Pro-Palestinian professor arrested over Jewish man’s death

Paul Kessler died at a pro-Israel march earlier this month


A college professor has been arrested over the death of a Jewish man who was attacked at a pro-Palestinian rally in California.

Loay Abdelfattah Alnaji, 50, is alleged to have struck Paul Kessler, 69, with a megaphone after he waved an Israeli flag. Kessler then fell and hit his head on the ground. Emergency services were called and Kessler was taken to a nearby hospital

Bail has been set at $1m and Alnaji will be booked on involuntary manslaughter charges, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.

Kessler died a day after the incident on November 5. An autopsy found that the cause of his death was a blunt-force head injury.

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Christopher Young said that Mr Kessler had injuries to the left side of his face, but ‘the lethal injury was the impact to the back of the head from Mr Kessler falling and striking his head on the ground’.

The injuries to the front of the face ‘could be consistent with a blow to the face,’ he added.

Mr Kessler was part of a counter-protest at the pro-Palestinian rally in Thousand Oaks. 

Alnaji teaches computer science at Ventura County Community College. 

The Jewish Foundation of LA released a statement in support of the arrest.

‘We are grateful for the swift work of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department in response to the tragic death of Mr. Paul Kessler,’ the statement said. 

‘This arrest shows that violence towards our Jewish community will not be tolerated. We will continue to monitor the case to help ensure justice is served. 

‘Our heartfelt condolences continue to be with the family of Paul Kessler and may his memory forever be a blessing.’

Officials initially said they hadn’t ruled out the possibility of a hate crime. The sheriff’s office wouldn’t say Thursday morning if such a charge may still come.

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