Israel has said it will charge a police officer with “reckless homicide” after they shot dead an austistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem, having mistaken him for a terrorist.
Iyad Hallak, 32, was shot and killed in May on his way to a special needs school in East Jerusalem.
According to Israeli media reports, Hallak was stopped because he was acting suspiciously but then ran away, prompting a chase.
Two officers chased Hallak into a rubbish bin area and one shot him as he believed the man was armed and had received reports of a terrorist in the area.
The charges will be confirmed at a hearing before the case goes to trial and, if found guilty, the unnamed officer faces up to 12 years in prison.
Israel’s justice ministry said in a statement that “the deceased posed no danger to police or civilians at the scene” and that the officer failed to use “more proportionate alternatives.”
Hallak was killed near Lions' Gate in the alleys of the Old City, where he had attended school for six years.
The victim’s family lawyer has claimed that the charges are too lenient. "The decision is important, but not enough. Iyad did not pose any danger to be targeted and killed in this ugly way," said Khalid Zabarkah.
The family claim Hallak had the mental age of an eight-year-old, while witnesses say he was in a state of panic as he fled police.
Avi Nissenkorn , the Israeli justice minister, said: “The killing of Iyad Halak is an awful tragedy. There is nothing that can alleviate the family’s pain
He added: “While we must tend to and back up the security forces that protect us with their bodies, we must also take care that we do not deviate from the basic standards of moral decency.”