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Attackers pepper-spray soldier, try to steal his gun — police

Cops arrest suspects who allegedly attempted to steal the serviceman’s weapon at a bus stop at the Sha’ar Efraim Junction near Taibe

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli soldiers guard at a bus stop near the settlement of Kokhav HaShahar, in the West Bank, on January 6, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative. Israeli soldiers guard at a bus stop near the settlement of Kochav Hashachar, in the West Bank, on January 6, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Two men pepper-sprayed a soldier and attempted to steal his gun at a bus stop near the West Bank, police said Monday morning.

The suspects were arrested at the scene. Police said the motive for the attack was not immediately known.

According to police, the men approached the soldier at a bus stop at the Sha’ar Efraim Junction and attacked him with pepper spray before trying to take his gun.

“Civilians who were at the scene assisted the soldier and called officers to the location,” police said.

The junction is named for the adjacent town of Sha’ar Efraim, which sits several kilometers east of Netanya between the Arab Israeli town of Taibe and the West Bank city of Tulkarem.

The officers detained the two suspects and brought them in for questioning at a nearby police station.

According to the Magen David Adom ambulance service, the soldier was lightly injured in the attack and has been taken to an area hospital for treatment.

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