WEST BANK (Dispatches) – A Zionist police officer who shot dead Iyad al-Halak, a Palestinian with autism, in occupied East Al-Quds in May 2020, was promoted this week despite facing a court case over the killing, it has emerged.
The officer, whose name is under a gag order, shot Halak, 32, claiming he suspected the Palestinian of carrying a weapon. However Halak was unarmed, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu prompted to apologize to his family in a rare move by a Zionist official.
On Monday, Israeli media reported that the police officer who killed Halak was promoted and recently made an operation sergeant.
The police officer is currently facing a case at the Al-Quds district court on charges of recklessly killing Halak, and could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted.
Halak’s family had previously criticized the Zionist regime authorities’ investigation into his killing and called for much tougher charges.
Halak was wearing a mask while on his way to a school for people with disabilities in the Old City of occupied East Al-Quds when he began to be chased by the regime’s police officers and was shot.
In November, the police commissioner said he supported the officer who shot Halak.
“It is important for me to say that we are the ones who sent the fighter on the mission, and we have the responsibility to stand by his side even in these circumstances,” Kobi Shabtai said.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, the supremacist MP recently appointed so-called national security minister, who oversees the police, has also previously expressed his support for the officer.
In August 2021, Halak’s family accused police of deliberately “destroying cameras” that had evidence of the killing. The investigation into his shooting has been hampered by the lack of video evidence, despite reports that the area where he was killed had at least 10 CCTV cameras.
Halak’s shooting in 2020 also garnered international solidarity, as it coincided with protests following the U.S. police killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter marches.