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Supporters of Israel, Palestinians clash in L.A. protests

November 19, 2012 |  7:32 am

Supporters of Israel and the Palestinians clashed during a rally Sunday outside the Federal Building in Westwood.

No arrests were made, but one person suffered a broken arm and Wilshire Boulevard was closed for a time, officials said.

Members of the Los Angeles Police Department, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol responded to the incident, LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said.

"Our guys called in additional resources with a tactical alert," he said. "Once we did that, things started to calm down."

The incident came amid renewed fighting in the Gaza Strip, where Israel has initiated a military campaign in response to rocket attacks from Hamas.

Smith said pro-Israel groups had obtained a permit to rally at the Federal Building on Sunday afternoon. An estimated 1,500 people attended, he said.

After the event began, a smaller group of Palestinian supporters began demonstrating on the opposite side of Wilshire, he said.

Smith said it was unclear how the clash began. 

He said officers were able to quell the conflict without using force but that authorities closed Wilshire for about 30 minutes as a precaution, snarling traffic near the 405 Freeway.


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-- Sam Allen