'Arabs attacked us and the police took our weapons away'

Police return weapons to Samaria residents five months after Arab mob pelts their car with stones.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

vehicle subjected to stone attack (archives)
vehicle subjected to stone attack (archives)
Flash 90

Two residents of the town of Ofra in Samaria finally received their weapons back, five months after they survived a stone-throwing attack near their hometown.

The two residents were attacked by a mob of Arab stone-throwers as they drove from Ofra to the town of Shiloh. Fearing that their lives were in danger, they used their personal firearms to drive off their attackers and make their escape. One of the attackers was reportedly injured.

The security forces who arrived at the scene after the incident supported and even praised the residents' response. However, the residents were later taken in for questioning at the Binyamin police station. While they were released after several hours, their weapons were confiscated.

Their weapons were finally returned to them after a lengthy, five-month legal battle. The request for the return of the weapons states that "the applicant is married and has six children, is a veteran of military combat service, and is an active reservist." In addition, the applicant serves as an ambulance driver in the community, who rushes to life-saving incidents, including terrorist attacks."

It also states that "holding the applicant's personal weapon in the hands of the respondent seriously harms the applicant, his right to property, and security of the applicant and his family."

Yedidya Spitz, one of the two residents who was attacked, said: "I am sorry it took so many months to return [our weapons]. From day one I did not believe that they should have taken our weapons. It's a pity that a person should be left unable to defend himself for months, just because he was attacked while commuting to work."

Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu legal defense organization, who represented Spitz and assisted him in securing the return of the weapons, said: "We welcome the police decision to return the weapons to civilians, but it took too long a time, during which the police neglected the civilians and their families, who were defined as 'suspects' in a serious security incident during which they responded in a remarkable manner."

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represented the second resident, said that his client and his family had been left without their weapon for too long. "In recent months, my client and his family were in mortal danger. In a normal country, the two would receive praise. Only in Israel does a person who defends his life have to undergo a police investigation and have his weapon confiscated."