Protesters confront police officers over the killing of Iyad al-Hallak

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Protests were held in Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem as many Arab-Israelis feel the death of the autistic man means their lives are cheap to the police.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
 

JUNE 10, 2020 04:46

People take part in a demonstration against the aggression of Israeli forces against Palestinians, domestic violence, as well, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, in Jerusalem June 9, 2020. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

People take part in a demonstration against the aggression of Israeli forces against Palestinians, domestic violence, as well, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, in Jerusalem June 9, 2020.

(photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

Hundreds of protesters confronted police officers in Jaffa, Haifa and Jerusalem on Tuesday evening in a series of protests over the May 30 killing of Iyad al-Hallak, 32-year old disabled man, by Border Police officers in the old city of Jerusalem.

The actions of the police were slammed by many in the Israeli public as the late al-Hallak was autistic. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expects a swift investigation into police conduct in this issue.  

 

In Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians waved the flags of the Palestinian Authority and used fireworks to gain attention. Some tried to halt the movement of the light rail, the sister publication of The Jerusalem Post, Maariv reported.  

 

The protesters called out “Netanyahu you coward, Arab blood is not forfeit”, “Officer, who are you protecting?” and “Ohana must resign!” in reference to Public Security Minister Amir Ohana who is in charge of police affairs.  

 

The Jerusalem protest was accompanied by a march of hundreds of protesters in Jaffa and a quiet protest in Haifa.

The Jaffa protest took place alongside a different protest against the planned demolition of a Muslim graveyard in favor of building a community center for the homeless, Haaretz reported. The first had roughly 30 people in it and the other several hundreds.      

Police forces restored public order in Jaffa after protesters who raged against the destruction of the graveyard used “combat-means” on the officers acted against civilians who were simply walking by “with reckless violence”, police spokesperson said on Tuesday night.  

 

Protesters threw stones on a bus that was passing by, set fires to tires and threw stones at the officers, the report said.     

The matter of which flags Arab-Israeli and anti-annexation Jewish Israelis waved came into question after a recent Tel Aviv protest where some lifted the Palestinian flag and were called out by right-leaning Israelis for allegedly supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The flag of the PLO, which engaged in terror activities before signing the Oslo peace accords, is the flag currently used by the Palestinian Authority and is also known as the Palestinian flag.  

The killing was widely condemned as not only was al-Hallak not harmed, but he also was alongside his educator who repeatedly told the officers in Hebrew that he was disabled and that she could show them a document proving the state of his mental capacities. The incident is still under investigation.

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