Israel ‘enraged’ over Swedish FM remarks, summons ambassador

Published January 14th, 2016 - 06:00 GMT

Israel summoned the Swedish ambassador Wednesday to express its "rage" following remarks by the Swedish foreign minister calling for an investigation Israeli state violence against Palestinians.

Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom's statement on Tuesday was the latest incident to anger the Israeli government since it officially recognized Palestinian statehood last year.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said it summoned Swedish Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser to reprimand Sweden for "another statement by her (Wallstrom) that attests to her biased and even hostile attitude to Israel."

Rights groups have accused Israel of using excessive force and extrajudicial killings to quell a wave of Palestinian street attacks, fueled partly by restricted access to Muslim shrines in Jerusalem and expansion of Jewish-only settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

A decade after the second intifada ended, the violence has raised fears of a broader uprising and even more bloodshed.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told reporters Wednesday that Wallstrom's comments risked "encouraging Islamic State (Daesh) to take action throughout Europe."

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Wallstrom "would not be especially welcomed here. Were she to visit, she would not be received by Israeli officials."

Hotovely moved to put a halt to all Swedish state visits, but was overruled by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also foreign minister.

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