‘No explosive device on safe that killed Palestine envoy’

Updated 03 January 2014
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‘No explosive device on safe that killed Palestine envoy’

PRAGUE: A safe that exploded at the Palestinian residence in Prague, killing the ambassador, was used almost daily for storing cash, and embassy staff were not aware of any explosive safety device in it, the embassy spokesman said on Thursday.
Czech police on Wednesday ruled out what they called a “terrorist attack” and said the likely cause was that a safety device that was part of the safe blew up and fatally wounded Ambassador Jamal Al-Jamal.
However, embassy spokesman Nabil El Fahel told Reuters that embassy staff were not aware of any explosive device connected to the safe — adding further confusion to an already murky incident.
“According to our information there was not (an explosive safety mechanism), none of us knew there was any device like that,” he said.
He also denied information in the media from Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki who said the safe had not been used for two decades or more — which could link it to a Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Prague in the 1980s.
“The safe was being used almost daily for depositing money ... used for salaries of embassy staff, for buying items for daily operations,” Fahel said. “Minister Malki had mistakenly spoken about a second safe ... that was empty and almost never used.”
Czech police said they were examining the safe, which could take several days. Some safes can be fitted with small charges to destroy secret documents in the event of the lock being tampered with.
A former Israeli intelligence agency Mossad safe-cracker who declined to be named said it was strange that any such mechanism within the safe would cause such damage.
Former Czech military intelligence chief Andor Sandor told Reuters available information indicated it may be an accident or an attack of a private rather than political nature.
Born in Beirut to a refugee family, Jamal joined Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction of the PLO in 1975 and served in its missions to Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia in the 1980s. He only took his Prague post in October.
Czechoslovakia maintained friendly ties with the PLO in the 1980s, but since the 1989 collapse of communist rule the EU and NATO member country has been supportive of Israel.


Letter to Qatar: Abandon PR, change attitude, and siege would be lifted

Updated 26 April 2018
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Letter to Qatar: Abandon PR, change attitude, and siege would be lifted

LONDON: Four Arab ambassadors have called on Qatar to improve relations with its neighbors, change its attitude and stop its support for extremism, terror and destabilization in the region.

The four ambassadors of Saudi Arabia (Mohammed bin Nawwa), Bahrain (Fawaz bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa), the UAE (Suleiman Al-Mazroui) and Egypt (Nasser Kamel) co-wrote a letter published on Wednesday in the Financial Times to answer an FT lead article titled “Qatar siege is meaningless.”

The ambassadors stressed in the letter that their governments had no plans to incorporate Qatar, as the FT claimed, but all they hoped for is that the Doha government committed to the international criteria to fight terrorism and “stop its support for terror and extremism in the region.”

In the letter, the four ambassadors reminded the paper that the prime minister of Qatar attended the wedding of the son of Abdel Rahman Al-Nueimi,who is listed on a US terror list, and is the main conduit to Al-Qaeda in Iraq where, according to the US, he funnelled millions of US dollars to the organization there.

The ambassadors added that Al-Nueimi is one of many sponsors of terror living and working in Qatar.

The ambassadors drew the readers’ attention to Qatar’s “double standard behavior” — saying one thing to the West, and doing the opposite.

They concluded the letter by demonstrating Qatar’s “duplicity.”

They said that Qatar has recently intensified the use of its media and PR to promote and support terror in the Middle East generally and in Saudi Arabia especially.

Recently Qatari broadcasters opened their airwaves to Houthi militia in Yemen and its propaganda calling for attacking Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion the ambassadors called on Doha to quit its public relations campaign and change its attitude — only then would the siege be over.