Palestinian Shot After Seeking Asylum in Turkish Embassy in TA

A Palestinian burst into the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv yesterday and threatened to set it, and himself, on fire if he were not granted asylum. He was eventually overpowered after an embassy guard shot him in the leg, wounding him lightly.

Police officers outside the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv yesterday.
Moti Milrod

This is the second time Nadim Injaz, 32, of Ramallah has pulled such a stunt: Four years ago, he barricaded himself inside the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, also demanding asylum; that time, he threatened the embassy staff with a toy gun.

Yesterday, hours passed until what had happened inside the embassy became clear, as Turkish diplomats barred police from entering. They also refused for many hours to let medical crews evacuate the wounded man, and so he remained in the embassy until late last night.

Throughout that time, embassy personnel told the Foreign Ministry only that they were awaiting orders from Ankara on what to do with him. Eventually, however, the Turks did let an ambulance crew enter and take him to a hospital for treatment.

Injaz arrived at the embassy, located on Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Street, shortly before 6 P.M. Once inside, he announced that he was armed with a knife and a can of gasoline and would use both if he were not sent to Ankara immediately. He also said he was taking the embassy staff hostage.

But shortly before entering the embassy, Injaz had called Maariv journalist Nativ Nahmani, with whom he has been in close contact for the last year, and told him of his plans. Nahmani said he immediately went to the embassy and told a nearby Border Policeman to summon the police.

At some point, Injaz opened a second-story window and began shouting at the policemen who had converged on the site that he would shoot anyone who tried to arrest him. While standing there, however, the embassy guard shot him.

Injaz had spent the last year in an Israeli jail on charges of breaking into homes and working in Israel illegally. He was due to be released on July 29 and deported to the West Bank. He protested his deportation, claiming he had served in the past as an informant for the police and the Shin Bet security service, and his identity had been leaked - meaning a return to the West Bank would be a death sentence.

The High Court of Justice rejected his petition against the deportation, and he was brought to the Ofer checkpoint near Ramallah and released.

At some point thereafter, he infiltrated back into Israel with the goal of seeking asylum.