Israeli authorities have identified the attacker as Nadim Injaz, a Palestinian from the West Bank. He is reported to have attacked the embassy with a knife, a toy gun and a can of petrol, demanding political asylum in Turkey.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen el-Shamalyeh, reporting from Tel Aviv, said that it appeared the Turkish embassy was taking the lead in dealing with the attack.

"I think so far, the Turkish security are taking care of it," she said. "There is an Israeli police presence outside but it seems that the Turkish embassy are dealing with this."

An Israeli Arab lawyer who spoke to the attacker by phone to try to calm him down said he had held hostage the Turkish counsul-general and his wife for some two hours.

They managed to escape after Turkish security officers shot and wounded the man, who was armed with a gun and a knife while he remained in the embassy where he barricaded himself in a room, the lawyer said.