Fatah calls shooting of autistic Palestinian Iyad Halak a “war crime,” demands police officers responsible be brought before The Hague. Hamas warns of new intifada. Israel Police says an investigation into the incident underway.
Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas threatened retaliation over the weekend over the killing of a disabled Palestinian man by Israel’s Border Police on Friday.
Fatah calls shooting of unarmed autistic Palestinian Iyad Halak a “war crime,” and demanded the police officers responsible for his death be brought before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, called for a new intifada, or “popular uprising.”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the force opened an investigation into the incident where “security forces spotted a man with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol and after he failed to obey orders to stop, gave chase and them opened fire.
It was only later that it was found that Halak, 32, was unarmed.
The shooting drew broad condemnations and revived complaints alleging excessive force by Israeli security forces. On social media, some compared the shooting to police violence in the US.
Rana, mother of Iyad Halak, 32, holds his photo at their home in East Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz, Saturday (AP/Mahmoud Illean)
Halak’s relatives said he suffered from autism and was heading to the school for students with special needs where he studied each day when he was shot.
“They killed him in cold blood,” Halak’s mother, Rana, told Israel’s Channel 12 News.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party called the incident a “war crime” and said it held Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully responsible for the “execution of a young disabled man.”
The Palestinian leadership demanded that whoever killed the man be brought before the International Criminal Court.
Hamas warned that Hallak’s death would give rise to a new Palestinian uprising, saying that the incident would also “fuel our people’s revolution which will not stop until the occupier leaves all Palestinian territory.”
There has been an uptick in violence in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank in recent days, although it has yet to reach the levels of 2015-2016 when Israeli security forces struggled to stop a wave of so-called lone-wolf attacks.