Second degree murder trial of Jerusalem police officer opens

i24NEWS

2 min read
Israelis protest in support of the police officer accused of fatally shooting Iyad al-Hallak, outside his court hearing at the District court in Jerusalem, February 27, 2022.
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Israelis protest in support of the police officer accused of fatally shooting Iyad al-Hallak, outside his court hearing at the District court in Jerusalem, February 27, 2022.

Iyad al-Hallak, 32, a Palestinian man with autism was chased and fatally shot by police in Old City

The trial opened Sunday of a police officer who fatally shot a special needs man in Jerusalem’s Old City, in May 30, 2020. 

Iyad al-Hallak, 32, was chased into a garbage storage room and shot multiple times by police officers, who misidentified him as a potential attacker. 

The case is being heard in the Jerusalem District Court against the officer - whose name is under a gag order - with prosecutors seeking second-degree murder charges, The Jerusalem Post reported. 

al-Hallak’s death led to widespread public criticism of the police, with then prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknolwedging that officers were wrong to kill the Palestinian. 

US and Israeli law are not directly comparable, with the charge against the officer only introduced into Israeli legislation in 2019, the Post reported. The unnamed policeman is not being charged with first degree murder as he killed al-Hallak while thinking he was “a terrorist.”

However prosecutors moved forward with charges as the shooting occurred after the officer was alleged to have been told to hold fire. 

The east Jerusalem resident was first suspected of being a threat due to his body language, and the suspicion that he was “a terrorist” was reported between police by radio. As al-Hallak fled from officers, this misunderstanding led to officers firing their weapons.

al-Hallak, who was autistic, was a student at a local special needs school in the Old City.  

Some Israeli protestors gathered outside the Jerusalem court house to demonstrate in support of the unnamed officer. 

Video poster

This article received 0 comments