Swedish PM: Stabbing attacks in Israel not terrorism
“No, it is not classified as [terrorism],” Lofven said in an interview to the Swedish news agency TT. “There is an international classification regarding what constitutes or does not constitute [terror]. As far as I know, the [knife attacks in Israel] are not defined as terror.”
Later in the day, Lofven contacted TT again to clarify his message, fearing what he called a “misunderstanding.”
“I meant that it was unclear if the knife attacks are organized by a group classified as a terrorist organization,” Lofven told the agency. “Nonetheless, the attacks themselves do constitute terror.”
Ties between Israel and Sweden have soured in recent weeks following a series of comments by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and suggesting a link between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, claimed by the Islamic State.
Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallstrom gives a statement to media on the Paris terrorist attacks, Stockholm, Sweden, November 14, 2015. (AFP/ TT NEWS AGENCY / HENRIK MONTGOMERY)
Last week, Wallstrom said that Israel was conducting “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinian stabbers, calling the Israeli response to the terrorist attacks “disproportionate.”
Israel has suffered near-daily stabbing attacks by Palestinians in recent months, part of an ongoing wave of violence. -more