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Outrage as Israeli Police Shoot Dead Unarmed Palestinian

Outrage as Israeli Police Shoot Dead Unarmed Palestinian

Saturday, 30 May, 2020 - 07:45
An Israeli soldier runs during a raid in Beit Jala in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

Israeli police shot dead a disabled Palestinian near Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday who they had suspected was carrying a weapon but turned out to be unarmed.

The Associated Press quoted the police as saying that he was carrying “a suspicious object that looked like a pistol” and ran away when ordered to stop. They said they chased him on foot and opened fire.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later said that no gun was found in the area.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party denounced the killing as a "war crime".

It 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.

The Palestinians' official news agency Wafa identified the dead man as Iyad Khairi Hallak, a resident of the Wadi Joz neighborhood of east Jerusalem with special needs.

"Today, Israeli Occupation Forces in East Jerusalem assassinated Iyad Khairi, 32 a disabled Palestinian," Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, wrote on Twitter.

The killing is a "crime that will be met with impunity unless the world stops treating Israel as a state above the law," he said.

Erekat added the hashtags #PalestineWillBeFree and #ICantBreath -- a reference to African-American man George Floyd whose death while a policeman kneeled on his neck has sparked riots in the United States.

Hamas, the movement that controls the Gaza Strip, said the killing of the young Palestinian man in Jerusalem would "fuel our people's revolution which will not stop until the occupier leaves all Palestinian territory."

It warned of a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising.

Rosenfeld said an investigation had been opened into the circumstances surrounding the man's death.

The shooting came a day after Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank who they said had tried to ram them with his vehicle. No Israelis were wounded in either incident.

Tensions have risen in recent weeks as Israel has pressed ahead with plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank in line with President Donald Trump's Middle East plan, which strongly favors Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority said last week that it was no longer bound by past agreements with Israel and the United States and was cutting off all ties, including longstanding security coordination.

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