Clashes erupt outside U.S. embassy in Beirut

12 December, 2017, 18:43 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Protesters take cover from tear gas fired by riot police during a demonstration in front of the U.S. embassy in Aukar east of Beirut Lebanon Sunday Dec. 10 2017

The Associated Press reported that the protesters had burned effigies of Trump and USA and Israeli flags in the street and threw projectiles at security forces blocking the main road to the compound. The embassy was relocated from downtown Beirut to a well-fortified compound on a hill outside the city after the building was targeted in a 1983 bomb attack that killed 63 people.

Security forces cut off all roads leading to the embassy in northern Beirut to prevent protesters from reaching the mission.

NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports from the demonstration that for the most part, the protesters were peaceful.

Riot police used force to disperse most of the protesters and detained some, witnesses said.

Lebanon is home to more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees, who are living in 12 camps scattered across the country. The Beirut-based English language newspaper The Daily Star reported that police had attacked one of their reporters as she filmed the scene with her phone.

Late on Saturday, Arab foreign ministers urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region. "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine".

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 US decision. "No US embassies will be safe".

More news: Trump's second-in-command Pence 'unwelcome in Palestine': Fatah official

The demonstrators included members of Palestinian parties, as well as Lebanese Islamists and leftists.

A written statement from PKS described Trump's decision as "a form of humiliation and provocation against Muslims all over the world".

Israel occupied southern Lebanon for 22 years before withdrawing in 2000, but the two countries remain technically at war.

The demonstration outside the embassy comes as Lebanese group Hezbollah plans to hold a demonstration Monday in the Beirut suburbstocondemn Trump's decision.

In 2006, Israel fought a war against Hizbollah in Lebanon that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 120 Israelis, a lot of them soldiers.

Four days of street protests in the Palestinian territories over Trump's announcement on Wednesday have largely died down, but his overturning of long-standing United States policy on Jerusalem-a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians-drew more Arab warnings of potential damage to prospects for Middle East peace.

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