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People ask why Israelis do not trust the Arabs across the river. Maybe this has something to do with it.

Jordan king urged to pardon killer of Israeli schoolgirls
(AFP)

20 July 2008
AMMAN - King Abdullah II was urged on Sunday to pardon a Jordanian soldier who is serving a life sentence for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997.

"After around 12 years in prison, Ahmad Dakamseh deserves your majesty's special pardon," a group of 70 Islamists, unionists, lawyers, human rights activists and former officials said in a signed letter to the king.

In March 1997, Dakamseh fired an automatic weapon at a group of Israeli schoolgirls as they visited Baqura, a scenic peninsula on the Jordan River near the Israeli border, killing seven and wounded five others as well as a teacher.

The attack came almost three years after Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty, only the second between an Arab country and the Jewish state.

"Following the recent release of Arab prisoners, we hope to see Dakamseh free again," they said, referring to Israel's prisoner swap with Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group last week.

Israel handed over its last five Lebanese prisoners, including convicted murderer Samir Kantar, and the bodies of 199 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who were captured in July 2006, sparking a devastating 34-day war in Lebanon.

The signatories Islamic Action Front secretary general Zaki Bani Rsheid, former prime minister and intelligence department director Ahmad Obeidat, Jordan Bar Association head Saleh Armouti, and Hani Dahleh, president of the Arab Human Rights Organisation.

"The current political stage requires a policy that would make people happy and ease their socio-economic and political pressures. Pardoning Dakamseh will have a great effect on people," the letter said.

The motives of Dakamseh, who was 30 at the time and a married father of three, were never clear. The then King Hussein cut short a visit to Europe and rushed home where he condemned the attack and later travelled to Israel to offer his condolences to the families of the slain schoolgirls.


It is interesting that the Arab Human Rights Organization president is a prominent signer... what about the rights of Israelis?

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"Kuntar is fighter with hizbullah but Daqamseh never belong to hizbullah or hamas or any terrorist group "
That only adds more culpability to Daqamseh. He acted on his own free will without any pressure from hate groups.
Actually, you're wrong, Gad, he didn't "do his time" ... that's the whole point. Is it just him you want released, or all murderers? 'Cos they all "have families who need and miss" them. Perhaps we should just eliminate jail time for murderers who have families. Makes sense to me ... not.

As to the negotiations. It turns out that the two soldiers were killed in the botched kidnapping on day one, and nobody "waited till they died". Hezbollah allowed everybody to think that they were alive. Two families suffered the worst of agonies as they spent their money travelling the world for two years looking for anyone who could help, waited for the Red Cross to bring a letter, a word. They had no idea till the very last second that their son, father, husband was dead. It's torture of the worst kind ... and you blame Israel? What is wrong with you?
As far as I know Kuntar never belonged to Hizbollah. He's a druze, was part of another movement (sorry but forgot the name).

Concerning the discussion, then I think the author is a bit one-sided. Look at the jewish terrorists from the past who got pardoned or were giving short sentences if sentenced at all. How many soldiers were convicted so far? One day there will be peace, and people on both sides will have to accept that prisoners will have to be released and people pardoned. Not that we should forget about crimes committed - especially against children on both sides, but we need to look forward. That means that one day killers - palestinians, israelis, muslims, christians and jews alike - will be back on the street. Palestinians will have to accept that soldiers who killed palestinians and have blood on their hands, continue their life in a time of peace, and so will israelis have to with palestinians with blood on their hands. Hopefully Israel will deal with its sinners, as will palestinian with theirs. But how is peace possible if one side insists on keeping prisonors from the other side?
Are you equating a group of Israeli school girls on vacation with Palestinians caught in crossfire because the fighters on the Palestinian side finds it convenient to use civilian housing to attack Israel? It is hardly the same thing. If there was peace, these Palestinians would not have been harmed, yet when there was peace as was the case in Jordan, Israelis were considered open season. There is a huge difference in this case. I do not think prisoners should go free simply because there is peace, on either side. This man did not commit an act involved in any war. He committed a hate crime, premeditated and targeted against young Jewish women. That is not excusable in any situation. And do not forget, Jordan is not at war here.
Seth Levy, tell me how the israeli army or jewish terrorists are acting better than the palestininian militants or terrorists? Think you need to be a bit subjective to reach the conclusing resented in your writings. Please...put aside your israeliness and try to be neutral as we speek now.
Jonas,
It's you who needs to get more objective here.
One simple example. (Could be many, many - don't get me started)
Samir Kuntar.
If the IDF were as bad as Hizballah or Hamas,
Kuntar would have been as dead as Regev and Goldwasser a long time ago.
Or are their deaths and his continued life not objective facts to you...
Yigal: thought the two soldiers died during the attack? That's the lastest I have heard.

Since we talk about objective facts. On which side most civilians have been killed so far?

How many palestinians civilians, without weapons, were killed in the first couple of months of the intifada?

How many palestinians have been forced to flee their homes in Hebron?

How many houses have been demolished and soo on.

If you two wanna attack me for forgetting facts, then please put down all the facts on paper in this discussion. I'm not defending killing of innocents on either side, I'm just saying that your presentations of the conflict aren't correct.
Palestinian killed as bomb explodes outside Christian cafe in Gaza

By News Agencies

Tags: Gaza City, Palestinian

A Palestinian man was killed when a bomb went off outside a Christian cafe in Gaza City early Friday, Palestinian officials said.

The explosion took place just after midnight outside a cafe that has been hit twice in the past year by similar attacks, presumably perpetrated by radical Muslims who also target record shops and Christian institutions.

Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghsain said the man killed in the explosion was the bomber, not a passerby as initially reported
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y Hamas security sources.

He accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction of being behind the explosion outside the house of Hamas politician and leader Marwan Abu Rass, a charge Fatah denied. Nobody was hurt in that blast.

Ghsain described the dead bomber as a "man of extreme thinking," referring to pro-al Qaeda groups.

In May, unknown assailants detonated a bomb outside a Christian school in Gaza City. The blast on the school run by the Rosary Sisters caused no injuries, but it was not the first attack on the institution.

The school was ransacked in June, 2007, along with the nuns' adjacent convent, during a week of intense fighting that ended with Hamas' seizure of power.

Last October, a Palestinian Christian activist who had received repeated death threats was stabbed to death.
I'm sorry Donna,
I have no intention of separating people, but rather hope to bring us closer together by insisting on emphasizing those things on which me must all be able to agree if we are to be an effective group.
The post above fits in here as a response to someone who refuses to accept an obvious point about one big part of the puzzle we are all trying to solve.
I condemn the attack detailed above, as I condemn attacks on Jews, and attacks on Muslims. (Or on Hindus...)
You have seen me being very consistent on that.
But when people say that Palestinian Christians have no problems at all within Palestinian society except those caused by Israel,
or that a Hamas which promotes the kinds of attack the article mentions is the same as the IDF, which is no threat at all to Christians as such..this kind of post is necessary to show that they are wrong.
We cannot be united until we know what we are united about.
Dear all peacemakers on our beloved platform:

We are here to put our hands together and build peace, not making destructive criticizing that will lead us to nowhere, I am asking all of you –including me- with full respect that all of us here will start good discussions that intend to serve our overall goal of making peace and stay away from pointless discussions.

Peace for all.

Hiba
even if we are all peace makers. I agree with Hiba.

This is a challenge for us to develop a good discussion code that will be respected. (I just wait the "free speech" guys waking up)
Hiba, as usual, words of wisdom and sense.

Peace,
Noa

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