Steinitz: Swedish Move 'An Attack on Security'

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz denounces Sweden's recognition of the "state of Palestine."

Ben Ariel,

Yuval Steinitz
Yuval Steinitz
Flash 90

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz on Thursday said that Sweden’s recognition of "Palestine" is “an attack on the existence and security of Israel."

Steinitz, who met with the heads of the Yesha Council, said that Sweden’s move affects the chances of achieving peace in the Middle East.

The reason for this, Steinitz explained, is that the Swedish move does not impose conditions of peace and security for Israel, of defensible borders and for Palestinian Arab recognition of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.

Earlier Thursday, Sweden officially recognized the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine," less than a month after the government announced its intention to make the controversial move.

"Today the government takes the decision to recognize the state of Palestine," Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said in a statement.

"It is an important step that confirms the Palestinians' right to self-determination," she said, adding that "we hope that this will show the way for others."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman denounced the Swedish decision and, in a biting statement, said that “relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA”, referring to the Swedish furniture store chain, which also has branches in Israel.

Wallstrom later responded to Liberman’s comments, telling CNN she would be “happy to send him a flat pack of IKEA furniture and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner.”