Thousands of mourners attended the funeral on Sunday afternoon of Sgt. Tomer Hazan, 20, who was murdered on Friday after being lured to a village near Qalqilya in the West Bank.
Hazan was buried at the military cemetery in Holon, near his hometown of Bat Yam.
The killer, 42-year-old Nidal Amar, worked illegally at the Bat Yam restaurant where Hazan also worked part-time.
One of Hazan’s school friends described Hazan as a “good guy, a great kid, quiet, everywhere he went, people loved him.”
A regular customer at Tzahi Basarim, the restaurant where Hazan worked, called the slain soldier an “amazing young man,” and blasted the restaurant for employing Amar without a permit, calling on the owner to leave the city.
“He betrayed Bat Yam,” said Meir Bachar. “We supported him (financially) and he should be ashamed of employing a [Palestinian] without a permit.”
The owner of the restaurant insisted that Amar did have a permit to work in Israel, but Shin Bet sources quoted by Channel 2 news said this was not the case.
The owner said that Amar had worked at the restaurant for about four months and had a 24-hour work permit per time. “He got along well with everyone,” he said. “He showed no sign of hating Jews.”
According to the Shin Bet, Amar confessed to the murder, and said that he intended to trade Hazan’s body for the release of his brother, a member of the Fatah Tanzim terror group, who has been serving time in an Israeli jail since 2003 for his role in several terror attacks, including planning a suicide bombing by a female bomber that was thwarted.