Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon filed a formal grievance with the Swedish government Wednesday following a Stockholm newspaper's report accusing Israel of trading in the stolen organs of Palestinians.
Leading Swedish daily Aftonbladet claimed Tuesday that IDF soldiers killed Palestinians in order to trade in their organs, adding that this suspicion may lead to an international war crimes investigation against Israel.
"I demand the Swedish government condemn this groundless article," said Ayalon.
The Foreign Ministry is reportedly considering summoning the Swedish ambassador and reproving him for his government policies, "Which allow such a hateful publication to go
Stockholm, he added, "Cannot wash its hand of this. True, this is a private publication, be it an anti-Semitic one, but I can see a correlation between recent statements made in Sweden and this article. This is an outright blood libel," he added.
Meanwhile, Swedish Ambassador to Israel Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier issued a statement denouncing the report on the embassy's website: "On 17 August the Swedish daily Aftonbladet published an article on alleged organ trafficking in Israel. It related, inter alia, claims from individual Palestinians that organs had been stolen from captured Palestinians. The given sources, and a photograph of a dead Palestinian man, pertain to an incident in l992.
"The article in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet is as shocking and appalling to us Swedes, as it is to Israeli citizens. We share the dismay expressed by Israeli government representatives, media and the Israeli public. This Embassy cannot but clearly distance itself from it.
"Just as in Israel, freedom of the press prevails in Sweden," concluded the statement. "However, freedom of the press and freedom of expression are freedoms which carry a certain responsibility. It falls on the editor-in-chief of any given newspaper."