ME IS. An Israeli police officer who shot Eyad al-Hallaq, a Palestinian with autism, in occupied East Jerusalem in May 2020 was promoted this week despite facing trial for the murder.
The policeman, who is part of the border police and whose identity is confidential, shot 32-year-old Hallaq, claiming he suspected the Palestinian was carrying a weapon. Instead, the young man was unarmed and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to his family, in a rare move by an Israeli official.
Israeli media reported on Monday that the policeman who killed Hallaq had been promoted and most recently served as a field sergeant at an Israel Border Police base in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
The policeman is currently on trial in the Jerusalem District Court on charges of recklessly killing Hallaq and could face 12 years in prison if convicted.
Hallaq’s family had earlier criticized the Israeli authorities’ investigation into the assassination and called for much harsher charges.
Hallaq was wearing a mask on his way to a school for the disabled in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem when he was chased and shot by Israeli policemen.
In November, the police commissioner said he supported the policeman who killed Hallaq..
“It is important for me to affirm that it was we who sent him on a mission and we have the responsibility to be on his side even in these circumstances,” said Kobi Shabtai.CopyAMP code
Itamar Ben Gvir, the Jewish supremacist lawmaker recently appointed minister of national security, who oversees police and border policing, has also previously voiced his support for the policeman.
In August 2021, Hallaq’s family accused the police of deliberately “destroying the cameras” which contained evidence of the killing. The investigation into his killing is hampered by a lack of video evidence, despite reports that there were at least 10 CCTV cameras in the area.
Hallaq’s killing in 2020 sparked international solidarity, coinciding with protests following the US police killing of George Floyd, and marches by the Black Lives Matter movement.