Israeli forces shot and killed Iyad al-Halak, a 32-year-old unarmed autistic man and resident of Wadi al-Joz in East Jerusalem, while on his way to a special needs school on Saturday.
Based on the statement, police officers who were stationed close to Jerusalem’s Lion’s Gate saw a young man holding a suspicious object that they said looked like a pistol, and told him to stop in his tracks, after which the man started to escape.
Jerusalem policemen called the border police to help them chase the man on foot, during which two of the border policemen fired at him, resulting in his death.
Following the chase, police look searched the area for the suspicious object, which was allegedly in his hand, but never found it. In fear of protests, Jerusalem police closed the gates to the Old City after the incident while the Temple Mount is scheduled to reopen on Sunday.
The Police Investigation Department revealed the initial investigation that one of the border patrol officers shot towards Iyad’s lower body during the pursuit but missed, and the other shot him after their chase reached a dead-end alleyway.
The two policemen are being investigated on suspicion of causing death by negligence.
The two border police officers laid the blame for the misunderstanding on the Jerusalem policemen who started the chase. They asserted that the “blue cops” who had begun the pursuit had told them that it was a terrorist and that they were persuaded that the fugitive Palestinian was really intending to carry out an attack.
Gad Kadmani, the lawyer of Halak, stated “This is a murder. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The case should be completely investigated. Eight bullets were fired at him and there are also cameras that recorded everything.”
Later on Saturday in reaction to the incident, the Israel Police Department released a statement later in reaction to the incident.
“We have witnessed blatant and irresponsible speculations from public and government figures on both police and the Border Police who work day and night for the safety and security of all Israeli civilians. The mission and role of police forces in Jerusalem, and particularly the Old City, is a complex task, and includes complex decision making, sacrifice and risking of one’s life,” Israel Police wrote in an official statement in response to the shooting incident.
“This case was transferred to the Department of Police Investigations to be researched and inspected. It’s appropriate to wait for the results of the investigation’s findings before making any conclusions, and to avoid the ugliness and unjustified outbursts of commentary on the individuals who put protecting the residents of Israel in front of their own lives.”
Benny Gantz, the Alternate Prime Minister expressed his condolences at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday for the loss of Iyad. “I’m very certain that the subject is going be investigated rapidly and conclusions will be reached,” he said.