Ahmad Daqamseh, the Jordanian soldier who killed seven Israeli schoolgirls in the Island of Peace massacre on March 13th 1997, exactly 20 years ago, has been freed after serving those 20 years in a Jordanian jail:
Ahmed Daqamseh was given a rousing welcome in his home village in northern Jordan after being freed on Sunday. He expressed no remorse for the killings.
Daqamseh was greeted by chanting supporters who kissed him on the cheek and raised a photo of him with the caption, "Welcome to the hero Daqamseh."
The soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli students at the scenic "Island of Peace" border post in March 1997, killing seven and wounding seven, including a teacher.
"The release of this hero has cheered us. Israel has committed crimes against many Jordanians that were never accounted for," said Saleh Armouti, a leading parliamentarian.
A Jordanian military court deemed Daqamseh mentally unstable and sentenced him to life in prison, rather than imposing the death penalty.
At the time King Hussein, memorably, visited the families of the murdered girls to express his condolences, and stood alongside Israeli PM Netanyahu (then in his first term of office) to apologise on behalf of the people of Jordan.
As we've seen, though, many Jordanians saw Daqamseh as a hero - including his mother, who spoke to al-Jazeera in 2001:
"I am proud of my son, and I hold my head high. My son did a heroic deed and has pleased god and his own conscience. My son lifts my head and the head of the entire Arab and Islamic nation. I am proud of any Muslim who does what Ahmad did. I hope that I am not saying something wrong. When my son went to prison, they asked him: 'Ahmad, do you regret it?' He answered: 'I have no regrets.' He treated everyone to coffee, honored all the other prisoners, and said: The only thing that I am angry about is the gun, which did not work properly. Otherwise I would have killed all of the passengers on the bus."
And now here's the man himself, interviewed on his release yesterday:
Israelis are "human garbage vomited into our midst by the world's nations."..."This garbage must be removed, whether by burning or by burying."
So there you go.