NATO PA President concludes visit to Israel

07 November 2023

The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Michal Szczerba (Poland), travelled to Israel on 5-6 November, at the invitation of Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, to witness first-hand the profound trauma and impact of the mass terrorist attacks launched by Hamas and its affiliates against Israel exactly one month ago.

“The Assembly responded immediately,” the President told his Israeli counterparts. “On 7 October, our Bureau adopted a statement condemning the attacks in the strongest terms, expressing our solidarity with Israel and recognising Israel’s right to defend itself. This visit is my first opportunity to convey these messages in person.”

During his visit, President Szczerba met with Speaker Ohana, Head of the Knesset delegation to the NATO PA Boaz Bismuth and Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Yuli Edelstein. All painted a vivid picture of the atrocities committed by the terrorists. Mr Szczerba also visited kibbutz Kfar Aza, one of the sites of the barbaric acts against Israeli civilians. 

Besides the 1,400 Israelis killed in the attacks, some 240 hostages are held by Hamas. Mr Szczerba met with Yuval Danzig, son of 75-year-old Polish-born Holocaust historian Alex Danzig, who was kidnapped during the attacks. 

“All hostages must be released without precondition,” Mr Szczerba stated. “I was deeply shocked to hear how Hamas indiscriminately kidnapped people of all ages, elderly people, children and even babies as young as 9 months old. This barbarity is unconscionable.” 

Mr Szczerba stressed that “all civilians must be protected under international law and international humanitarian law.” 

“I strongly denounce the worrying spread of anti-Semitic rhetoric and acts,” he stated as well. “We cannot be indifferent.”

The Israeli Knesset has been a Mediterranean Associate member of the NATO PA since 1994. Its delegation regularly participates in Assembly sessions and seminars of the Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group.

Photos © Knesset, Noam Moskowitz

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