Southern California law enforcement has arrested a suspect in the death of a Jewish man who was killed at a pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rally earlier this month.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested 50-year-old Loay Abdelfattah Alnaji and booked him with manslaughter, with bail set at $1 million.
At a news conference after the incident earlier this month, law enforcement said they were not ruling out the possibility of a hate crime. They have since provided no further information on the nature of the investigation.
Alnagy is suspected of causing the death of Paul Kessler, a 69-year-old Jewish man who attended a pro-Israel rally on the afternoon of November 5.
Earlier comments from the Sheriff’s Office indicated Kessler was attending a pro-Israel rally at the same location where the suspect they have not yet identified was attending a pro-Palestinian rally. They said there was some kind of argument between the two.
The county medical examiner determined Kessler died of blunt force head trauma consistent with a fall and ruled his death a homicide.
Authorities said they are still investigating the death. Witnesses gave conflicting accounts of the altercation, they said at a news conference last week. They will continue to look for any footage of the incident that anyone who attended the rally may have.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles issued a statement in response to the arrests, saying the law enforcement action “demonstrates that violence against our Jewish community will not be tolerated.”
After the incident, the Greater Los Angeles Regional Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement saying that it stood with the Jewish community and rejected any violence.
Tensions have been high over pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies across the country, especially when they are in close proximity to each other. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said the Nov. 5 incident was the only violent incident in the county. occur.