print
memri
March 4, 2014 No.
5669

Jordanian MP: The Killer Of Seven Israeli Schoolgirls At Naharayim Is A Hero

On February 25, 2014, during a debate in the Jordanian Parliament's House of Representatives, several MPs, headed by Ali Al-Sanid, called for the release from prison of Ahmad Daqamseh, who is serving a life sentence for the March 12, 1997 murder of seven Israeli schoolgirls at the Island of Peace in Naharayim (Al-Baqoura) on the Israel-Jordan border.[1] In his statements, Al-Sanid, who has been working for several years to obtain Daqamseh's release, called Daqamseh a hero and said that his actions had "reflect[ed] the desires and conscience of the Jordanians." A week later, on March 2, Al-Sanid's praise of Daqamseh was published as an article in his regular column in the Jordanian Al-Dustour daily.[2]


Ahmad Daqamseh, Source: Alarabalyawm.net, January 5, 2014.


Ali Al-Sanid. Source: Addustour.com, March 2, 2014.

Over the past few years, several parliamentary memoranda have been submitted to the Jordanian government petitioning for Daqamseh's release, and rallies and demonstrations calling for his release are sometimes held in the Hashemite Kingdom. To date, these demands have not been met.

Following is a translation of excerpts from Al-Sanid's statement in the parliamentary debate:[3]

"Allow me to speak of a rare man, peerless among men; of a knight who, mounted on glory, acted marvelously for his national cause; of a prisoner who was a source of concern for his jailors and whose name is linked to the suffering of his nation. This man swore by Allah – and, later, by blood and by bullets of lead, like the martyrs – that Palestine is Arab, that it will remain as long as the Arabs remain, that history will have its reckoning... and that we live in the hope for his release and draw from him [our] principles and positions.

"[This man swore] that the history of the Arab-Zionist conflict over the sacred homeland would continue – the homeland stolen by those who steal countries from their good residents, whose blood has flowed like rivers for 100 years. Some [of these residents] were killed, others wounded, still others driven out – and some had their land occupied. This conflict is destined to continue until the rights are restored to [this land's true] owners.

"My brothers, I speak of the Jordanian soldier who opened fire at a time of peace, [thus] reflecting the desires and conscience of the Jordanians, and their resistance to an agreement of humiliation [i.e., the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty] unparalleled in history. [This agreement] came at the expense of the people, the land, the identity, and the historic rights of the [Islamic] nation. It opened the door for the Zionists and undermined the rights of the Arabs.

"I became friendly with this prisoner, Ahmed Daqamseh, in prison.[4] I have come to know him up close; I have sensed his nationalist spirit, and I have seen the religious motives that he expressed [in the incident] at Al-Baqoura. This man deserves to be free, deserves to be released from the injustice done him so that he can return to his family and his home, to his children, whom he left when they were little and who are now nearly 20 years old.

"[In the past,] the [Jordanian] House of Representatives submitted a parliamentary memorandum signed by the vast majority of its members, 110 of them, demanding that he be released after spending 15 years of his life in prison, suffering behind high walls, bars, and iron doors, with sickness in his eyes.[5] He has not been included in the King's pardons, and [his punishment] has become a standard, in the eyes of the Zionists, of the severity of punishment that Arabs should mete out in similar cases.

"This hero, who expressed the sentiments and the just cause of the Jordanians, remains a hostage in prison, a mark of shame on the Jordanian governments [over the years], putting us at a disadvantage vis-à-vis [our] sworn enemy, which does not flinch at uprooting an Arab people from its land, scattering it throughout the diaspora as refugees, and appropriating its land. [This enemy] commits all acts of murder, terrorism, and barbaric torture of the sons of [this Arab people]including women, children, and the elderly, without even the most minimal consideration for the sanctity of their blood and for their right to life.

"This situation makes it imperative that the present government heed the voice of the people, represented by its members of parliament. [This voice] calls for the immediate release of the hero, Jordanian soldier Ahmad Al-Daqamseh, [in order] to put an end to his suffering. Otherwise, this government will be challenging the consensus of the Jordanian people..."

Endnotes:

[1] Garaanews.com, February 25, 2014. The parliamentary debate was in protest against the Israeli Knesset's planned debate on Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount, proposed by several Knesset members. A total of 47 Jordanian MPs tabled a legislative bill that called to abrogate the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, and the next day most of them voted in favor of expelling the Israeli ambassador from Jordan. Alarabiya.net, February 26, 2014.

[2] Al-Dustour (Jordan), March 2, 2014.

[3] Khabarjo.net, February 25, 2014.

[4] Al-Sanid served a one-year prison sentence for slander.

[5] The reference is to an April 2013 petition.