Anti-Semitic incidents have seen a rise among the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and opinions are highly polarized.

Who is Sam Suleiman?

Sam Suleiman is an intensive care unit nurse at Aalesund Hospital in Norway.

He recently posed for a photo displaying a tattoo praising Hamas and celebrating the events of the October 7th Massacre. The message reads, “Fantastic day. May my brothers in Hamas cleanse all of Palestine from these Zionist devils.”

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Speaking at the Nordic Council meeting in Oslo, Norwegian leader Jonas Gahr Store expressed the view that while Israel has the right to defend itself, there is a “link” to proportionality, especially considering the unfolding situation in Gaza, which poses a threat to civilians and the wider region, including Israel.

The eight-member regional group largely agrees on proposals for a humanitarian pause to Israel’s offensive in Gaza. However, divisions have arisen.

Norway was the sole supporter of the recent United Nations General Assembly motion on this issue. Others declined to back it as it did not condemn the Hamas militant group’s attack on Israel on October 7.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store emphasized Israel’s right to self-defense but highlighted the importance of proportionality in the context of the Gaza crisis. He stressed the need for a humanitarian pause to provide support and relief.

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen noted a missing element in the UN motion, which was the failure to condemn Hamas’s terrorist attack. She emphasized the importance of condemning actions in Israel, supporting its right to self-defense within international law, and ensuring the safety of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, also present at the meeting, condemned the Hamas “terrorist attack” while urging Israel to adhere to the rule of law. He emphasized the protection of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza, underscoring the ongoing need for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Outside the meeting, protesters gathered, calling for Nordic countries to take a tougher stance against the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza.

The Nordic Council is convening its 75th Session from October 30 to November 2, serving as the political summit for the Nordic Region.