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The almost three-hour demonstration in Mount Lebanon's Awkar, north of Beirut, reflected a broad cross section of voices protesting in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite barricades and barbed wire erected by the ISF to keep the demonstrations a kilometer away from the embassy. Tear gas has been repeatedly fired to disperse the crowd, while protesters threw what appeared to be smoke grenades across the fence.

Lebanese Communist Party head Hanna Gharib addressed the demonstrators, calling the U.S. "the enemy of Palestine".

Lebanese security forces on the scene responded with tear gas and water cannons, as demonstrators lit a large garbage can and auto tires on fire.

NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports from the demonstration that for the most part, the protesters were peaceful. The protesters carried flags and banners expressing solidarity with Palestinians, according to Agence France-Presse.

"We came to say to the US Embassy that it is an embassy of aggression and that Jerusalem is Arab and will stay Arab", said Ahmad Mustafa, an official in the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was among the demonstrators. "We urge United States citizens to avoid all protests", the statement from the embassy said.

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.

"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.

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Lebanon's President Michel Aoun slammed Trump's decision, calling it risky and a threat to the credibility of the United States as mediators of the peace process in the region.

The Palestinians consider East Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state.

"We have taken a political decision not meant to reflect [what is going on in] the streets".

Lebanon is home to nearly half a million Palestinian refugees.

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.

Trump said the decision was merely to "acknowledge the obvious", saying "this is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality".


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