Sweden recognises Palestine state irking Israel
A Palestinian protester stands in front of a car of an Israeli that was set on fire by the protesters during clashes with Israeli security forces in east Jerusalem.Ammar Awad/Reuters

Israel has called backed its ambassador to Sweden Isaac Bachman for "consultations" after Sweden became the first western nation to formally recognise the state of Palestine.

It is still unclear how long the Israeli diplomatic mission in Stockholm will remain without an envoy as Tel Aviv has not mentioned the exact duration of the ambassador's return.

Local reports suggest that the Israeli foreign ministry is also keen on scaling down its diplomatic relations with Sweden in a response to the latest recognition.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had also taken a dig at the Swedish government for taking a simplistic view of the matter.

"The Swedish government must understand that relations in the Middle East are a lot more complex than the self-assembly furniture of IKEA and that they have to act with responsibility and sensitivity," he said in a statement posted on the official Facebook account.

However, in response, Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallström quipped in an interview with CNN: "I think it's a sign of a sense of humour and I will be happy to send him a flatpack of IKEA furniture and he will also see that what you need to put that together is, first of all, a partner, you also need to cooperate and you need a good manual. I think we have most of those elements if we want to use them also for the conflict in the Middle East."

The Swedish government has also faced the wrath of opposition political parties domestically for throwing its weight behind Palestine.

"Now does one in practice hold President Abbas and the Palestinian government responsible for what is happening in Gaza, where one lets rocket attacks rain over Israel and the civilian population. Then there was a more unified European approach, the tradition has been broken by Sweden now," Liberal Party's foreign policy spokesperson Birgitta Ohlsson was quoted as saying by the news agency TT.