[Wednesday January 1, 2014] Official Palestinian sources said that Jamal Al-Jamal, 56, the Palestinian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, was killed in an explosion which took place when he opened an old safe, at his residence in Prague.The sources said that the safe was moved, from his old residence to the new one, and detonated as he was opening it. The safe appears to have been booby-trapped after it was moved from the old embassy building.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued official orders to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of the ambassador, and to ensure the safety of his family.
Al-Jamal was initially seriously injured in the blast, and died at a military hospital in Prague.
The late ambassador was born in Beirut in 1957, and comes from a family of refugees that were forced out of Jaffa, when Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine in 1948.
The family then moved to Sabra and Shatela refugee camp in Lebanon. He joined the Fateh movement in 1975, and worked as the acting ambassador in Bulgaria, in 1979, and as a diplomat at the Palestinian Embassy in Prague, in 1984.
He then was appointed as the General Consul at the Palestinian Embassy in Alexandria, Egypt, from 2005 until 2013; then in October of 2013, he was appointed as the Ambassador in the Czech Republic.
The Police in Prague said that “it does not appear that the explosion was intentional”, and that another safe was found in the building but, when explosive experts examined it, they found no more explosives.
The Police added that the new embassy where the explosion took place has not opened yet, and that the ambassador spent two nights at his residence in the same complex.