June 4, 2023

An Arab-Israeli journalist was shot dead in his car in northern Israel on Sunday night, apparently motivated by his coverage of organized crime in the country’s Arab region.

Nidal Agbaria, 44, was shot at close range by at least two masked men in his car outside his home in Umm Al-Fahm, a crime A city with a high rate, the population is entirely Arab.

Criminals fired 50 shots at Agbaria’s home last year in what was considered a warning to his reports.

“I’m aware of the growing violence in Arab society and how easy it is to pull the trigger, so I’m very careful with every word I say,” Agbariya told Reuters Haaretz Daily after the incident.

He added: “The atmosphere is tense due to the growing threat to Arab journalists and the fear after the shooting is even greater. It shows that no one is immune.”

According to veteran Arab crime reporter Hassan Shalaan, Agbairya “certainly was killed because he was a journalist,” he told Kan Public Broadcasting. Sharan said he feared for his life and made frequent threats to Arab crime journalists.

“A journalist was murdered [because of his profession] Tonight – this only happens in third world countries,” Communications Minister Joaz Handel tweeted.

“The weapon that shoots journalists [Arab community] It was used against Jews outside the community,” he added.

The international community, including the UN, EU and US, has not commented on Agbaria’s murder, unlike the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who sparked a series of attacks after she was killed in an exchange of fire with Palestinian terrorists Anger against Israel. Jenin.

Associated Press

Yellow tape marks a bullet hole in a tree where Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot in the West Bank city of Jenin on May 19, 2022 , a portrait and flowers make up a temporary monument. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, file)

After her death, Biden administration officials slammed the killing and emphasized the importance of a free press in Western democracies. No statement was made this time.

Agbalia’s murder comes amid escalating violence in Israel’s Arab community. Arab Israelis own the vast majority of illegal firearms.

The day after Agbaria’s murder, Manar Hajaj, 34, and her twin daughters, 14, were shot dead as they returned home from the grocery store. Hajaj and one of her daughters died at the scene and the other was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Police said the murder was the result of an argument among warring Arab families.

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