A dream holiday for hundreds of Poles who went to Israel to relax came to a dramatic end. On Saturday morning, they were awakened by anti-aircraft alarms and loud explosions.
The Poles were in dire straits as they returned home on Saturday. Already in the morning they realized that something bad was happening.
– Until yesterday it was a pleasant holiday country with beautiful weather and beautiful sea, but the bad luck started today. We were on our way to the airport from Tel Aviv and before 7am the alarms went off and we heard very loud explosions – says Andrzej Walentek, one of the tourists and a reporter reporting on military operations. Iraq and Afghanistan have been “Fakt” for years.
After reaching the airport, most airlines have suspended flights to Israel for security reasons. 4 flights to Poland on Saturday are also related. In no time, more Poles started appearing at the airport. Their condition worsened by the hour.
– We are in an area of the airport where you cannot shop. We have been here since 7 am. There were three small bars in this part of the airport, all of which were cleared of food items, Mr. Andrzej says.
Tourists warn: “We have no help from the Polish authorities”
The Poles decided to contact the Polish Embassy and ask for help. However, they claim to have been treated in a very unpleasant manner.
– We spoke with someone from the Polish embassy, who was probably appointed as the contact person. Even though we told him exactly what our situation was, he was not ready to listen to us. Although there are several hundred Poles here, no one from the embassy or consulate came here. I spoke to this embassy representative personally and I was scared, Andrzej Valentek tells “Fakt”.
Mr. Andrzej, whose career has covered more than one armed conflict and knows exactly where to go for help, went to the airport security department. He knew that eviction was possible.
– I spoke to the head of airport security, Israel did not close its airspace, but these were the decisions of the airlines that calculated the risk. So far, we have no information, not even from the airlines, and the biggest scandal is that no one from the embassy bothered to come here – Andrzej Valentek says.
The Foreign Ministry is considering expelling Poles from Israel
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry says diplomats are in regular contact with the Poles camped at the airport. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Paweł Jabłoński spoke when “Fakt” informed the government spokesperson about the problems of our countrymen.
– Our ambassador is working and we are in constant contact with them. The situation is very active, there is no possibility of evacuation as the airport is closed, but we provide help as much as possible – says Paweł Jabłoński to “Fakt”.
“These people are in a very difficult situation, but the authorities have advised them not to leave the airport for security reasons. And for this reason, these people cannot be taken to the hotel,” admits the minister.
— They will spend the night at the airport for security reasons, but we are helping to arrange alternative accommodation and checking the possibility of evacuation. However, this is very difficult due to Israeli regulations. We are also still determining the fate of other Poles who live permanently in Israel and the Palestinian territories, and we will certainly provide them with assistance throughout the night. Eviction is impossible for now, assures the Deputy Minister.
Meanwhile, the situation at the airport is difficult, and hundreds of Poles are camped out by trips from other European countries.
-There are also Czechs and Slovaks here, who fraternize with Poles in difficult times, says Andrzej Valentek.
The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement
Just before 9 p.m., the Foreign Ministry issued a statement regarding the Poles’ stay in Israel:
“Since the beginning of the crisis, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Israel has been in constant contact with Polish citizens staying there. The situation is difficult and very dynamic. There are no border crossings with Jordan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced. Fourth, the highest level of alert for travelers throughout Israel and advises against any travel to this country. .
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends that Polish citizens do not leave their safe haven until the situation is clarified. We urge our comrades staying in Israel to contact the facility if they have not already done so. You can use the facility’s email address or emergency number for this purpose.
The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tel Aviv, the Representative Office of the Republic of Poland in Ramallah and the Headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in constant contact with international partners and monitor the situation on the ground. Polish embassies in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt are also involved in the activities.
Follow the social media of companies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where important information from the point of view of Polish citizens residing in Israel appears regularly.
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