Stranded Dutch from Israel at Eindhoven Air Base

Eindhoven Air base
Photo credit: Eindhoven Airbase/Studio040

A Defense Department plane containing the first group of Dutch nationals stranded in Israel landed at the military airbase in Eindhoven on Wednesday evening. On board were 199 compatriots who could not leave the country because of the war between Israel and Hamas.

The Defense Department plane landed at ten past ten at the air base. The group of 199 repatriated Dutch nationals consisted of men, women and children. Among them were also 28 students and teachers of 4VWO from Rotterdam and Gouda.

The flight had left Eindhoven about 12 hours earlier to pick up the Dutch citizens. Due to the shelling between the Israeli army and Hamas, hardly any scheduled flights had been flying to Israel since Saturday. Therefore, the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs decided to deploy an Air Force aircraft to retrieve the Dutchmen.

An Airbus A330 from the Multinational Multirole Tanker Transport (MRTT) Unit, based at Eindhoven Air Base, was used for the flight. The aircraft accommodates 267 passengers and 45 tons of cargo.

Missile strikes

Picking up the stranded Dutchmen was not without risk. Just before the defense aircraft arrived in Israel, the capital Tel Aviv was shelled. The Royal Air Force plane therefore circled for some time over nearby Ben Gurion Airport.

The rockets were reportedly fired by Hamas. People at Israel’s national airport had to lie down on the ground for two minutes just to be safe. The military flight from the Netherlands eventually left Tel Aviv hours later than scheduled and took four hours.

Second flight

On Thursday, another Defense Department aircraft will fly to Tel Aviv to pick up a second group of Dutch nationals. This flight was initially to be operated by KLM, but Israeli airspace is too dangerous for commercial flights. Therefore, Defense is deploying a plane to pick up the last Dutchmen.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.



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