Friday, November 10, 2023

Polish Military Contingent in Egypt is evacuating Poles staying in the Gaza Strip

WPolityce(.)pl/Defence24(.pl): President Andrzej Duda decided to use the Polish Military Contingent in Egypt to evacuate Polish citizens staying in the Gaza Strip. The decision was published in Monitor Polski.

In the period from November 10 to November 19, 2023, the Polish Military Contingent in the Arab Republic of Egypt will be used to evacuate citizens of the Republic of Poland staying in the Gaza Strip, with up to 150 soldiers along with the necessary security and equipment, including two C-130 aircraft. and one C-295 aircraft — constitutes a resolution.

The general scope of tasks performed by the National Military Contingent will include the evacuation and transport of Polish citizens staying in the Gaza Strip from the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Republic of Poland. 

A few days ago, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński announced that 29 Poles were waiting to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, Jabłoński informed that the border crossing in Rafah is reopened.

The topic of the evacuation of Poles from the Gaza Strip is heavily commented on in the media. The progress of the Israeli military operation in Gaza was the subject of a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. "We took the opportunity to discuss the situation of Polish families trapped in Gaza," said Minister Rau.

“We took the opportunity to discuss the situation of Polish families trapped in Gaza. I am grateful to the minister for his personal commitment to organizing help for our citizens. The situation of the civilian population must be of particular concern to democratic governments. Poland and Israel will follow the path of cooperation in this matter," added the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The evacuation of foreigners through the Rafah crossing began on Wednesday, November 1. Hamas suspended it on Saturday after Israel refused to allow injured Palestinians to go to Egyptian hospitals. 

On Monday afternoon, border authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip said the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt was being reopened only to evacuate Egyptians, foreigners, and dual nationals. They emphasized that, in accordance with the decision of the Egyptian authorities, people who were not included on a special list would not be able to cross the border.

On Monday, urgent talks were held at the headquarters of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the ambassadors of Egypt, Israel, and Palestine, and their subject was the issue of resuming the operation of the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in Rafah and enabling the evacuation of Polish citizens through this route. 

The AFP agency reported that the reopening of the crossing took place after Israel agreed, thanks to Egyptian mediation, to allow 30 injured people to travel to Egypt.