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Attack on Polish ambassador to Israel "racist": Polish PM

15 May 2019, 19:44 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks on the occasion of Hungary's National Day in Budapest, Hungary, March 15, 2019. Photo Xinhua.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday condemned the attack on the Polish Ambassador to Israel on Tuesday as "racist" and "unacceptable".

   "We do not consent to any acts of xenophobia, either towards diplomats or towards regular citizens," Morawiecki wrote Wednesday morning on Twitter.

   On Tuesday, the Polish Ambassador to Israel Marek Magierowski was attacked by a man as he was getting into his car outside the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv.

   According to the Israeli police, the attacker spat at the ambassador and shouted abusive words towards him in Hebrew.

   The ambassador was able to take photos of the attacker and his car, which made it possible for the police to arrest the man on Tuesday.

   The 65-year old attacker was being interrogated on Wednesday, with Israeli media quoting a written statement his lawyer had submitted which claimed the man didn't know he was attacking the ambassador himself. According to his statement, the man was reacting in anger after being mistreated by embassy staff, where he had gone to discuss the issue of restitution of property seized from Jewish people during the Second World War.

   "Israel expresses its full sympathy with the Polish Ambassador and shock at the attack. Israeli police are currently investigating. We will update our Polish friends. This is a top priority to us, as we are fully committed to diplomats' safety and security," Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, responding to Morawiecki's comment.

   The attack was taking place against a backdrop of diplomatic tensions between Poland and Israel. Last week, Poland asked for the cancellation of a visit by Israeli officials planned for Monday, because the structure of the delegation indicated the Israeli side might open talks about the issue of restitution of property seized from Jewish people during or after the Second World War.

   The current Polish government has rejected the idea that Poland has any financial obligations towards descendants of Holocaust victims.