Jordanian soldier who killed 7 Israeli children, released

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Jordanian soldier who killed 7 Israeli children, released

The Associated Press reported that Daqamseh arrived in his home village of Ibdir in northern Jordan on Friday and told reporters that Israelis are "human garbage".

Jordan has released a soldier after serving 20 years for the massacre of seven Israeli schoolgirls during a class trip in 1997.

He opened fire on the class of Israeli eighth graders while they were on a class trip to the "Island of Peace" border post - wounding an additional seven girls.

"I entered prison a soldier of the armed forces, and today I consider myself a member of the armed forces", said Ahmed Daqamseh, who was greeted by hundreds of supporters and relatives near the capital of Jordan, according to the Post.

There was no immediate reaction from the Israeli government to news of Daqamseh's release.

A court later ruled the Jordanian soldier suffered from anti-social personality disorder, sparing him from the death penalty and sentencing him to life in prison instead.

There have been many calls in Jordan for Daqamseh to be released, including from the Islamist-led opposition which regards him as a hero.

Daqamseh's motives were never entirely clear, but he told the national security court at the time that he fired his weapon at the schoolgirls after they mocked him while he was praying.

On Sunday, the father of one of the schoolgirls killed in the attack told Israel Radio that he had been informed last week of Daqamseh's imminent release by the Israeli embassy in Jordan.

"It is unfortunate, but this is the situation", Mr Fatihi said.

King Hussein, Jordan's ruler in 1997, paid a rare visit to Israel after the shooting to express his condolences to the girls' parents.

Fatihi remembered how Hussein knelt down next to the family when he came to visit them.

The release could raise tensions between Israel and Jordan.

Jordan in 2011 had to distance itself from a newly appointed minister's remarks that Daqamseh was a "hero" after Israel summoned Jordan's ambassador.

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