In response to the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip, President Andrzej Duda has authorized the deployment of the Polish Military Contingent in Egypt to aid in the evacuation of approximately 30 stranded Polish citizens.
The citizens found themselves caught in the crossfire after Israel initiated a significant air and land assault on Palestine following Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7. Pending approval from Israel, Poland aims to conduct the evacuation through the Rafah land crossing, located on the Egypt-Gaza border.
In an official announcement published on Thursday in the Monitor Polski journal, President Duda outlined the plan for the Polish Military Contingent (PKW) deployment. The operation is scheduled to take place from November 10 to November 19, 2023, with the primary objective of evacuating Polish citizens residing in the Gaza Strip.
The PKW will consist of up to 150 soldiers, along with essential equipment, including two C-130 transport aircraft and one C-295 aircraft, according to the statement. Their role will be to transport Polish citizens from Egypt to Poland, leveraging the recently reopened Rafah border crossing.
Furthermore, the deployment is explicitly authorized to “protect the citizens’ lives or health” if the situation demands such action, as stated in the official document. The move comes as a response to the reopened border crossing and the need to ensure the safety and well-being of Polish nationals affected by the conflict in the Gaza Strip.