Rockets continue to rain down on Israel, averaging one every 10 minutes. Hamas has long range Iranian rockets now, and 75% of the population of Israel is within their range. Just last night, Israel shot down an armed Iranian-made drone, launched from Gaza. No Virginia, this isn’t about "Palestinians throwing stones". It never was.
Yesterday, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, thousands gathered in Westwood, Los Angeles to attend a solidarity rally with Israel.
Most estimate the crowd at 2,000, but some reports are as high as 5,000. Speakers included Rabbi Marvin Hier, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Roz Rothstein co-founder and CEO of StandWithUs, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and actress Noa Tishby. Participants stood on 3 corners at the intersection of Wilshire and Veteran Boulevards. Passing cars honked to show their support.
What happened next is in dispute, and is under investigation
From the LA Jewish Journal
A peaceful pro-Israel rally in front of the Federal Building in Westwood in West Los Angeles was interrupted late Sunday afternoon when three or four men wielding Palestinian flags arrived carrying long wooden sticks and alledgely attacked the pro-Israel demonstrators. The Los Angeles Police Department reported that more than 1,200 attended the rally.
Witnesses said several of the pro-Israel participants were hit by the sticks, but police would not immediately confirm or comment on whether anyone was wounded. A separate counter protest of about 200 supporting the Palestinians was held across the street.
When police who were already on the scene stepped in to break up the scuffle, the attackers returned to their pickup truck and drove off. As they left, witnesses say, a gun was fired in the direction of the truck by a Department of Homeland Security officer who was at the scene, according to Brian Thomas of the LAPD West Los Angeles Patrol Division.
UPDATE 7:00 a.m. (7/14): The four men were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, according to NBC4. LA County Sheriffs Department said the weapons were wooden flag poles that the men were holding as they drove through the crowd. Additionally, the shot was allegedly fired not by a DHS officer, as the LAPD initially told the Journal, but by a Federal Protective Service (FPS) officer.
More information wil be posted as it becomes available.
The four suspects arrested have been identified as 19-year-old Mostadafa Gamaleldin Hafez, 41-year-old Haddah Mustapha Kreidieh, 35-year-old Mohammed Said Elkhatib, and 38-year-old Fadi Ali Obeidallah.
The four men were booked for assault with a deadly weapon and released on $30,000 bond from the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station Monday morning. The Federal Protective Service officer was placed on leave after discharging his weapon during the altercation.