Poland pulls out of Israel meeting over comments

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, above, was scheduled to attend the meeting in Jerusalem instead of the Polish PM. (AFP)
Updated 18 February 2019
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Poland pulls out of Israel meeting over comments

  • The Israeli comments were directed at Polish actions during World War II

WARSAW: Poland’s prime minister says his country is not sending a delegation to a meeting in Jerusalem after the acting Israeli foreign minister said that Poles “collaborated with the Nazis” and “sucked anti-Semitism from their mothers’ milk.”

The developments mark a new low in a bitter conflict over how to remember and characterize Polish actions toward Jews during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the remarks by acting foreign minister Israel Katz “unacceptable” and “racist.”

Morawiecki had already announced Sunday that he was pulling out of the meeting in Israel on Monday and Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and leaders of four central European nations. That had followed a comment by Netanyahu last week about Polish cooperation with the Nazis.


Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

Updated 17 min 2 sec ago
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Israel cuts Gaza fishing limit after fire balloons

  • Israel reduced the fishing limit to 10 nautical miles
  • The countries agreed to 20 nautical miles in the Oslo accords of 1990s

JERUSALEM: Israel reduced the offshore fishing limits it imposes for vessels operating out of Gaza from Thursday after Palestinians floated balloons fitted with incendiaries over the border, officials said.
The cut came just two days after Israel restored the limits to those set in April ahead of an Israeli general election.
“A decision was taken this Wednesday evening to reduce the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip to 10 nautical miles until further notice,” said COGAT, the defense ministry unit that oversees such regulations.
“The decision was taken after the launch of incendiary balloons from Gaza toward Israel,” it added.
Palestinians in Gaza have frequently floated balloons fitted with firebombs over the border to damage Israeli property and have in the past succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland.
Israel banned fishing completely when two days of deadly violence erupted earlier this month, but lifted the ban with a restriction of up to 12 nautical miles following a truce.
The 15-nautical-mile limit that had been restored on Tuesday was the largest allowed in years by Israel, which has fought three wars with Palestinian militants in the enclave and has blockaded it for more than a decade.
But human rights activists note that it still falls short of the 20 nautical miles agreed under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Israeli authorities have not said whether the 15-mile limit was one of the understandings reached as part of the May 6 cease-fire in Gaza but Israel media reported on Monday that it was.
The additional nautical miles are important to Gaza fishermen as they bring more valuable, deeper water species within reach.
Four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including at least nine militants, were killed in this month’s exchanges across the border.