HNLMS Holland returns to the Netherlands from the eastern Mediterranean. Minister Kajsa Ollongren announced this to the House today. The naval vessel has been sailing there since November to assist with possible evacuations or humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Ollongren calls the situation in the Middle East as worrisome as ever. The situation on the border between Israel and Lebanon is very fragile. There is a risk of further expansion of the conflict in the region, she writes. In addition, the people of Gaza need immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian aid on a large scale.
The Netherlands is prepared for various scenarios and is keeping a close eye on the situation in the Middle East, according to the minister.
In the Netherlands, a joint task force with 2 C-130 Hercules transport aircraft remains on standby to take quick action in the event of a possible evacuation. Previously, this was in Cyprus. A small team of soldiers is still on the island for logistical purposes. This allows units to be deployed quickly if necessary.