ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Local rabbi says circumstances surrounding LA Jewish man’s death remain unclear

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

A Jewish man falls to the ground after allegedly being struck with a megaphone by an anti-Israel protester in Los Angeles on November 5, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
A Jewish man falls to the ground after allegedly being struck with a megaphone by an anti-Israel protester in Los Angeles on November 5, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

After the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles issued a statement saying that 69-year-old Paul Kessler’s death was caused by a blow to the head from a megaphone held by a pro-Palestinian protester in West Lake Village, a local rabbi says he spoke with the town’s police chief and that the circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear.

“It is not clear yet exactly what happened other than an elderly Jew was counter-protesting at a Gazan demonstration, hit the ground, and died. We DO NOT KNOW at this time if he fell, was pushed, or was attacked. Please do not spread rumors. We will know soon what happened,” writes Barclay, who is the spiritual leader at Temple Ner Simcha in West Lake Village.

He later adds that police have conflicting reports of what happened and have interviewed a suspect who was identified on social media as having been at the event.

However, Barclay says, police do not have video of the moments leading up to when Kessler landed on the ground.

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