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Why Did a U.S. Federal Agent Open Fire at a Pro-Israel Rally?

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A shot rang out in Los Angeles Sunday as supporters of Israel and Palestinians clashed, with the gunfire coming not from either side in the fight but by a federal agent trying to stop fleeing fighters.

The altercation was chaotic: the Israeli side allegedly struck first, but it was the pro-Palestinians who got arrested.

Los Angeles Police told the Los Angeles Times that the incident started after 5 p.m. local time when a pro-Israel demonstrator — part of a crowd numbering close to 2,000 — grabbed a Palestinian flag from a passing truck and stepped on it.

The Palestinian supporters in the truck then jumped out and began using wooden flagpoles to attack the Israel supporters.

Image source: screengrab via Image source: screengrab via KTLA-TV

In the ensuing chaos, the pro-Palestinian group apparently jumped back in the truck and attempted to flee, prompting a Federal Protective Services officer to fire a warning shot to keep them there, the Times reported.

No one was reported injured by the shot.

Police told the Times that four men, identified as Mostadafa Gamaleldin Hafez, Hassan Mustapha Kreidieh, Mohammed Said Elkhatib and Fadi Ali Obeidallah, were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Image source: screengrab via Image source: screengrab via KTLA

The agent who fired the gun has been placed on leave while the incident is investigated, the Times reported, and the four suspects were expected to be released after posting bail.

Watch a cell phone video of the incident below, or see more photos of the scene from the Jewish Journal here.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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