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Senior police officer Uri Bar Lev's personal handgun and police car were stolen late Friday night after burglars broke into his home in central Israel.

The incident occurred as Bar Lev was expected to assume his new position as the Israel Police representative to the United States in Washington D.C.

The intruders arrived at the house during the early hours of Saturday morning while Bar Lev, his wife and their three children were still asleep.

The burglars broke into a personal safe which held Bar Lev's personal weapon and stole his Police-issued Toyota Camry. They also took some money out of one of the family member's wallets.

Ramle police launched an investigation into the incident, and learned from the top officer that none of the household members noticed the intruders while they were in the house. According to Bar Lev, the burglary had been discovered only after the family had awoken in the morning.

Bar Lev was discharged from his position as commander Israel Police's southern district last August, after, according to Bar Lev, he had refused to leave the force for a year of academic studies in the United States, arguing that he had wished to continue in an operational capacity.

As a result of the confrontation with the police commissioner David Cohen, Bar Lev was put on forced leave, and then he was fired from the force. He had petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the decision.

Two months ago, however, it was decided that Bar Lev would not be discharged from the police, and that he will assume the position of Israel Police representative in the United States.

The decision, made by incoming Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, was considered a severe blow to the police chief's authority, having said that he did not agree to Bar Lev's reinstatement.

A final decision on Bar Lev's reinstatement in the Supreme Court was due next week, although that session may get cancelled as the two sides seemed to be nearing an agreement.