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Pro-Palestinian Protesters Targeted in Clash with Israel Supporters

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Pepper spray and firecrackers thrown during protester clash at UCLA.

A protest against Israel’s military actions in Gaza, held at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), took a troubling turn as a group of individuals supporting Israel reportedly instigated violence. Still no body died at this tragedy but last night a celebrity die in USA.

The situation escalated when this pro-Israel group targeted a camp set up by peaceful pro-Palestinian demonstrators, who were expressing solidarity with Gaza. The incident involved an attack on the encampment, where pro-Palestinian protesters had gathered.

According to witnesses, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reportedly responded to the situation only after approximately four hours had passed since the attacks began. The violence commenced overnight and carried into Wednesday morning, instigated by masked counter demonstrators supporting Israel.

Witnesses estimated their numbers to be in the hundreds, with many arriving from outside the university campus. These individuals allegedly threw fireworks into the encampment where the pro-Palestinian protesters had gathered.

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The attackers, reportedly carrying Israeli flags, proceeded to attempt to dismantle the pro-Palestinian camp, using pepper spray, sticks, stones, and metal fencing to assault students. Witnesses, including investigative journalist Joey Scott speaking to Al Jazeera from the scene, stated that the police did not intervene to protect the students.

The protesters have targeted the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
The protesters have targeted the Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

In response to the attack, the students repurposed the metal fencing that had been thrown at them, using it as a shield for protection.

Before the police arrived, witnesses reported that a group of individuals allegedly ganged up on a person who was lying on the ground. They reportedly kicked and beat the individual until others intervened to pull them out of the altercation.

Eventually, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement in the early hours of Wednesday morning, stating that the police were responding to requests for assistance from the UCLA administration. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) later confirmed their intervention around 2 am (09:00 GMT).

Mary Osako, a senior UCLA official, conveyed to the campus newspaper, the Daily Bruin, that “horrific acts of violence occurred at the encampment tonight, and we immediately called law enforcement for mutual aid support.”

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Reporting from Los Angeles, Rob Reynolds of Al Jazeera noted that the student protesters had remained steadfast in their position.

While the exact number of injured individuals was still unknown, Reynolds mentioned that reports on social media suggested that some people had been taken away with injuries. He described the situation as a really shocking and ugly scene of violence.

The vigilante mob seemed to have originated from outside the campus, as mentioned by Rob Reynolds. He stated, They appear to be largely people who are not of student age and not from the UCLA campus. But they are attempting to harass and attack the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Mayor Karen Bass condemned the violence, describing it as “absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable.

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The antiwar group stated that “law enforcement simply stood at the edge of the lawn and refused to intervene, despite our pleas for help. The only protection we had was each other.” The attack persisted for over seven hours.

In a statement posted on X, the group expressed, “The university would rather see us dead than divest.”

Nationwide Tensions Rise:

The attack at UCLA marks the most recent development in a series of protests spanning two weeks against Israel’s military actions in Gaza. These demonstrations have extended to universities throughout the United States and even to some universities in other nations.

The incident at UCLA underscores the intensifying nature of these protests, highlighting the growing concern and activism surrounding the conflict.

For the past two days, Pro-Palestinian students at UCLA had maintained a presence on campus grounds. By advocating for the university to sever its financial connections with Israel through divestment.

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Their demonstration mirrored similar movements across the United States, echoing calls for solidarity with Palestine amidst the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Meanwhile, in a separate development late on Tuesday, the New York City police intervened at Columbia University in Manhattan. Dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, who had taken refuge in an academic building, were arrested.

Additionally, law enforcement officials dismantled a protest encampment that the Ivy League institution had been attempting to remove for nearly two weeks.

This action further underscores the broader scope of protests and the intensity of emotions surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict. Which has reverberated not only across American campuses but also internationally.

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The police action at Columbia University coincided with the 56th anniversary of a historical event when a similar crackdown occurred. In 1968, students protesting against racism and the Vietnam War forcibly removed from Hamilton Hall on the same date.

The parallel between these events adds a layer of significance to the recent intervention at Columbia. Which highlighting the enduring legacy of student activism and resistance on university campuses.

Just a few blocks away from Columbia, at The City College of New York, a separate confrontation unfolded. Demonstrators found themselves in a tense standoff with law enforcement outside the main gate of the public college. Social media videos captured scenes of officers pushing people as they cleared the streets and sidewalks.

Following the confrontation, numerous protesters were detained and taken away on city buses. These incidents underscore the widespread nature of protests and clashes occurring not only at prestigious universities like Columbia. But also at public institutions like City College, indicating the widespread mobilization and activism surrounding current social and political issues.

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Scott expressed his belief that the delayed police response to the violence at UCLA could potentially embolden future attackers. He suggested that such a delayed reaction might be seen as a form of encouragement for individuals. By seeking to intimidate pro-Palestinian protesters into abandoning their demands.

This observation reflects concerns about the broader implications of law enforcement’s handling of the situation. Which indicating the potential impact on both the safety of demonstrators and the effectiveness of their advocacy efforts.

Scott criticized the handling of the situation, expressing doubts about its effectiveness in deterring future violence. He suggested that the delayed response from law enforcement might inadvertently signal approval for such actions, potentially fueling further unrest.

The reporter likened the mob’s behavior at UCLA to instances of settler violence in the occupied West Bank. It is noting the absence of lethal force but emphasizing the mob’s violent and uncontrolled nature. He drew attention to a member of the pro-Israel mob carrying a large yellow flag adorned with a crown and the word “Messiah.” It’s symbols associated with radical, far-right Jewish groups, according to Reynolds.

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The organization and coordination of the mob remained unclear. By leaving questions about how such an event came together without prior notice or intervention.

These details underscore the complexity and potential ramifications of the incident, highlighting the need for further investigation and accountability.

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