Activists Portray Grave of Autistic Palestinian Shot by Police in Tel Aviv Center, Call for Arrests

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The exhibition simulating Eyad Hallaq's grave in central Tel Aviv, June 12, 2020.
The exhibition simulating Eyad Hallaq's grave in central Tel Aviv, June 12, 2020.Credit: Courtesy of independent activists

Two weeks after the murder of Eyad Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian, by Israeli police in Jerusalem, a group of independent Israeli activists on Friday set up an exhibition simulating his grave in central Tel Aviv alongside signs calling for the publication of the case's details and the arrest of the police officers involved.

The memorial on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv also included a sign with quotes from Eyad's counselor at his special needs center, who witnessed the shooting.

An eyewitness testimony strengthened the suspicion that police shot Eyad while he was lying on the ground, and after his counselor yelled that he was disabled.

>> He's disabled,' the caregiver screamed. 'I'm with her,' Eyad cried. The cop opened fire anyway: The last 5 minutes of Eyad's life

The exhibition simulating Eyad Hallaq's grave in central Tel Aviv, June 12, 2020. Credit: Courtesy of independent activists

The organizers of the memorial said "We have buried Eyad, but his murder cannot be buried. This is not an isolated incident or a 'tragedy,'" referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement on the matter, "but the result of a long-standing racist policy projected onto the lives of Palestinians, and legitimization of unconstrained police brutality."

"We are calling for the release of the street camera footage that documented the murder and is being held by the police, the arrest of the policemen who shot Eyad and putting them on trial, and the removal of Border Police forces from East Jerusalem. The cycle of violence and racism must end - now," their statement added. 

Hallaq, a 32-year-old resided in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, attended and worked in a special needs school in the Old City, just meters away from where he was shot on May 30.  

Eyad's killing inspired hundreds of people to protest in several cities across Israel and the West Bank against police brutality. And in an unusual move, Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Defense Minister Benny Gantz condemned the incident. 

“Everything needs to be done so that such an incident does not repeat itself,” said RivlinNetanyahu called it "a tragedy," and told his ministers he expects them to conduct a full investigation into the shooting. Meanwhile Gantz expressed his condolences, saying "We are very sorry for this incident. I am sure the issue will be investigated quickly, and conclusions will be drawn."

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