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Why did the Israeli police kill a Palestinian with special needs?

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Last Saturday, Israeli border police officers opened fire at a disabled Palestinian man in Jerusalem’s Old City because they thought that he was a terrorist. They fired several live rounds at the man, who was named as Iyad Al-Hallaq from the Wadi Al-Joz neighbourhood.

The 32 year old had low functioning autism, and the mind of an eight-year-old child. This was diagnosed when he was a boy. He could not communicate with people or walk to school alone. His mother said that this had only changed recently, after years of going to his special school accompanied by a family member.

Al-Hallaq’s sister Diana told 972 Magazine that he had been taken to the local police station and introduced to the Israeli officers in order that they would know him. This procedure was the norm in the occupied city ever since a similar shooting of a disabled child.

According to a statement by the border police, two officers noticed Al-Hallaq carrying a “suspicious” object that they thought was a gun and ordered him to stop. After the man started to run from the scene, they chased and then shot him.

READ: Israel killed autistic Palestinian who ‘didn’t know what soldiers are’

Israel’s Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, expressed regret for what happened. “We are very sorry for this incident,” Gantz said in a government meeting. “I am sure the issue will be investigated quickly, and conclusions will be drawn.”

The inevitable conclusion about Israeli justice was made very quickly when the officer who fired the fatal shots at Al-Hallaq from close range and let him bleed to death was released from detention just one day after the killing. The investigation promised by Gantz will be in vain. This is the occupation state’s usual procedure; it promises an investigation into obvious crimes committed by its security personnel against Palestinians, with little or no effect. The announcement is made simply to quell Palestinian anger and international calls to do something.

Neither Al-Hallaq’s family nor those Palestinians who protested against his murder — nor even those who did not join the protest — are optimistic about a police inquiry, the dead man’s cousin, Mansour Abu Wardieh, told Al Jazeera.

I think an answer must still be found: why did the Israeli police kill a Palestinian man........

© Middle East Monitor