Israeli Police Officers Shoot and Kill Special Needs Palestinian in Jerusalem’s Old City

Border Police officers shot to death Saturday a Palestinian suspected of carrying a weapon after he refused to stop for questioning in Jerusalem’s Old City. It later transpired that the man was unarmed.

Iyad Elkhalak, 32, resided in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. He attended and worked in a special needs school in the Old City, just meters away from where he was shot.  

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Eye witnesses said that the police searched Elkhalak's home and questioned his family after the shooting.

Yihad Elkhalak’s father (center), consoled at his home, May 30, 2020.

According to a Border Police statement, the officers noticed the Palestinian carrying a suspicious object that appeared to be a gun and ordered him to stop. After the man refused and started fleeing the scene, the officers started chasing him on foot and opened fire, ultimately killing him.

Following the incident, the police closed off the Old City. The Police Internal Investigations Department will be in charge of investigating the circumstances leading to the incident. They will examine whether the officers involved acted according to the rules of engagement and have already started gathering Security camera footage. Two Border Police officers suspected of killing Elkhalak are currently being questioned under caution.

According to the Border Police officers, they began pursuing Elkhalak on foot after being alerted about a suspected terrorist carrying a pistol. “We suspected he acted alone and responded according to protocol,” one of the officers said during his investigation.   

A source familiar with the details of the investigation said that the officers fired several times at the Palestinian while chasing him. He ran and hid behind a dumpster, and was then shot and killed.