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‘Daqamseh hospitalised after hunger strike’

By Rana Husseini - Mar 19,2014 - Last updated at Mar 19,2014

AMMAN — Ahmad Daqamseh, who is serving a life sentence for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in March 1997, was admitted to hospital late Tuesday night following a six-day hunger strike, police said Wednesday.

Daqamseh began a hunger strike on
March 14 in his prison cell in Um Al Lulu Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in Mafraq in protest against the killing of Jordanian Judge Raed Zuaiter by Israeli soldiers on March 10.

Zuaiter, a judge at the Amman Court of First Instance, was shot dead by Israeli soldiers on the King Hussein Bridge crossing linking Jordan and the West Bank.

“Daqamseh stopped taking his medication and refrained from eating food, so he was taken to Mafraq Public Hospital for a medical check-up,” Public Security Department Spokesperson Maj. Amer Sartawi said.

Sartawi told The Jordan Times that Daqamseh was later taken to Al Bashir Hospital in Amman for further medical check-ups and “was finally transferred to Prince Hamzah Hospital in the capital to offer him the utmost medical care and attention”.

The police spokesperson said it was unclear when Daqamseh will be discharged from hospital, adding that the former soldier has ended his hunger strike.

Daqamseh was also protesting against his continuous detention “after spending 17 years in prison over the shooting incident of the Israeli schoolgirls in 1997”, according to a recent statement by the Popular Committee to Defend Soldier Ahmad Daqamseh.

Daqamseh pleaded guilty in court to shooting the Israeli girls while on duty, but claimed that he acted “impulsively”.

The court convicted him of the “intentional murder of several people”, and he was demoted from corporal to private and dishonourably discharged from the military.

In its ruling, the tribunal said it did not convict Daqamseh of premeditated murder because he was suffering from an anti-social mental disorder that rendered him unable to control himself and prevented him from understanding the outcome of his actions.

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