Netanyahu rages at investigation into extrajudicial killings

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu rages at investigation by Sweden’s foreign ministry into extrajudicial killings of Palestinians

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to members of the foreign media during the annual toast for the new year in Jerusalem January 14, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was enraged at the European Union on Thursday for holding his country to a "double standard" after Stockholm’s top diplomat, Margot Wallstrom, called for an investigation into whether Israel carried out extrajudicial killings of Palestinians.

Israel’s foreign ministry responded to the call by stating that Israel will “close its gates” to officials from Sweden.

Netanyahu said “It’s outrageous, it’s immoral and it’s stupid” at a gathering of foreign journalists in Jerusalem.

Sweden recognised the Palestinian state shortly after Wallstrom’s Social Democrats won a parliamentary election in 2014, causing ties between Sweden and Israel to nose dive.

Along with Sweden, more than 70 percent of the United Nation’s member states, equaling 80 percent of the world's population, have recognised the state of Palestine, while Israel refuses to do so.

A Foreign Ministry Spokesman announced that Walstrom would not be welcomed by Israeli officials if she were to visit the country.

Over the past few months, the focus of Palestinian-Israeli violence has largely shifted from the Gaza Strip to the Israeli-occupied West Bank where over 150 Palestinians have been killed and some 20 Israelis have died.

The United States, European Union and United Nations have expressed that restraint is necessary to ensure that violence does not escalate further.

Palestinian groups have accused Israel of using excessive force in attacks, which have raised fears of wider confrontation, only a few months after Israeli fighter jets bombed civilians in the northern Gaza Strip.

TRTWorld and agencies