Southern California Jewish man, Paul Kessler, dies after confrontation with pro-Palestinian protesters in Thousand Oaks: officers

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — A Jewish man in his 60s died a day after he was injured in an altercation at a pro-Palestinian rally in Southern California, authorities say.

Paul Kessler died because of accidents he sustained on the occasion Sunday, Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace investigators say.

There have been two competing rallies close to Westlake and Thousand Oaks boulevards in favor of the Israeli and Palestinian sides of the present battle, in response to the sheriff’s workplace.

It’s believed Kessler was concerned in an altercation with pro-Palestinian demonstrators when he was injured. He then fell and hit his head on the bottom, in response to the sheriff’s workplace.

The character of the altercation stays beneath investigation however some experiences point out that earlier than he fell, Kessler was struck within the head with a megaphone by a person with the pro-Palestinian occasion.

He was pronounced deceased on Monday.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Workplace has decided Kessler’s demise to be a murder attributable to blunt drive head harm.

“The Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace is investigating the incident and has not dominated out the potential for a hate crime,” the VCSO mentioned.

Paramedics reply after a Jewish man in his 60s was concerned in an altercation and knocked to the bottom at a pro-Palestinian rally in Westlake Village on Nov. 5, 2023.

Jewish teams are condemning the violent incident.

The Jewish Federation of Larger Los Angeles launched a press release:

“We’re devastated to be taught of the tragic demise of an aged Jewish man who was struck within the head by a megaphone wielded by a pro-Palestinian protestor in Westlake Village. Our hearts are with the household of the sufferer. Whereas we await extra info from our legislation enforcement companions, we remind you that that is the fourth main antisemitic crime dedicated in Los Angeles this yr alone. Violence in opposition to our individuals has no place in civilized society. We demand security. We is not going to tolerate violence in opposition to our neighborhood. We’ll do all the things in our energy to forestall it.”

Amy Spitalnick, CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, says there was an increase in antisemitic acts since conflict broke out between Hamas and Israel final month.

“We’re devastated by experiences that an aged Jewish man has died after being struck within the head by a megaphone wielded by a pro-Palestinian protester in LA,” Spitalnick mentioned.

“Folks have a proper to protest Israeli insurance policies and actions — however in far too many instances of late, we have seen protesters veer into express and harmful extremism and antisemitism. Paul Kessler’s demise seems to be the sadly inevitable outcome.”

“We want all respectable individuals to unequivocally reject the hate and violence that has spiraled since Oct. 7, irrespective of their opinions on the battle or who that hate and violence targets.”

Be aware: This story was up to date to replicate the incident befell in Thousand Oaks, not Westlake Village.

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