PM Jakobsdóttir Receives 2,000 Signatures on Israeli Actions

Katrín Jakobsdóttir

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir received 2,000 signatures urging Icelandic authorities to condemn Israeli military actions in Palestine, RÚV reports. While she emphasised the importance of humanitarian laws and humanitarian aid for Palestine, she did not directly commit to the protesters’ demands.

2,000 signatures handed over

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir received approximately 2,000 signatures demanding that Icelandic authorities condemn the actions of the Israeli military in Palestine, RÚV reports. Around 100 people gathered this morning outside the Prime Minister’s residence on Tjarnargata to protest the conflict in Palestine. The government held a meeting there this morning.

Katrín stepped out of the meeting to speak with the protesters, where Sema Erla Serdar, an activist and Chair of the Solaris association, presented her with the signatures collected over two days. Katrín then returned to the meeting, which concluded shortly before 10 AM.

“Not enough has been done”

“It has not been enough; Icelandic authorities have not condemned the war crimes and mass murders by Israeli officials, and we demand that they do. And we will continue to show up here if necessary,” Sema Erla told RÚV after Katrín had returned inside the residence.

When asked whether the PM had made any promises, Sema responded thusly: “She promised to address the issue in the meeting and to continue advocating on this matter. We will see what that means.”

As noted by RÚV, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir did not directly answer whether Icelandic authorities would yield to the demands of the protesters when approached by the media after the meeting. Instead, she emphasised the importance of respecting humanitarian laws.

“We have, of course, recognized Palestine as an independent state,” Katrín remarked. “We have always advocated for a two-state solution. We have supported the recent demand for humanitarian aid to be allowed into the region and have allocated additional funds for humanitarian assistance in Gaza. We always emphasise the importance of international laws being respected – including humanitarian laws.”

Ukraine War: Humanitarian Aid to Be Increased Next Year, PM Says

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has told RÚV that the government will increase its expenditure on humanitarian aid next year as a result of the war in Ukraine. Katrín has condemned Russia’s invasion and recent missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.

Nuclear threats “entirely unacceptable”

After Russian President Vladimir Putin launched missile strikes on several Ukrainian cities on Monday – in response to Saturday’s attack on a bridge linking Russia with occupied Crimea – political leaders in the west have expressed their condemnation. At least 11 people have reportedly been killed and scores more have been injured, the Guardian reports.

Following news of this attack, Ukrainians in Iceland congregated in front of the Russian embassy in Reykjavík to protest. The protest’s organiser stated that “it was like the war was beginning again.”

Speaking to RÚV this afternoon, PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir observed that the war in Ukraine was obviously escalating. “We’re seeing threats of nuclear attacks, which is, of course, entirely unacceptable; we’re seeing attacks on civilians, which is, of course, also completely unacceptable. The war is intensifying.”

When asked how the government would respond to this escalation, Katrín began by saying that her cabinet had always been vocal in its condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion on the global political stage.

“We’ve also contributed through humanitarian aid – and will continue to do so. We’re drafting plans for next year, as we don’t foresee the conflict coming to an end,” Katrín remarked. It is unclear at this time how much the government will earmark for humanitarian aid next year; according to the government’s website, Iceland has thus far contributed ISK 1 billion of humanitarian aid to the war in Ukraine.

In addition to humanitarian aid, Katrín added that Iceland has offered assistance in the form of training, with regard to the location and disposal of explosive devices, in addition to participating in other comparable projects directly related to the conflict. Katrín also mentioned Iceland’s reception of Ukrainian refugees.

Iceland Condemns Annexation of Ukrainian Territories

Ministry for Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with the Russian ambassador yesterday to condemn Russia’s attempt to annex four Ukrainian provinces, RÚV reports. The Icelandic government will not recognise the absorption of the provinces by Russia.

Staged referendums

Last Friday, Vladimir Putin declared the absorption of four Ukrainian regions – Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia – after results from referendums “showed” that more than 95% of voters wanted to join Russia. “An absurd level of support,” a journalist from the Washington Post writes. Many western countries have condemned the referenda as fake and have refused to recognize Russia’s claim to the provinces.

The Icelandic government has echoed this position, according to a Tweet from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday; Martin Eyjólfsson, Permanent Secretary of State, met with Russian ambassador Mikhail Noskov to express Iceland’s strong disapproval of Russia’s annexation. Minister of Foreign Affairs Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir was not present.