Jordan has freed Arab child killer Ahmad al-Daqamseh, a former Jordanian soldier and vicious killer who murdered seven Israeli teenage girls on March 13, 1997 at the “Island of Peace” in Naharayim, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Monday.
Al-Daqamseh opened fire at the group of 80 seventh and eighth grade Israeli school girls from the AMIT Fuerst School of Beit Shemesh with an M-16 assault rifle after completing his prayers, during which some of the girls were reportedly laughing and clapping. The group was visiting the site while on a class field trip to the Jordan Valley and the Golan Heights.
The “Island of Peace” was intended to be a joint Israeli-Jordanian tourist resort, under Jordanian rule.
Seven of the girls died in the bloody attack; six more were wounded.
The shooter, who said he was proud of his actions and who was publicly praised by his mother, was sentenced to a 25-year prison term. However, Jordan’s Justice Minster at the time, Hussein Mejalli, called him a “hero.”
Three days after the attack, King Hussein of Jordan personally apologized for the attack, traveling to Israel to pay his respects to the families of the slaughtered girls during shiva, CNN reported on March 16, 1997. The king also visited the wounded girls in the hospital and offered financial compensation to all of the families who were affected by the attack.