Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Ulf Kristersson “expects” Israel to call off Rafah invasion

The situation in Gaza

Published 30 May 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Ulf Kristersson says he is concerned about the high number of civilian casualties caused by Israel's invasion.

“Very worrying” that Israel is moving tanks into the Palestinian border town of Rafah, says the Swedish Prime Minister, who also “expects Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice’s decision and halt the offensive in Rafah to protect civilians”.

The current SD-backed center-right government has been described as perhaps the most pro-Israeli government Sweden has ever had, and has repeatedly defended Israel’s deadly invasion and bombing of Gaza as a legitimate response to Hamas’ attacks on 7 October.

 It is reasonable and adequate that they are allowed to defend themselves by military means, argued for example Tobias Billström (M), last month, stressing that he “never made a judgment on individual cases and will not do so either”.

 Israel has the right to defend itself and the response has been proportionate, he claimed at the end of October last year, after Israel responded to the Hamas massacre by bombing large parts of Gaza to rubble.

However, as the number of reported Israeli war crimes and genocide allegations has increased, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Israel to halt its offensive, many leaders appear to have backed away somewhat from their previously unquestioningly pro-Israel stances.

Mixed reactions

The Moderate Party and Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (M) also called on Israel to respect the court’s decision and cease all hostilities in the border town of Rafah.

“Sweden and the EU expect Israel to comply with the International Court of Justice’s decision and halt the offensive in Rafah to protect civilians”, he writes.

Many are cautiously positive about the Prime Minister’s statement and believe that it is time to take a stand against the Israeli violations – but that much tougher condemnations are needed from Sweden. Some also wonder whether Sweden will push for sanctions against Israel if they continue with the invasion – similar to those previously and repeatedly imposed on Russia.

Others, however, are outraged by Kristersson’s comments, claiming the court is “anti-Semitic”, arguing that Sweden must continue to support Israel and accusing the prime minister of “bowing to the left and Islamists”.

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