Backlash, protests continue over Trump's Jerusalem decision

New York City rally in solidarity with Palestine

"Then, there was a commotion at the front, and suddenly police in riot gear fired volleys of tear gas".

Tensions are running high across the region and around the world now that US President Donald Trump has officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Addressing the protesters, the head of the Lebanese Communist Party Hanna Gharib declared the United States "the enemy of Palestine" and the U.S. Embassy "a symbol of imperialist aggression" that must be closed.

As they hurled stones, security forces responded with tear gas and water cannons.

Protesters, some of them waving the Palestinian flag, set fires in the street and threw projectiles towards the security forces who had barricaded the main road leading to the US embassy in the Awkar area north of Beirut in the Awkar area.

NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports from the demonstration that for the most part, the protesters were peaceful. Previously the USA position had been that Jerusalem's status should be resolved in peace talks between the two sides - a position shared by many world powers, who have located their Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv to avoid the appearance of taking sides in the dispute. The protesters carried flags and banners expressing solidarity with Palestinians, according to Agence France-Presse.

Before the protests broke out in Lebanon, the Arab League condemned Trump's decision as well, describing it as a "dangerous" development.

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Angry demonstrators also burned a picture of Trump and set fire to US and Israeli national flags while waving Palestinian flags as well as flags of various Palestinian factions.

Protesters told CNN they condemned Trump's steps on Jerusalem's status and said they were angry at the "impotence" of Arab leaders in the wake of the controversial decision.

The foreign ministers of the 22-member states of the Arab League met for an emergency meeting at their headquarters in Cairo on Saturday.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - now occupied by Israel - might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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

Some 450,000 Palestinian refugees are now living in camps across Lebanon, according to government data.

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