In a swift and coordinated operation, the first citizens of the Republic of Poland who were residing in the Gaza Strip have crossed the border at Rafah and are now on the Egyptian side. The process commenced, as announced by Jacek Siewiera, the head of the National Security Bureau, just before 11 a.m. on Sunday. This crucial development was also confirmed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MSZ).
“The first citizens of the Republic of Poland, who were in the Gaza Strip, have crossed the border at Rafah and are now on the Egyptian side. The process has begun. The Air Force, following the president’s decision, is ready to carry out the transportation,” wrote Jacek Siewiera on the X platform.
Pierwsi obywatele RP przebywający w Strefie Gazy przekroczyli przejście graniczne w Rafah i są po egipskiej stronie. Proces się rozpoczął. Siły Powietrzne zgodnie z postanowieniem @prezydentpl są w gotowości do realizacji transportu. pic.twitter.com/cvSpXfmJ4U— Jacek Siewiera (@JacekSiewiera) November 12, 2023
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed the initiation of the evacuation of Polish citizens.
As reported on Friday, two Hercules aircraft belonging to the Polish military were dispatched to retrieve Polish citizens from Egypt. The military, under the president’s decision, is actively participating in the operation to evacuate Poles from the conflict-ridden Gaza Strip.
In line with the president’s decision, up to 150 soldiers were to be involved in the evacuation, with the operation scheduled to run from November 10 to November 19.
The Polish Hercules aircraft, laden with humanitarian aid, were planned to land near the Rafah border crossing. On the return journey, they will bring back Polish citizens evacuated from Gaza.
Siewiera: Poland remains unwavering in its efforts
During his visit to Israel on Saturday, Jacek Siewiera emphasized, “Polish citizens are located in the territory of the Gaza Strip.” He assured that Poland remembers all of them and continues its efforts to bring them to a safe place.
“There are citizens of the Republic of Poland on the territory of the Gaza Strip. This includes over 25 individuals who were in the Gaza Strip at the time of the terrorist attack, but also one of the Polish citizens – Alexander Danzig – is among the hostages,” informed the head of the National Security Bureau.
“We have legitimate reasons to expect that in the coming hours, days – we hope – some citizens will leave the Gaza Strip,” emphasized Siewiera on Saturday.
He also conveyed that a large group was situated near the border crossing.
Diplomatic efforts, conducted both at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by services operating in the shadow of this ministry, are ongoing on all possible fronts, assured the head of the National Security Bureau. He emphasized the commitment of the consular service, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński, the Qatari side, and the representative of the president, Mieszko Pawlak, head of the Bureau of International Policy.