Israeli charged with assault for spitting on Polish ambassador outside Tel Aviv embassy

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By Sinead Barry  with Reuters
Polish embassy Israel
Polish embassy Israel   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Corinna Kern

An Israeli man has been charged with assault for spitting at the Polish ambassador Marek Magierowski outside the country's embassy in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Police have said that Magierowski's car was approached by a man who struck the vehicle, opened the door and spat at him twice. The accused was indicted for assault and criminal threats on Thursday.

Local media cited the diplomat's account of the incident, which said he was unable to understand what his attacker was saying, except for the fact that he repeated word "Polish".

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki expressed concern over the assault on Twitter, saying: "Poland strongly condemns this xenophobic act of aggression."

A spokesman for Israel's Foreign Ministry Emmanuel Nahshon replied to Morawiecki's tweet yesterday to express sympathy.

The charged, 65, said that he left the embassy on Tuesday upset, after being turned away when inquiring about restitution. he also claimed that a Polish-embassy employee used an anti-Semitic slur against him, which Magierowski denied in a Twitter post.

The man apologised in a statement issued to reporters, saying: "I did not know that Poland's ambassador was in the car." He also said that his family were victims of the Holocaust and the employee's anti-Semitic attitude had upset him.

Polish-Israeli relations have deteriorated in recent months. Some of the primary causes of tensions are issues of restitution and Poland's growing far-right movement.