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5 Apr, 2024 01:32

Poland summons Israeli envoy over aid worker’s death

Warsaw was outraged by the killing of one of its nationals by the IDF
Poland summons Israeli envoy over aid worker’s death

Warsaw has summoned Ambassador Yacov Livne after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed a Polish aid worker in Gaza. The Polish authorities were critical of how Israel handled the incident and demanded compensation for the victim’s family.

On Monday, the IDF carried out three consecutive airstrikes on a humanitarian convoy, killing seven foreign nationals working for the relief organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), including Damian Sobol from Poland.

The organization said that the WCK team was traveling in an area designated as a safe zone and the car had visible WCK logos.

The IDF said the strikes were a result of “misidentification,” and President Isaac Herzog apologized to WCK founder Jose Andres for the aid workers’ deaths.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski spoke over the phone with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, on Thursday, and “demanded an explanation of the attack,” according to the Polish Foreign Ministry.

“If Israel deliberately attacked the convoy, the families of the victims deserve an apology and compensation,” Sikorski wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Polish officials were also outraged by the comments Livne made to Israeli media. Speaking to YouTube channel Kanal Zero, the diplomat insisted that the deaths of the aid workers were not a war crime, but a tragedy, and that the IDF never targets humanitarian groups on purpose.

Livne should have used the opportunity to speak to the Polish media and “say a simple, human apology,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Thursday. President Andrzej Duda also called for an explanation, stating he has “no doubt that Israel should pay compensation to [the Polish] citizen’s family.”

In a separate interview with Polish news channel TVP World, Livne reiterated that the incident will be thoroughly investigated.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Palestinian militant group carried out a surprise attack on Israeli cities on October 7, killing around 1,100 people and taking more than 200 hostages. More than 30,000 Palestinians have since been killed during Israel’s operations in Gaza, according to the local authorities.