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Israeli couple attacked with pepper spray, carjacked while shopping in Qalqilya

Police say unspecified man extracted pair from West Bank city, reiterate ban on Israelis visiting areas under PA control; woman, who was lightly hurt, taken to hospital

This photo taken July 5, 2017 shows a neighborhood in the West Bank city of Qalqilya. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
This photo taken July 5, 2017 shows a neighborhood in the West Bank city of Qalqilya. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

An Israeli couple was carjacked Saturday while shopping in the West Bank city of Qalqilya, according to police.

Citing an initial probe, police said that as the Israeli man got out of the vehicle outside a store, suspects pepper-sprayed him. They then allegedly removed his partner from the car, lightly injuring her in the process, before hopping in and fleeing the scene.

Police said an unspecified man brought the couple out of Qalqilya and they joined up with Israeli security forces. The woman was then taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

A police statement noted Israelis are barred from entering parts of the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control, known as Area A. Despite the ban, many Arab Israelis regularly patronize major Palestinian cities — some Jewish Israelis also enter them, but in much lower numbers.

“Many Israelis who enter these areas… encounter attacks, robberies, theft, threats and are miraculously rescued safely by security forces,” the statement said.

Robberies of Israelis in the area are a common occurrence and Saturday’s incident came days after an Israeli was carjacked Thursday on a highway near Qalqilya. On Tuesday, there were two carjackings in the West Bank.

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