Dozen illegal weapons found in Palestinian embassy in Prague, police say
PRAGUE — A total of 12 illegal weapons were found in the Palestinian embassy complex where a possibly booby-trapped safe killed the ambassador, police said on Sunday.
The deputy Palestinian foreign minister, however, denied the weapons were illegal.
Police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova declined to give more details, citing the investigation.
Ambassador Jamal al-Jamal, 56, died on Wednesday when an embassy safe exploded. The career diplomat had started his posting in October.
Deputy Palestinian Foreign Minister Taysir Jaradat said on Sunday that he met with his Czech counterpart and was asked about the weapons.
“We told them that these guns have been in the embassy for a long time — going back to the former regime of Czechoslovakia — and these guns were either licensed in the embassy or were given as gifts to the ambassador,” he told Voice of Palestine radio station. “They are not in use.”
During the Cold War, the Palestine Liberation Organization had strong ties with the Soviet Union and eastern bloc countries, including Czechoslovakia, Romania and east Germany.
The PLO maintained diplomatic missions across the eastern bloc, sent fighters for training courses in eastern Europe and sent many students to local universities.
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has a Ph.D. from a Soviet university.
It remains unclear what caused the safe to explode, but the ambassador's death is being investigated as a case of negligence.
Residents in the Suchdol district, where the new embassy complex is based, have lodged security concerns over the incident.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.