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ISRAEL

Norway delays Palestinian donor meet

Norway said on Tuesday that a planned meeting of an international donor group for the Palestinians had been delayed, with tensions running high after the abduction of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

Norway delays Palestinian donor meet
A section of the wall dividing off the West Bank. Photo: Chris Junker/Flickr
The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which is responsible for coordinating international support for the Palestinians and is chaired by Norway, was set to meet in Oslo on June 25.
   
But Norwegian foreign ministry spokesman Frode Andersen said: "The situation is not conducive to having an AHLC meeting at this point."
   
He told AFP by email that the decision was made in coordination with the Palestinians, the Israelis, the EU and the US.
   
He did not give a specific reason for the delay, nor say when a new meeting would be held.
   
But it comes after Israel accused the Palestinian militant group Hamas of kidnapping three teenagers who went missing in the West Bank last week, triggering a huge manhunt.
   
To Israel's dismay, Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) reached a landmark reconciliation deal which led to the formation of a unity government this month.

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ISRAEL

Norway’s biggest trade union angers Israel with boycott

Norway's biggest trade union voted Friday in favour of a boycott against Israel, a decision immediately condemned by Israeli diplomats who judged it "immoral".

Norway's biggest trade union angers Israel with boycott
File image of Israel's ambassador to Norway, Raphael Schutz. Photo: Tore Meek/Scanpix

The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) went against a recommendation from its leadership and voted 197 to 117 in favour of an international economic, cultural and academic boycott against Israel because of the current impasse over the Palestine issue.

LO, which also called for Norway to recognise a Palestinian state according to the 1967 borders, was criticised by the government.

“Norwegian government strongly opposes Norw Labour Union's decision: #boycott of #Israel. We need more cooperation and dialogue, not boycott,” Foreign Minister Borge Brende wrote on Twitter.

Israel's embassy in Oslo said it “condemns in the strongest terms” the boycott.

“This immoral resolution reflects deeply rooted attitudes of bias, discrimination and double standard towards the Jewish state,” ambassador Raphael Schutz wrote in an email to AFP.

Noting that LO had also called for the dismantling of a barrier erected by Israel separating it from the Palestinian territories, Schutz said that “by adopting these positions LO placed itself shoulder to shoulder with the worst enemies of Israel”.

Norway hosted Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the early 1990s that led to the now-defunct Oslo accords.

READ ALSO: Trondheim approves boycott of Israeli settlement goods