A man is holding hostages in the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv after shots were fired outside, Israeli police said today.
A newspaper identified the attacker as a Palestinian who tried to seek asylum at another embassy four years ago.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor confirmed that the attacker was holding hostages.
Israel Radio reported from the scene that rescue workers with stretchers tried to enter the seaside embassy compound but left without bringing out any wounded.
The radio report said Turkish officials were not allowing Israeli police or rescue workers to enter the embassy.
The Israeli Maariv newspaper said the man called the paper, identifying himself as Nadim Injaz, a Palestinian who sought asylum at the British embassy in Tel Aviv in 2006.
“This is a hostage situation,” Palmor said.
A lawyer told Israel Radio that the hostages, the consul and his wife, escaped.
The man reportedly said he had a flammable liquid and threatened, “I will kill any Jew that enters.”
Lawyer Shafik Abuani told Israel Radio that he talked to the man three times by telephone, trying to calm him down. The lawyer said Injaz threatened to burn the embassy down if he is not granted asylum.
It was unclear what his relation to the hostage-taker was.
Mr Abuani said he demanded to be flown to Turkey and said he was being persecuted by the Israeli Shin-Bet security force.
The lawyer said only the Turkish consul and his wife were in the building at the time, and they escaped.
“I am in touch with the consul all the time by cell phone, and nothing happened to them, they’re okay,” he said.
Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv in the wake of the Israeli attack on a Turkish flotilla heading for Gaza on May 31, when nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.