Polish Volunteer Killed in Gaza Airstrike Posthumously Awarded Knight's Cross

Damian Sobol, a Polish aid worker, killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza convoy, posthumously awarded Poland's highest honor. Incident sparks international condemnation and calls for accountability.

author-image
Wojciech Zylm
Updated On
New Update
Polish Volunteer Killed in Gaza Airstrike Posthumously Awarded Knight's Cross

Polish Volunteer Killed in Gaza Airstrike Posthumously Awarded Knight's Cross

Damian Sobol, a Polish volunteer who provided humanitarian aid, killed, six, attack in Gaza, was posthumously awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta during his funeral in Przemyśl, Poland on April 20, 2024. Sobol, along with six other aid workers from various countries, was killed in an Israeli airstrike on a World Central Kitchen (WCK) convoy on April 1, 2024 while distributing food in Gaza.

The attack on the clearly marked humanitarian convoy has been described as a potential war crime and has triggered international condemnation, with world leaders calling for accountability. US President Joe Biden accused Israel of not doing enough to protect aid workers. Israel promised an independent investigation into the incident, which it described as a "grave mistake" and "misidentification".

Why this matters: The deaths of the seven aid workers, who were described as "heroes" by WCK chief executive José Andrés, highlight the dangers faced by humanitarian workers in the ongoing war, continue in Gaza. The attack has strained relations between Poland and Israel and led to the suspension of WCK's operations in Gaza, as it was one of the main suppliers of aid to the region.

WCK founder José Andrés gave an emotional interview, stating that the convoy was clearly marked and communicated its movements to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), but was still "targeted deliberately" in the attack. Andrés called for an independent investigation by the U.S. government and the governments of the aid workers killed. The Biden administration has also called for a swift and transparent investigation into the incident.

Sobol had previously helped deliver aid to Ukrainian refugees and during the Türkiye earthquake. Thousands attended his funeral procession in Przemyśl, where he started his aid career in 2022. "Damian was a true hero who dedicated his life to helping others in need," said a representative from the Polish government at the funeral. "His selfless efforts and sacrifice will never be forgotten."

Key Takeaways

  • Polish aid worker Damian Sobol killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza convoy.
  • Attack on clearly marked humanitarian convoy condemned as potential war crime.
  • Israel promises independent investigation, calls it a "grave mistake".
  • Attack strains Poland-Israel relations, suspends World Central Kitchen's Gaza aid.
  • Sobol posthumously awarded Poland's highest civilian honor for his humanitarian work.