A Jordanian official denied media reports Monday that Ahmad Dakamseh, a soldier who in 1997 was sentenced to life in prison for gunning down seven Israeli schoolgirls near the border, had been released from prison.
A spokesman for the Jordanian government said Dakamseh would only be freed upon completion of his sentence, which Channel 10 News reported is expected in March 2017.
Dakamseh in 1997 opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls as they visited the so-called “Island of Peace” at Naharayim (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.
The motives of Dakamseh, who was 30 at the time and a married father of three, were never clear.
King Hussein cut short a visit to Europe at the time and rushed home to condemn the attack. He later traveled to Israel to offer his condolences to the families of the murdered schoolgirls. Jordan also paid compensation.