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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Prague’

Prague Police Rule Out Presumed Accidental Cause of PA Bomb Blast

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The bomb explosion that killed a Palestinian Authority official at his office and home in Prague January was not caused by a safety mechanism in a safe, as previously claimed, the Prague Post reported Monday.

Police initially had ruled out a terrorist act or other foul play, but now everything is open to question, although police still say they are treating the explosion as an accident.

Jamal a Jamal was killed in the blast, and officials immediately downplayed the incident by saying the envoy was moving a safe when it exploded, supposedly because of a mechanism against anyone trying to tamper with its contents.

However, a Palestinian Authority official said at the time that the safe had not been in use for 20 years.

Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulová said that the conclusion that the safe was not the source of the blast “was also drawn from a test carried out within the investigation. It has proved that the explosion did not occur inside the safe.”

Shortly after Jamal was killed, his daughter Rana said she was convinced that her father had been murdered.

Moreover, Czech police look into a suspicion of illegal arms possession as they have found 12 unregistered firearms from the 1980s in the embassy building.

The Palestinian Authority explained that the weapons were gifts from representatives of the then communist Czechoslovakia.

PA Won’t Explain Why Machine Guns Were in Embassy in Prague

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

The Palestinian Authority has not explained to the Czech Republic why 12 firearms, including submachine guns, were stored at its embassy in Prague where a PA diplomat was killed in an explosion to weeks ago.

Palestinian diplomats have apologized for hiding illegal weapons at the Prague embassy where a blast killed the ambassador on New Year’s Day, the Czech foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

“A high-ranking Palestinian foreign ministry official… issued an official apology from the Palestinian side for the illegal presence of weapons on the premises of the Palestinian embassy,” the PA ministry said, but there was more left unsaid than what was admitted.

Palestinian ambassador Jamal al-Jamal was killed on January 1 when he was opening a safe in his new office.

It was immediately assumed that the explosion was an accident, possibly resulting from a device in the safe to immediately destroy documents if anyone were to tamper with the safe. It had been moved from the Palestinian Authority’s former offices in Prague.

But a PA official later said that the safe was old and had no such device.

Czech police later found the firearms, dating back to the 1980s and which were illegally kept. The Prague Post reported Tuesday that the weapons had not been in use.

Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Johana Grohová told ČTK news, “We’ve received a note in which they explain the origin of the weapons that were found in the residence of the late Palestinian ambassador, but they do not explain the reason why the weapons were there, illegally in our view. We still insist that this amounted to a violation of the Czech Republic’s legal order, or the law on firearms and ammunition.

We’ve been assured that the weapons had not been used, that they were deposited. Nevertheless, it has not been sufficiently explained why the weapons continued being kept in the seat of their [Palestinian] mission.”

The Palestinian Authority already is considered a bad neighbor in the area where the new office and apartment are located. Several dozen people demonstrated outside the PA embassy on Friday to demand that it be relocated,

Czech Police Find Weapons at PA Home where Blast Killed Official

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Czech police found weapons at the Palestinian Authority mission in Prague where the PA ambassador was killed Wednesday after a safe he was handling exploded.

Police confirmed that “some weapons” were found but did not reveal any details on their type or number.

So far, the explosion has been written off as an accident that is not related to terror, and the assumption was that the safe was rigged to explode if someone tried to remove its contents, which may have been secret documents. However, that has changed dramatically with a statement by Palestinian Authority mission spokesman Nabil el-Fahel, quoted by the Ma’an PA news agency, that “the safe was pretty old, it was purchased in mid-1980s and according to our information there was no built-in anti-theft system.”

So maybe there really were explosives in the safe? But that doesn’t make sense because since when do PA officials handle explosives, especially when they are on a mission of peace with Israel?

The victim of the blast was new at his post, and the safe had been moved to the apartment from the former PLO offices in the Prague, but Palestinian Authority officials also fumbled their explanations on the background of the safe.  Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki said that the safe has not been in use for at least 20 years.

However, el-Fahel said the safe was in use on a “daily” basis” and that Malki may have been  referring to another safe, which is empty.

The plot thickens and answers, particularly about the weapons, probably will not be very clear.

Update: Palestinian Diplomat Killed in Prague Explosion

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

An explosion killed Jamal al-Jamal, the Palestinian Ambassador to the Czech Republic, when he either opened the door of a safe or was moving it in his Prague apartment Wednesday.

“We are investigating the causes,” a police spokesperson told AFP. “I can only confirm there was a detonation in the residence of a Palestinian diplomat.”

A local fire department spokesperson said Wednesday’s explosion took place in the Suchdol neighborhood in the Prague 6 district.

A Prague rescue service spokesperson said one other person was taken to a hospital for shock.

The ambassador was with his family in the house as the explosion occurred, embassy spokesman Nabil el-Fahel said, CTK reported.

Jamal and his family has recently moved into the apartment, where the safe had been transferred from the former offices of the Palestinian Authority. The safe might have been rigged with a security device that automatically is triggered to destroy secret documents if someone moves the box or tries to break it open.

Another possibility is that explosives were stored in the safe, but Czech President Martin Cervicek stated, “I can say now there exists not a sole indication that would point to an act of terrorism or any other way of attacking the persons who were moving around the premises.”

Hundreds of Jewish Gravestones Found in Vienna

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Headstones of hundreds of Jewish graves, which were buried to hide them from the Nazis, have been unearthed in Vienna, a discovery of “high historical value,” according to one local Jewish official.

Senior Jewish community official Raimund Fastenbauer told Fox News Wednesday that the significance of the discovery is on scale with that of the ancient Jewish cemetery in Prague, the oldest known graveyard of its kind and one city’s most visited tourist sites.

Some of the graves date back to the 16th century, and after the excavations, up to 800 stones are expected to be found.

Fastenbauer said the few Jews who still were in Vienna in 1943 hid the gravestones from the Nazis but were recently found during renovation of their original small cemetery.

‘Death to Jews’ Tattoo Bars Hungarian Martial Arts Fighter

Monday, May 20th, 2013

A Hungarian martial arts fighter was disinvited from an event in Prague because of his Nazi tattoos, including one reading “death to the Jews.”

Some of the sponsors of the Heroes Gate martial arts tournament told organizers that Attila Petrovszki from Hungary could not attend the May 17 event because he had a tattoo of Adolf Hitler and a swastika on his body and the anti-Semitic words, Radio Prague reported.

The event’s promoter, Ladislav Kutil, told Radio Prague the fighter’s appearance had been cancelled due to “media pressure” on Heroes Gate and its sponsors, which include gyms, car dealerships and Pepsi. The poster also carries the logos of the City of Prague and Czech Television.

Heroes Gate has released a statement claiming that Attila Petrovszki’s Hungarian agent had assured them the fighter was no longer an active neo-Nazi, that the tattoos were the result of a troubled youth, and he was now – through kickboxing – taking his life in a new direction, which, said the promoters, was what martial arts are all about.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/death-to-nazis-tattoo-bars-hungarian-martial-arts-fighter/2013/05/20/

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