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Israel apologized for aid worker’s death in Gaza – Poland

Ambassador Yacov Livne has reportedly “changed tone” after initially claiming the bombing of the humanitarian convoy was not a war crime

Poland said on Friday that Israel’s envoy in Warsaw has apologized for the death of a Polish volunteer killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza this week.

Ambassador Yacov Livne was summoned by Warsaw over his “outrageous” remarks earlier this week. The Israeli envoy stated that the incident was not a war crime and accused Poles who think otherwise of anti-Semitism.

On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out three consecutive airstrikes on a humanitarian convoy, killing seven foreign nationals working for the relief organization World Central Kitchen (WCK), including 35-year-old Damian Sobol from Poland.

“I handed over a note of protest to the ambassador. The ambassador apologized for this event, which has no precedent in the history of the civilized world,” Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejna told a press conference on Friday.

Livne reportedly informed Szejna that Israel’s top court would conduct a criminal investigation into the incident.

“There should be an investigation under the supervision of the victims’ countries under criminal law into this event, which bears the hallmarks of murder,” Szejna insisted, adding that Sobol’s family should also be offered compensation.

“The information we received so far [from Israel] is not satisfactory but we see this meeting as a change of tone,” Szejna said, noting that Livne would not be expelled.

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Poland summons Israeli envoy over aid worker’s death

The Israeli ambassador caused outrage in Poland with a social media post on Tuesday that the “extreme right and left” in Poland were accusing Israel of intentional murder, adding that “antisemites will always remain antisemites.” 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 denounced the ambassador’s “outrageous” remarks and called for an explanation.

Israel said on Friday that an inquiry into the incident had found serious errors and breaches of standard procedures by the military, with the result that two officers have been dismissed and senior commanders formally reprimanded.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Palestinian militant group carried out a surprise attack on Israel 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.

 

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