Violence Erupts During Pro-Israel Rally In Westwood
WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Violence erupted Sunday afternoon during a pro-Israel peace rally in Westwood.
The rally was taking place in front of the Federal Building with more than 2,000 participants.
Witnesses said four men in a truck waved pro-Palestinian flags and started to attack the pro-Israel demonstrators with sticks.
There was also a report of a car being shot at. LAPD West LA division would only confirm a shooting took place.
No one was injured in the shooting, officials said.
KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reported from the area where hours later several streets were still cordoned off.
Officials told Kaple Wilshire (between Veteran and the 405 Freeway) would be closed “for the foreseeable future,” while an investigation continued.
Following some of the pro-Israel supporters being allegedly hit with sticks, Kaple said “a melee ensued.”
The men reportedly jumped back into their truck and took off.
At this point, officers with Homeland Security approached the men.
A witness told Kaple one of the Homeland Security officers fired at the truck. No one was struck. At least one person was arrested.
“I saw my flag on the ground,” Hany Reai, a Palestinian supporter, said “and I saw a man step on it. I’m not here to fight. I just need my flag and I ran to take it.”
Barry Poltorak, an off-duty Los Angeles County deputy sheriff who witnessed the incident Sunday afternoon told The Jewish Journal that the perpetrators could be charged with “felony assault.”