Sweeping Majority of Jordan MPs Sign Petition Calling for Release of Man Who Killed 7 Israeli Girls

110 of the 120 members of House of Representatives call for release of Ahmed Daqamseh, who killed seven teenage girls at the Island of Peace, a park on the Israel-Jordan border, in 1997; MPs say pardon unlikely, however.

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A renewed effort to secure the release of the man responsible for the 1997 murder of seven Israeli teenagers at Naharayim on the Israel-Jordan border recently swept through Jordan's House of Representatives.

Earlier this month, 110 of the 120 members of the House signed a petition demanding a pardon for Jordanian soldier Ahmed Daqamseh, who was sentenced to life in prison. On Friday, however, parliament members said it was unlikely that he would be pardoned.

The Naharayim shooter was convicted by a military tribunal for the murders at the Island of Peace, a park on the Israeli-Jordanian border. Daqamseh opened fire at a group of schoolgirls near the border on March 13, 1997, killing seven and injuring six.

A decision regarding a request for pardon must be made by Jordan's speaker of parliament and then make its way through the chain of legal authorities up to and including King Abdullah, said a parliament member who added it was unlikely that Daqamseh would actually receive a pardon.

This isn't the first attempt to secure a pardon for Daqamseh, who was sentenced to several consecutive life sentences for his crime, nor is it the first public expression of solidarity.

Nevertheless, the Jordanian Prosecutors Office has refused to push forward the pardon process. 

Ahmed Daqamseh, the Jordanian soldier who shot dead seven Israeli school girls, in his trial in 1997.Credit: AFP