On February 14, 2011, Alarabiya.net reported that Jordan's newly appointed justice minister, Hussein Mujali, has called Ahmad Al-Daqamsa, the Jordanian soldier serving a life sentence for murdering seven Israeli schoolgirls on the Jordanian-Israeli border in 1997, a "hero." According to the report, Mujali also joined a sit-in being held by trade unions to demand his release from prison.
The following are excerpts from an April 29, 2009 TV report on calls among Jordanian Islamists and human rights activists for Al-Daqamsa's release. The report aired on Al-Jadid/New TV on April 29, 2009.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/2120
Lawyer: Al-Daqamsa's Murder of the Israeli Schoolgirls "Was the Very Least a Soldier Can Do To Defend His Religion and Country"
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Reporter: "The case of Jordanian soldier Ahmad Al-Daqamsa has resurfaced. Al-Daqamsa is on hunger strike for several reasons. It should be noted that he is serving a life sentence in Jordan for killing seven Israeli women and wounding others, because they mocked his prayer, when they were visiting the liberated Baqura area."
Ali Saleh Al-'Armouti, a lawyer: "The truth is that we consider Ahmad Al-Daqamsa to be a hero, and we are proud of him as a soldier of his country. What he did was the very least a soldier can do to defend his religion and country. The Zionist girls who were killed by Ahmad Al-Daqamsa made a mockery of the religion of Islam, of the Prophet Muhammad, and of Ahmad Al-Daqamsa himself, while he was praying. In addition, they acted in an immoral manner. All this generated strong provocation, which is legally called extreme emotional distress. When someone under extreme emotional distress kills a person, this serves as grounds for pardon or a mitigated sentence. We are talking about a state occupying... or rather, an entity occupying Jordanian lands, Egyptian lands, and Syrian lands, and Palestine in its entirety. On this occupied land, the [girls] did inappropriate things. The most basic thing he could have done, in defense of his country, his honor as a soldier, and his religion, was to open fire as a natural response."
Reporter: "Al-Daqamsa says that Israel understands nothing but the language of resistance, which proved to be effective in the 2006 war in South Lebanon, and in the recent Gaza war. He views the peace treaties with Israel as treaties of surrender, not of peace, because Israel does not abide by them, and takes advantage of them to increase its influence and expand its settlements."
Rahil Gharaybeh, deputy secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front: "Ahmad Al-Daqamsa feels that an injustice has been done. Among the most bitter emotions a man may feel is to be unjustly imprisoned in his own country for something that he views as an act of heroism, not a crime. He has gone on hunger strike several times."
Reporter: "The Moment That the Jordanian Soldier Ahmad Al-Daqamsa Made His Decision To Open Fire On The Group Of Zionists Was A Critical And Controversial Moment, Experienced By Every Arab And Muslim"
Reporter: "The moment that the Jordanian soldier Ahmad Al-Daqamsa made his decision to open fire on the group of Zionists was a critical and controversial moment, experienced by every Arab and Muslim."
Muhammad Al-Daqqad, a human rights activist: "We, as human rights activists and organizations, believe that it is the duty of the state to release Ahmad Al-Daqamsa. On behalf of all activists, all patriots, and all Jordanians, we demand the release of Ahmad Al-Daqamsa, because he has completed approximately 12 years of his sentence.
"What Israel does constitutes stubbornness, racism, and indifference for human rights, even when it comes to drinking water. In the [water] accords signed with Israel, Jordan did not achieve what the Jordanian people had hoped for at the time."
Reporter: "Ahmad Al-Daqamsa has spent 12 years in his own country's prisons. He was sentenced to life for a moment of patriotic rage, instead of being honored for it, while the arch-killers are still at large shedding the blood of the innocent. Marlene Shahhaf, New TV, Amman."