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Killer's release highlights fragile Jordan-Israel 'cold peace'

The release of Jordanian Ahmed Daqamseh, who served 20 years in prison for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997, has split the public despite the enduring strength of its animosity for Israel.
Ahmad Daqamseh, a Jordanian soldier convicted of killing seven Israeli schoolgirls on March 13, 1997, is seen at Um Alluol prison in the city of Mafraq, Jordan, July 30, 2013. Picture taken  July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed - RTX30MQ8
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Reactions in Jordan are mixed over the release of Ahmed Daqamseh. Daqamseh, a former corporal in the Jordanian army, was convicted by a military court of murdering seven Israeli schoolgirls and wounding six others in the Island of Peace border area in the Jordan Valley in March 1997. He served a life sentence of 20 years under Jordanian law and was released March 12 to his family under tight security.

He was given a hero’s welcome at his village of Idbir in northern Jordan, where he told reporters — who were later barred from talking to him — not to “believe the lie of normalization with the Zionist entity” and “not to believe the lie of the two-state solution,” adding, “There is no state called Israel.” Despite his heated anti-Israel rhetoric, there are those who believe that he is being used by Islamist and other activists as a political pawn.

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