Iyad Al-Hallaq, autistic Palestinian boy killed by Israeli forces, symbol of "impunity" and racism

Disabled Palestinians demonstrate against the murder of Iyad Al-Hallaq, an autistic Palestinian shot dead by Israeli police, in the Old City of Jerusalem on June 8, 2020.

In a hooded sweatshirt, the young man fixes the lens, his face expressionless. His gloved fingers delicately touch a small succulent that he candidly presents to the camera. Iyad Al-Hallaq was 32 years old, he was autistic. On May 30, the young Palestinian was killed by several bullets by Israeli border guards in the old city of Jerusalem, a few meters from the specialized center where he worked.

For more than a week, this image has haunted the walls of Jerusalem, social networks, processions of rallies organized in his memory. In the evening of Saturday, June 6, in Tel Aviv, protesters against Israel’s annexation of part of the occupied West Bank also brandished it. Sometimes she appears alongside a snapshot of George Floyd, the American black man whose death sparked a revolt against racism and police violence in the United States and around the world. Like him, Iyad Al-Hallaq has become a symbol: that of the violence of the Israeli security forces against the Palestinians.

On Monday, a handful of protesters again brandished their image in silence outside the ramparts of the old city of Jerusalem, under the watchful eye of Israeli police. "We are here to say that the Palestinian blood is not without value"says Raed Halabi, member of Saint Yves, a Catholic human rights organization. He also draws the parallel with the revolts in the United States: "Racism is the product of colonial policies, whether Zionist or American. " Before adding, after a quick circular look: “People here are afraid to come because the police are cracking down. "

"Thorough investigation"

The death of Iyad Al-Hallaq caused a great stir, a protester insists, but no conflagration in the streets of East Jerusalem, the Palestinian part of the city, occupied and annexed by Israel. Rarely, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, came out of his silence on Sunday during the Council of Ministers, qualifying the death of the young Palestinian "Tragedy". "I await a full investigation", he ordered, offering condolences to the family.

The investigation, which was carried out by the police, is classified as secret, said Hallaq family lawyer Jad Qadmani. Even he does not have access to the version of the Israeli border guards who shot the young Palestinian. A spokesman for the Israeli police simply told the World that the file is in the hands of the Ministry of Justice. Everything that Iyad Al-Hallaq’s relatives have learned about what happened, they learned from his companion.

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