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Palestinians clash with police at US embassy in Lebanon

News - Middle East

Tear gas fired at protesters near US embassy north of Beirut during rally against US decision on Jerusalem's status.

Palestinians clash with police

Lebanese security forces fired tear gas at protesters near the US Embassy in Lebanon during a demonstration against President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Protesters threw stones at security forces who had barricaded the main road leading to the US embassy in the Awkar area, north of Beirut, on Sunday.

Security forces cordoned off the area around the embassy and deployed water cannon, stopping people about 3km away from the embassy building.

Demonstrators were trying to remove the barbed wire and climb over the barricade.

Security forces responded by firing tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters. The Lebanese government has called on the protesters not to damage property in the area.

Since 1947, Palestinians fleeing Israel have settled across Lebanon in 12 refugee camps. Official figures show there are about 450,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, but over the years the number has decreased.

READ MORE: Tense scenes as unrest over US Jerusalem move continues

International condemnation

Trump's embassy move has inflamed the Israel-Palestine conflict, in which the status of Jerusalem is a key issue. The Palestinians see occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

On Sunday, violence erupted for a fourth day in the occupied Palestinian territories in response to Trump's announcement. Witnesses said Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at groups of rallying youth in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

The protests came after Israeli air raids killed two Palestinians in Gaza on Saturday after fighters reportedly fired rockets from Gaza into Israel on Friday.

Other protests have taken place in the Indonesia capital, Jakarta, where about 10,000 people rallied on Sunday outside the US Embassy to denounce Trump's decision.

READ MORE: Arab League condemns US Jerusalem move

The head of the Arab League called the decision "dangerous and unacceptable" and a "flagrant attack on a political solution" to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

The statement by Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the regional bloc's secretary-general, came after an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from 22 Arab states in Egypt's capital, Cairo, on Saturday.

Aboul-Gheit said Trump's decision was "against international law and raises questions over American efforts to support peace" between Palestine and Israel.

The shift in US policy "undermines Arab confidence" in the Trump administration and "amounts to the legalisation" of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, he added.

Leaders from across the globe made similar remarks in the days before and after Trump's announcement on Wednesday. The US president also ordered the US embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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