Strike on Gaza aid group putting Poland-Israel ties 'to the test'


Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday that a deadly Israeli strike on aid workers in Gaza that killed a Polish citizen, and the government's reaction to the incident, were straining ties between the two countries.

Directly addressing Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel's envoy to Warsaw, Tusk posted on X: "Today, you are putting this solidarity to the test."

"The tragic attack against volunteers and your reaction are generating an understandable anger," he wrote.

The strike killed seven aid workers in Gaza, including Australian, British, Palestinian, Polish and U.S.-Canadian staff, after the employees had just unloaded humanitarian food aid in the war-torn territory.

Israel's defense chief said Wednesday that the strike was a "grave mistake".

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski warned the incident was likely to increase anti-Semitism in Poland, and called for Israel to "apologize and pay compensation to the families of the victims".

"If it is true that the convoy was deliberately attacked because it was supposed to contain a terrorist, and that civilian lives were therefore sacrificed, I do not know of any (political) system in which this would be justified," he told Polish public radio Trojka.

"It is obvious something is wrong with the rules on the use of weapons by the Israeli army," he said. "You cannot play down this matter by saying these things happen in war, as Netanyahu said yesterday."

The attack was widely condemned, with U.S. President Joe Biden saying Israel "has not done enough to protect aid workers", and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling the strike "unconscionable".