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Refusal of Landing Rights Can Lead to Ill-will Toward Israel, Dutch Minister Warns

Foreign Minister Norbert Schmeltzer has criticized Israeli aviation authorities for refusing to grant the Dutch airline, KLM, additional charter flight landing rights in Israel. Schmeltzer said Friday that he was “seriously concerned and disappointed” by Israel’s attitude.

He warned that that attitude “is likely to influence Dutch public opinion regarding Israel. The ban on charter flights has already inconvenienced hundreds of tourists and has caused a great deal of ill feeling,” Schmeltzer said. On July 1, Israel increased KLM’s regular landing rights at Lydda Airport from three to four flights a week. The increase was said to have been in exchange for a promise by The Hague Government to persuade the government of The Netherlands West Indies to grant El Al landing rights at Curacao which have not materialized.