Sweden-Israel rift deepens over comments on Palestinian deaths

Relations between the two countries have nose-dived since Sweden recognised a Palestinian state last year.

Reuters| Updated: Dec 07, 2015, 10:21 AM IST
Sweden-Israel rift deepens over comments on Palestinian deaths

Jerusalem/Stockholm: Relations between Sweden and Israel hit a fresh low on Sunday after Israel said Sweden`s foreign minister had accused it of unlawful killings and Stockholm responded by saying that the comments had been "blown out of reasonable proportion".

Relations between the two countries have nose-dived since Sweden`s Social Democrat-led government recognised a Palestinian state last year. Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom deepened the rift by describing Palestinians` plight as a factor leading to Islamist radicalisation.

In the latest row, Israel condemned as "scandalous" on Sunday what it said was a suggestion by Wallstrom its forces had unlawfully killed Palestinians involved in a surge of street violence, and warned of a diplomatic rupture with Stockholm.

Sweden said Wallstrom`s comments had been misunderstood.

"The Minister for Foreign Affairs did not, as alleged, say that extrajudicial executions occur in Israel," Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven and Wallstrom said in a statement.