Protesting police inaction: hundreds take to the streets demanding justice for slain Palestinian journalist in Umm al- Fahm

Hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel from the city of Umm al-Fahm took to the streets. They demonstrated in front of the police station following the shocking killing of Umm al-Fahm resident and journalist Nidal Aghabariya by organized crime. Residents focused their intense anger on the police, calling out their inaction and negligence in dealing with criminal organizations in the Palestinian community. A similar demonstration took place on Tuesday in Haifa in front of the Haifa District Police Headquarters.

The demonstrators carried signs reading, “Police inaction encourages crime and violence,” “Fight crime, collect weapons,” and “The government and the police are partners in crime.” The demonstrators also chanted against the police and their failure to combat organized crime.

The killing of the 44-year-old journalist was widely condemned in Palestinian society, with many accusing crime organizations of orchestrating the assassination. The late journalist wrote extensively about crime organizations and their activities in the city and in Arab society in general.

Arab media reported that Aghbariya was supposed to testify on Wednesday (September 7) before the Haifa District Court regarding a case of blackmail in which his brother was one of the plaintiffs. According to press sources, the police are examining the possibility of a connection between him being a witness in the extortion case and his assassination.

In response, the Mossawa Center, a Haifa-based human and civil rights organization for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, affirmed, “this is the price paid by a journalist who was killed by organized crime in Arab society. He had been shot at before, and the police did nothing. Tonight [September 6] they killed him so that every Arab journalist would know that they better not investigate crime and corruption. It is unfortunate that Arab journalists are left alone. On the one hand, they suffer from the violence of the police and on the other hand from the violence of the criminal organizations. This is a call to all journalists and members of the public to fight organized crime and for the police to bring the shooters to justice.”

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