The inexperienced grass within the small yard exterior the home has turned yellow and died. The potted crops are additionally withered, after not being watered for a month. Eyad used to water them daily in the summertime, however now there’s nobody to are likely to them. Rana, the bereaved mom, is binge-watching a clip of her son on her cellphone, standing within the backyard holding a hose, a faint smile enjoying on his lips. His smile is greater in one other clip, wherein he’s seen getting ready fatteh – a dish of hummus with meat and pine nuts – for his mother and father. He’d realized to make it on the Elwyn El Quds special-needs middle that he attended in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, not lengthy earlier than he was killed.
“Look what a son I had,” Rana says, considering his image.
Khairy, her husband, has modified shockingly since we met him the day after their son was fatally shot, within the mourning tent. He’s turn out to be lean, gaunt and pale. He smokes two packs of cigarettes a day; Rana goes via three. He hardly eats; she doesn’t prepare dinner. Their lives have floor to an abrupt halt.
It was on Might 30, just a little after 6:30 A.M. when their lives had been irrevocably upended. Two members of the Border Police – an officer and a new recruit – shot their son as he lay cringing on the ground of a roofless rubbish room close to the Through Dolorosa within the Previous Metropolis, along with his caregiver by his facet shouting in useless, “He’s disabled, he’s disabled!”
For Rana and Khairy Hallaq, the autistic 32-year-old was the apple of their eye. In addition they have two daughters, Joanna and Diana, each of whom are lecturers, however Eyad, their disabled son, was every thing to them.
“There’s one boy, we’ve got no different,” Rana tells us in Hebrew. “He’s my second soul. Eyad and I are one soul from way back, from a few years again.”
Since his demise, she has been sleeping in his mattress, and barely leaves his small room; generally she even wears his garments. Once we visited them this week, she got here to greet us, saying, “I can’t do something – I solely lie in his mattress and take a look at his footage and his garments and see his room and keep in mind his life.” Once more she reveals images of him, her palms trembling; this time he’s seen hugging two crops. He had planted them throughout the coronavirus lockdown, when he was compelled to remain dwelling, within the Wadi Joz neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Now, says Rana, “The crops have died.”
The mother and father’ agony is a everlasting presence right here. An aura of profound, tear-less grief hangs over the household’s front room, whose partitions at the moment are adorned with footage of the lifeless son and brother. On the couch is a photograph of Eyad subsequent to an image of George Floyd.
“George Floyd was killed because he was black, and Eyad as a result of he’s a Palestinian,” Eyad’s father says. “However take a look at the distinction between the response in america and in Israel,” his spouse provides.
Certainly, large waves of fury washed over America after the killing of the black man in Minneapolis, whereas in Israel there was the standard indifference, albeit tinged with some indicators of remorse after the deadly capturing as a result of the sufferer was autistic. No fury raged right here, and no perception emerged to the impact that Eyad’s killing was the results of a deliberate coverage, not a “tragedy.”
As a result of Eyad was meticulous about order and cleanliness, his household doesn’t dare transfer something in his room. The mattress stays lined with the identical bedspread that it had a month in the past: The bottles of aftershave and different grooming merchandise are on the chest subsequent to it, his garments are folded fastidiously within the closet and the jar of Smiley candies he cherished is full, too. A cellphone charger mendacity haphazardly on a desk catches the daddy’s eye and he rapidly places it again the place it belongs. “If he’d seen that right here he would have been indignant,” Khairy says.
And once more, an oppressive silence.
“All we would like now could be quiet,” the mother and father say. They spend most of their days mendacity in mattress and staring, barely seeing anybody, turning on the tv solely when their grandchildren go to. Diana comes over with the 4 of them each afternoon to attempt to elevate their spirits, however in a short time they sink again into their ache.
The little meals they eat is ordered in from a restaurant. Rana isn’t able to coming into the kitchen, the place Eyad practiced making the dishes he’d realized in his cooking courses at Elwyn. Each night, he would put together no matter dish he’d realized that day. The workers on the middle had been impressed along with his talents and deliberate to rearrange for him to work as a prepare dinner’s assistant in one of many metropolis’s lodge or restaurant kitchens.
Khairy himself hasn’t labored for years, since he was injured in a piece accident at a marble manufacturing unit. He has additionally had issue climbing the steps to his son’s contemporary grave within the Bab al-Zahara cemetery, behind the publish workplace on East Jerusalem’s Saladin Road. Rana says that, if she may, she would transfer to the cemetery. She has made 4 or 5 visits to Eyad’s grave, the place a gravestone has already been erected.
The couple can’t carry themselves, nevertheless, to go to the house, simply inside Lions Gate, the place he was killed. Khairy, who used to hope at Al-Aqsa Mosque each week, now not goes there, as a result of the route passes by the positioning of demise. Rana can also be afraid to go there.
“How can anybody see the place the place they killed his son? I’m afraid the police will kill me there,” she says. “In spite of everything, they killed Eyad, who was a quiet boy.”
A couple of days in the past, his special-needs associates from the Elwyn middle arrived to put palm branches in his reminiscence on the website of his killing, however the police rapidly chased them away and eliminated the palm fronds. Eyad will evidently not have a memorial, even one which’s improvised.
The police returned the younger man’s cellphone to his mother and father after deleting all its contents. Khairy and Rana say that Eyad appreciated to video his solution to and from college, in an effort to present the footage to them when he received dwelling. Possibly he additionally documented his final stroll to high school?
On Tuesday, Haaretz’s Nir Hasson and Josh Breiner reported that the Justice Ministry’s unit for investigating cops has no security camera footage of the incident, although there are at the very least seven cameras within the neighborhood – together with two within the rubbish room the place the capturing passed off. The principle suspect has in the meantime been let out, he was questioned solely as soon as by police.
Khairy: “There isn’t any digicam, there isn’t a footage. Why is that? What can I say? Did you see final week how they printed all of the footage from the Abu Dis checkpoint final week inside an hour?” he asks, referring to an try to run over a feminine Border Police officer on the Kiosk Checkpoint exterior Jerusalem.
This previous Monday was the 30th day for the reason that Hallaqs’ disaster. Their home on Yakut al-Hamwai Road, which was abuzz with guests throughout the 4 days of mourning, was empty once we arrived, along with ‘Amer ‘Aruri, a area researcher for the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. ‘Aruri had reported the testimony of the Elwyn caregiver, Warda Abu Hadid, who was subsequent to Eyad when the police shot him.
Rana and Khairy instructed us that they’ve been very touched by the shows of solidarity and ache by 1000’s of individuals from everywhere in the world, together with condolence calls by many Israelis. They had been deeply moved by the response from different mother and father of autistic youngsters.
The mother and father stress that they’d nothing to do with the expulsion from the mourning tent of the Temple Mount activist and former Likud MK Yehuda Glick, however had been instructed that he saved taking footage of himself there, which was offensive. A whole bunch of Israelis got here to share of their grief, they are saying. On the night Glick, who had come to pay a condolence name, was despatched packing by a gaggle of younger Palestinians, dozens of cops arrived to go looking their dwelling. It was the second search, 4 days after the primary one, on the day of the killing. Aside from that, the Hallaqs have heard nothing from the police concerning the killing of their son.
Extra images: Eyad is hunched over a big, effervescent pot of soup at college, peeling carrots – one of many uncommon moments wherein fleeting happiness may be seen flitting throughout his face. “Relaxation in peace, angel,” wrote special-needs youngsters from the Israeli Arab metropolis of Taibeh, who introduced the mother and father an embroidered image of him. Israeli illustrator Einat Magal Smoly despatched them a portray of Eyad, along with his identify in Hebrew and Arabic, and added a condolence letter.
Rana and Khairy usually are not serious about monetary compensation, they are saying; all they need is for the policemen accountable to face trial. A variety of attorneys, amongst them the human rights lawyer Michael Sfard, have supplied their assist.
“There are eight of these attorneys, however we all know that nothing would occur even when there have been one other 5 – 6,” Khairy says. “I don’t consider the police officer will go to jail. If he had thought he would go to jail, he wouldn’t have performed one thing like that. Imagine me.”
What would he wish to see occur, we ask. Bitter laughter. “Israel is a law-abiding nation, no? Israel is a democracy, no? We’re ready to see. I’m ready to see the legislation of the State of Israel. That it’s precisely the identical as it might be if it had been the other: If Eyad had been a Jew who was killed by an Arab, he would already be after his trial. We’re not compensation. All we would like is for it to not occur to anybody else.”
Rana says she desires to convey a message to the Israeli police and armed forces: “Please take your time earlier than utilizing your weapon.” And once more she reveals clips, Eyad brushing his tooth, Eyad doing gymnastics, Eyad getting blended up counting from 1 to 15.
An animated video by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor depicts the final hour of his life. Right here he’s strolling on the Through Dolorosa of Jesus, a coronavirus masks on his face, his palms in gloves. Right here one sees the police chasing him, and there they’re standing over him within the rubbish room, executing him.
“There are not any phrases,” we inform them.
“There are many phrases,” Rana says.