An Israeli guard killed himself near the airport farewell ceremony for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, causing a security scare.
A paramilitary policeman securing the perimeter of Ben Gurion Airport shot himself Tuesday as Sarkozy and his wife were being seen off by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and President Shimon Peres.
Hearing the shot, bodyguards rushed the Sarkozys into their plane and tried to lead Olmert to his armored car.
Within seconds, as the nature of the incident became clear, Olmert and Peres boarded the plane to wish their guests farewell.
Police said the guard committed suicide. Earlier reports were that he may have fainted in the summer heat and accidentally discharged his gun.
Bodyguards are pictured bundling Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Israeli president Shimon Peres into an armoured car after an Israeli soldier shot himself during a departure ceremony for visiting French president Nicolas Sarkozy on June 24, sparking panic.
sraeli prime minister Ehud Olmert (far right) and Israeli president Shimon Peres bid farewell to visiting French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, just moments before the gun shot rang out from the soldier.
Sarkozy raises his hand as a bodyguard runs up the stairs behind the Bruni-Sarkozy as they leave Israel. Confusion surrounded the incident and radio said the soldier may have fallen off a roof causing his weapon’s accidental discharge.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is escorted up the red carpeted stairs of his plane by bodyguards as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is surrounded by his security on the tarmac. Sarkozy had used his visit to Israel to call for greater efforts to find peace for Palestinians.
Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that none of the politicians were in any danger. The French couple had been visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories for the past three days.
Sarkozy and Bruni-Sarkozy were rushed by bodyguards to board their plane, bringing their three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories to an abrupt end.
The soldier shot himself and fell to ground from a high vantage point at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, where Sarkozy and his entourage were about to board their plane. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (centre) is pictured being escorted by security guards towards an armoured car after the shooting.
Israeli Police Suicide Panic At Sarkozy Farewell