Sweden demands investigation of Israeli extrajudicial killings of Palestinians

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Swedish government on Tuesday demanded a thorough and reliable investigation into the Israeli killings of Palestinians, and whether they are “extra-judicial executions.”

The Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, required examination of whether the killings that have taken place in the recent months of unrest between Israelis and Palestinians were extra-judicial and without trial.

“It is important to have thorough credible investigations into these deaths, in order to clarify and establish responsibility,” said Margot Wallström during a parliamentary debate according to Swedish news agency TT.

Leader of the Liberalernas Swedish party, Jan Björklund, said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, also claimed that the killings were extrajudicial and unaccounted.

“In the context of suspected attacks, several Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces, sometimes allegedly acting with disproportionate force, to the extent that extra-judicial killings are strongly suspected,” he continued at the special meeting convened on the occasion of the Palestinian President’s visit in October last year

Wallstrom’s comments were denounced Tuesday by former Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, as well as opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Chief negotiator Tzipi Livni.

Liberman wrote on Twitter that “The only thing the foreign minister of Sweden hasn’t done is physically join the Palestinian terrorists and stab Jews.”

“Given her conduct so far, we need to hope it won’t happen,” Liberman added.

According to the Times of Israel, Livni, meanwhile, urged Sweden to avoid “meddling” in internal Israeli affairs.

Relations between Sweden and Israel have worsened after Sweden in 2014 – shortly after Wallström came into office – recognized Palestine as an independent state, and blasted continuous Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

Following the Paris attacks on 17 November, the Swedish Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström  had made a connection between the ISIS extremism and the Israeli Occupation, causing feud between the two governments, that the Israeli Foreign Ministry summoned its Swedish envoy.

In an interview with Swedish TV channel following the Paris attack, Wallström said she is concerned that Swedish youth will be radicalized to fight for the so called Islamic State group (Daesh), and that the situation reminds her of Palestinians who resort to violence because they see no future for themselves.

Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising against occupation on October first, some 155 Palestinians, including 28 children and seven women, have been killed. On the Israeli side, some 21 settlers were killed in stabbing or run-over operatives, or mistaken Israeli fire.

 

Fervor in Oregon Compound and Fear Outside It – The New York Times

Unfamiliar people have been stalking refuge employees, idling outside their homes and questioning them at some of the few grocery stores in Burns, said the sheriff, Dave Ward. “While not direct physical threats,” he said in a statement recently, “these activities are clearly designed to try to intimidate.”Tensions escalated over the weekend when another band of outsiders arrived at the refuge’s entrance, toting long guns and promising to act as liaisons between law enforcement officials and the occupiers at Malheur. When the occupiers rebuffed the group, the newcomers headed to the county courthouse, surrounded it and demanded to meet with the sheriff. He acquiesced, but nothing came of the meeting.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storyAdvertisementContinue reading the main storyInside the occupied compound, life has settled into a sort of giddy war-room-style routine, one that mixes the mundane — laundry, snowball fights, nap time for the children — with bellicose talk of facing down federal agents and heading off what some people holed up in the compound say is a government plan to force all Americans to move to cities by 2040.“We expect the federal government to voluntarily step back, observe the Constitution and back off,” Ryan Bundy, who is leading the occupation with his brother Ammon, said in an interview at the compound. “They better back off,” Mr. Bundy continued. “If they don’t, then this is going to continue to happen.”PhotoZoey Justus, 9, came with her parents to meet the occupiers at the wildlife refuge. Credit Julie Turkewitz/The New York TimesOn Tuesday, the occupiers emerged once again at the entrance to the refuge, and a spokesman for the group, LaVoy Finicum, a rancher in his mid-50s from Arizona, stood before the microphone to announce that the protesters would travel to town on Friday evening “to explain to the community why we are here and when we will be leaving.”The refuge sits about 30 miles from Burns, in a remote area past snow-covered ranches and a single restaurant labeled “saloon.” The Bundy brothers, sons of a Nevada rancher named Cliven Bundy who made national news in 2014 for facing down the federal government over grazing fees on public lands, say they came here to support Dwight L. Hammond and his son Steven D. Hammond, who have been jailed for arson for setting fires that burned federal lands. However, the Hammond family and other local ranchers have said they do not welcome the gesture.The protesters, most of them from outside Oregon, have blocked off the entrance road with a conscripted government vehicle, and each morning they haul out a photo-ready horse named Hellboy for a quick news conference with reporters. The landscape is surveyed 24 hours a day by a rotating cast of armed watchmen who climb into a fire tower with broken windows.Each morning at 4, a man named Duane Ehmer takes Hellboy on a pre-dawn inspection of the refuge, an 1860 cavalry pistol clipped to his hip. “I’m looking for anybody that ain’t supposed to be there,” he said.PhotoAmmon Bundy, left, one of the occupation leaders, and one of his sons at the wildlife refuge on Saturday night. Credit Julie Turkewitz/The New York TimesDeeper inside, down an icy, tree-lined road, the group has seized about a dozen buildings, and the Bundy brothers have commandeered the cluttered office of Linda Sue Beck, a government biologist who had been leading a war on invasive carp before the occupiers took over.The heart of the protest, however, is a quarter-mile from the biologist’s office, at a bunkhouse with bedrooms and a large kitchen where women marinate chicken, grill salmon, bake brownies and organize a stockroom that swelling with donations from around the nation. To slip in, a reporter just has to ask.“We are here because we are needed. We were asked to come,” said Debra Bass, 61, a Nevadan who is running the kitchen. Speaking of Harney County ranchers, she said, “Our hope is to lift them up and give them the courage to fight back.”On any given day, there appeared to be about 25 people on the compound, though the number varies with visitors. The Justus family was visiting from Baker City, Ore., where they say they have been frustrated by management coming from Washington, D.C., including a plan they said would close hundreds of miles of roads in their area. “It’s like New York asking me to run a subway,” Mr. Justus said. “It doesn’t make sense.”Other visitors included Matt Wandersee, 26, a barber from Texas; Kristi Jernigan, 44, who described herself as a Christian missionary from Tennessee; and Paul Nelson O’Leary, an Idahoan who came dressed as one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Source: Fervor in Oregon Compound and Fear Outside It – The New York Times