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Man arrested following death of Jewish protester at pro-Palestinian rally | Crime News

Paul Kessler died after falling and hitting his head during dueling protests earlier this month.

A California university professor has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and battery in the death of a Jewish protester during pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli rallies.

Paul Kessler, 69, died after falling and hitting his head during protests against the war between Israel and Hamas earlier this month near Los Angeles.

Loay Alnaji, a computer science professor at Moorpark College, was arrested early Thursday, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Ventura County Prosecutor Erik Nasarenko later said Alnaji would be charged with involuntary manslaughter and battery.

Kessler, who died on November 6, was part of a group of pro-Israel demonstrators who participated in a pro-Palestinian demonstration the day before in Thousand Oaks, a suburb northwest of Los Angeles.

Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff told reporters earlier this month that investigators determined Kessler fell backwards and hit his head, but video footage did not provide a clear picture of a physical altercation between the two men before the fall.

Fryhoff said at the time that investigators had not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime.

The arrest comes as protests continue around the world against Hamas’ attacks on Israel on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent bombardment of Gaza.

About 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in Hamas attacks, according to Israeli officials.

Israeli bombardment of Gaza has killed at least 11,500 people, including more than 4,700 children, according to the Hamas-ruled enclave’s health ministry.

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