In the village of Beit Amin, home to murderer Nidal Amar, and in the nearby village of Azun – both south of Qalqilya, residents were surprised to find themselves in the headlines following the discovery of Sgt. Tomer Hazan's body.
The Head of the Beit Amin Council, Taqiyya Amar, told Ynet that the village condemned any act of murder, be it by Palestinians or Israelis. Residents speculated that the motive to the murder of the off-duty Israeli soldier over the weekend was criminal and not nationalistic.
- Murderer's family: He was against such acts
- Palestinian murders IDF soldier in West Bank
- Terrorist's employer: I didn't know he was illegal
Amar said that throughout the weekend the IDF blockaded and searched the village, eventually arresting Nidal Amar and five of his brothers. He added that the village of Beit Amin has always been quiet and never experienced particular security problems.
Amar said members of the village's council gathered Saturday evening to discuss the events, but claimed they had no new information and were only following publications in the media.
The murderer's parents live in the village of Azun, where they reside near farmlands. Saturday night saw dozens of Palestinians attempting to move from Beit Amin to Azun, but the IDF blocked all movement to and from the villages and dispersed the Palestinians, at times with crowed-control equipment.
Ramzi, a Beit Amin resident, said he knew Nidal Amar and his brothers and condemned the murder. "I think the motive was criminal, and once Nidal was caught he wanted to be a hero, and invented a nationalistic motive." He was clear in saying the murderer was wrong: "Just think of the family and parents in this situation, who have to be ashamed of what he's done."
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
Taufik, an Azun resident, also condemned the act: "Every person has a conscience, but I think Nidal has no conscience. He knew that soldier and was his friend. How could he do something like this to someone he knew?"
Ramzi said he also has a brother who is jailed in Israel for terrorist acts, and that he would never think to resort to murder in order to release him. The residents all agreed that despite the massive tension in the area in recent days, the situation will settle and go back to normal.
The residents' words echo the sentiments of Nidal Amar's wife and daughters. Nijat Khourmata, his wife, said: "He never told us about his plans. He hasn't lived here in two years and has only recently come to visit his daughters."
Ranin, Nidal Amar's daughter, was also baffled by her father's actions. "The only problem with my father was the financial issue, though he never spared anything of us. He would always help us and say: 'I want you to be civilized girls.' I never expected him to do such a thing. He would always say he was against these things. I'm a student at school and I hope the students won't bully me. I want everyone to respect us. I used to sleep in my father's lap and I never believed he would do something like this."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop