2016-01-20 / Mideast

Israel shutting out Swedish officials

Israel will not welcome visits by Swedish officials, the deputy foreign minister of Israel said a day after Sweden’s foreign minister called for an investigation into Israel’s killing of Palestinian attackers.

“Israel is closing its gates to official visits from Sweden,” Tzipi Hotovely said at a meeting with members of the Foreign Ministry’s cadet course. The remarks were widely published in the Israeli media.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Associated Press that “given the incendiary and aggressive nature” of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s comments, “we have made it clear that she is not welcome in Israel.”

Also, Sweden’s ambassador to Israel, Carl Magnus, was summoned for a reprimand in response to the Wallstrom remarks about possible “extrajudicial killings” by Israel. The summons came from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli officials have said security forces are justified in killing suspected attackers because trying to neutralize them without killing them would pose unnecessary risk. However, some human rights organizations and pro- Palestinian groups have said Israeli police and soldiers are too quick to kill alleged perpetrators and should instead make more efforts to subdue and arrest them. (JTA)

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