Israel angered by Sweden decision to recognize Palestine


The Israeli regime has been sorely irked by Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s recent announcement that his government will formally recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.

Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman said on Saturday that the Tel Aviv regime would summon the Swedish ambassador to protest Stockholm’s planned recognition of the Palestinian state.

Lofven made the announcement during his inauguration speech at the Swedish parliament on Friday. Such a move would be seen as a major diplomatic blow to Israel.

Lieberman further said he was sorry that Sweden’s premier had “rushed” to make declarations about a Palestinian state.

Tzahi Hanegbi, the Israeli deputy minister for foreign affairs, also censured Lofven’s announcement and said such a move would hamper the so-called peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Swedish leader’s statements came a day after Palestinians warned that they will start proceedings to pursue war crime charges against Israel should the UN Security Council fail to approve a deadline for the regime to withdraw from the occupied territories.

On Friday, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat welcomed Lofven’s remarks and said, “We hope that all countries of the European Union will take the same courageous and remarkable decision… as there is no reason not to recognize the Palestinian state.”

In a similar move, British lawmakers will also be asked to vote on a motion calling on the United Kingdom to recognize the Palestinian state, the Guardian reported.

On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.

Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.