(Fox News) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the recent rise in street violence by “idiots” has to stop.
“A small group of disaffected individuals among whom there are far too many people are putting themselves above society,” Rutte said in a tweet Sunday, referring to the 2017 protests in the Netherlands against the government’s decision to back the U.S.-led military intervention in Syria.
The government ultimately withdrew from the airstrikes as the nation took a relatively positive view of U.S. President Donald Trump and took in thousands of migrants from Syria and other war-torn countries.
Rutte’s tweet came as a man was jailed in the western town of Zevenfels after a man was shot and a female police officer was injured by a volley of gunfire aimed at rioters. The shootings come as the country’s police force faces criticism for numerous violent incidents and officers have taken increasingly heavy-handed disciplinary action against members in recent years.
And it comes a day after a controversial advertisement criticizing a Dutch lawmaker who supports refugees was reportedly pulled by a TV station after a backlash from the anti-Islam group PEGIDA.
The advertisement, which shows a member of the nationalist group holding a sign reading “Refugees Not Welcome” while saying “Going door to door? These horrible terrorists do not need to think twice. If you are a criminal, nobody is there to rescue you,” ran twice on NOS television, Dutch media reported.
It is rare for PEGIDA to mount a public campaign but the ad, which was scheduled to run for one day, drew heavy criticism on social media. Dutch media reported that a television station that aired the advertisement was asked to take it down.
While it was not clear who owned the ad, the station confirmed to EAG publications that it had signed off on the ad’s controversial content.
“The ad itself was rejected by social affairs minister & public television, they know how this will be spun in media. No apology from official,” Jan Bent, a lawyer for PEGIDA, tweeted Sunday.
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