Netanyahu: Murder of IDF soldier proves fight against terrorism is constant

PM sends condolences to family of Tomer Hazan, killed by Palestinian co-worker; UN's Serry condemns "shocking murder."

Tomer Hazan (photo credit: Courtesy Hazan family)
Tomer Hazan
(photo credit: Courtesy Hazan family)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent his condolences Saturday night to the family of murdered IDF soldier Sgt. Tomer Hazan, Israeli media reported.
"The suffering over the loss of your son is difficult. The criminal incident proves once again that the fight against terrorism is constant," Army Radio quoted Netanyahu as saying.
Tomer Hazan the 20-year-old soldier who was lured to the West Bank by a Palestinian man and murdered on Friday will be laid to rest at 4 p.m. Sunday at the military cemetery in Holon.
The top UN envoy to the Middle East peace process on Saturday condemned the murder of Hazan, and stressed the importance of calm in light of current diplomatic efforts.
The “shocking murder follows a series of violent incidents in the West Bank,” Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement.
He added that calm “is all the more important at this critical moment in the political process.”
The terror suspect, named as 42-year-old Nedal Amar, told security forces he led the victim, with whom he worked together in a restaurant in Bat Yam, to the West Bank, where he committed the murder in hopes of securing the release of his brother – an incarcerated terrorist arrested in 2003.
The two took a taxi on Friday to the Samaria settlement of Sha’arei Tikva, near Amar’s village, the Shin Bet said.
Acting on the information, security forces raided Amar’s home in Beit Amin and arrested him and another brother.
During questioning, Amar confessed to persuading the soldier to join him for a ride to his residence, the Shin Bet said. The manner in which the suspect persuaded the victim to accompany him remains unknown.
After leading the soldier to an open area near the Palestinian village of Saniria, Amar killed the soldier by using a blunt weapon, and hid the body in a well, a senior army source said.
Amar then led security forces to the hiding spot where he had placed the body. Security forces said additional arrests are expected, and that the investigation is still ongoing.
Amar had been working in Israel illegally. He applied to enter Israel under the family reunification law, but was rejected.
The army source added that initial indications are that the suspect worked alone, and was not part of a larger terrorist organization.
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich sent her condolences to Hazan’s family.
“This is a shocking act, that took advantage of permission to enter Israel and Hazan’s trust in the murderer,” she said.
Yacimovich called for Netanyahu not to give in to terrorism and to continue peace talks with the Palestinians.
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel called to stop all planned prisoner releases.
According to Ariel, “prisoner releases do not bring peace closer. They bring bloodshed like we saw today.”
“The absurd dance of releasing terrorists continues to harm the State of Israel’s security, since the terrorists themselves learned that we don’t have red lines,” Ariel said.
According to Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, “20 years after the Oslo Accords [were signed], our partner hasn’t changed."
“The murder meant to free a Fatah murderer and release a soldier of [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] shows once again who our partner is,” Bennett said. “We do not make peace with terrorists who throw soldiers into pits; we fight them without mercy.”
The murder comes after several failed attempts by terrorist organizations to kidnap and kill soldiers, to secure the release of Palestinian security prisoners.