Next Wednesday, September 2, starting at 18:00, a demonstration will be held to mark exactly three months since Iyad al-Hallaq was killed in the Old City of Jerusalem by Israel Border Police. The event will take place outside the Department of Internal Police Investigation, 8 Hartom Street Jerusalem.
The anti-racist forum Tag Meir which is organizing the demonstration has written, “We will demand justice for Iyad, his mother Rana, his father Kheiri, all his family and supporters. We will demand that all the photographic evidence and the findings of the investigation be released to Iyad’s family and to the wider public.”
Tag Meir has grown in the last few months from 15 to over 50 organizations united in the fight against far-right and racist ideology, especially within Jewish circles. Forum members represent a spectrum of Jewish streams – Orthodox, National-Religious, Reform, Conservative and secular – and various civil society groups.
At midnight Wednesday the Justice Ministry unit in charge of investigating police misconduct staged a reenactment of the murder of the autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem’s Old City in May. In early July, the Justice Ministry said there was no video footage of al-Hallaq’s shooting, raising concerns that the Israeli authorities’ investigation will end with no clear conclusion in a case that sparked outrage and protests across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. From June, Hadash lawmakers and al-Hallaq’s family have repeatedly called on police to release security camera footage of the incident.
On Wednesday, the two police officers involved in the incident gave conflicting accounts of the events, with a commander telling investigators he had urged his subordinate officer to cease fire, an order that was not followed, he said. The junior officer refuted his commander’s account. An eyewitness reportedly confirmed the testimony of al-Hallaq’s teacher, saying he was shot while he lay on the ground, and that officers were told at the time that he was disabled.
Al-Hallaq, who was 32, was fatally shot on May 30 just inside Jerusalem’s Old City as he was walking, as he did daily for years, to the special-needs institution he attended. At the time, police said they believed “he was carrying a gun and said they opened fire when he failed to heed calls to stop.”
According to various eyewitness reports, two members of Israel’s Border Police force chased al-Hallaq into a garbage room and shot him as he cowered next to a bin. Al-Hallaq’s teacher, who was with him, told an Israeli TV station that she repeatedly cried out to police that he was “disabled” as she tried to stop them. He was shot at least seven times.
The Facebook page for the demonstration (Hebrew, Arabic & English): https://www.facebook.com/events/2598673680344624/