(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman vowed on Sunday that the
Jordanian perpetrator of the 1997 murder of Israeli schoolgirls would
not be released.
Liberman commented on Facebook following the signature of nearly all of Jordan's MPs
- 110 out of 120 - on a petition last week calling for the release of
Jordanian Army Corporal Ahmed Daqamseh, who murdered seven Israeli
schoolgirls on March 12, 1997 at the Island of Peace site near
In light of the petition, Liberman highlighted the
silence of left-wing members of the Knesset and Arab Knesset factions,
"who regularly speak of human rights when dealing with Palestinians, or
issues that occur in Israel, but are quiet in the face of massacres
conducted by Palestinians, and others in Syria, or other shocking cases
around the Arab world."
Liberman added that one who murders
innocent children should not be entitled to any relief and should be
treated as severely as possible.
Daqamseh opened fire on a group
of 80 seventh and eight grade school girls from AMIT Fuerst School in
Bet Shemesh, who were visiting the "Island of Peace," a joint
Israeli-Jordanian tourist resort under Jordanian rule.
the massacre, the late King Hussein of Jordan apologized for the attack
and traveled to Israel to pay his respects to the grieving families.
February 2011, Jordanian Justice Minister Hussein Mjali, who previously
served as Daqamseh's defense lawyer during the 1997 trial, called
Daqamseh a hero and added that "if a Jew murdered Arabs, they [the
Israelis] would build him a statue."
Daqamseh was sentenced by a
Jordanian military tribunal to life in prison at hard labor. He was
spared the death penalty because the tribunal determined he was mentally
In an interview Daqamseh gave in 2004 to Jordanian
, he expressed pride in his actions and said that "if I
could return to that moment, I would behave exactly the same way. Every
day that passes, I grow stronger in the belief that what I did was my
Daqamseh claimed the Israeli girls interrupted his prayer
by whistling and clapping. He told a-Shahed
he tried to ignore the
girls' behavior, but their persistence insulted and angered him. "I felt
my blood boiling, so I stopped my prayer and asked my friend to leave
the area. After he left, I started shooting," he said.
said that the massacre would have been much graver had there not been
other teenagers in the area that were more polite. Despite that, it was
later revealed that Daqamseh's M-16 rifle jammed, and that was what
stopped the killing.Yasser Okbi,
The Post correspondent contributed to this report.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>