Israel accuses Hamas of planning to attack its embassy in Sweden

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel accused Hamas on Saturday of planning to attack its embassy in Sweden as part of an expansion by the Palestinian Islamist militant group into Europe, where authorities announced the arrests of several suspects last month.

In a statement following up on the arrests announced by Danish, German and Swedish authorities, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency named an alleged Hamas network member in Sweden, without specifying whether he was also in custody.

There was no immediate response from Hamas, which in the past has said its policy was to limit attacks to Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, all territories where it seeks a Palestinian state.

The Foreign Ministry in Stockholm declined to comment on the specific security of Israel’s embassy, but said: “Sweden takes its commitments under the Vienna Convention to protect foreign missions very seriously.”

The Mossad statement said a multi-national investigation received information that the Hamas network took orders from a group command post in Lebanon and had “intent to attack the Israeli embassy in Sweden, to procure paragliders and to activate members of criminal groups in Europe”.

Hamas used paragliders as part of its shock multi-pronged attack on Israel on Oct. 7 which triggered the Gaza war.

(Writing by Dan Williams and Marie Mannes; Editing by Mark Potter)