Palestinian murders Israeli soldier in West Bank

Tomer Hazan, Nidal Amar, Nur al Adin Amar.jpgIsraeli authorities today announced that Israel Defense Forces Sergeant Tomer Hazan, 20, was murdered yesterday by Nidal Amar, 42, a Palestinian. Late yesterday evening, Israeli authorities received a report regarding a missing IDF soldier and subsequently established a command room that included representatives from the Shin Bet, police, and IDF.

The investigation soon learned that Nidal Amar, “who had previously worked with the soldier at a restaurant in Bat Yam[,] picked him up on Friday morning and shared a taxi to Sha’arei Tikva, a town near Amer’s residence,” the IDF said in a statement.

Authorities subsequently arrested Nidal Amar and one of his brothers for questioning. During questioning, Amar reportedly admitted to luring the soldier to an open area near Saniriya and murdering him before dumping his body in a water well.

Today Israeli authorities were led by Amar, who is married to an Israeli citizen, to the water well where Hazan’s body was found. According to the IDF, Amar said the “motive for murdering the soldier was to trade his body for [Nur al Adin Amar’s] release.” Nur al Adin Amar, one of Nidal Amar’s brothers, is a member of Fatah’s Tanzim group who has been imprisoned since 2003.

A complete investigation into the abduction and murder is continuing. The IDF said it anticipated additional arrests related to the incident. Ma’an News Agency today reported that authorities overnight arrested at least six relatives in Bayt Amin, Amar’s hometown.

The arrests appear to be tied to the abduction and murder of the IDF soldier.

Today’s abduction and killing, as the Associated Press noted, was “not the first instance of Palestinians abducting Israeli soldiers, sometimes killing them afterward.” Similar events were seen in the 1993 murder of Yaron Chen as well as the 2001 murder of Ofir Rahum.

In June, the IDF announced that through the first five months of 2013, the number of attempts by Palestinian terrorists to abduct Israeli soldiers was already equal to the entire total for 2012. According to the IDF, 27 abduction attempts had been thwarted by June. Although the IDF has noted an increase in abduction attempts thus far in 2013, the numbers provided appear to be lower than those of the Shin Bet, which were reported in April.

In April, one IDF officer warned that while Israeli authorities “have been able to thwart the kidnapping attempts … the scope is extraordinary, and it is clear we will not be able to foil these attempts forever.”

Tomer Hazan Map.jpg

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