Israel 'bans' Swedish minister over call for Palestinian deaths investigation

Israeli foreign minister says comments 'encouraged violence and give support to terror'

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The Independent Online

Sweden's foreign minister has been told she is no longer welcome in Israel after she called for the deaths of more than 100 Palestinians to be investigated. 

Margot Wallstrom was referring to those killed by Israel's miltary while allegedly attempting knife attacks over the last two months.

Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s foreign minister, had reportedly said Swedish officials were no longer welcome in the country.

But a spokesperson from the Israeli foreign office later said: “It’s just Margot Wallstrom [who is not welcome].”

The spokesman added that Sweden would not be allowed to play a role in the peace process between Israeli and Palestinian as a result of Ms Wallstrom’s comments.

Mr Hotovely said: “Ms Wallstrom has consistently demonstrated bias against Israel."

It came after Ms Wallstrom called for “credible” investigations to be carried out into the Palestinian killings.

"It is essential that thorough and credible investigations be conducted concerning these deaths with the aim of providing clarity and bringing about possible accountability," she told Sweden's parliament. 

Mr Hotovely responded in a press statement, calling her comments “irresponsible and delusional" and saying the call “encouraged violence and gives support to terror.”

Ties between the two countries have been strained after Ms Wallstrom recognised the Palestinian state in 2014 when her centre-left Social Democrat party took power.