An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier was kidnapped and killed by a Palestinian man in the northern occupied West Bank on Friday.
Haaretzreports 20-year-old IDF soldier Tomer Hazan of Bat Yam, central Israel, was lured by 42-year-old Nadal Amar, to the illegal Israeli settlement of Sha'arei Tikva in the occupied West Bank. Sha'arei Tikva is located about 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) from Amar's village of Beit Amin. The two men worked together in a Bat Yam restaurant.
Amar, who was arrested by Israeli security forces on Saturday, confessed that he led Hazan to a well north of the occupied West Bank town of Sanriya, where he killed him and hid his body. The Jerusalem Postreports Amar told investigators he hoped to use the dead soldier's body as a bargaining chip to secure the release of his brother, who is being held in an Israeli prison.
"During his interrogation, Amar said his motive for the murder was to trade the soldier's body in exchange for the release of his brother, Nur Al-Din Amar, a Tanzim member in prison since 2003 due to his involvement in several terror attacks," Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, said.
Tanzim is a militant, grassroots organization started in 1995 by the now-deceased PLO leader Yasser Arafat and other PLO members to resist the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestine. It is known for having recruited female suicide bombers, including 20-year-old Andaleeb Takatka, who in 2002 blew herself up at a Jerusalem market, killing herself and six Israelis and injuring more than 85 others.
After confessing, Amar led Israeli authorities to the spot where he hid Hazan's body. More arrests are expected and an investigation is ongoing, Israeli officials said.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon blamed the Palestinian leadership for Hazan's abduction and murder.
"This brutal murder is the result of ongoing incitement by the Palestinian leadership," Danon said in a press statement.
The New York Timesreports 4,500 Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel. Among Palestinians, they are viewed as political prisoners, and often as heroes, whose only 'crime' is resisting the ongoing illegal Israeli occupation of their homeland, and the continuing illegal colonization of what little Palestinian land remains in the occupied West Bank by Jewish settlers.