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Israeli ambassador, summoned by Poland in protest, apologizes for death of Polish aid worker

In World
April 05, 2024

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s deputy foreign minister handed a diplomatic note on Friday to Israel’s ambassador protesting the killing of a Polish aid worker in an attack earlier this week on a convoy of aid workers in Gaza.

After the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejna told reporters in Warsaw that he handed the protest note to Ambassador Yacov Livne after he was summoned because of the deaths of the World Central Kitchen workers.

Szejna described the Polish stance during the meeting as “firm.”

“At the beginning, the ambassador apologized for this unprecedented event in the history of the civilized world, that is the bombing of a car in a humanitarian convoy heading with humanitarian aid to the famine-affected Gaza Strip,” Szejna said.

Livne said on social media that during the meeting he expressed his “personal deep sorrow and sincere apologies” for the deaths of the World Central Kitchen workers, including Polish citizen Damian Soból.

“We share in the grief of the families from the bottom of our hearts. I assured the Deputy Minister that Israel is fully committed to a transparent and thorough investigation of this grave tragedy,” Livne said.

He said findings from the Israeli military published Friday “show our ongoing commitment to investigate what had happened in Gaza and take all appropriate measures to prevent such tragedies in the future.”

The Israeli military said Friday that it dismissed two officers and reprimanded three others for their roles in drone strikes in Gaza that killed seven aid workers on a food-delivery mission, saying they had mishandled critical information and violated the army’s rules of engagement.

Szejna, who spoke to reporters before the dismissals were reported, said Poland expected a transparent investigation and compensation for the victim’s family if it wants it.

He also said Poland wants the district prosecutor’s office in Przemyśl, where the Polish aid worker was from, to be allowed to participate in the investigation “and in the entire criminal and disciplinary procedure against the soldiers responsible for this murder.”

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