BEIRUT (AFP) – Lebanese security forces fired tear gas and water cannons on Sunday at demonstrators near the US embassy as they protested Washington’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
An AFP correspondent in Awkar outside the capital Beirut said several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered near the US embassy, located in the area.
They were blocked from reaching the complex by a metal gate sealing the road leading to the embassy, and security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to repel demonstrators who tried to open the gate by force.
Several people were injured by rocks and tear gas, the correspondent said.
There was no immediate comment from security forces.
Protestors waving Palestinian and Lebanese flags, and sporting black-and-white checked keffiyeh scarves, chanted slogans against President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A group of demonstrators set alight an effigy of the US president, whose decision has upended decades of American diplomacy and an international consensus to leave the status of Jerusalem to be resolved in negotiations.
The demonstrators included members of Palestinian parties, as well as Lebanese Islamists and leftists.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon, including those who fled or were expelled from their homes after Israel’s founding, as well as their descendants.
Israel occupied southern Lebanon for 22 years before withdrawing in 2000, but the two countries remain technically at war.
In 2006, Israel fought a devastating war against Hezbollah in Lebanon that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 120 Israelis, most of them soldiers.