Settler Arrested on Suspicion of Beating Israeli Arab Driver

The driver said his attackers beat him after confirming that he was Arab. Police is requesting to extend his arrest

Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger
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Screen capture from Twitter of video showing driver after the alleged attack
Screen capture from Twitter of video showing driver after the alleged attackCredit: Twitter
Yotam Berger
Yotam Berger

Israel Police arrested a suspect on Sunday in the beating of an Israeli Arab bus driver in Jeruaslem last week.

The suspect, a resident of the Modi’in Ilit settlement in the West Bank, is an adult male, although it was originally reported that the attackers were two teens. He is being investigated by the Judea and Samaria Police, which plans to request to extend his arrest.

Nidal Alfakia was lightly wounded in the attack and was evacuated to a hospital. He told the Israel Police that while driving in Modi'in Ilit, his bus was blocked by a vehicle. Two young men got out of the car, recognized him as an Arab, beat him and then fled the scene.

>> Threats at gunpoint and stone-hurling: Israeli Arab bus drivers in West Bank suffer daily abuse

A video that circulated on social media following the attack shows the driver sitting in his bus, bruised and bleeding from his eye as a small crowd gathers in the street.

Other drivers reportedly stopped their buses and asked their passengers to disembark, refusing to continue their routes in a show of solidarity with the man who was attacked.

The operator the driver works for, Kavim, confirmed several of its drivers in Modi'in Ilit are independently striking in protest against violence toward them.

The company also released a statement on Friday, saying: "The company's management will not tolerate any kind of violence towards its employees and will act to exact justice against anyone who performs an act of violence. The company is working vigorously to restore activity back to normal along with investigating the affair."

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