Dutch to repatriate hundreds of citizens from Israel

The defence ministry plane, an MRTT, has capacity for some 260 people. Photo: Defence Ministry

The cabinet has commissioned a defence ministry plane to bring back Dutch nationals stranded in Israel, caretaker foreign affairs minister Hanke Bruins Slot confirmed on Tuesday evening.

The plane will fly out on Wednesday, and may possibly be followed by a KLM aircraft on Thursday, she told news agency ANP. The foreign ministry is still trying to establish how many people wish to be repatriated and if further flights will be needed.

The ministry has also added more parts of the country to its red list and has told all Dutch nationals currently in the West Bank to leave. Jersusalem remains code orange.

A number of Dutch nationals in Israel had said they were virtually stranded there because so many flights had been cancelled since the fighting started on Saturday.

Italy has already started bringing out its citizens and Poland plans to evacuate its citizens as well.

A spokesman for airline KLM told the NRC that it would help with the repatriation process if it is safe to do so. “Ultimately, the actual security situation at the time will determine whether or not the flight can go ahead,” the spokesman said.

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