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Jewish man, Paul Kessler, dies after confrontation with pro-Palestinian protester in California

Over the past weekend in California, a Jewish man tragically lost his life following a physical altercation with a pro-Palestinian protester, as reported by the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. Paul Kessler, aged 69, was allegedly struck in the head with a megaphone on Sunday, and unfortunately, succumbed to his injuries the following day, according to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

This incident took place at an intersection in Thousand Oaks, a suburb located in the northwest of Los Angeles, where simultaneous pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrations were being held. Upon arrival at the scene, officers discovered Kessler with a severe head injury. Witnesses informed law enforcement that he was involved in a physical altercation with at least one counter-protester.

During the altercation, Kessler fell backward, hitting his head on the ground. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, but tragically could not recover from his injuries. An autopsy performed by the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that Kessler's cause of death was a blunt force head injury, leading to the determination of homicide.

At this point, police have not made any statements regarding charges in connection with this incident. However, a press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday morning to provide further updates.

The local Jewish Federation expressed their distress over this tragic event, highlighting that it marks the fourth major antisemitic crime in Los Angeles this year alone. These disturbing incidents are part of a wider trend of increased antisemitic acts across the globe, which have escalated since the series of terror attacks by the Palestinian-affiliated Hamas beginning on October 7. In response, Israel declared war on the militant group in Gaza.

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations conveyed their deep sadness and shock regarding this tragic loss. They urged the public to avoid jumping to conclusions, sensationalizing the tragedy for political gains, or spreading rumors that could needlessly escalate the already heightened tensions.

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Very sad, I ❤️ and support Israel!

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