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Sweden Protest Backs Palestinians

November 11, 2000

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ About 1,000 people demonstrated on Saturday for peace in the Middle East and criticized Sweden for not doing more to support Palestinians in their weeks-long bloody clashes with Israeli police and soldiers.

``You can easily believe that Sweden stands behind the Palestinians’ demands,″ Leftist Party member of parliament Eva Zetterberg was quoted as saying by Swedish news agency TT. ``But what has happened? Sweden abstains from voting when the United Nations is about to make a resolution on Israel’s violence.″

``We protest against this and we demand that Sweden protest against Isrtael’s violence,″ she said.

The rally began at a downtown plaza and continued outside the royal palace.

One protester criticized Swedish Queen Silvia for saying during a recent speech at the United Nations that she disapproved of Palestinian parents’ letting their children participate in protests during which dozens have been killed.

``Shame on you, Silvia,″ Yvonne Ruwaida of the Leftist Party was quoted as saying. ``I can’t understand people who think that Palestinian parents care less about their children than (do) others. It’s an indication of a racist outlook.″

In clashes Saturday, four Palestinians died and an Israeli soldier was critically wounded in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Six weeks of Mideast violence has claimed more than 190 lives.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was heading to Washington for peace talks and planned to meet U.S. President Bill Clinton at the White House on Sunday.

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