RAMALLAH, Israel, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A Swedish newspaper admitted it had no evidence to support allegations that Israeli soldiers killed young Palestinians and harvested their organs.
An editorial in the daily Aftonbladet acknowledges the newspaper lacked factual support for its Aug. 17 article, which ran under the headline, "They plunder the organs of our sons," the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Thursday.
Publication of the Aftonbladet article has drawn widespread condemnation and calls for apologies.
The Swedish ambassador to Israel, Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, has officially apologized for the article, after Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu demanded the Swedish government condemn the report.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is urging counterparts throughout the European Union to denounce the Aftonbladet at a summit set for this week, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday.
The Palestinian Authority says it will investigate claims that Israeli forces killed Palestinians and harvested their organs, ynetnews.com reported Thursday. The PA will decide whether to pursue action against Israel once the investigation is done, said Hassan Abu Libda, secretary-general of the Palestinian Cabinet.
In the Aftonbladet article, reporter Donald Bostrom quoted Palestinians as saying youths were taken from their villages and U.N. employees had told him of the alleged killings and organ harvesting when he was working on a book in the West Bank.
In an opinion piece Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Roland Poirier Martinsson of the Timbro Media Institute, a Swedish think tank, called Bostrom's article a "hodgepodge of rumors and irrelevancies" and wrote that "his assertions constitute a wholesale condemnation of the Jewish people in Israel."