A Bedouin junk peddler reported to the police that a man dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew with a beard attacked him on HaAtsmaut street in Ashdod on Thursday after hearing him speaking in Arabic.
The Bedouin man, in his 40s, was lightly wounded in his hand and was taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment.
Police launched a search for a suspect matching the description of the Bedouin man and other eye witnesses.
While the incident was initially thought to be nationalistically-motivated, police now say it is likely criminal in nature.
Earlier in the day, a Bedouin man in his 20s was arrested after snatching a weapon from a security guard in Be'er Sheva in what is also suspected to be a nationalistically-motivated incident.