Israeli ambassador has apologised for Gaza aid convoy strike and won’t be expelled, says Poland

Poland’s foreign ministry says that Israel’s ambassador, Yavoc Livne, has apologised for the strike in Gaza that killed seven aid workers, one of whom was Polish national Damian Soból. The ambassador today attended the ministry after being summoned in response to the tragedy.

Senior figures, including President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk, had criticised Livne this week for his response to the incident, including the fact that he had not issued an apology and had accused Polish politicians of antisemitism for suggesting Israel deliberately attacked the humanitarian convoy.

One leading Polish newspaper, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, went as far as to suggest that “the diplomat’s fate was hanging in the balance” ahead of his meeting with deputy foreign minister Andrzej Szejna.

Opposition leader Jarosław Kaczyński said yesterday that, if he were still in power, Livne “would have been expelled” from Poland. As Livne arrived at the foreign ministry, a group of protesters outside demanded his expulsion.

„Czy naprawdę musiało dojść do śmierci #Polaka, żeby zacząć mówić o ludobójstwie w Gazie, czy naprawdę Polak musiał zginąć?” – antyizraelski protest przed @MSZ_RP w #Warszawa.#Palestyńczycy #GazaIsStarving #WorldCentralKitchen #Soból #Sikorski #Tusk #UNRWA

— Ekonomat (@ekonomat_pl) April 5, 2024

However, at a press conference afterwards, Szejna confirmed that, although he had handed a note of protest to Livne, “the ambassador will not be expelled from Poland”. He also called on Kaczyński “not to play politics on people’s graves”.

“At the beginning [of the meeting], the ambassador apologised for this unprecedented event in the history of the civilised world, that is the bombing of a humanitarian convoy heading with humanitarian aid to the famine-affected Gaza Strip,” said Szejna, quoted by broadcaster RMF.

Szejna added, however, that Poland remained “unsatisfied with the course of the explanatory process” from Israel regarding what had happened.

“We expect a transparent investigation in which the Polish side and other countries that lost their citizens in this attack – which, as a lawyer, I call murder – have…access to all information so that the explanation of the case is satisfactory,” said Szejna.

The deputy minister also insisted that Polish prosecutors who this week began a homicide investigation into Soból’s death should be allowed to participate in Israel’s investigation as well as in any disciplinary action against military personnel responsible for the attack.

He said that he had transmitted to Livne the Polish government’s demand that Israel provide compensation to Soból’s family and that the ambassador had asked for help in contacting them.

Livne himself has not publicly commented on the meeting with Szejna.

Poland’s president has condemned the Israeli ambassador for his “outrageous” remarks regarding the airstrike in Gaza that killed a Polish aid worker.

The prime minister, meanwhile, has called on the ambassador to issue a public apology for the attack

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) April 4, 2024

Notes from Poland is run by a small editorial team and published by an independent, non-profit foundation that is funded through donations from our readers. We cannot do what we do without your support.

Main image credit: Maciek Jazwiecki / Agencja

Daniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications, including Foreign PolicyPOLITICO EuropeEUobserver and Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

Podobne wpisy

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *