Yafo (file)
Yafo (file) Israel news photo: Flash 90

A soldier was attacked in the streets of Yafo, just south of Tel Aviv, on Sunday. The attack took place at 8 a.m., at the intersection of Yehudah Hayamit and Shivtei Yisrael streets.

The attacker stabbed the soldier, causing him moderate wounds, in what was apparently an attempt to steal his gun.

An eyewitness said he saw the soldier sitting on a bench shortly before the attack. “Suddenly I saw a young man with his face covered, with some sort of sweatshirt on his head, in a white undershirt, grabbing the M-16 and running toward some buildings. I saw another civilian run after him with the soldier. Then they disappeared.”

Yafo is a mixed Jewish-Arab city where tensions occasionally run high. While some local Jews say co-existence is successful, others have warned of extremist Muslim elements operating in the city. Arab protesters yelled “Death to Settlers” and “We will redeem Palestine by blood” during a recent counter-demonstration to a Zionist rally in the area.

According to IDF data, 137 weapons were stolen from IDF soldiers last year, with most thefts taking place on bases or in the soldiers' homes. The IDF managed to recapture 74 weapons, including 70% of those taken from bases.