Israel’s defence minister has apologised for the Israeli police force’s deadly shooting of an unarmed, autistic Palestinian man.
The shooting of Iyad Halak, 32, in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday, drew broad condemnations and revived complaints alleging excessive force by Israeli security forces.
Benny Gantz, who is also Israel’s “alternate” prime minister under a power-sharing deal, made the remarks at the weekly meeting of the Israeli Cabinet.
He was sat near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made no mention of the incident in his opening remarks.
“We are really sorry about the incident in which Iyad Halak was shot to death and we share in the family’s grief,” Gantz said. “I am sure this subject will be investigated swiftly and conclusions will be reached.”
Halak’s relatives said he had autism and was heading to a school for students with special needs where he studied each day when he was shot.
In a statement, Israeli police said they spotted a suspect “with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol.”
When he failed to obey orders to stop, officers opened fire, the statement said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later said no weapon was found.