On Friday, 20-year-old soldier Tomer Hazan was kidnapped and murdered by Nadal Amar, a 42-year-old Palestinian Authority resident who was his coworker at the restaurant Tzachi Basarim in Bat Yam.
Amar has been arrested and has confessed to his crime, and now some are calling for the owner of Tzachi Basarim to face charges as well.
Among them is MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima), who called Sunday for the owner to face “accessory to murder” charges for employing Amar illegally.
“Someone who decides to employ an illegal PA entrant is knowingly endangering the public, and inviting a terrorist attack,” Hasson told Radio L’lo Hafsaka.
Hasson, who formerly served as the deputy head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, said security services are powerless to fully enforce the law regarding employment of PA Arabs. Police try to enforce the law, but cannot check every single business, he said.
The killer, Amar, tried to convince multiple fellow workers to accompany him to his hometown, and was able to trick Hazan into coming with him under false pretenses. His real goal was to kill an Israeli in order to use their body as a bargaining chip in negotiations for the release of terrorists, including his own brother.
"Prisoner releases" part of the problem
Israel’s willingness to negotiate for the return of bodies is clearly part of the problem, Hasson said.
“The day that we lowered the bar and said that we will free murderers for soldiers’ bodies, we should have understood the slope that we were likely to slip down,” he said.
Those comments echo the sentiments expressed earlier today by MK Moti Yogev (Bayit Yehudi/Jewish Home).
Yogev, a colonel in the IDF reserves and a former commander of an elite unit, warned that Israel faces tough questions in wake of the attack.
“The soldier’s murder requires us all to ask questions and to learn from the answers,” he said. “The most obvious question is: did the cowardly murderer Nadal Amar understand that we make deals to free terrorists, and he is likely to be freed from prison in some release deal in a few years?”
“Is this the morality by which the state and its justice system act?” he continued. “If not, we must immediately stop the process of releasing terrorist murderers, a process of surrender to immoral terrorism and American pressure, a process that does not exist today in any country in the enlightened world.”
Yogev’s warning itself came on the heals of an editorial in the Hebrew-language Maariv/nrg, which warned that “The motive for the next kidnapping is already clear… From the Palestinian public’s point of view, the best way to free ‘heavy’ terrorists is through kidnapping Israeli soldiers.”
Israel has been willing to trade terrorist prisoners for Israeli bodies in the past, notably in the cases of kidnapped IDF soldiers Eldad Regev, Ehud Goldwasser and Omar Sawad.
Among those Israel traded for the bodies of Goldwasser and Regev was unrepentant terrorist Samir Kuntar, who infamously murdered a young Jewish girl by smashing her skull with a rifle as part of a string of terrorist murders.
In 2011, Israel freed more than 1,000 terrorist prisoners in return for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. At the time, in spite of a groundswell of popular Israeli sympathy for the plight of the captive soldier, many Israelis - including prominent public figures - expressed extreme reservation for a deal which they saw as increasing the motivation among terrorist groups to capture IDF soldiers.