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Pro-Palestine protest ends in chaos in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Police Department said it responded to two protests Sunday in the predominantly Jewish Pico Robertson neighborhood south of Beverly Hills. Video recorded at the scene shows police pushing pro-Palestinian protesters away from the entrance to the Adas Torah temple.

Cries of “Free, free Palestine – from the river to the sea” and “Long live the intifada” could be heard among the pro-Palestinian protesters. Participants blocked traffic and video from the scene shows that several altercations occurred in the middle of the street and on the sidewalks.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the violence “abhorrent” and said in a news release that she requested additional police patrols in the Pico-Robertson community as well as outside other places of worship in the city.

It is unclear how the violence began, but videos shared on social media show both groups exchanging taunts, pushing and grabbing each other outside the synagogue.

Eventually, groups of protesters began occupying nearby streets, where more fights broke out, the videos show.

In one, two men appear to be fighting on the ground while others kick them. Later, one of the men – holding an Israeli flag – appears to have blood on his face and mouth.

Additional video showed an egg thrown at a pro-Palestinian activist and a man wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf being chased and punched to the ground by a man wearing a yarmulke.

During many of the altercations, bystanders worked to separate people.

Protests against the war between Israel and Hamas have rocked communities across the U.S. since the conflict began in October, and Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups say the war has led to a steep rise in hate crimes and bias incidents. The Anti-Defamation League reports that anti-Semitic incidents increased 140% in 2023 compared to the previous year. And the Council on American-Islamic Relations said last year marked the highest number of biased anti-Muslim reports it had received in nearly three decades.

Los Angeles police began monitoring the situation around 10:30 a.m., said Officer Tony Im to CNN . The crowd was ordered to disperse at some point, Im said, although no exact time was given.

Officers arrested a person with a pointed flag, the police department said. to CNN . He was issued a citation for possession of a prohibited item during a protest and was subsequently released.

In a statement to CNN the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles said it is working to ensure its community is safe.

“Our Community Safety Initiative (CSI) is monitoring the situation and working with our local law enforcement partners to ensure our community is kept safe. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as necessary,” the statement read.

When asked about the violence in the area, Rabbi Hertzel Illulian of the JEM Community Center in Beverly Hills said the tension “doesn’t belong there,” according to the affiliate from CNN, KCAL.

Hertzel lamented what he considers a double standard, adding: “But here, when it comes to Jews and Israel, everything is kosher, everything is fine.”

Governor Gavin Newsom condemned the protesters’ actions in a post on X, calling the clashes “terrible.”

“Such anti-Semitic hatred has no place in California,” Newsom said.

Source: CNN Brasil

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