(JTA) – A hostage crisis at the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv ended without incident.
Embassy staff turned over the attacker — a West Bank Palestinian who had barricaded himself inside the building Tuesday night with hostages, according to Israeli media — to Israeli security forces just before midnight Israel time. The staff had prevented Israeli police and medical personnel from entering the building for six hours.
The attacker allegedly was threatening to “kill any Jews” who entered. Reportedly he was seeking asylum in Turkey, and had tried to take the Turkish vice-consul hostage. He was armed with a knife, a can of gasoline and a fake gun.
Relations between Turkey and Israel have been strained since Israeli troops entered Gaza in late December 2008 as part of Operation Lead Cast. They were further tested in May when Israeli troops boarded a Turkish-owned boat attempting to enter Gazan waters in defiance of an Israeli blockade. Nine Turkish nationals were killed in the ensuing clash.