Israeli-Palestinian conflict produces local demonstrations

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES  — Hundreds of people gathered in West Los Angeles Oct. 15 to express solidarity with Israel, one day after a similar march and rally took place in support of Palestinian rights.

The Oct. 15 march began at Young Israel of Century City on West Pico Boulevard, and continued to the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance several blocks away.

Among those taking part in the official program at the Museum of Tolerance were Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dov, D-Los Angeles, Rabbi Marvin Hier, CEO of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, pastor and author Greg Laurie, attorney, former U.S. defense official and Muslim Coalition of America board member Omar Qudrat, former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather and multiple NBA players.

Gov. Gavin Newsom sent a message of solidarity via video.

Several hundred people marched for Palestinian rights Saturday afternoon in front of the Consulate General of Israel at 11766 Wilshire Blvd., in an event organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, which held similar events in cities around North America amid Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas.

The demonstration dubbed “Rally for Return: ALL OUT FOR GAZA” attracted a crowd estimated to be about 1,000 and included participants marching along Wilshire Boulevard.

The West L.A. Division of the Los Angeles Police Department was monitoring the demonstration, working with group organizers to facilitate First Amendment rights,” the LAPD PIO posted on X. As of about 4:20 p.m., the event was staying peaceful, LAPD Officer Drake Madison told City News Service.

But Emily Holshouser with the Southern California News Group reported that “Things got very tense in the crowd when a man holding an Israeli flag and wearing a kippah approached some people. Police separated everybody after a few minutes.”

At one point during the demonstration, someone released tear gas or a similar agent.

Some demonstrators wore or carried Palestinian flags and signs reading “Resistance is Not Terrorism,” “Long Live Palestine” and “Free All Palestinian Political Prisoners. End the Occupation.”

The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert at 2:42 p.m. shutting down the northbound and southbound Wilshire Boulevard on- and off-ramps from the San Diego (405) Freeway. The ramps were reopened at 4:38 p.m.

The LAPD reported at about 3:45 p.m. that “Wilshire Blvd is open to traffic. Intermittent closures on side streets to allow pedestrians to cross at the intersections.”