Palestinian Ambassador ‘Deliberately Killed’: Daughter

Rana al-Jamal

The Palestinian envoy to Prague was ‘deliberately killed’ during a mysterious explosion at the embassy on New Year’s Day, his daughter claims.

Official Czech police reports state 56-year-old Jamal al-Jamal was killed after he tried to move a booby-trapped safe that had been untouched for more than 20 years. That conclusion was based on accounts made by Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki, who told police that the safe may have been linked it to a Palestine Liberation Organization Mission in Prague back in the 1980s.

The deceased ambassador’s daughter, Rana al-Jamal, has contradicted those claims, telling Reuters that the safe was already opened and being used by her father when the explosion took place.

“The safe was emptied and moved to the house,” Ms. Jamal said. “My father had been putting documents inside it and it was open. The explosion took place while he used it.”

Rana al-Jamal

Rana al-Jamal and her father, Ambassador Jamel al-Jamal

Ms. Jamal added that her mother, who was also injured in the explosion, had told her the safe had not been badly damaged.

“We believe my father was killed and that his death was something arranged and not an accident,” Ms. Jamal said. “How? We do not know and that is what we want to know.”

A spokesman for the Palestinian Mission, Nabil el-Fahel, denied reports quoting Mr. Malki.

“Minister Malki had mistakenly spoken about a second safe,” Mr. Fahel told the New York Times, adding that the second safe “was empty and almost never used.”

Palestinian new media has quoted Mr. Malki as saying the ambassador had opened the old iron safe, then asked his wife for a pen and paper to make a list of contents. Mr. Jamal put his hands inside the safe, which set off the booby-trap.

“It wasn’t a strong explosion,” Mr. Malki said. “He was wounded in his chest and hands because he was too close to the safe.”

“We expected that his hands would be amputated. But unfortunately, he died.”

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