US, EU silent on slaying of Arab-Israeli reporter, killed for exposing Arab organized crime

Journalist targeted for his work covering Arab crime garners no international attention, unlike the shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh.

By Adina Katz, World Israel News

An Arab-Israeli journalist who covered organized crime was assassinated in Umm Al-Fahm on Sunday evening in what appeared to be an execution directly linked to his reporting.

Nidal Agbaria, 44, was shot to death while sitting in his car outside of his home in the northern Israel city. He owned and operated Bldtna, an Arabic-language local news site.

Hebrew-language media reported that last year, local criminals had fired some 50 rounds at Agbaria’s family home in what was believed to be a warning about his reporting.

According to Hassan Shalaan, a veteran Arab crime reporter who has written for major Hebrew-language outlets, including Ynet, Agbaria was targeted specifically due to his work.

Agbairya was “definitely killed because he was a journalist,” Shalaan told Kan News, adding that he was fearful he would be targeted next.

Shalaan told the outlet that Arab crime reporters are regularly threatened by organized crime elements in their communities who do not want the public to know about their criminal activities and identities.

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel, who will be running as part of Interior Minister’s Zionist Spirit party in the upcoming November election, spoke out on Twitter about the need to clamp down on violence in Israel’s Arab communities and protect freedom of the press.

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“A journalist was murdered [because of his profession] tonight — an event that only happens in third world countries,” Hendel wrote on Sunday.

“The weapon that shoots a journalist inside the [Arab community] is the one that will be used against Jews outside the community,” he added.

Notably, international voices like the United Nations and European Union did not release statements condemning the murder of Agbaria, in stark contrast to their responses after Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh was slain.

The shooting of Abu Akleh, who had been trailing armed terrorists engaged in a firefight with IDF, led to an onslaught of accusations that Israel had intentionally killed the reporter in order to silence her.

After releasing statements in May 2022 emphasizing that freedom of the press should be a paramount value of Western democracies and decrying the slaying of Abu Akleh, U.S. officials and the Biden administration did not formally acknowledge Agbaria’s assassination.