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Ahmad Daqamseh, a Jordanian soldier convicted of killing seven Israeli schoolgirls on March 13, 1997, is seen at Um Alluol prison in the city of Mafraq, Jordan, July 30, 2013. Picture taken July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

No remorse

Jordanian soldier who killed 7 Israeli schoolgirls is released from prison

By WITW Staff on March 13, 2017

Ahmed Daqamseh, a Jordanian corporal who murdered seven Israeli schoolgirls in a 1997 attack, has been freed from prison after serving 20 years.

The Island of Peace massacre, as the killings are known, took place on a patch of land south of the Sea of Galilee, The New York Times reports. The area had been given to Jordan in a 1994 peace agreement with Israel, but had been leased back to an Israeli kibbutz. Daqamseh opened fire at the schoolgirls while they were on a class outing, killing seven children.

The murders threatened a new and fragile peace between Israel and Jordan, prompting King Hussein, who was at the time the ruler of Jordan, to pay visits to the bereaved parents. Daqamseh, who was diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder, was sentenced to life in prison, but such sentences can be commuted after 20 years in Jordan.

According to The Washington Post, Daqamseh has become a figurehead for Islamists and nationalists in Jordan, who say that Israeli soldiers are rarely punished for killing Palestinians. Though he was released overnight to minimize publicity, hundreds of people greeted Daqamseh at his family home. Social media users have been hailing him as a “hero.”

Upon arriving home, Daqamseh expressed no remorse over the murders.  “There is no country named Israel,” he said, according to the Times. He also referred to Israelis has “human garbage,” ABC News reports.

“This garbage should be burned or buried,” he added. “This will happen, if not in our generation, than in other generations.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.