Jordanian justice minister 311.
(photo credit: AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)
Jordan relayed messages to Israel that there were no plans to release Ahmed
Daqamseh, who gunned down seven Israeli schoolgirls at Naharayim in 1997,
diplomatic officials said Tuesday.
The messages came the same day Israel
summoned Jordan’s representative in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to protest a call that
Jordan’s new Justice Minister Hussein Mjali made a day earlier to release
Jordan minister: Release soldier who shot Israelis
On Monday, Mjali, who was Daqamseh’s defense lawyer, joined
dozens of protesters in Amman calling for the terrorist’s release.
Hadas, the Foreign Ministry’s deputy director-general for the Middle East and the
peace process, told the Jordanian official that Israel was shocked and disgusted
by Mjali’s comments, especially coming from the official in charge of law and
justice in Jordan.
Jordan’s embassy in Tel Aviv has been without an
ambassador since the summer, so the conversation was held with the ranking
official in the embassy.
Hadas said Israel expected an immediate and
unequivocal condemnation of the remarks from the Jordanian government.
also said Israel expected the Jordanian government to make clear that it
rejected calls for Daqamseh’s release, and that he would continue serving his
Daqamseh was sentenced to life in prison, which in Jordan
translates into a 25-year sentence.
Israel’s envoy in Jordan, Daniel
Nevo, passed on a similar message to the highest levels of the Jordanian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Mjali’s comments
were especially jarring, considering that Israel remembered how the late King
Hussein had come to Israel after the shooting to console the families of the
“We remember very well how King Hussein took a humane
step and came to Israel to console the mourning families, went to the houses of
mourning, sat on the ground and spoke to the parents.
This was an act
that touched everyone – the humanity of that action is something we can’t
forget,” he said. “This should not be erased, and the Jordanian government must
distance itself as clearly as possible from these calls.”
students from the AMIT “Shahar” school in Beit Shemesh – the school that the
seven victims attended – wrote a strongly worded letter to the Jordanian Embassy
to protest Mjali’s efforts to have the killer released.
“We live and
study every day with the memory of the seven girls in our hearts. If not for the
same murderer your justice minister wants to see free, those girls would now
have children of their own going to school and kindergarten,” the students
“Justice and morality demand such a man, who lacks human dignity,
stay in jail and not see the light of day,” the letter stated.
girls were killed by the Jordanian soldier while on a class trip to the “Island
of Peace” in the Jordan Valley 14 years ago.
Students at the school,
which is named after the victims, also opened a Facebook page, where they are
soliciting signatures for their letter.Jerusalem Post staff contributed
to this report.