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Foreign Ministry 'Shocked' by Jordan Minister's Call to Release Man Who Killed Israeli Students

In an unprecedented move, Jordan's new justice minister demands the early release of Ahmed Daqamseh who killed seven Israeli school girls in 1997.

The Foreign Ministry slammed Monday Jordan's new justice minister for demanding the early release of a Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli school girls, saying Israel was "shocked and disgusted."

"The comments coming from the Jordanian justice minister about the killer from Naharayim were received with shock and disgust," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Ahmed Daqamseh - AFP

"The comments are serious and severe, especially as they come from the minister responsible for law and justice," the statement added.

In an unprecedented move, Jordan's new justice minister Hussein Mjali joined dozens of protesters demanding the early release of Ahmed Daqamseh who killed seven Israeli school girls in 1997.

Minister Hussein Mjali previously served as the defense lawyer of army Corp.

Monday's protest outside Mjali's office was organized by Daqamseh's family.

Mjali joined the protesters, saying he was participating in his capacity as the soldier's former lawyer. I'm committed to be here with you as his lawyer, Mjali told the cheering group.

A top foreign ministry official said the Israeli ambassador to Amman Daniel Nevo demanded of senior Jordanian officials to issue an official condemnation of the statement, asserting it was not an official stance.

Jordan justice minister - AP - Feb 14, 2011

The officials assured Nevo that the statement did not represent the Jordanian government.
Israeli Embassy spokeswoman Merav Horsandi said it is difficult for us to comprehend how there are people who support the release of a cold-blooded murderer of young children.

She said an early release would contradict the spirit of the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries. Israel cannot imagine a situation in which such a vile murderer will be set free by the Jordan, she added.

The corporal was sentenced to life in prison, which translates into a 25-year sentence in Jordan. It's unlikely he will win early release.

Jordan maintains cordial ties with Israel. The peace treaty stipulates that both countries should refrain from actions that could incite tensions or harm diplomatic relations.