Israeli occupation forces kill Palestinian with autism

Armed soldiers in protective masks stand near vans

Israeli Border Police close off the area where occupation forces killed Iyad Hallaq, 32, near Jerusalem’s Old City on 30 May. 

Muhammed Qarout Idkaidek APA images

Israeli forces shot to death a disabled Palestinian man in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday.

Iyad Hallaq, 32, was near the Bacrieh Elwyn institute for special education, where he attended and worked, when he was shot.

Israeli forces claimed they suspected Hallaq of carrying a “suspicious object” when they chased him and gunned him down, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The newspaper says officers asked Hallaq to stop. When he walked away, they opened fire.

Hallaq had autism, his mother told reporters, and she was already concerned about his interactions with Israeli occupation soldiers.

The attorney representing Hallaq’s family said he was shot some 10 times.

Israeli media reported that Hallaq was hiding behind a dumpster when he was shot.

Witnesses told the Palestinian outlet Wattan that Israeli forces left Hallaq to bleed to death without allowing anyone to go near him.

“According to testimonies, some 10 bullets were fired directly at Hallaq. We are certain that he didn’t pose any danger to the officers,” the attorney representing Hallaq’s family told Haaretz.

One of the police officers “may have continued shooting Hallaq after he was told by his commander to stop,” Haaretz reported, citing the police investigation.

“According to a source familiar with the investigation, the officer continued shooting because he saw that Hallaq was still moving.”

No Israeli officers were injured during the incident, as in many previous cases in which an alleged Palestinian attacker was killed.

Israeli police said they opened an investigation into the killing.

Israel habitually absolves itself of its own crimes following such investigations.

Hallaq was from the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli occupation forces raided his family’s house after killing him.

“There were more soldiers than people,” his mother told reporters.

Hallaq’s body was transferred to Israel’s Abu Kabir Forensic Institute for an autopsy.

It is worth noting that Israel admitted that for years pathologists at Abu Kabir harvested organs from dead Palestinians and others without the consent of their families.

Hallaq’s family demanded that a Palestinian be present at the autopsy, but the family said a Palestinian pathologist was denied entry.

Local media circulated pictures of Hallaq following his death:

“They executed him in cold blood,” his mother told reporters following her son’s death.

“They claim everyone [they kill] is carrying a weapon. He is autistic. What weapon is he carrying? What weapon? He’s carrying his identity card and his wallet.”

Palestinian resistance factions across the political spectrum condemned Hallaq’s killing.

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said the killing of Hallaq speaks to the “criminality and sadism of the occupation leaders.”

Qassem added that the “terrorist behavior of occupation leaders and their thirst for Palestinian blood confirms the magnitude of the crime committed by some parties who seek to normalize with the occupation.”

The Islamic Jihad resistance group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine echoed those condemnations.

Saeb Erakat, a senior figure in the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority – which have long worked closely with Israeli occupation forces – called on the International Criminal Court “to open a criminal investigation without delay before Palestine is flooded with countless crimes.”

Ayman Odeh, chair of the Joint List bloc in Israel’s parliament, called for the jailing of Hallaq’s killers, saying “they did pull the trigger but the occupation loaded the weapon.”

Palestine, however, is already flooded with countless crimes that Israel commits, while it relies on “security coordination” with the Palestinian Authority.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has again issued what are almost certainly empty threats to end this collaboration.

On Friday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian motorist in the occupied West Bank, claiming he was attempting a car-ramming attack where no soldiers were injured.

His family denied that claim and said he had been on his way to pick up his wife.

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Qassem is right, as it's right to seek redress from the ICC. This is Israeli provocation. They have an interest in violence. Consider 1967. The literature, particularly in the US, remains full of claims that Israel was under threat. Three grounds are presented: Syrian terrorism, imminent threat from Nasser and the closure of the Straits of Tiran. Finkelstein, in Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, has demolished all three in a proper scholarly fashion. Yet the claims are still made. Israel and the US need violence from the Palestinians. It permits their false claim that all Palestinians are terrorists and justifies their extreme aggression. Iyad was killed for two reasons: because he was an Arab, and to provoke Palestinian violence. Infernally hard to be a Palestinian and not react violently, but it is essential. A commitment to non-violence is the means to defeat the Israeli-US nexus. This does not mean surrender or passivity: civil disobedience should be engaged in imaginatively, but violence, even the throwing of a single stone, will give the Israelis what they want. Not all the Arab countries combined can defeat Israel by force. The Palestinians have no prospects through violence. Their peaceableness will shame the Israelis worldwide. While we campaign, persuade and build a mass movement for Palestinian rights. Not violence, but irresistible international pressure will defeat the Israeli-US occupation and oppression. The Palestinian double-bind has been deliberately constructed by Israel and the US. Its purpose is to give them no way out. It depends, however, on worldwide compliance and that we will scupper. The Israelis will not stop their provocations. They are bullies and that is what bullies do. But bullies' victims have a way out when they are not alone. There are 6.5 million Jews in Israel and not all of them support the State. There are 12 million Jews in the US and nor do they. How many are we? Hundreds of millions. Venceremos.

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Rest in peace....similar impunity going on in the U.S. with the recurring shootings of unarmed black people.

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I am sick to the pit of my stomach reading about yet another killing of an innocent and unarmed Palestinian.
Doesn't Israel care when the rest of the world justly condemns its actions? Soon the only friend/ally left will be Trump- and who has any respect for him?
Wise up, Israel!

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this is what the Zionist israli do

This is what the Israeli Zionist do best they have the guns shoot at
Arabs who have no guns its called Zionist justice they can do what ever they like and get away with it and no one cares

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I have little doubt that if the eyes of the world were not on Israel the state would have "liquidated" the Palestinian people some time ago - just as another authoritarian (and temporarily mad) power nearly did in the last century. The irony seems to be lost on the criminals. But hopefully the growing numbers of people - American, Jewish, and otherwise - who are no longer so credulous about the same tired, pathetic lies from AIPAC and the like will make this fascist state less able to act with impunity.

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Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.