Jordanian Soldier Who Shot Israeli Schoolchildren Freed After End of Sentence

AMMAN (Reuters) -
Jordanian Soldier Who Shot Israeli Schoolchildren Freed After End of Sentence: Hamodia Jewish News Daily Online
Ahmed 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, August 7, 2012. (Reuters/Muhammad Hamed)

A Jordanian soldier who was convicted of killing seven Israeli school girls, Hy”d, two decades ago has been released from prison after serving his sentence, family sources said on Sunday.

They said Ahmad Daqamseh was now in his family home in the village of Ibdir near the city of Irbid in northern Jordan.

In July 1997, a five-member Jordanian military tribunal found Corporal Daqamseh guilty of opening fire at a group of Israeli schoolchildren and killing seven of them before soldiers seized him and rushed to help the victims. The incident took place on March 13 of that year during a school field trip in the border area in Jordan.

Daqamseh would have faced the death penalty but the tribunal said he was mentally unstable and was sentenced to life imprisonment, which is equivalent to 20 years under Jordanian law.

A few days after the incident, the late King Hussein personally apologized for the incident, traveling to Israel to visit and pay his respects to the families of the slain girls.

Daqamseh became a hero to a strong opposition movement led by Islamists and nationalists who vehemently opposed the country’s peace treaty with Israel in 1994. Many lawmakers had lobbied in previous years for his release.