Verhagen worried about surge in Palestinian violence
13 Jun 2007 | Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen expressed great concern while visiting Ramallah on 13 June about new developments relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Violence between Palestinian governing parties Fatah and Hamas has mounted in the Gaza Strip during the minister’s trip to the Middle East. ‘The outbreaks of fighting between Hamas and Fatah are not in the interests of the Palestinian people and are leading to a worse impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’, said Verhagen. ‘A breakthrough in the peace process is badly needed. Now is the time to support moderate Palestinians.’
He added, ‘When I talk to President Abbas today in Ramallah I will urge a speedy end to the violence and confidence-building measures aimed at Israel.’ The Dutch foreign minister spoke Tuesday with Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, saying afterwards that the Israelis are willing to work towards a solution to the conflict and take concrete steps in that direction.