Three Months After His Death, Israel Reenacts Shooting of Autistic Palestinian Man in Jerusalem's Old City

Hallaq, 32, was a low-functioning autistic man who was on his way to a special needs school when Border policemen identified him as a threat, pursued him and shot him dead

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
Israeli police officers stand in the alley through which Eyad Hallaq fled in Jerusalem's Old City, August 26, 2020
Israeli police officers stand in the alley through which Eyad Hallaq fled in Jerusalem's Old City, August 26, 2020 Credit: Emil Salman
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

The Justice Ministry unit in charge of investigating police misconduct performed on Wednesday a reenactment of the fatal shooting of an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem's Old City in May.

In early July, the Justice Ministry said there was , raising concerns that the Israeli authorities' investigation in a case that sparked outrage and protests across Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The investigators did not elaborate on other security cameras in the area, although Haaretz has found that there are  in the 150 meters between the Old City's Lions Gate, where the chase began, and the garbage room where Hallaq was shot to death.

However, to date, neither the suspected officers nor the eyewitnesses have been shown footage of the chase or shooting during the investigation. An earlier reenactment was scheduled for early June, but at the scene.

The cancellation's publication caused a stir at the Justice Ministry unit, as some of the officers involved in the investigation were not even aware a reenactment was taking place.

Hallaq, 32, was a low-functioning autistic man who was on his way to a special needs school in the Old City and apparently panicked when approached by Border Police officers. He was pursued and shot dead in a garbage room where he hid.

His autopsy found that the two bullets which killed him were fired from the rifle of the younger officer, who claimed during his interrogation that he was previously warned by local police that an armed terrorist was approaching his post. His commander said he ordered to cease fire, but the officer refuted this, saying he does not recall such an order.

According to Hallaq’s caregiver, who was with him throughout the ordeal, , and of the fact he posed no threat. She alleges that he was shot at close range. 

The shooting came amid global outcry over police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, drawing parallels. Israeli law enforcement agencies have come under heavy criticism in the past for the use of excessive force, especially against ethnic minorities, while observers have expressed concerns over

Comments