A Palestinian who broke into the Turkish Embassy in Israel trying to take hostages and demanding asylum was turned over to Israeli authorities, ending a tense standoff.
Seven hours after he forced his way into the embassy, the attacker was escorted out of the embassy late yesterday and bundled into an Israeli ambulance. Wearing a light blue shirt and limping slightly from an apparent gunshot wound, he raised his arms briefly and shouted before Israeli police and paramedics subdued him.
An hour earlier, the Turkish government said it had the situation in hand.
“Our embassy guards neutralised the individual as he tried to take the vice consul as hostage after shouting around for asylum,” the Turkish statement said, adding, he was armed with a knife, a gasoline can and a gun that turned out to be a toy.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor identified the attacker as Nadim Injaz, a Palestinian from the West Bank town of Ramallah. Israeli police said Injaz was recently released from prison after serving time for an attack on the British Embassy four years ago, also to seek asylum.
Channel 2 TV played a recording of a phone call it said came from the attacker.
“I have two hostages,” he said in Hebrew. “I will blow up the embassy. If they don’t let me leave this country now I will burn down the whole building. I will burn everything. I will burn the cars, the doors I will break down the doors. I will break everything.”
A lawyer who said he spoke to Injaz by phone told Israel Radio that the hostages, the consul and his wife, had escaped.
Injaz said he admired Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“I love him and I respect him,” he said. The Turkish leader “should give me political asylum against these murderers the Zionists, the murdering Jews,” he added, linking the incident indirectly to recent tensions between Israel and Turkey.
He also condemned Palestinian leaders, saying President Mahmoud Abbas “should die” for stealing funds.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters, “there is nothing to worry about at the embassy, everything is under control.” He said the attacker was not seriously wounded.