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Fights break out at Gaza protest outside of LA synagogue; mayor to meet with LAPD chief

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass ordered additional patrols around a prominent Los Angeles synagogue after violence outside of it on Sunday. File Photo by Eric Thayer/UPI
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass ordered additional patrols around a prominent Los Angeles synagogue after violence outside of it on Sunday. File Photo by Eric Thayer/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- Los Angeles authorities boosted security around a local synagogue after pro-Palestinian demonstrators who tried to block an entrance into the place of worship clashed with counter-protesters on Sunday.

The protests at the Abas Torah synagogue in the prominent Los Angeles Jewish neighborhood of Pico-Robertson drew an immediate response from pro-Israeli supporters, which led to punches and kicks when the demonstrators gathered at the entrance.

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"I don't think the Jewish would go in front of a mosque or the Christian people would go in front of a mosque to do such a thing, nobody would accept this, but here, when it comes to the Jews and Israel everything is kosher, everything is okay," Rabbi Hertzel Illulian said, according to CBS News.

Witnesses said that intense verbal confrontations in front of the synagogue quickly turned violent. While there were no official reports of injuries during the violence, LAPD said one person was arrested.

"Today's violence in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood today was abhorrent and blocking access to a place of worship is unacceptable," Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement. "I've called on the LAPD to provide additional patrols in the Pico-Robertson community as well as outside the houses of worship throughout the city.

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Bass added she would meet with LAPD Chief Dominic Choi on Monday "to further discuss the safety of Angelenos" following the protest.

"I want to be clear that Los Angeles will not be a harbor for anti-Semitism and violence," she said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom sounded a similar tune on X.

"The violent clashes outside the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles are appalling," Newsom said on social media." There is no excuse for targeting a house of worship Such anti-Semitism hatred has no place in California."

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