JERUSALEM — The delicate treaty between the 2 former enemies was not even three years previous when a Jordanian soldier went on a capturing rampage and killed seven Israeli schoolgirls visiting a park in a border space referred to as the Island of Peace.
On Sunday, virtually 20 years after that March thirteen, 1997, assault, the Jordanian authorities launched the soldier, Ahmed Daqamseh, a former corporal, after he successfully accomplished his time period.
Amid the grief and outrage over what turned generally known as the Island of Peace bloodbath, King Hussein, then the ruler of Jordan, managed to salvage the spirit of reconciliation and supply some balm.
The king paid a uncommon go to to Israel and made condolence calls to every of the bereaved households. Kneeling to talk with them as they sat on the ground of their houses as a part of the Jewish mourning customized of shiva, he apologized and stated: “Your daughter is like my daughter. Your loss is my loss.”
Whereas the go to angered many in Jordan, it was seen as a gesture of friendship and humility by many in Israel and the West.
Island of Peace
20 years later, Mr. Daqamseh’s launch rekindled a few of these feelings. The Israeli-Jordanian peace has proved agency and lasting, however it nonetheless exists primarily on the authorities degree and has not been popularly embraced.
The Island of Peace, about 12 miles south of the Sea of Galilee, was formally returned to Jordan when it made peace with Israel in fall 1994, however was then leased again to an Israeli kibbutz. Mr. Daqamseh fired on the women, who have been on a category outing, from a border publish in Jordanian territory.
After the assault, a Jordanian medical staff gave Mr. Daqamseh a analysis of delinquent character dysfunction; a army courtroom sentenced him to life in prison. Life sentences are usually not open-led to Jordan, and may primarily be commuted after 20 years.
Mr. Daqamseh, who additionally injured 5 different women and a instructor within the rampage, stated on the time that the seventh and eighth graders had mocked him as he was performing his prayers.
Early on Sunday, Mr. Daqamseh returned to his household’s house in Ibdir, a village within the governorate of Irbid in northern Jordan. Roya Information, an unbiased Jordanian station, broadcast video of his homecoming, and pictures unfold extensively within the native information media.
Israeli radio and information websites described the reception Mr. Daqamseh acquired from his household and different nicely-wishers as a hero’s welcome, additionally posting pictures and video of the native celebrations.
A Jordanian army spokesman confirmed the discharge, however the authorities seemed to be making an attempt to maintain it low key. The police prevented reporters from reaching Ibdir afterward Sunday, citing orders from the native governor, who demanded that journalists acquire permission from the Ministry of Inside.
Mr. Daqamseh, now in his 40s, emerged from jail with patches of grey hair and sunken eyes. He was defiant and confirmed no regret.
In his first assertion to the information media from his house, he stated, “There isn’t any nation named Israel,” including that any normalization of ties with Israel and the notion that the Israeli-Palestinian battle can be resolved via a two-state answer have been each “lies.”
Some Jordanians continued to see Mr. Daqamseh as a logo of an anti-normalization motion towards the Israeli-Jordanian treaty.
The Israeli authorities and the bereaved households had protested earlier calls in Jordan for Mr. Daqamseh’s jail time period to be minimize brief. There was no instant remark from Israeli officers on Sunday, and kinfolk who spoke to the information media appeared principally resigned to his launch.
“I all the time say that our peace with Jordan is with the royal household, not the individuals or their parliament,” Yisrael Fatihi, whose daughter, Sivan, thirteen, was killed within the assault, informed Ynet, a Hebrew information website.
Hezi Cohen, the daddy of Nirit, thirteen, one other sufferer, described his household’s every day ache. On one hand, he stated, Mr. Daqamseh had served his full sentence. On the opposite, he stated, “If he had acquired 20 years for every woman he murdered, he would have rotted in jail for the remainder of his life.”
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