In a press conference on Thursday, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski highlighted the challenges faced by Poland in evacuating its citizens from the Gaza Strip, citing Israel’s exercise of its right to block the departure of specific individuals.
According to Jacek Siewiera, head of the National Security Bureau, Poland successfully evacuated 18 citizens from Gaza in mid-November. However, concerns remain for the safety of approximately 25 individuals, one of whom, Alex Danzig, is reported to be held hostage by Hamas.
Jablonski explained that in some cases, Warsaw had not received consent from Israel for the departure of its citizens. “Israel has absolutely a 100-percent possibility to block these journeys with regard to specific people, and in certain individual cases, we have not received that consent,” he stated during the press conference.
Highlighting the diplomatic efforts in progress, Jablonski assured that discussions with Israeli authorities were ongoing. He emphasized that decisions to grant or deny permission for evacuation rested with the Israeli side, and not all individuals who received permission had utilized the opportunity to leave.
When asked about the number of remaining Polish nationals in Gaza, Jablonski declined to provide specifics, citing privacy concerns. “We are trying to give only as much information as is essential,” he stated.
Jablonski further noted that Poland was not alone in facing such challenges, indicating that citizens from many other countries were also unable to secure permission to evacuate from the Gaza Strip. He reiterated the commitment to continuing diplomatic efforts initiated since October 9 to effectively resolve the situation and ensure the safe evacuation of remaining Polish nationals.