Skip to main content

IDF: Israeli soldier killed, body stashed in well in bargaining ploy

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN
updated 4:12 AM EDT, Mon September 23, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Palestinian lured and killed an Israeli soldier he knew, Israel says
  • The killing was allegedly part of a plot to gain the release of a Palestinian prisoner
  • The soldier's body was dumped in a well
  • The Israel Defense Forces says the investigation is ongoing

(CNN) -- A young Israeli soldier was killed as part of a macabre bargaining ploy, the Israeli military said Sunday.

The Palestinian who killed him knew the soldier, and wanted to use the body to secure the release of the Palestinian's brother, who is in prison for involvement in terror attacks, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Sgt. Tomer Hazan, 20, went missing Friday. Concerned, his family phoned police.

Soon, Israeli authorities brought in Nadal Amer, a 42-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Beit Amin, for questioning, the IDF said.

The two men had once worked at the same restaurant.

"Amer confessed to leading the soldier to an open area, where he murdered the soldier and concealed his body in a water well," the IDF said in a statement.

Amer said he wanted to trade Hazan's body for his brother's freedom, the statement said.

In 2003, Amer's brother began serving a lengthy prison sentence for "involvement in several terror attacks."

Amer led Israeli troops to the body north of the village of Siniria, according to the IDF.

"Additional detentions of individuals suspected for involvement in the incident are anticipated," the IDF said.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted that the prime minister spoke to Hazan's family, saying, "This crime proves that the fight against terror never stops."

"This is a horrific terrorist attack carried out by one murderer trying to free another," IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement. "The IDF will continue to battle the agents of evil wherever they are, to safeguard the Israeli way of life."

But the Israeli paper Ma'ariv quoted Amer's mother as saying, "I still don't believe he did it. He was a good kid who got mixed up in stupid things."

Ma'ariv also published a statement from the head of Beit Amin, Taki Omar, emphasizing his community's ties with its Jewish neighbors and condemning the killing.

"The village must not be given a bad name because of one crazy person," Omar said.

In a separate incident, an Israeli soldier died after he was hit by hostile gunfire in Hebron, the IDF said Sunday. The soldier was participating in "routine activities defending the Jewish Neighborhood of Hebron and approximately 11,000 civilians visiting the area during the holiday of Sukkot" when he was hit, the IDF said.

The wounded soldier later died at a hospital in Israel. The IDF launched a search for the attackers and movement in the vicinity of the shooting was restricted, the IDF said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:48 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
The possibility of pockets of air remaining within the hull of the sunken South Korean ferry offers hope to rescuers -- and relatives -- say experts.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Despite hundreds still missing after the sinking of a South Korean ferry, reports of text messages keep hope alive that there may be survivors yet.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 1:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
It's hard not to be nervous, standing outside the Ebola isolation wards.
updated 5:31 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Russia's propaganda worse now than at height of Cold War, says Leon Aron, director of Russian studies at AEI.
Sanctions imposed against Russia are working as a deterrent, President Barack Obama and other White House senior administration officials said.
updated 12:40 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
A lack of progress in the search for MH370 is angering the families of victims.
updated 5:16 PM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The searches for the Titanic and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 share common techniques.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 11:35 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
This year's Pyongyang marathon was open to foreign amateurs.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 1:53 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
How are police preparing for this year's 26.2-mile marathon, which takes place Monday?
updated 1:02 PM EDT, Tue April 15, 2014
Katrina Karkazis
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis".
updated 5:26 PM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
The "kill switch," a system for remotely disabling smartphones and wiping their data, will become standard in 2015.
updated 11:52 AM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
ADVERTISEMENT