Several dozen Poles stranded in Gaza as diplomats seek to facilitate evacuation

Efforts to evacuate 29 Polish nationals from the Gaza Strip have encountered difficulties with high-level diplomatic meetings underway to address the crisis

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: RMF FM
FILE - Palestinians inspect the damage of buildings destroyed by Israeli airstrikes on military targets located in the Jabalia refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City on Oct. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Abdul Qader Sabbah, File)

Over two dozen Polish citizens are awaiting evacuation amidst increasing danger in the Gaza Strip, Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński has confirmed.

During an interview on RMF FM commercial radio on Monday, he indicated that critical meetings with ambassadors from various countries, including Israel and Egypt, are planned to resolve the situation and bring home 29 Polish nationals stuck in the region.

Jabłoński stressed the Polish government’s intense efforts to ensure the continuation of evacuation procedures.

“Our consular service and our diplomats in Egypt are ready, waiting to receive and provide assistance in Egypt,” he told listeners.

The interview highlighted that the Polish nationals are on evacuation lists, which have been communicated to Egyptian and Israeli authorities since early October. However, recent actions by Hamas have led to a suspension of evacuations, leaving these individuals in limbo.

On Saturday, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that appeals for allowing Polish citizens to leave the Gaza Strip were made six times in the form of diplomatic notes and through working contacts with representatives of the Israeli authorities.

The ministry reported that the Polish embassy has officially passed lists of Polish citizens in the Gaza Strip to Israeli institutions, pressing for “their departure to be facilitated as soon as possible.”

On Sunday, the Polish foreign ministry stated that due to information received from the Israeli and Egyptian sides regarding the temporary suspension of evacuating foreign nationals from the besieged region, the departure of Polish citizens is currently not possible.

In a statement, the ministry expressed its outrage at the circumstances, emphasizing that “every day our citizens spend in the Gaza Strip puts their lives at risk and causes suffering, especially to children.”

“In our view, no circumstances justify that Poles who have been in the Gaza Strip for three weeks cannot leave, even though the Polish authorities are waiting to receive them on the Egyptian side,” it added.

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