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Family of slain autistic Palestinian calls on Israel to release security camera footage

An Israeli activist places flowers on a memorial for Iyad Hallak in Tel Aviv [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 June, 2020

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The family of Iyad Hallak, an unarmed autistic Palestinian who was killed by Israeli police, called on authorities to release security camera footage of the incident.
The family of an unarmed autistic Palestinian man who was shot dead by Israeli police earlier this month is calling for Israel to release security camera footage of the incident, Israeli media reported.

Iyad Hallak, a 32-year-old East Jerusalem man with severe autism, was on his way to a special needs school when Israeli border forces began chasing and shooting at him, mistakenly believing he had a gun.

After the officers followed Hallak into a garbage room in Jerusalem's Old City, they fired several shots at the frightened young man as he was lying down on the floor, killing him.

Hallak's grieving mother Rana called on authorities to release the footage of the shooting, ynet reported on Friday.

"We will not keep quiet about this," she said. "The police and the government are trying to keep the footage hidden."

Hallak's mother attributed the lack of accountability to discrimination against Arabs.

“If it was an Arab who shot a Jew, the video would have been released that day and all over the world,” she said. "But in the case of my son, they are not releasing anything."

“The place for these officers is in jail, for the rest of their lives," she added. "An officer who shoots a disabled person is a danger to everyone."

She also condemned Israeli authorities for dispersing protests following Hallak's death.

“What are they after? People staying quiet?" she said. "Let us protest. Don’t forget my son, anyone else could be next."

This week, a memorial in the form of a symbolic grave was set up for Hallak in Tel Aviv, along with signs urging the police to make the footage of his death public, according to ynet.

Last week, a Jerusalem court accepted a police request to prevent the publication of minutes from a hearing on a petition filed by Hallak’s family, who sought the release of the footage from security cameras in the garbage room where the killing took place, the Times of Israel reported on Saturday.

One of the policemen involved in Hallak's death was placed under house arrest, while another was released from custody under restrictive conditions, according to the Times of Israel.

Hallak's killing has drawn comparisons to the death of George Floyd in the US and prompted a series of demonstrations by Arabs and Jews against police violence toward Palestinians.

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