The Palestinian ambassador to the Czech Republic died today in a blast that occurred when he opened an old safe that had been left untouched for more than 20 years..
Ambassador Jamel al-Jamal, 56, was at home with his family at the time of the explosion, according to Palestinian Embassy spokesman Nabil El-Fahel. Al-Jamal was seriously injured and rushed to a hospital where he died, according to police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova.
Palestinian Foreign Minister "Riad Malki" said no foul play was suspected, noting that the safe had been left untouched for more than 20 years.
The safe was recently moved from the old embassy building, but it had come from a building that used to house the Palestinian Liberation Organization's offices in the 1980s.
"The ambassador decided to open it. After he opened it, apparently something happened inside (the safe) and went off," Malki told The Associated Press.
Martin Cervicek, the country's top police officer, told the Czech public television that nothing was immediately found to suggest that the diplomat had been a victim of a crime.
Prague rescue service spokeswoman "Jirina Ernestova" said al-Jamal was placed in a medically induced coma when he first arrived at Prague Military Hospital. Dr. Daniel Langer, who works there, told public television that al-Jamal had suffered serious abdominal injuries, as well as injuries to his chest and head.
Al-Jamal was born in 1957, in Beirut's Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp. His family is originally from Jaffa in what is now Israel.
He joined Fatah in 1975. In 1979, he was appointed deputy ambassador in Bulgaria.
Starting in 1984, he served as a diplomat in Prague, eventually as acting ambassador. From 2005-2013, he served as consul general in Alexandria, Egypt. In October 2013, he was appointed ambassador in Prague.