Israel's Ben-Gvir calls mother of Iyad Hallak 'terrorist' after her son's killer walks free

Israel's Ben-Gvir calls mother of Iyad Hallak 'terrorist' after her son's killer walks free
The mother of a murdered Palestinian man pained by his killer's acquittal this week was verbally assaulted by Israel's extremist national security minister.
2 min read
07 July, 2023
Protesters held banners which read 'Justice for Iyad' in Arabic and Hebrew [Getty]

The mother of a Palestinian man who was shot dead in May 2020 and whose killer was acquitted on Thursday was called a "terrorist" by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir on Friday.

An Israeli court acquitted a police officer of killing Iyad Hallak, 32, in occupied East Jerusalem. Hallak, who had autism and was unarmed, was shot dead while walking through the Old City, after officers allegedly mistook him for an armed assailant.

The Jerusalem district court on Thursday acquitted the Israeli police officer of "reckless homicide".

The officer standing trial "made an honest mistake thinking he was dealing with an armed terrorist who posed a real danger," the court said, noting he had expressed "remorse" for his error.

A video shared online shows Hallak’s mother approaching Ben-Gvir during a demonstration, likely to confront him over Thursday’s ruling.

"Get out of here you terrorist," he appears to say to her.

Security is seen moving her away from the scene, blocking her from speaking to the minister.

Ben-Gvir is a hardliner with past convictions for support of terrorism and incitement against Palestinians.

A protest against the court decision was held on Friday in Jerusalem's Old City.

People held pictures of Hallak with the word "Murder" written on them, and banners which read "Justice for Iyad" in Arabic and Hebrew.

According to data collected by Israeli human rights organisation Yesh Din, between 2017-2021, the odds of a complaint leading to an indictment against a soldier for harming a Palestinian was under 1 per cent and only 4.4 per cent of cases opened resulted in indictments.