U.S. Embassy under siege
Security guard stabbed; demonstrators storm U.S. Embassy in Lebanon
Protesters angry over the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel storm the U.S. Embassy east of Beirut, where they were met by Lebanese security forces firing tear gas and water cannons. Violence also flared in Israel and around the world Sunday.
Unrest continued to erupt across the Middle East over the weekend after President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy there.
Protesters in Beirut hurled rocks and plastic water bottles toward the U.S. Embassy, while a security guard was stabbed in Jerusalem. Demonstrations were held in Israel and across the world.
The protest in Lebanon, which is home to 450,000 refugees, was met with tear gas and water cannons fired by Lebanese security forces on Sunday, Reuters reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Beirut issued a security message reminding U.S. citizens of “the need for caution and awareness of personal security.”
“U.S. Embassy Beirut is aware that several groups have announced public protests following the U.S. announcement of a new policy with regard to the status of Jerusalem,” the embassy said in a statement. “Demonstrations have the potential to become violent.”
The Beirut protesters burned U.S. and Israeli flags, piles of garbage and an effigy of Trump, the Associated Press reported.
Protesters pried open the gate of the embassy compound but were turned back by security forces, according to Haaretz.
Thousands also participated in demonstrations in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday in response to Trump’s statement.
The protesters carried flags and banners expressing solidarity with Pales- tinians, according to Agence France
Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested Sunday along a major highway in the Wadi Ara area of northern Israel, AP reported, damaging several vehicles and leaving three people wounded. In response to the protests, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a boycott of Arab businesses in that region.
In Jerusalem, a Palestinian was arrested Sunday after allegedly stabbing a security guard, according to Israeli police. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter that the security guard was seriously injured in the attack. The Jerusalem stabbing appears to be the first since Trump’s announcement of his decision, according to AP.
Pope Francis called Sunday for leaders to commit to avoiding outbreaks of further violence.
“The Holy Father renews his appeal for the wisdom and prudence of everyone, and raises fervent prayers so that the leaders of nations, in this time of special gravity, commit themselves to avert a new spiral of violence,” the Vatican said in a statement.
Protesters burn an Israeli flag at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon on Sunday. Demonstrators threw stones and burned an effigy of President Trump to protest U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. BILAL HUSSEIN/AP