Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb is organising a series of meetings with different religious and ethnic groups in the port city in an effort to difuse any tensions which have arisen since the outbreak of hostilities in Gaza.

Aboutaleb, the first Muslim leader of a large western city, met representatives of Rotterdam's Jewish community on Monday.

On Sunday around 1,000 people took part in a pro-Palestine demonstration in Rotterdam which passed off peacefully. According to Nos television, local Jewish leaders also said the protest was without problems.

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