The killer of 20-year-old Bat Yam native Sgt. Tomer Hazan was convicted of murder and kidnapping in a military court Thursday, as was the murderer’s brother, himself a jailed terrorist.
Nidal Amar, a 42-year-old Palestinian resident of Beit Amin south of Qalqilya, lured Hazan to his West Bank village on September 21, 2013, where he murdered him.
Amar’s brother, Nuraddin, a member of the Fatah Tanzim terror group, serving time in an Israeli jail since 2003 for his role in several terror attacks, was also convicted of persuading Nidal to kidnap the soldier in the hope of trading Hazan’s body for his release.
Nidal Amar worked illegally at an Israeli restaurant, in Bat Yam, where Hazan also worked part-time. According to the Shin Bet, Amar admitted to picking up Hazan in a taxi after convincing him to accept a ride. He took the Israeli to an open field, killed him and threw his body in a well, the agency said.
Israeli forces raided Amar’s home the next morning and interrogated Amar and his brother.
Amar showed the Israeli forces where Hazan’s body was hidden. The agency did not say how Amar convinced the soldier to join him on the ride.
The owner of the Bat Yam restaurant insisted that Amar had a permit to work in Israel, but Shin Bet sources quoted by Channel 2 news said that this was not the case.
The restaurant owner described Hazan as a “fine” young man, well liked “by everyone.”
Yitzhak Ilan, a former deputy head of the Shin Bet, told Israel’s Channel 10 TV that because Hazan’s body was found quickly, a wider strategic incident was averted since it meant the soldier’s remains couldn’t be used as a bargaining chip, as in some past cases.
Ilan said Israel has thwarted dozens of abduction attempts by Palestinians in recent years.
A senior military official said initial investigations suggested that Palestinian individuals planned the attack on their own, not on the orders of any terror groups. He said Hazan had a non-combat position in the air force and had an arrangement allowing him to hold a job outside the military — at the restaurant, where he knew Amar.\
The Associated Press contributed to this report.