Watch: Murderer of 7 schoolgirls given hero's welcome in Jordan

Supporters surround car of released murderer of Israel schoolgirls. Large party to be held in his honor.

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Gary Willig,

Flag of Jordan
Flag of Jordan

A hero's welcome is planned for the Jordanian soldier released last night after serving 20 years in prison for murdering seven Israeli schoolgirls during a class trip in 1997.

Ahmed Daqamseh was a soldier in the Jordanian army when he opened fire on a group of students who were visiting the “Island of Peace” of Naharayim on March 13, 1997, as part of a class trip.

Daqamseh was sentenced to life in prison for the massacre, which in Jordan usually means 25 years in prison. However, he was released five years early following repeated calls for his release. In 2013, 110 out of 150 Jordanian MPs signed a petition calling for his release.

In 2011, then-Jordanian Justice Minister Hussein Mjali caused an uproar when he called for Daqamseh’s release, claiming that he is “a hero. He does not deserve prison. If a Jewish person killed Arabs, his country would have built a statue for him instead of imprisonment."

Following the deadly terror attack, Jordan’s King Hussein personally visited Israel and, alongside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, expressed his condolences to the girls' parents.

Daqamseh has denied committing any crime and has said that he should be freed from prison since he had simply fulfilled his national and religious duty by killing the students.

Daqamseh's car was surrounded by supporters after his release Saturday night. The supporters chanted, cheered, and filmed the event as the vehicle made its way towards his village. His tribe planned to hold a large party in his village Sunday afternoon for Daqmeseh, who they call a "hero soldier."