Palestinians: Weapons found in Prague were legal
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Palestinians: Weapons found in Prague were legal

Total of 12 guns found at embassy, Czech police say; Deputy FM claims arms were registered or received as gifts

Investigators outside the residence of Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jamel al-Jamal, who died after an explosion in his diplomatic residence in Prague on  January 1, 2014. (AP/CTK, Katerina Sulova)
Investigators outside the residence of Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jamel al-Jamal, who died after an explosion in his diplomatic residence in Prague on January 1, 2014. (AP/CTK, Katerina Sulova)

A senior Palestinian diplomat denied that weapons discovered at the Palestinian Embassy complex in Prague, where a booby-trapped safe killed the ambassador, were illegal.

Following last Wednesday’s blast, Czech police said they found a cache of weapons. The explosion has led to a deterioration in ties between the Palestinians and the Czech Republic.

A total of 12 illegal weapons were found at the Palestinian Embassy complex where a possible booby-trapped safe killed the ambassador, police said Sunday.

The stockpile included pistols and submachine guns, according to a Reuters report.

In a radio interview from Prague on Sunday, the deputy Palestinian Foreign Minister, Taysir Jaradat, told the Voice of Palestine radio station 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.”

“They are not in use,” he said.

During the Cold War, the Palestine Liberation Organization had strong ties with Eastern Bloc countries.

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.

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