Israel says Swedish foreign minister is ‘not welcome’ in country

Israel has said Sweden’s foreign minister is not welcome in the country after she called for an investigation into the deaths of Palestinians involved in a four-month spate of deadly attacks on Israeli troops and civilians, as mentioned in Guardian.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, said on Wednesday that “given the incendiary and aggressive nature” of Margot Wallström’s comments, “we have made it clear that she is not welcome in Israel.”

Nahshon did not elaborate. Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, also criticised Wallström, calling her comments “a mix of blindness and political stupidity”.

Near-daily Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers have killed 24 people and wounded dozens more in stabbings, shootings and other assaults.

Wallström said last month that she condemned the stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, but asserted that the Israeli response was “disproportionate”.

“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,” she said.

At least 141 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. About two-thirds of them were said by Israel to be attackers. The rest were killed in clashes with security forces.

Wallström called on Tuesday for an investigation into allegations that Israeli forces have carried out extrajudicial killings in clashes with Palestinians. She told Swedish MPs: “It is vital that there are thorough, credible investigations into these deaths in order to clarify and bring about possible accountability.”

It is not the first time Wallström’s outspoken geopolitical analysis has raised diplomatic tensions with foreign countries. The politician, who vowed to pursue a feminist foreign policy when taking office in 2014, elicited fury in Saudi Arabia last year when she hit out at the flogging of the detained blogger Raif Badawi, saying it was tantamount to medieval punishment.