Protests held in Lebanon to denounce U.S. decision over Jerusalem

Protests held in Lebanon to denounce U.S. decision over Jerusalem

Tear gas has been repeatedly fired to disperse the crowd, while protesters threw what appeared to be smoke grenades across the fence.

Lebanese security forces on Sunday fired tear gas and water cannon at demonstrators attempting to march on the USA embassy in Beirut in protest at President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Lebanese Communist Party head Hanna Gharib addressed the demonstrators, calling the United States "the enemy of Palestine".

Lebanese forces fired tear gas and water cannons at the demonstrations, who gathered to express displeasure with Wednesday's announcement from the USA head of state. The US embassy in Beirut is "a symbol of imperialist aggression" which must be closed, he added. The protesters carried flags and banners expressing solidarity with Palestinians, according to Agence France-Presse. But what seemed to be the end of the demonstration was only the beginning of the most violent clashes.

"We came to say to the US Embassy that it is an embassy of aggression and that Jerusalem is Arab and will stay Arab", said Ahmad Mustafa, an official in the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was among the demonstrators.

Protestors have attempted to remove a roadblock protecting the embassy in an attempt to break in, media reports have said. Previously the US position had been that Jerusalem's status should be resolved in peace talks between the two sides - a position shared by many world powers, who have located their Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv to avoid the appearance of taking sides in the dispute.

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Angry demonstrators also burned a picture of Trump and set fire to USA and Israeli national flags while waving Palestinian flags as well as flags of various Palestinian factions.

Protests and demonstrations have been held in the Palestinian territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as in many cities in the Middle East and elsewhere. Late on Saturday Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.

Israel has laid claim to the entire Jerusalem being its capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future independent state.

On Sunday, the foreign ministers of the Arab League countries called for the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning Trump's decision on Jerusalem.

"We're here to tell Trump his decision is meaningless".

The government of Lebanon, which hosts about 450,000 Palestinian refugees, has condemned Trump's decision.

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