Amid tight security measures, Iyad al-Hallak, the 32-year old disabled man who was fatally shot by police officers in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday morning, was brought to burial late Sunday.
No major incidents were reported during the funeral despite mounting tensions in the city following the shooting incident.
Hallak’s body was handed over to his family near the Israel Police National Headquarters in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. From there, the body was taken to al-Maqassed Hospital on the Mount of Olives before being sent to his family’s home in the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz.
Chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and “O’ shahid (martyr), rest in peace, we will continue the struggle,” hundreds of mourners attended the funeral.
Some chanted: “With our souls and our blood, we will redeem you, martyr” and “We will sacrifice millions of martyrs on the way to Al-Aqsa [Mosque].”
During the funeral, some mourners also chanted: “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Mohammed sa yaoud” (Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of [the prophet] Mohammed will return.” According to antisemitism.uk, the “Khaybar” chant is a classic Arabic battle cry and taunt referring to the Muslim massacre and expulsion of the Jews of Khaybar, a town in what is now Saudi Arabia, in the year 628 CE.
Police beefed up their presence in the area and sealed off a number of streets near the family’s home.
The funeral procession passed near Lion’s Gate, one of the entrances to the Old City where Hallak was shot and killed. The family’s lawyer said the police banned the mourners from entering the Aqsa Mosque compound, which reopened earlier in the day after a two-month closure imposed as part of precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
From there, the mourners headed towards the al-Mujahideen Cemetery on Salah Eddin Street, the main commercial thoroughfare of east Jerusalem. The cemetery is located across the street from the east Jerusalem Shalem Police Station.
Mohammed Mahmoud, a lawyer representing the family, said earlier that the police did not impose restrictions on the number of people allowed to participate in the funeral. The police, he said, turned down the family’s request to hold a prayer for Hallak inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. “We reached agreement on the arrangements surrounding the funeral,” Mahmoud added.