'Hostage taker' an ex-informant

2010-08-18 14:55

Jerusalem - The Palestinian who broke into the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv and tried to take hostages was a former informant for Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency, his lawyer claimed on Wednesday.

Avital Horev said his client, Nadim Injaz, who was born in the West Bank city of Ramallah, was also wanted by the Palestinian Authority.

Injaz was shot and wounded late on Tuesday after breaking into the Turkish mission and attempting to take a hostage in a bungled attempt to seek asylum.

Medical sources said he had been shot in the leg and sustained light wounds, after which he was taken to Tel Aviv's Ichilov hospital.

"I saw my client in hospital during the night," Horev told public radio.

"During the 1990s and the early part of this decade, he stopped Palestinian attacks, saving many lives of both soldiers and Israeli citizens, but the Shin Bet, from whom he asked for protection, refused to recognise its responsibility towards him," he said.

But Shin Bet denied having anything to do with him.

Death warrant

"Nadim Injaz never worked for us and his case is being dealt with by the police," a Shin Bet spokesperson said.

The bungled attempt to seek asylum arose from a threat to Injaz's life if he were to return to the Palestinian territories, his lawyer claimed.

"The Palestinian Authority has signed a death warrant against Nadim Injaz," said Horev, adding his client had been released from an Israeli jail only three weeks ago after serving time for theft and staying in Israel illegally.

But Palestinian security officials denied knowing anyone of that name from Ramallah.

Injaz climbed to the first storey of the embassy and forced his way into the building, armed with a knife, a jerry can and a toy gun, the Turkish foreign ministry said in Ankara. No one from the embassy was hurt.

During his questioning immediately after the incident, Injaz told embassy officials he had decided to seek asylum at the Turkish mission a week ago, said the statement from Ankara.

Similar incident

Injaz, who was born in Ramallah and holds an Israeli travel document, told them he had called an Israeli newspaper and a television station to speak about his plan before breaking into the embassy on Tuesday, it said.

"It was understood that... (he) undertook this action with an intention to seek asylum in Turkey, had attacked Britain's embassy in Tel Aviv in a similar manner in 2006 to ask for asylum and had served one year in jail over that incident," the statement said.

Information obtained from the Palestinians showed that Injaz "had been involved in similar incidents in the past and had an unreliable personality", the ministry said.

The embassy was in contact with Israeli authorities "over the protection of Turkish diplomatic missions", it said.