Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water canons at protesters near the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Sunday during a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Protesters, some of them waving Palestinian flags, set fires in the street and threw projectiles toward security forces that had barricaded the main road to the U.S. Embassy in the Awkar area north of Beirut.
Addressing the protesters, the head of the Lebanese Communist Party Hanna Gharib declared the United States “the enemy of Palestine” and the U.S. Embassy “a symbol of imperialist aggression” that must be closed. Protesters burned U.S. and Israeli flags.
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies, who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks causing further unrest in the Middle East.
The government of Lebanon, which hosts about 450,000 Palestinian refugees, has condemned Trump’s decision. Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week called the move a threat to regional stability.
The powerful Iran-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah on Thursday said it backed calls for a new Palestinian uprising against Israel in response to the U.S. decision.
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also called for a protest against the decision in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of Beirut on Monday.