Confrontation at UCLA: Israel Supporters Assault Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators

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The police were hesitant to step in during the “disturbing” attack by masked vigilantes with pepper spray and fireworks.

At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a peaceful protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza turned violent when pro-Israel activists attacked a camp set up by peaceful pro-Palestinian activists. 

Witnesses say that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) did nothing for almost four hours while the killings happened. 

Late Tuesday night, hundreds of masked pro-Israel counter-demonstrators who came from off campus started throwing fireworks into the camp. This was the start of the violence.

“The assailants, brandishing Israeli flags, attempted to dismantle the pro-Palestinian encampment while assaulting students with pepper spray, sticks, stones, and metal fencing. 

Despite the chaos, police failed to intervene, leaving students to defend themselves by repurposing the metal fencing as makeshift shields, as described by investigative journalist Joey Scott reporting from the scene to Al Jazeera.

In one disturbing incident before law enforcement’s arrival, witnesses recounted a group descending upon an individual on the ground, subjecting them to kicks and blows until bystanders intervened.

It wasn’t until early Wednesday morning that Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement acknowledging the situation, stating that police were now responding to requests for assistance from UCLA’s administration. The LAPD confirmed their arrival and intervention around 2 a.m. (09:00 GMT).”

“Mary Osako, a senior official at UCLA, informed the campus newspaper, the Daily Bruin, that they swiftly contacted law enforcement for assistance in response to the disturbing acts of violence that unfolded at the encampment.

Reporting from Los Angeles, Al Jazeera’s Rob Reynolds highlighted the resilience of the student protesters who refused to yield in the face of adversity. 

While the exact count of injuries remained unknown, social media reports suggested that several individuals had been escorted away with injuries. Reynolds described the scene as “truly shocking and deeply unsettling.”

“The vigilante group appeared to have arrived from off-campus. According to Reynolds, they were predominantly individuals beyond typical student age and were not affiliated with UCLA. He noted their apparent intention to intimidate and assault the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Bass condemned the violence, labeling it as “utterly reprehensible and unjustifiable.”

Members of the antiwar organization recounted the harrowing ordeal, stating that law enforcement remained stationary on the periphery despite pleas for assistance. They expressed reliance solely on each other for protection during the prolonged attack, which endured for over seven hours.

In a statement shared on [platform], the group lamented, “The university’s reluctance to act speaks volumes; they’d sooner witness our demise than heed our calls for divestment.”

Nationwide escalation

The UCLA incident marks the latest surge in a series of protests spanning two weeks against Israel’s military actions in Gaza, which have proliferated to universities across the United States and some abroad.

Pro-Palestinian students at UCLA had occupied campus grounds for the past two days, advocating for the university to sever its financial connections with Israel.

On Tuesday night, New York City police apprehended numerous pro-Palestinian demonstrators who had barricaded themselves inside a Columbia University academic building in Manhattan, and dismantled a protest encampment that the prestigious institution had sought to remove for nearly two weeks.

This police action at Columbia occurred on the 56th anniversary of a similar move to disband a student occupation of Hamilton Hall protesting racism and the Vietnam War.

Nearby at The City College of New York, demonstrators clashed with police outside the main gate. Social media footage depicted officers pushing individuals as they cleared the streets and sidewalks, with many arrested protesters transported away on city buses.

Scott expressed concern that the delayed response by police to the UCLA violence might embolden future attackers, potentially aiming to coerce pro-Palestinian protesters into abandoning their demands.

Al Jazeera’s Reynolds likened the UCLA mob to incidents of settler violence in the occupied West Bank, albeit with less lethal force, describing them as a violent and uncontrolled group bent on chaos.

One member of the pro-Israel mob carried a prominent yellow flag adorned with a crown and the word “Messiah,” symbols associated with radical far-right Jewish factions, according to Reynolds.

The organization and coordination of the mob remained unclear.

Author: Md Afraz AlamI am a seasoned digital marketing professional and a dynamic news blogger. With a flair for engaging content, I craft insightful digital marketing blogs on and cover a spectrum of news topics, including politics, Economy, Technology, Science, Weather, Travel, Health, Fitness, startups, investments, stocks, cryptocurrency, entertainment, and sports here on this news site.With an eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I continue to captivate audiences with my diverse and compelling writing style.

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