /TT

Worse still, the new European king is Norway.

Where to see the Northern Lights in Sweden
The Northern Lights pictured in Sweden on Wednesday night. Photo: Norrsken Sverige

An unusually high level of solar activity means the spectacle could be visible from rare spots in the country.

The Local List
These are the brands Swedes love the most
What brands do the Swedes love the most? Photo: Per Groth/Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/Pontus Lundahl/TT

Revealed: Swedes' top-20 favourite brands.

Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Gallery
People-watching: September 28th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
3,006
jobs available