TEL AVIV – Employees of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv are being held hostage in their compound by a Palestinian threatening to “kill Jews,” according to witnesses.
WND spoke with witnesses who saw the man storm the embassy and fire shots.
The embassy is completely surrounded by Israeli security forces and ambulances.
According to witnesses, the man yelled out the embassy window that he was going to kill Jews.
Initial local reports said at least one person was shot and wounded as the embassy was stormed.
Israeli security officials tell WND that they are familiar with the hostage-taker. They identify him as a Palestinian from the West Bank town of Ramallah who in 2005 sought political asylum by attempting to break in to the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, which is next door to the Turkish Embassy.
Some initial reports claim a man arrived at the embassy gate, took off all his clothes and was shot while attempting to enter the embassy.
Other initial reports say that a separate incident is unfolding inside the embassy walls involving an armed man who is inside.
WND can confirm a standoff at the embassy. There is a massive presence of Israeli security forces, including SWAT teams, police and crowd control for the onlookers who are showing up in droves. The embassy has been completely cordoned off.
WND’s Tel Aviv headquarters are near the Turkish Embassy.
The Turkish Embassy is one of the least secure embassies in Tel Aviv. It only has one guard at an outside station. WND reporters routinely have witnessed some of the regular rotating guards at the embassy leaving their post while on duty to talk with friends or flirt with women walking by.
More to come …