Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Protests held in Lebanon to denounce United States decision over Jerusalem

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media captionBBC reporters in Jordan Turkey Indonesia Afghanistan and Pakistan convey the public mood Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionBBC reporters in Jordan Turkey Indonesia Afghanistan and Pakistan convey the public mood
Charlie Simmons | 11 December, 2017, 03:43

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

At the scene, the protesters clashed with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), who erected metal gates and barbed wire at the embassy entrance to prevent people from getting close to the building.

President Trump's decision has led to fresh Israeli strikes on Gaza, the deaths of Palestinian protesters, and the attempted storming of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.

The almost three-hour demonstration in Mount Lebanon's Awkar, north of Beirut, reflected a broad cross section of voices protesting in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite barricades and barbed wire erected by the ISF to keep the demonstrations a kilometer away from the embassy.

Among other things, the rioters reportedly burned USA and Israeli flags and an effigy of Donald Trump, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. Protesters, some of them waving Palestinian flags, set fires in the street and threw projectiles towards security forces that had barricaded the main road to the US Embassy in the Awkar area north of Beirut. "It is impossible to implement this decision as long as there are people like us", said a Palestinian protester.

Trump's move Wednesday to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and commit to moving the U.S. embassy to the holy city has prompted global condemnation and sparked protests worldwide, from Indonesia and Malaysia to Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.

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Before the protests broke out in Lebanon, the Arab League condemned Trump's decision as well, describing it as a "dangerous" development. 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.

The dramatic shift in Washington's Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories and several Muslim countries.

Lebanon is home to nearly half a million Palestinian refugees.

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.

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 USA decision.

On Monday, a large demonstration organized by Hezbollah is planned in the southern suburb of Beirut.

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