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UPDATE: Protest at Israeli Consulate Snarls West L.A. Traffic

Peaceful protest occurs Thursday after fighting intensifies in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian militants.

Update 7:40 p.m.: Consulate General David Siegel tells Patch that all crowds have dispersed the building on Wilshire Boulevard. He said some showed up to protest military action from Israel, while others showed up Thursday night from other protest groups. As far as he knows, no one was injured or arrested and there was no property damage.

He said rockets attacks from Hamas were being fired into civilian Israeli communities and many residents have been in bomb shelters since Wednesday. Since then, they have stopped, but if rocket fire continues, military forces may have to enter the Gaza Strip tonight.

"This affects about five million citizens here," Siegel said, comparing the 75 kilometer area of the Gaza Strip and its population to how the same-sized area could affect Los Angeles.

Original: Los Angeles police reported about 100 protesters stood outside the Consulate General of Israel Los Angeles offices at the corner of Granville Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard Thursday evening in response to the crisis in the Gaza Strip.

LAPD Detective Guy Villaneuva said at about 6:35 p.m. the number of demonstrators had decreased to about 40 and that the protest had been peaceful. 

Traffic along Wilshire Boulevard and connecting streets was jammed, with helicopters overhead and extra police activity.

Hostilities have escalated since Israel killed Ahmed Jabari, the military leader of Hamas on Wednesday. The militants have fired rockets against Israel, which is moving troops to the Gaza Strip.

To follow the latest news on the crisis, visit The Huffington Post.

Patch will provide updates as more information becomes available.

gina November 16, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I was at the protest tonight. It was peaceful - we were just chanting and waving our signs about. No fights or anything. We're a peaceful group so I'm not sure why there were so many cops there lol.
Minoter November 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM
It always amazes me that people think it's ok for Hamas in Gaza to fire rockets into Israel's civilian population. Now they have longer range missles (supplied by Iran) that are aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Why is that ok? If the attitude remains that Israel should no longer exist, it seems pretty hard to reason with these particular Palestinians. Yet the press only lists the numbers of women and children killed in Gaza to fire up sympathy for Hamas. With no rockets fired, we would not be having this miserable situation.

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