Clashes Outside U.S. Embassy in Beirut as Demonstrators Protest Against Trump Jerusalem Decision

Clashes have broken out between police and protesters gathered outside the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, to demonstrate against President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Police fired water canon and tear gas at the crowd when protesters tried to wrench out a metal gate blocking entry to the embassy compound, reported AFP.

GettyImages-889328594 Lebanese security forces use a water hose to disperse protestors during a demonstration outside the US embassy in Awkar, on the outskirts of the Lebanese capital Beirut, on December 10, 2017, to protest against Washington's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images

The Associated Press reported that the protesters had burned effigies of Trump and U.S. and Israeli flags in the street and threw projectiles at security forces blocking the main road to the compound.

Protesters carrying Palestinian and Lebanese flags and wearing keffiyeh scarves had gathered outside the embassy compound in the Awkar area north of Beirut to protest against Trump's decision Wednesday to upend decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Palestinians have long envisaged East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and U.S. allies have warned that the move could destablilize the region.

Lebanon is home to 450,000 Palestinian refugees, who make up nearly 10 per cent of the population. 

Israel occupied southern Lebanon for 18 years before withdrawing in 2000, but the two countries remain technically at war. In 2006, a war between Israel and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah broke out, claiming the lives of 1,200 Lebanese and 120 Israelis.