Dutch PM to visit Israel’s Netanyahu, Palestine’s Abbas to discuss conflict

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will travel to Israel for talks on Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and separately with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Rutte’s office said on Sunday.

Rutte’s departure follows confirmation by the Netherlands’ foreign ministry on Sunday of the death of a 33-year-old Dutch woman who had travelled to Gaza to visit family shortly before the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war.

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In a statement on Sunday, Rutte said he had spoken with Netanyahu and asked for clarification about the woman’s death.

He also called for “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting in order to help aid reach the civilian residents of Gaza.

“Israel has the right to defend itself and must remove the threat of Hamas and do everything to free hostages,” Rutte said.

However, “self-defence is inextricably tied to proportionality and must be in line with international humanitarian law and rules of war”, he said.

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