Author Topic: Why soldiers don't dance with the enemy  (Read 874 times)

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Offline DicedT

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Why soldiers don't dance with the enemy
« on: September 22, 2013, 09:57:40 PM »
There was criticism of the IDF for punishing its soldiers after a Youtube video appeared of Israeli soldiers dancing with Palestinians in a Palestinian club on the West Bank ( Now we can see the reason why:

Israeli Soldier Is Lured to West Bank and Killed

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian man lured an Israeli soldier he worked with at a sandwich shop outside Tel Aviv to the West Bank on Friday, and killed him in hopes of using the body as leverage to lobby for the release of his brother from an Israeli prison, military officials said Saturday.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a spokesman for the Israeli military, said the Palestinian, Nidal Omar, had confessed to the crime after being arrested with seven others early Saturday.

The closeness of the relationship between Mr. Omar, 42, and the soldier, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, 20, remained unclear late Saturday, but the owner of the shop in Bat Yam where they worked said in a television interview that both men were well liked. Colonel Lerner said Mr. Omar had persuaded Sergeant Hazan to go with him in a taxi Friday from Israel to a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and then to Beit Amin, a nearby Palestinian village of 1,100, where his family is from.

Mr. Omar then took Sergeant Hazan to an open area, killed him and hid his body in a water cistern, according to Colonel Lerner, who said Mr. Omar “wanted to barter with the dead body.” Colonel Lerner did not say how the soldier had died.

The news heightened tensions amid the fragile peace talks that Israel and the Palestinians started this summer.

Mr. Omar’s relatives said he is married to an Israeli citizen, lives in the Arab-Israeli town of Jaljulia with her and their eight children, and had earned about $2,500 a month serving shawarma in the Bat Yam shop for the past four years. But Colonel Lerner said Mr. Omar did not have the permit required to work or stay in Israel.

On Saturday night, several hundred people protested outside the sandwich shop against Palestinians working illegally in Israel, some shouting, “Death to Arabs.”

Since the second intifada a decade ago and Israel’s subsequent building of a barrier separating it from most of the West Bank, Israeli travel to West Bank villages like Beit Amin is relatively uncommon. How Mr. Omar had persuaded Sergeant Hazan to go with him was under investigation.

The kidnapping of soldiers in Israel, where military service is mandatory for most Jews, is among the most profound fears for Israelis. In late 2011, Israel agreed to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit, a soldier who had been abducted five years before by Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military recently reported a sharp rise in Palestinian plots to kidnap soldiers in hopes of trading them for some of the 4,500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. A total of 37 such plans have been thwarted so far this year, more than in all of 2012, Colonel Lerner said.

Israel released 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners last month, and is expected to release about 75 more in three phases, as part of the Washington-brokered peace talks.

Right-wing politicians who oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state seized on the killing to bolster their argument.

“One does not make peace with terrorists who throw soldiers’ bodies into a hole in the ground,” Naftali Bennett, an Israeli minister, said Saturday. “One fights them without mercy.”

Colonel Lerner said Mr. Omar’s imprisoned brother, Nur ad-Din Omar, had been incarcerated since 2003 and was a member of the Tanzim militia, an offshoot of the Fatah faction.

Another brother, Mahmoud Abdullah Omar, said Nur was serving a 30-year sentence for a shooting that had injured some Israel soldiers.

Sergeant Hazan was in a noncombat job in the air force and worked part time at the sandwich shop. His Facebook page, filled Saturday with condolences, showed photos of him at parties and pools.

“He was like my son — there’s no other boy like him,” the restaurant owner, who was not identified, said on Israel’s Channel 2 news. Of Mr. Omar, the owner said: “He was on good terms with everyone. Nice as can be.”

Sergeant Hazan’s family reported him missing at 10 p.m. Friday, prompting an investigation, the military said. Mr. Omar’s mother said many Israeli soldiers with three dogs arrived at 3 a.m. Saturday, and stayed until 4 p.m. Six Omar brothers were arrested, she said.

“I condemn what he did a million times,” said Mahmoud Omar, who was not arrested. “He ruined our lives.”

Said Ghazali reported from Beit Amin, West Bank, and Carol Sutherland and Irit Pazner Garshowitz from Jerusalem.