Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Police near the scene where police shot a special needs man in the Old City of Jerusalem. May 30, 2020.

The police have launched an investigation into the death of an Arab man with special needs who was shot by police stationed at the Lion’s Gate at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday morning after they suspected he was attempting to carry out an attack.

An initial investigation into the incident shows that the man approached the policeman and was carrying an object in his hand that appeared to be a weapon. When the forces called on him to stop he fled the scene. He was subsequently shot.

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The shooting officer was placed under house arrest and the police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the incident.

The shot man was identified as Iyad Halak, 32, who was on the autism spectrum.

Israeli Minister of Internal Security Amir Ohana stated that he “shared in the pain of the Al-Halak family” and expressed his “sorrow over the death of Iyad, a young person with special needs.”

“The incident is being investigated as required by law, and we will act according to the findings to prevent similar incidents,” he said.

“Until the examination is over, we will not render judgment over the policemen. They are required to make fateful decisions in seconds, in terrorist –attack infested territory at a frequent risk to their lives,” he added.

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, tweeted that the killing of Hallak is “a new crime that will be met with impunity unless the world stops treating Israel as a state above the law” and called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to “fulfill its mandate.”

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