08:09 GMT +318 August 2019
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    Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom

    Swedish FM 'Not Welcome' in Israel After Comment on Extrajudicial Killings

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    Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wällstrom is not welcome in Israel after she demanded a probe into alleged extrajudicial killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces.

    Wällstrom called on Tuesday in Sweden's parliament for an investigation into the deaths of Palestinians involved in a wave of attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers in October. In those attacks 24 people were killed and dozens more injured. Wallström previously said that she condemned assaults carried out by Palestinians, but claimed that Israel shouldn't have responded with even heavier brutality.

    "The response cannot be… so that there are extrajudicial executions, or that it becomes disproportionate so the numbers of dead on the other side is greater than the original death toll by several factors," Wallström said, as cited by the Guardian.

    At least 141 Palestinians have been killed recently in Israeli gunfire. Israel claims that most of those killed were attackers, rejecting accusations that it has used excessive force.

    Following Wallström's demands for thorough investigations into these deaths, Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon called her perception of reality "twisted" and "biased," adding that "given the incendiary and aggressive nature" of Wallström's comments, "she is not welcome in Israel."

    Israel's deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, also harshly condemned Wallström's comments, calling them "a mix of blindness and political stupidity." She added that the doors of Israel are temporarily closed to official visits from Sweden.

    Wallström's outspokenness has previously increased tensions with other governments. By describing Saudi Arabia's sentence of 1,000 lashes and 10 years' prison for detained blogger Raif Badawi as a ‘medieval' punishment, she jeopardized diplomatic relations with the Middle East country. Wallström later stated she had no regrets about being blunt.    

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    Tags:
    assault, clashes, Margot Wallstrom, Tzipi Hotovely, Palestine, Sweden, Israel
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