Nidal Amar, the 42-year-old Palestinian who allegedly kidnapped and murdered Air Force Sgt. Tomer Hazan on Friday, had a permit to work in Israel, according to the owner of the Bat Yam restaurant where Amar and Hazan had worked side by side. But Shin Bet security agency officials said this was not the case.
“We are shocked, hurting and at a loss,” the owner of the Tzahi Basarim restaurant told Israel’s Channel 2. “Tomer was like a son to me.”
He added that Amar had worked at the restaurant for about four months and had a 24-hour work permit.
“He got along well with everyone,” he said. “He showed no sign of hating Jews.”
The restaurant owner insisted Saturday night that Amar did have a permit to work in Israel, but Shin Bet sources quoted by Channel 2 news insisted this was not the case. Amar, they said, was working in Israel illegally.
Late Saturday night, around 200 people gathered outside the restaurant and demanded that the owners not employ any Palestinians in the future.
The restaurant owner was taken in for questioning Saturday and was to be questioned again on Sunday. If it is confirmed that Amar had no work permit, the owner will be put on trial.