Bus driver
Bus driver iStock

A bus driver who requested that youths in an Arab town wear masks while riding the bus was attacked with tear gas.

The incident occurred in the Negev town of Lakiya, when the driver requested that the youths wear masks. In response, the youths sprayed tear gas on the driver and escaped the scene. Police officers arriving at the scene began searching for the attackers.

The Metropoline bus company, which runs the line in question, said, "The company strongly condemns all expressions of violence against drivers and employees. Metropoline will help its drivers and work to protect their safety and the safety of passengers using public transportation."

Early on Tuesday morning, a bus making its way from Tel Aviv to Eilat was pelted with stones by Bedouin Arabs in the northern Negev.

A statement issued by the Egged bus company suggested that the culprits were Bedouin Arabs, and that such attacks on buses have become common in the northern Negev, occur on a regular basis, and are carried out for nationalistic reasons.

The bus driver, Nimrod Or Harari, told Kan Bet, "We passed by a Bedouin town, it was a very quiet trip, around midnight, most of the passengers were sleeping. And then in a single moment all of the windows were smashed. We were like a target there. The bus was full of passengers, among them soldiers and a pregnant woman."

On Tuesday, a statement by the Union of Bus Drivers said, "Our buses are a symbol of coexistence, and that is why they and their drivers are being attacked. This terrorism against bus drivers and their vehicles must be stopped."