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      Police Still Haven't Returned Gun to Man Who Thwarted Attack

      Rabbi Erez Bar-On, who thwarted a terrorist attack at a Samaria bus stop last week, said Tuesday that police have not yet returned his gun.
      By Ezra HaLevi and Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 4/9/2008, 7:56 AM

      Rabbi Erez Bar-On, who thwarted a terrorist attack at a Samaria bus stop last week, said Tuesday that police have not yet returned his gun. 

      Police took the gun to conduct laboratory tests after Bar-On used it to shoot and kill a terrorist who tried to stab him and a teenage boy waiting at a hitch-hiking post near the Samaria town of Shilo.

      Bar-On said Tuesday that if he were facing a similar attack today, he would be unable to respond as he did last week because police refuse to return his weapon. Bar-On said he travels the same dangerous roads as he always has done and faces the same terrorist threat. “There is no reason it should take this long” to return the gun, he said.

      Police and IDF officials agreed following the attack that Bar-On had done the right thing and had saved his own life and that of 16-year-old Hillel Maeir. 

      Despite their praise for Bar-On’s quick thinking, police officials so far have rejected his request and that Bar-On will not receive his gun until “it is decided whether or not to return the weapon.”

      The story comes at the heels of three related issues: the army's collection of guns from local Judea and Samaria communities' weapons storerooms, the inability of first-response teams to sign out rifles from the IDF for the past month and the Olmert government's deployment of armed PA police in Judea and Samaria, despite several recent attacks coordinated by members of the Fatah force.