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Iceland Considers Breaking Political Ties with Israel

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Iceland Considers Breaking Political Ties with Israel

Yesterday MPs from all political parties in the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, condemned the attack made by the Israeli military on a Turkish vessel carrying aid supplies to the Gaza Strip on Monday. At least ten people were killed and 60 wounded in the attack.

Inside Althingi. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

Members of all parties on the Foreign Affairs Committee, except for the Independence Party, agreed to a resolution where Foreign Minister Össur Skarphédinsson is given the task of estimating what measures Iceland can take against Israel because of the attack, including a possible break of political ties, Fréttabladid reports.

During unscheduled discussions at parliament after the meeting, Skarphédinsson said there weren’t strong enough words to describe Israel’s doings. He said he was pleased with the resolution and the committee’s swift reaction.

The government of Iceland emphasizes that the event be used to garner international solidarity on lifting the siege under which Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants have been held in the past three years. Both business coercion and termination of diplomatic relations should be considered, Skarphédinsson said.

Einar K. Gudfinnsson of the Independence Party said the Israeli attack on the convoy had been despicable and that Israel had once again harmed their own cause.

However, the Independence Party does not want to be part of the resolution because it involves a commitment to break political ties with Israel if peace isn’t obtained, he reasoned.

Siv Fridleifsdóttir of the Progressive Party replied that no such commitment is involved in the resolution, although it is a powerful and important message from the Icelandic parliament.

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