The lawyer of the accused police officer, Efrat Nahmani Bar, emphasized the youth of her client – he is 19 years old – and his inexperience. She said she was confident prosecutors would drop the case completely after the hearing.
“It’s the only thing that needs to be done,” she said.
According to prosecutors, Mr. al-Hallaq, who lived quietly downhill from the Old City of East Jerusalem, aroused police suspicions around 6 a.m. Saturday when, wearing black disposable gloves and a surgical mask due to a pandemic, he turned under 500 the old Lion Gate on the way to school.
Without specifying more, the prosecutors said that “certain characteristics” of Mr. Al-Hallaq was led to the fact that two police officers, watching him from a distance, recognized him as a potential “terrorist”.
When he disobeyed their order to stop, other officers were chased and joined. One of them, a 21-year-old commander who was due to leave the force in a few days, shot Mr. al-Hallaq twice in the legs while pursuing him, but missed.
Mr. al-Hallaq then turned into a fenced area used by sanitary workers, where, according to witnesses, he took refuge in a corner. Among those who watched was one of the teachers from his school.
The teacher said she shouted at the officers that Mr. al-Hallaq was incapacitated and posed no threat.
When the 19-year-old officer, who had completed basic training just weeks earlier, arrived and spotted Mr al-Hallaq in the corner, he shot him once in the abdomen, prosecutors said, even as his commander shouted at him to keep the fire going. .