Poland’s ambassador to Israel was spat at while sitting in his car in Tel Aviv، Israeli police said، drawing condemnation from the Polish government at a time of rising tensions between the two countries، according to Reuters.
An Israeli police spokesman said on Wednesday a 65-year-old Israeli architect was arrested over Tuesday’s spitting incident. At a court hearing on Wednesday، he was put under house arrest until police complete their investigation، his lawyer said.
“The event is under police investigation. We express our fullest sympathy to the ambassador and our shock at the attack،” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said.
The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned Israel’s ambassador to Warsaw، Anna Azari، over the matter، a ministry spokeswoman told the state-run news agency PAP.
“I am very worried to hear of a racist attack on @PLinIsrael ambassador @mmagierowski. Poland strongly condemns this xenophobic act of aggression. Violence against diplomats or any other citizens should never be tolerated،” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a tweet.
Polish-Israeli relations have deteriorated in recent months over accusations that Warsaw’s nationalist PiS government has tolerated a revival of anti-Semitic behavior، a charge it denies.
Hundreds of far-right supporters marched in Warsaw on Saturday in protest against a U.S. law on the restitution of Jewish property seized during or after World War Two، an increasingly prominent issue in Polish election campaigns.
David Johan، the suspect’s lawyer، told reporters his client had been turned away from the Polish Embassy on Tuesday after trying to inquire about restitution.
Later، outside the embassy، the alleged assailant “approached the vehicle of the Polish ambassador to Israel، opened the door and then spat (at him)،” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.