JERUSALEM (JTA) — Top Israeli officials said they are too busy to meet with Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom when she arrives in the country later this week.
Wallstrom is scheduled to arrive in Israel on Thursday where she had planned to meet with Israeli officials and officials from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. But after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials declined to meet with her, Wallstrom reportedly will only meet with Palestinian officials during the visit. Netanyahu currently holds the Foreign Minister’s portfolio and as such is Wallstrom’s counterpart.
It is reportedly believed that the snub by Israeli officials is intentional. Wallstrom is a vocal critic of Israel. In January she accused Israel of extrajudicial killings and called for an investigation into Israel’s killing of Palestinian attackers during the attacks.
Following the accusation, Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told The Associated Press that “given the incendiary and aggressive nature” of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom’s comments, “we have made it clear that she is not welcome in Israel.”
In November 2015, Wallstrom linked the Paris terrorist attacks that killed 130, which were blamed on the Islamic State, to perceived hopelessness among the Palestinians.
Sweden recognized a Palestinian state in 2014.
Sweden will begin a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council on Jan. 1, and will begin the term by holding the rotating presidency of the Security Council next month, when the Palestinians reportedly will bring an anti-settlements resolution to the council.