Israeli prosecutors charged a border policeman with reckless manslaughter in a fatal shooting on Thursday. Autistic Palestinian Last year in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The indictment was filed more than a year after Eyad Hallaq was shot and killed. Harak’s family had previously criticized the Israeli authorities for investigating his murder and called for tougher charges against him.
In the indictment submitted to the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday, the identity of the police officer is still unknown. He was accused of reckless murder and could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted.
Harak, 32 years old, Was shot On May 30, 2020, in the Lion Gate of the old city, he was on his way to the special needs institution he was studying at. The commander of the officer who was present at the time of the incident was not charged.
The area is a place of frequent conflicts between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. Hundreds of security cameras monitored by the police line the narrow streets of the old city. But as the investigation progressed last summer, prosecutors claimed that none of the cameras in the area were working and there were no footage of the incident.
The prosecutor of the police’s internal investigation department said in a statement that the decision to accuse the officer “was made after an in-depth review of the evidence, all the circumstances of the incident, and the allegations heard at the officer’s hearing.”
They said that Hallaq’s death was a “serious and unfortunate incident” and the police officer “risked an unreasonable risk of causing his death” to shoot at him.
According to what was said at the time, Hallaq was Shot after running away And did not heed the call to stop. Two members of the Israeli paramilitary border police then chased Harak into the rubbish bin and shot him while he was curled up next to the rubbish bin.
The Justice Department said in an October statement that when the prosecutor recommended that the police officer be charged, the injured Harak pointed to a woman he knew and muttered to himself. Then the police officer turned to the woman and asked her in Arabic, “Where is the gun?”
She replied: “What gun?” At this moment, the police officer under investigation shot Harak again.
The woman mentioned in the statement appeared to be Harak’s teacher and was with him that morning. At the time of the shooting, she told an Israeli TV station that she called the police many times, calling him “disabled.”
In the charges filed on Thursday, prosecutors described how the defendant shot Harak in the abdomen when he was leaning against a corner, and then shot Harak in the chest a second time when he fell to the ground with injuries.
Hallaq’s family did not immediately comment, but had previously expressed concern that the killing would be whitewashed, especially after the alleged camera malfunction.
In the event that Israeli security forces are attacked, the police usually quickly release security camera footage to the public. Palestinians and human rights organizations say Israel has a poor record of prosecuting police violence against Palestinians.
Ayman Odd, the head of the coalition list of Arab political parties in the Knesset, responded on Twitter, calling the prosecution of reckless manslaughter an “outrage and defamatory charge.”
Harak’s shooting combined it with George Floyd was murdered in the U.S. It also triggered a series of small demonstrations against police violence. The riots crossed the border between Israel and Palestine and also attracted Jewish protesters. The Israeli leader expressed regret over the killing.
At the same time, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Thursday that a Palestinian teenager who was shot and killed by the Israeli army in the occupied West Bank one day ago died of his injuries.
Ahmad Shamsa, 15, died of a gunshot wound on Wednesday. He was the fourth Palestinian killed in a protest near the outpost of the Evyatar settlement in the past month as demonstrators threw stones at the Israeli army, which responded with live ammunition and tear gas.
Earlier Wednesday, the Israeli army shot and killed Killing a Palestinian woman She is said to have tried to crash her car into a group of soldiers guarding a construction site in the West Bank. The family of 29-year-old Mai Afanah insisted that she had no reason or ability to launch an attack.