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Palestinian restaurant worker convicted of kidnapping and killing 20-year-old Israeli soldier

By Mason White 11:12 AM May 9, 2014
Sgt. Tomer Hazan 

By: Anika Rao
A Palestinian restaurant worker was convicted of kidnapping and killing Israeli soldier Tomer Hazan, prosecutors in Israel said.

Nidal Ammar, 42, of Beit Amin, lured Hazan to the West Bank and killed him.

Amar’s brother, Nuraddin Ammar, a member of the terrorist group Tanzim, was also convicted in the murder and kidnapping. Nuraddin Amar is serving time in an Israeli prison since 2003, for his involvement in several terrorist attacks.

He persuaded his brother to kidnap the soldier hoping to trade Hazan for his release. As we reported earlier, an Arab man was arrested and will be charged with murder related charges after he killed an Israeli soldier after luring him to the West Bank, according to a statement released by the military.

The suspect, who worked in a restaurant along with the victim, killed the man with the hope of using his body as a means to push for the release of his brother from an Israeli prison, military officials said Saturday.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli army spokesperson, said the suspect, Nidal Ammar, 42, had confessed to the crime after being arrested on Saturday along with another brother and six others.

Colonel Lerner said Ammar knew the 20-year-old soldier, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, because they had worked together at a restaurant in Bat Yam. Ammar had picked up the soldier in a taxi on Friday in Israel, and had taken him first to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Later, he convinced him to go to the neighboring Palestinian village of Beit Amin, where Ammar lived.

Ammar then took Hazan to an open area nearby, killed him and hid his body in a water tank, according to Colonel Lerner, who said Ammar wanted to trade the dead body.

It is not known how Ammar persuaded Sergeant Hazan to go with him, or what kind of relationship they had.
Colonel Lerner said Ammar was married to an Israeli citizen.

The soldier’s family notified the internal security service of Israel, Shin Bet, that he was missing about 10:00 pm Friday, according to a military statement.

An investigation was immediately launched involving a large number of military and intelligence officers. On Saturday morning, the army raided Beit Amin, a town of about 1,100 inhabitants, not far from the Green Line separating Israel and West Bank.

Within hours, Ammar led authorities to the body and confessed.