protests in Beirut turn violent after Trump names Jerusalem the capital of Israel
Amidst calls for his resignation over sexual misconduct aligations, U.S. President Donald Trump is also the subject of protests in the Middle East, as protesters and police clashed in Beirut near the U.S. embassy.
Earlier this week, Trump announced that the US embassy would be moving to Jerusalem due to the United States now recognizing the city as the capital of Israel, a decision that has sparked outrage all over the Middle East.
Lebanese security forces and anti Trump supporters clashed near the embassy over President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with many of the demonstrators throwing plastic water bottles, stones and sticks at the US embassy gate as well as at police.
Protest turns violent
Despite a call for a peaceful protest, this was anything but, as police were forced to use tear gas and water cannons, to keep the tremendous crowd at bay.
The crowd burnt an American flag, and set car tires and a garbage can on fire.
Despite the massive violant demonstration, no fatalities were reported however the health ministry has stated that as many as 20 protesters were injured.
On Sunday, Arab foreign ministers called for the United States to retract Trump’s decision, stating that it will result in a “grave” development that puts Washington on the same side as the “occupation.”
“We won’t leave Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murdering country,” stated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We have taken a political decision not meant to reflect (what is going on in) the streets. Political work is responsible work,” said Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit. “Jerusalem has been occupied for 50 years. This is an extended battle, a battle that will be escalated,” he said at a news conference.
He added that the UN would be asked to intervene but stated that any decision that they reach, will be vitoed by Trump anyway.
Lebanon is home to 450,000 Palestinian refugees, nearly 10 percent of the population.
“Sheep who are the Arab leaders betrayed Jerusalem years ago,” Mustafa, a Syrian demonstrator, told CNN.
Other cities around the world have been home to protests following the announcement by Trump. In Jakarta, thousands gathered outside the U.S. embassy with signs reading “Pray for Palestine” and “Freedom for Palestinians.”
Even American allies have voiced shock at Trump’s decision: “There is no alternative to the two-State solution,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. “There is no Plan B.”
More protests are scheduled for the upcoming week.