Jerusalem protest near site of shooting of Iyad Halak
(photo credit: REUTERS/MUHAMMED QAROUT IDKAIDEK, Jerusalem Post)

Following the police shooting of Iyad al-Halak, an unarmed man living with autism, hundreds of demonstrators in Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem took to the streets in protest. An article in the Jerusalem Post notes that a major component of this mistaken shooting relates to the unfamiliarity of many security officers with the behavior of those living with autism.

The article stressed the importance of social inclusion of the differently abled and cited a number of studies including one performed by researchers at Ono Academic College in 2019. Ono Academic College scholars surveyed members of the ultra-Orthodox community and found that 84% believed that integrating children with disabilities into regular classes would positively impact both children with and without disabilities, while some 77% agreed that housing frameworks for individuals with disabilities should be developed in the heart of every neighborhood and community.

The article’s author believes that greater integration of the differently abled may cause police to become more familiar with their behavior and reduce the number of mistaken shootings.