View Full Version : Palestinian Ambassador to Czech Republic Just Assassinated in Prague

Peter Lemkin
01-01-2014, 03:14 PM
Details just coming in. Best I can figure out this happened about two hours ago. He survived, but died in hospital a few minutes ago. There was an explosion at his home - first reports were that the explosive was in a suitcase or attache case. When I learn more, will post it. [This happened only a few km from where I live.]

Last updated Wed 1 Jan 2014 16:00 CET

Czech Republic (http://www.itv.com/news/topic/czech-republic/),
Prague (http://www.itv.com/news/topic/prague/) 5620

The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic has died of his injuries after an explosion at his residence in Prague, Czech police have confirmed.

Two hours ago: PRAGUE — The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic was seriously injured Wednesday in an explosion at his residence in Prague, a police spokeswoman said.
The blast occurred before midday and Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal's family was also at the two-story residence in a northern suburb of the Czech capital. But no one else was hurt.
"There has been a detonation of a so-far unidentified explosive mixture," spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said.
"The ambassador was injured ... and taken to hospital with serious injuries. At the moment it is impossible to specify what kind of explosive it was. A search ... is underway at the moment," she said.
A Palestinian official told Reuters from Ramallah, "This explosion happened at his house. He recently moved there. He was taken to hospital. An investigation is underway."
A second Palestinian source told Reuters, "He moved an old case with him to the new house from the old house. And when he opened it, the explosion happened."
There were no visible signs of damage to the house from the street, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene.
Police cordoned off part of the street and half dozen police vehicles, two firetrucks and two ambulances were there.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it will send a delegation to Prague "to help with the investigation."

Peter Lemkin
01-01-2014, 06:59 PM
'They' are now saying that they think it could have been an accident....but nothing about it sounds accidental to me. It was said by one anonymous source that he had only been living in his current living quarters two days [though he has been in Prague several months], and that his new quarters included a banker's safe [large enough to walk in]....that he somehow had the keys and/or combination for the dial lock and opened it [which had been sealed for 30 years]; triggering an explosion. This may or may not be true, but that hardly sounds like an 'accident' to me......

Peter Lemkin
01-01-2014, 08:08 PM
(Reuters) - The Palestinian ambassador to Prague was killed on Wednesday in a blast at his residence that Czech police said appeared to be an accident caused by explosives detonated when the diplomat opened a safe.
"There is nothing suggesting that a terrorist act was committed," spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told reporters after ambassador Jamal al-Jamal died in hospital following the incident at his home on the morning of New Year's Day.
An explosive device - which may have been part of a security mechanism - went off after the safe was opened, she said.
Jamal, 56, had taken up his post only in October.
The Palestinian foreign ministry, in a statement reported by the official WAFA news agency, said the blast happened minutes after Jamal opened a safe that had come from the embassy's old offices. The mission is in the course of moving in to new premises next to the residence in a suburb of the capital.
Czech police spokeswoman Zoulova said: "The possibilities include inexpert handling of an explosive device or its spontaneous detonation ... The device was in a safe and was triggered after the door of the safe was opened. The police are not ruling out that the device was a part of the safe."
Some safes can be fitted with small charges to destroy secret documents in the event of the lock being tampered with. However, the Czech police left open the possibility that another kind of explosive device was involved.
A spokesman for the embassy, Nabil el-Fahel, said he had no details on what it was that blew up. "We need to wait for the results of the police investigation," he said.
Jamal suffered lethal injuries to his head, chest and abdomen, surgeon Daniel Langer told Czech television.
No one else was injured in the explosion, police said, although a spokeswoman for Prague's emergency medical services said a 52-year-old woman was treated for smoke inhalation and shock. Jamal's family was at home at the time of the blast.
No signs of damage to the two-storey house was visible outside but police cordoned off part of the street.
The Palestinian foreign ministry said it would send a team to Prague to help with the investigation.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, quoted by WAFA, said Jamal was "martyred in the line of duty".
Born in Beirut to a refugee family, Jamal joined Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Movement in 1975 and served in PLO missions to Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia in the 1980s. Part of the diplomatic corps of the Palestinian Authority that governs the West Bank under interim peace accords with Israel, he had been its consul in Alexandria since 2005.

Peter Lemkin
01-03-2014, 09:05 AM
Police find weapons at Palestinian embassy in PragueCzech police have found weapons at the Palestinian embassy in Prague, theReuters news agency reported quoting a police spokeswoman. The news comesaday after a safe exploded at the mission, killing the Palestinian envoy,Jamal al-Jamal. The police spokeswoman gave no details about the type orquantity of the weapons; the news website respect.cz however reported thatsub-machine guns and other illegally-held firearms were discovered whichcould arm a ten-member unit.
The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic Jamal al-Jamal, died inhospital on Wednesday after suffering severe injuries in the blast.
Safe whose explosion killed Palestinian ambassador frequently used: embassy spokesmanIn related news, a spokesman for the Palestinian mission in Prague Nabilel-Fahel has denied a statement by the Palestinian foreign minister whosaid the safe that exploded at the embassy had not been used for more than20 years. The spokesman said there were two safes at the embassy – theone which exploded had been used frequently for storing cash and variousdocuments; the other safe, which has not been used for decades, was onlyopened by the Czech police after the explosion. The spokesman also saidthesafe had not been fitted with any explosive devises. The cause of theexplosion is under investigation by the Czech police; its president,MartinČervíček, told reporters there were no indications the blast was aterrorist attack. The Czech Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, has expressedconcern over the find of the weapons; its spokeswoman said diplomaticconventions could have been breached, adding that the ministry would demandan explanation from the Palestinian side.
Forensic experts to analyze Palestinian embassy safe, explosiveExperts at the Czech Criminological Institute began examining the safealong with an unknown substance that exploded on Wednesday in a newbuilding of the Palestinian embassy in Prague, killing the ambassador.Results of the analyses should be ready within days, the head of theinstitute said. An autopsy of the late ambassador’s body is alsoscheduled for Thursday while investigators continue questioning witnessesof the explosion. The late ambassador’s body will be transported toPalestinian territory next week, the embassy said.

Peter Lemkin
01-03-2014, 10:03 AM
(Reuters) - The Palestinian envoy to Prague was 'deliberately killed', his daughter alleged on Thursday, a day after he died in a mysterious explosion after opening a safe in his residence.
Czech police said the blast that killed ambassador Jamal al-Jamal might have been caused by mishandling an explosive securing the safe. They said they were not treating it as an attack or a terrorist incident.
In a further twist, investigators found unlicensed weapons at the Palestinian diplomatic mission, and the Czech foreign ministry said it would demand an explanation.
Jamal suffered lethal injuries to his head, chest and abdomen in the explosion on New Year's Day. His daughter Rana al-Jamal, 30, told Reuters: "We believe my father was killed and that his death was something arranged and not an accident. How? We do not know and that is what we want to know."
Jamal had been in Prague only since October but had previously served at the mission for two decades from the mid-1980s, the daughter said. He had used the safe during that period and it remained in Prague when he left, she added by telephone from Ramallah in the West Bank.
The Palestinian mission is in the process of moving into a new embassy and residence, which share the same compound. Jamal was killed at the new residence.
"The safe was emptied and moved to the house. My father had been putting documents inside it and it was open," Rana al-Jamal said. "The explosion took place while he used it."
She said her mother, who was there at the time, had told her the safe had not been badly damaged.
Nabil el-Fahel, a spokesman for the Palestinian mission, said the safe was being used on a daily basis to store cash.
Some safes can be fitted with small charges to destroy secret documents in the event of the lock being tampered with.
But Fahel said embassy staff were not aware that any explosive mechanism was attached to the safe that Jamal opened.
Prague police chief Martin Vondrasek told Czech Radio that investigators had found weapons at the mission that were not registered with local authorities. He did not reveal the quantity and type.
A Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the mission's staff had submitted the arms to the Czech authorities. He did not elaborate on the type of weapons involved, but said they had been retrieved from an old sack and had been untouched since Cold War times.
The Czech foreign ministry said it was concerned by the discovery. It said diplomats' weapons were subject to local laws on arms, which require registration and licensing.
"The ministry is concerned that among evidence... were weapons not registered in the Czech Republic," the ministry said in a statement.
"In such case, the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations may have been breached and we will demand an explanation," it added, referring to the international rules that govern the activities of diplomats and embassies.
Communist Czechoslovakia maintained friendly relations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the 1980s, but the Czech Republic, an EU and NATO member country, has been supportive of Israel.

Bombs not part of safe security for decade, experts say

3 January 2014
http://praguemonitor.com/sites/default/files/standard-horizontal/safe.jpg?1388731008 (ČTK)

Prague, Jan 2 (CTK) - Explosives stopped to be used as part of security mechanisms of safe-deposit boxes shortly after World War Two, according to two Czech security experts addressed by CTK yesterday in connection with a blast in a Palestinian embassy building in Prague that killed the ambassador on January 1.
Palestinian ambassador Jamal Al Jamal was probably killed due to inexpert manipulation with a safe, the Czech police said. Investigation of the tragic event is underway.
Czech security experts agreed that the explosive probably was not part of a security mechanism of the safe.
The Palestinian embassy's spokesman Nabil El Fahel supported this view, too. He also refuted an earlier statement by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki that the safe that exploded was not opened for some 20 years.
Fahel said the embassy had two safes.
Jamal Al Jamal commonly deposited money for salaries and the office's everyday expenses as well as documents in the safe that exploded, Fahel said. This safe was 25 to 30 years old, he added.
Fahel said he cannot find any explanation for the blast.
Security expert Josef Jakubik said explosives stopped to be used to protect safe-deposit boxes after WW2.
Jakubik said the explosive might have been put in the safe and it might have been activated when the embassy was moving to its new seat.
The blast occurred in the future seat of the Palestinian embassy.
Another expert, Petr Koktan, said he believes the explosive device was not part of the safe. "Nobody secured a safe by putting an explosive inside it, perhaps only secret services. It can be done, of course. But I have never heard of such a case," Koktan told CTK.
The police will enquire into why there was an explosive at the embassy at variance with rules, Czech Police President Martin Cervicek said.

Peter Lemkin
01-04-2014, 06:03 AM
The daughter of the late Palestinian ambassador to Prague claims her father was the victim of a terrorist attack. Rana al Jamal told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an that the safe which exploded and killed her father was an old model that did not contained any booby trap. She claims the explosive device must have been planted there several hours preceding the explosion. According to Rana the safe was used by other Palestinian officials while her father was on a working trip to Egypt and it had only been moved into the ambassador’s new residence the night before the explosion.

Sadly, the Police here, like police most places choose to or are trained to almost always see the non-conspiratorial angles first, second and sometimes always.....