Witnesses claim death of elderly Jewish protester Paul Kessler was caused by pro-Palestine supporter who hit him with his megaphone

Los Angeles police are investigating the death of an elderly Jewish man who died at a pro-Israel protest as a possible 'hate' crime'

Paul Kessler died of blunt force head trauma a day after an alleged altercation with another protester in Thousand Oaks.

Witnesses say Mr Kessler, who was carrying an Israeli flag, was involved in a physical altercation with a pro-Palestine activist causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.

Video posted online shows the 69-year-old lying on his back with blood on his face as a woman with a Palestinian flag on her back leans over him trying to help.

The footage does not show the altercation that led to his injuries.

Separate opposing Israel-Hamas war demonstrations occurred simultaneously on Sunday in the city of Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles (65 km) west of Los Angeles.

Paul Kessler being helped after hitting his head following alleged altercation with pro-Palestine protester.

In another video Mr Kessler is seen being placed in an ambulance to be taken to hospital, but police said his condition deteriorated overnight and he died the next day from internal bleeding due to a head injury.

A statement delivered by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said, "During the altercation, Kessler fell backwards and struck his head on the ground. Kessler was transported to an area hospital for advanced medical treatment. On November 6, 2023, Kessler succumbed to his injuries."

Deputies asked the public for help in what it called "an active and ongoing investigation."

The leader of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, citing conversations with local government officials, said a pro-Palestinian protester had struck the victim on the head with a megaphone.

Paul Kessler carrying an Israel flag while attending a pro-Israel rally on Sunday before the attack

Rabbi Noah Farkas, president and chief executive of the group, said, "This is what's happening in American right now. There is a culture of fear and a culture of really terror against the Jewish community happening."

A woman creates Star of David at a makeshift memorial for Paul Kessler (Getty)

Investigators have questioned and released a 50-year-old man and say witnesses have provided “conflicting statements” about what led to Kessler’s fall.

Ventura County Sheriff, Jim Fryhoff said his deputies are investigating the case as a homicide and added authorities had not ruled out the possibility Mr Kessler was the victim of a hate crime.

Six-year-old Muslim Wadea Al-Fayoume was stabbed to death in Illinois

Emotions are running high in the US over the war between Israel and Hamas, with officials and civil-rights groups warning of increased threats against Jews, Muslims and Arab Americans since fighting broke out on Oct. 7.

Last month an Illinois man was charged after a six-year-old Muslim boy was stabbed to death that officials said targeted them for their religion in a response to the war.

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