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Dozens protest in Jerusalem against police violence

JERUSALEM (AP) — Several dozen people protested against police violence in Jerusalem on Tuesday following the deadly shooting of a Palestinian man last month.

Police said they arrested six people for blocking the city’s light rail line during the demonstration. Protesters chanted: “A violent cop needs to be in jail,” and held signs with the picture of Eyad Hallaq, the 32-year-old Palestinian with autism who was shot and killed by Israeli police in Jerusalem on May 30.

Similar protests were staged in Haifa and Jaffa, the latest in a series of demonstrations against police violence in Israel following Hallaq’s death. The shooting has drawn comparisons to the death of George Floyd in the U.S.

Speaking earlier Tuesday while hosting a committee to address police treatment of special needs individuals, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said the country “must do everything so that a terrible incident like this doesn’t repeat itself.”

Hallaq was chased by Israeli border police forces into a nook in Jerusalem’s Old City and fatally shot as he cowered next to a garbage bin after apparently being mistaken for an attacker.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the deadly police shooting of Hallaq a “tragedy.”

Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups have long accused Israeli security forces of using excessive force in some cases. Last summer, the killing of Ethiopian Israeli teen Solomon Teka by police officer sparked widespread protests by the country’s Ethiopian community over its treatment by law enforcement.