A Jordanian soldier jailed for life for the murder of seven Israeli schoolgirls was hospitalized on the fifth day of a hunger strike Wednesday after his health deteriorated, police said.

“Ahmad Dakamseh is currently being hospitalized after his health deteriorated because he had been refusing to eat or take medicine since Friday,” a statement said.

“He ended his hunger strike in hospital and is currently receiving all necessary care.”

On March 10, Israeli soldiers killed Jordanian Judge Raed Zeiter in a scuffle at the Allenby Bridge border crossing, prompting Jordanian MPs to demand that Dakamseh be freed.

But the government refused, and Dakamseh began his hunger strike.

Israel, which said Zeiter had attacked the soldiers and tried to steal one of their weapons, expressed regret over the shooting but stopped short of apologising.

In 1997, Dakamseh opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls as they visited Baqura, a scenic peninsula on the Jordan River near the Israeli border.

He killed seven of the girls and wounded five more, as well as a teacher.

It was never clear what motivated Dakamseh, who was 30 at the time and a married father of three.

King Hussein cut short a visit to Europe and rushed home to condemn the attack.

He later traveled to Israel to offer his condolences to the families of the murdered schoolgirls, and Jordan also paid compensation.

Also Wednesday, two Palestinian prisoners at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot decided to suspend their 70-day hunger strike after Israeli acceded to their demands, Ma’an news agency reported.

According to Jawad Bulous, lawyer for Muammar Banat and Akram al-Fseisi, an Israeli prosecutor agreed to set limits for the two prisoners’ administrative detention without trial. Banat’s must end by May, and al-Fseisi’s by August.