Amidst the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas, tensions have spilled over into the United States. A vigil was held overnight in Southern California for a 69-year-old Jewish man who tragically passed away after an altercation during pro-Israel pro-Palestinian protests The man, Paul Kessler was a proud Jew and supporter of Israel, who simply wanted to wave his flag. According to the authorities, Kessler’s death has been deemed a homicide by the medical examiner, leading investigators to consider the possibility of a hate crime.
Kessler suffered a fatal head injury when he fell backward during the altercation with a pro-Palestinian protester. Initial reports suggested that Kessler may have been struck with a megaphone, but the Sheriff’s Office has stated that there is currently no definitive evidence of this. However, they acknowledge that it remains a possibility.
Kessler was taken to the hospital but unfortunately passed away the following day. In response to this tragedy, the LA area Council on American Islamic Relations expressed their deep sadness and urged against jumping to conclusions.
Across the country, dueling protests have been occurring peacefully since Hamas attacked Israel a month ago. However, authorities in California hope that someone present at the event may have captured video evidence of the altercation and is willing to provide it to investigators.
A news conference is scheduled for later today to provide more details..