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 3:15 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 10:14 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT