UN envoy condemns ‘shocking’ killing of soldier

UN envoy condemns ‘shocking’ killing of soldier

Robert Serry calls for calm, says murder of Sgt. Tomer Hazan latest in series of violent West Bank incidents; MKs call for justice

Robert Serry speaks at the ISRAMUN 2012 conference, August 20, 2012. (photo credit: courtesy/Ronen Topelberg)
Robert Serry speaks at the ISRAMUN 2012 conference, August 20, 2012. (photo credit: courtesy/Ronen Topelberg)

The UN’s special envoy to the Mideast peace process expressed shock late Saturday over the kidnapping and killing of an IDF soldier in the West Bank.

Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, condemned the killing of Sgt. Tomer Hazan in a statement.

Hazan’s body was found in a village near Qalqilya Saturday, a day after he was lured to the West Bank by a Palestinian co-worker, kidnapped and killed.

Nidal Amar was arrested and confessed to killing Hazan, the Shin Bet security service said.

Serry said the “shocking murder” was the latest of a series of violent incidents in the West Bank, though he did not expand.

He called for calm on both sides, which he said was “all the more important at this critical moment in the political process.”

Israeli MKs on Saturday also reacted with dismay to the murder of Hazan and demanded that the perpetrator be brought to justice.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that the murder served as a warning for Israel that it cannot rely on foreign entities with regard to its own security.

“The murder of the soldier Tomer Hazan is a terrible reminder that every day Israel is dealing with murderous, animal-like terrorists,” Lapid wrote on his Facebook page. “We should not abandon the security of Israel to anyone except ourselves.”

Economics Minister and Jewish Home party head Naftali Bennett echoed Lapid’s statements, but added that Israel should be wary of conducting peace talks with the Palestinians.

“You do not make peace with a terrorist who throws soldiers into a pit,” Bennett said. “You cannot do anything with them except fight them without mercy.”

Likud MK Tzipi Hotoveli also condemned the murder of the soldier and said that such acts proved that Israel’s freeing of terrorists, as part of the arrangements for this summer’s resumption of peace talks, was a mistake.

“The rationale behind the murder of the soldier is tragic proof that the release of terrorists is wrong,” Hotoveli said.

“The Palestinian masses now believe that the kidnapping of soldiers or bodies is an effective means to negotiate with Israel on the release of murderers,” she added.

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