Syrian infiltrator turns himself in to Tel Aviv police


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Syrian infiltrator who breached Israel’s border during Nakba Day protests turned himself in to police in Tel Aviv.

A Tel Aviv court on Tuesday ordered Hassan Hijazi, who said he entered Israel to look for a job, held until later in the week. Two other infiltrators discovered to still be in Israel were returned Tuesday to Syria.

They were among hundreds who breached Israel’s border on Sunday.

Hijazi, 28, in an interview Monday on Israel’s Channel 10 said he hitchhiked and took a public bus to get from the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, which was the site of the Nakba Day riots, to Tel Aviv.

Hijazi, reportedly a civil servant in Syria’s education department, said he had gone to Jaffa in search of his parents’ former home, which they left in 1948.

He said it was his "dream" to visit Jaffa and that he did not want to return to Syria.

"I want to stay here in my village, where my father and grandfather were born," Hijazi told reporters.

Meanwhile, more than 350 protesters were hurt during clashes with Egyptian police in front of Israel’s embassy in Cairo.

The protesters gathered late Sunday in front of the embassy to mark Nakba Day, or the catastrophe — the date of the founding of the modern state of Israel — and broke through a barricade in front of the embassy. Police fired tear gas to force them back, Egypt’s MENA news agency reported Monday.

Many of the injuries came from tear gas inhalation. Some 45 people were hospitalized.

Recommended from JTA