Family of autistic Palestinian, killed by police, file petition demanding Israeli officers stand trial

Family of autistic Palestinian, killed by police, file petition demanding Israeli officers stand trial
The parents of Iyad Hallaq have filed a petition with Israel's High Court demanding they hand criminal charges the two officers involved in their son's fatal shooting
2 min read
23 September, 2020
Iyad Hallaq's mother has been critical of the investigation into her son's killing [Getty]
The parents of Iyad Hallaq, an unarmed autistic Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli police in May, have petitioned Israel's High Court of Justice complete the investigation into the case and put the two officers involved in the killing on trial.

Police fatally shot 32-year-old Hallaq in Jerusalem's Old City while on his way to a special needs school he attended. Police claim they thought the mobile phone he was carrying was a "suspicious object".

The incident has been under a probe led by the Israeli justice ministry's police misconduct unit, launched almost four months ago on the day of the shooting.

Sources close to the investigation told Haaretz that the probe will likely result in either disciplinary proceedings for the officers involved, or that the case be closed entirely.

In their High Court petition, Rana and Khairy Hallaq seek an explanation as to why no criminal charges have been filed against the officers.

"The evidentiary and factual foundation has been clear for some time," the petition states, highlighting that investigation began on the day Hallaq was killed.

"Everyone knows that decisions like this are made day in and day out by various prosecutorial authorities, even in cases no less serious in which there are complex factual disputes.

"This matter does not justify the considerable delay, mainly in light of the seriousness of the case and the tragic and exceptional outcome of the incident," the petition states.

Supreme Court Judge Yosef Elron has requested the case heard as soon as possible. He also ordered the government to issue a response to the petition no less than 14 days prior to the hearing, a date for which has not yet been set.

Hallaq's parents have already voiced criticism of the investigation, after they were told there was no footage of the shooting because the security cameras where he was shot were not working.

Officers had chased Hallaq into a garbage room in Jerusalem's Old City, where they fired several fatal shots at the frightened man as he lay on the floor.

Hallaq's family said it was "not possible that cameras were placed there and yet there is no documentation. We have a very strong suspicion that [the police] are concealing evidence in this case".

Haaretz found that there to be at least ten security cameras in the 150 metres between the Old City's Lions Gate - where Israeli police began chasing Hallaq - and the garbage room where the killing took place.

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