Shots fired at Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv

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PostTue Aug 17, 2010 5:50 pm » by Savwafair2012

Police gathering at the site of a reported shooting at the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv on August 17, 2010

Photo by: Tal Cohen

Gunfire reported in the area; local media says Palestinian man from West Bank has barricaded himself inside the embassy and has taken two hostages; man said to be threatening 'to kill any Jews' who enter the compound

Shots were heard Tuesday evening at the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, with local media reporting that a Palestinian from the West Bank city of Ramallah had barricaded himself in an office inside the embassy, with two hostages, and was threatening "to kill any Jews" who entered.

Police and emergency medical personnel rushed to arrived at the scene, and helicopters could be heard circling overhead in the area. Yarkon Street, where the embassy is located, has been closed off to traffic. Embassy staff have reportedly barred police and medical personnel from entering the building.

Relations between the once strong allies Turkey and Israel have been under considerable strain over the past 18 months, since Ankara leveled fierce criticism at Israel for a three-week military operation in the Gaza Strip which began in late December 2008.

Ties were put under further pressure in May, when Israel Defense Forces troops boarded a Turkish-owned boat that was part of a flotilla aiming to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish nationals were killed in ensuing the clashes, sparking a furious reaction from Turkey.
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