Amnesty describes death of terrorist who ordered teen’s mutilation and murder as ‘heart-wrenching’

Walid Daqqah commanded the terror cell that kidnapped, castrated and killed Moshe Tamam


Moshe Tamam’s niece said Walid Daqqah (pictured) 'chose his life after inflicting severe torture' on her uncle

Amnesty International has described the death of a Palestinian terrorist responsible for ordering the kidnap, castration and murder of a teenage Israeli as “heart-wrenching”, lamenting his “endless nightmare” and referring to him simply as a “writer”.

Walid Daqqah, who had bone marrow cancer, died on Sunday aged 62 in an Israeli jail.

Following his death, the human rights group issued a press release that described Daqqah as a “Palestinian writer”, noting he had been the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jail having spent 38 years imprisoned.

Daqqah was handed a life sentence in 1986 after being convicted of commanding members of the terror cell the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), to abduct and kill 19-year-old Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984.

The kidnap, a ransom bid that failed, turned into murder on Daqqah’s orders.

Tamam, who was on leave from the military when he was murdered, vanished after accompanying his girlfriend to her home in the city of Tiberias and returning by bus to Tel Aviv.

His body was found four days later near the entrance to the town of Mevo Dotan in the West.

Tamam’s killers gouged out his eyes, mutilated his body and castrated him before taking him to an olive grove and shooting him dead, according to reports at the time.

In 2012 Daqqah’s sentence was reduced to 37 years, but it was extended after he was convicted of smuggling phones into prison.

Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s senior director for research, advocacy, policy and campaigns said: “It is heart-wrenching that Walid Daqqah has died in Israeli custody despite the many calls for his urgent release on humanitarian grounds following his 2022 diagnosis with bone marrow cancer and the fact that he had already completed his original sentence.”

She continued: “Walid Daqqah’s death is a cruel reminder of Israel’s systematic medical neglect and disregard for Palestinian prisoners’ rights. For Daqqah and his family, the last six months in particular were an endless nightmare, during which he was subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, including beatings and humiliation by the Israeli Prison Service, according to his lawyer.

“He was not permitted a phone call with his wife since 7 October. His final appeal for parole on humanitarian grounds was rejected by the Israeli Supreme Court, effectively sentencing him to die behind bars.

“Even on his deathbed, Israeli authorities continued to display chilling levels of cruelty against Walid Daqqah and his family, not only denying him adequate medical treatment and suitable food, but also preventing him from saying a final goodbye to his wife Sanaa Salameh and their four-year-old daughter Milad. Walid’s death means that he was only allowed to see his daughter Milad once in person in October 2022, after a daunting legal battle.”

The terrorist claimed to have fathered a child while in prison after smuggling out his semen, which was then used to impregnate his wife, whom he married during his time in prison.

Daqqah was scheduled to be released in March 2025 and had applied for early release through his lawyer on the grounds of his deteriorating health, but his request was denied.

He took up writing in prison, penning several books including a children's story.

The Tamam family constantly opposed Daqqah’s attempts for early release.

Speaking to Israeli news site Walla!, Dr Ortal Tamam, Moshe Tamam’s niece, said: "My uncle's murderer chose his life after inflicting severe torture, and after the murder, he continued to torment my family, engage in terrorism, and torment the entire nation of Israel. We fought hard to prevent his early release, and the fruits of our struggle have ripened.

“My uncle's murderer died while still in prison, sick and poor. Just like the subhuman he is. This is a victory for my family and for all of Israel.”

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