Israel apologises to Poland after diplomatic spat following death of Polish aid worker

Israel apologises to Poland after diplomatic spat following death of Polish aid worker
Israeli Ambassador Yacov Livne had upset Poland with a social media post saying those on the right and left were "antisemites" for blaming Israel
2 min read
People place candles and flowers for Damian Sobol, an aid worker for World Central Kitchen who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in front of the train station in Przemysl, Poland [GETTY]

Poland said on Friday Israel's ambassador had apologised for an Israeli airstrike that killed a Pole and six other aid workers in Gaza, days after the envoy angered the country by blaming "antisemites" for Polish outrage over the attack.

Damian Sobol, a volunteer from south eastern Poland, was among seven people working for celebrity chef Jose Andres' World Central Kitchen who were killed in the airstrike in central Gaza on Monday, which stirred an international outcry.

"I handed over a note of protest to the ambassador. The ambassador apologised for this event, which has no precedent in the history of the civilised world," Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Szejna told a press conference.

While the briefing was taking place, Israel said an inquiry into the air attack had found serious errors and breaches of procedure by the military, with the upshot that two officers had been fired and senior commanders formally reprimanded.

On Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador Yacov Livne upset Poland with a social media post saying that the "extreme right and left" in the country were accusing Israel of intentional murder, adding that "antisemites will always remain antisemites".

After Friday's meeting with Szejna, Livne said in a post on X: "Israel is fully committed to a transparent and thorough investigation of this grave tragedy".

Szejna said that disciplinary measures in the military Israel announced on Friday would not be enough. He said Livne told him Israel's top court would launch an investigation, but that Polish prosecutors should take part.

Live Story

"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 said, adding that Sobol's family should also be offered compensation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the airstrike was a tragic mistake and Israel would do everything possible to prevent a recurrence.

The military said said Israeli forces erroneously believed they were attacking Hamas gunmen when drones hit the three vehicles of the World Central Kitchen aid group in central Gaza, and that standard procedures had not been followed.

"The information we received so far (from Israel) is not satisfactory," Szejna said, "but we see this meeting (with Livne) as a change of tone."


The website encountered an unexpected error. Please try again later.