Gag Order Lifted

Israeli Soldier, Missing for 24 Hours, Found Murdered in West Bank

A Palestinian resident of Beit Amin admitted that he lured the soldier into the West Bank and murdered him in order to trade his body for the release of his incarcerated brother.

Tomer Hazan, 20, an IDF soldier that entered the West Bank was murdered in Qalqilyah during the weekend. Hazan's body was discovered on Saturday morning near Qalqilyah and his family was notified, the IDF spokesman said.

Hazan's funeral will take place on Sunday at 4 P.M. at the Holon military cemetery.

A report that Hazan, a resident of Bat Yam, central Israel, went missing came in at 10 P.M. Friday after he hadn't contacted his family since Friday morning. The IDF, Shin Bet and the police set up a joint taskforce in an attempt to find him.

Over the last day it was uncovered that Hazan, who worked in a Bat Yam restaurant together with Nadal Amar, a Palestinian resident of Beit Amin near Qalqilyah. Amar picked up the Hazan on Friday and the two took a taxi to the Israeli West Bank settlement Sha'arei Tikva, located near Amar's village.

Amar, who was arrested by security forces on Saturday, admitted that he led Hazan to a well north of the Palestinian town Sanriya, near Qalqilyah, where he murdered him and hid his body. A few hours ago, Amar led the Israeli security forces to the seven meter deep well where the body was hidden.

In his Shin Bet interrogation Amar admitted he lured Hazan to the West Bank. It is still unclear why Hazan agreed.

In the investigation, the Palestinian suspect admitted that he committed the murder in order to bring about the release of his brother, Nur al-Adin Amar, who has been incarcerated in Israel since 2003 and is considered a Tanzim member involved in a number of terrorist attacks.

Several of Amar's family members were also arrested. The Shin Bet said that the investigation is still ongoing and that further arrests can be expected.

Azzoun has been put under curfew and journalists are not allowed in, while the IDF is still conducting a search the area.

Palestinian news agency Maan reported that 18 IDF vehicles were searching the village of Jaba, east of Ramallah. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that six brothers were arrested in Beit Amin, near Azzoun.