Iyad Khayri el-Hallaq, 32, a Palestinian man with autism, was killed on Saturday by Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.
Hallaq, who suffered from autism reportedly became confused after screaming “police” and fleeing in a panic to hide and protect himself among rubbish bins.
In a statement, Israeli police said they spotted him “with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol.” When he allegedly failed to obey their orders to stop, officers opened fire. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later said no weapon was found. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has also allegedly expressed regret over the shooting.
Hallaq resided in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, a Palestinian territory illegally occupied by Israel. He attended and worked in a special needs school in the Old City, just meters away from where he was shot.
There were protests in Jerusalem and Jaffa demanding justice for Hallaq on Saturday evening. Protesters were holding banners with photos of George Floyd.
Hallaq’s funeral was attended by hundreds of Palestinians, and funeral prayers took place late Sunday at Al-Aqsa Mosque after the body was transferred from Makassed Hospital, where Israeli authorities held his body for over 36 hours.
Tension has risen in recent weeks between Palestine and Israel as Israel says it hopes to move ahead with a plan to annex Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank – land that the Palestinians seek for a state.
Israeli police have shot and killed an autistic Palestinian man in occupied East Jerusalem as he was walking to a special needs school
Posted by TRT World on Monday, June 1, 2020