|Czech protocol gifts used to be more hardcore|
A few more details have come out in the Czech press about the firearms found inside the residence of the late Palestinian Ambassador Jamal al Jamal. A few new details, plus one terrific quote.
According to the Prague Post:
The police revealed 12 arms in two suitcases and one plastic bag on the spot of the explosion, the paper [Lidové Noviny (LN)] writes, citing sources close to the investigation.
When Palestinian diplomats arrived on the spot, they wanted to mark the suitcases and bag as diplomatic luggage, but the police had already found the guns.
-- snip --
According to its sources, it were [sic] four Škorpion vz.61 submachine guns and eight pistols - one Smith&Wesson, one Tokarev and six CZs made in Czechoslovakia.
Only one of the arms was officially registered in the Czech Republic - a pistol whose official owner is former Palestinian ambassador Mohammed Salaymeh who was replaced by Jamal in Prague last summer.
-- snip --
It is still unclear whether the Czechoslovak-made pistols were first sent to Palestinians in the Middle East and then smuggled to Prague or whether they have never left Czech territory, LN writes.
Salaymeh claims that the second alternative is true.
"Czech representatives give crystal to foreign guests now, in the past it were weapons," Salaymeh told LN.
I love that quote. Today it's crystal for those diplomatic gift-giving occasions, but back in the day it was weapons.
Why did they ever switch? Is there anyone who wouldn't rather get a Skorpion submachine gun than some fancy glasses?
The story continues:
Ambassador Jamal died in a blast of a safe deposit in the Palestinian embassy building in Prague-Suchdol on Jan. 1.
Czech investigators believe that Jamal was fatally injured by a bomb that he wanted to use to secure the safe. The investigation is still underway, however.
"According to police investigators, 200 grams of a yet unknown explosive exploded. The blast was very strong. Even if Jamal survived it, he would have lost both hands," said a source acquainted with a police report on the case.
The Palestinian diplomats were moving to a new seat. It appears that Jamal wanted to check the safe and secure it against opening, a source told LN.
A Czech diplomat requesting anonymity told the paper that the Foreign Ministry does not focus on the technical details anymore. "We are now primarily interested in how are the Palestinians going to solve the whole case administratively, for example, whether there will be an apology," the diplomat said.
The Palestinians no doubt owe an apology to their host country's government. However, doesn't the Czech government owe all of us an apology for having equipped terrorist groups - the PLO for one, but also many others - back in the 1980s?