Skip to main content

Palestinians draw parallels between disabled man's killing, US police violence against black people

When an Israeli soldier shot to death a disabled unarmed Palestinian, it triggered an angry reaction around the world and especially in the United States, which has been dealing with its own police brutality against unarmed black men.

As the pandemic lockdown and the Eid al-Fitr holidays were winding down, a Jerusalem resident with special needs fell victim to Israeli brutality. Late on May 30, Iyad al-Hallaq, a 32-year-old Palestinian, was excited to be going back to the center that caters to autistic persons. Two Israeli security officers shouted at Hallaq to stop, but he ran away and hid behind a garbage container. His caregiver shouted in Hebrew to the Israeli soldiers that he is a disabled person, but they paid no attention to her. They ran after him and sprayed him with bullets causing his immediate death.

Israel’s newly appointed Defense Minister Benny Gantz quickly announced an investigation into the incident and apologized for what happened. While a serious investigation is necessary to avoid a war crime investigation, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat wrote in a May 30 tweet in response to the killing, “A crime that will be met with impunity unless the world stops treating Israel as a state above the law and the International Criminal Court [ICC] fulfills its mandate.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.