Swedish PM backtracks from statement that stabbings in Israel aren’t terror

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven withdrew his statement that the string of stabbing attacks in Israel don’t qualify as terror.

Löfven clarified Sunday that he does view the stabbings as terror attacks, and meant that they aren’t organized by terrorist organizations, according to Haaretz.

Asked by TT, a Swedish wire service, whether the stabbings counted as terror, Löfven said, “No, it is not classified as such.” Hours later, he called TT to say, “I meant that it was unclear if the knife attacks are organized by a group classified as a terrorist organization. Nonetheless, the attacks themselves do constitute terror.”

The incident comes days after Swedish Foreign Minister Margo Wallström accused Israel of unjustly executing Arabs without trial. Wallström told a meeting of the Swedish parliament Friday that while she condemns the knife attacks, Israel’s response has been disproportionate.

“And in the same way the response cannot be, and I say this in other situations as well, where the response becomes so that there are extrajudicial executions, or that it becomes disproportionate so the numbers of dead on the other side is greater than the original death toll by several factors,” Wallström said, according to Haaretz.

Following Israeli condemnation of her remarks, Wallström’s spokesman said she was discussing international law and did not intend to accuse Israel of extrajudicial killing.