Know More About Palestine

Wednesday Aug. 18, 2010 9:00 AM (EST+7)

TEL AVIV, Aug 17 (Dadi Hayoun/Reuters) - A Palestinian man known to Israeli police was shot and wounded by Turkish embassy security guards on Tuesday after breaking into the mission in Tel Aviv and taking hostages.

The man was subdued and Turkish diplomats questioned him for more than four hours before he limped out of the embassy handcuffed and accompanied by Turkish embassy staff members, an Israeli policeman and a paramedic.

An ambulance evacuated him to hospital.

An Israeli Arab lawyer who spoke to the man by phone to try to calm him down said the Palestinian had held hostage the Turkish consul-general and his wife for some two hours.

They managed to escape after Turkish security officers shot and wounded the Palestinian, who was armed with a gun and a knife.

Israeli officials declined to confirm the hostage-taking account.

The incident appeared unrelated to a deterioration in relations between Israel and Turkey following a deadly Israeli commando raid on May 31 on a Turkish-led aid flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Israeli television Channel 2 played a voice recording of the man, named as Nadim Injas, in which he said he would destroy the embassy unless he was given asylum in Turkey. He said he had weapons, explosives and gasoline.


Israeli media said it appeared the man had managed to enter the embassy through an open window on the ground floor.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official said the man had been released from an Israeli jail two weeks ago after completing a four-year sentence for breaking into the British embassy in 2006 to demand asylum.

Israeli media said the Palestinian man, whose family lives in a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah, had claimed he was wanted by the Palestinian Authority because he worked as an informant for Israel's internal Shin Bet security agency.

Israel Radio said the Shin Bet denied it had any links to Injas, who it said was living in Israel illegally. A Palestinian security official told Reuters Injas was indeed wanted on suspicion of working for the Shin Bet.

Political violence has been rare in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial capital, where all countries locate their embassies, since a Palestinian uprising died out some five years ago.

Consulates in Jerusalem, Israel's declared but disputed capital, rarely encounter political violence.

Nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli naval commandos in the flotilla raid at the end of May.

Turkey withdrew its ambassador after the raid and called off joint military exercises, but stopped short of breaking diplomatic ties completely. It wants Israel to apologise and offer compensation to the victims' families.

(Additional reporting by Mohammad Assadi in Ramallah and Joseph Nasr in Jerusalem; Writing by Joseph Nasr, Editing by Douglas Hamilton and Michael Roddy)







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