Amid the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Polish foreign minister, Zbigniew Rau, has made an impassioned plea to both sides involved in the hostilities. He is urging them to facilitate the secure evacuation of civilians from the war-torn region.
The conflict in Gaza has seen the Israeli army launch strikes on more than 11,000 targets within the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the war. The conflict was initiated when the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched an attack on Israel from the Gaza territory on October 7.
Zbigniew Rau took to social media to express his concern, stating, “Both parties to the Gaza conflict should immediately cease hostilities and allow civilians to safely leave the Gaza Strip.” He also emphasized the Polish government’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its citizens caught in the conflict, mentioning that Polish diplomatic and consular services, as well as the foreign ministry, are diligently working to assist Poles trapped in the war zone.
In response to Minister Rau’s appeal, Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, posted a comment on social media, alleging that Hamas terrorists were using Gaza’s civilian population, including 6,500 foreigners, as human shields to protect their regime. Regrettably, Polish citizens were among those affected.
Recent reports from Reuters indicate that an agreement has been reached between Egypt, Israel, and Hamas to permit the evacuation of specific individuals from the Gaza Strip. This agreement was brokered through the involvement of Qatar in coordination with the United States. Those eligible for evacuation from the Gaza Strip include International Committee of the Red Cross workers and nationals from Australia, Austria, Jordan, and Indonesia.
The conflict in the Gaza Strip has taken a devastating toll on the local population. According to the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, over 8,300 Palestinians have lost their lives since the beginning of the war. The situation remains highly sensitive, with international efforts aimed at bringing relief to those affected by the ongoing hostilities.