Ahmed Daqamseh, the Jordanian soldier who 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, killing seven Israeli schoolgirls justified his murderous actions Sunday after being released from prison five years early.
"The Israelis are the human waste which the nations of the world vomited up before us," Daqamseh told Jordanian media less than a day after his release. "Unfortunately, they occupy the purest land after Mecca and Medina."
"We must eliminate this waste by incineration or by burial," Daqamseh added.
Daqamseh relayed a message of continouous war with Israel to the Jordanian people. "Do not believe the lie of normalization with the Zionist entity. Do not believe the lie of the two-state solution. Palestine is one, from the sea to the river, from Rosh Hanikra to Um Rash-Rash. They forged the names of the cities, and unfortunately, many Arabs say 'the State of Israel.' There cannot be a State of Israel.
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."
Daqamseh was sentenced to life in prison for the Island of Peace 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.