|Protesters trying to remove barbed wire blocking a road leading to the United States Embassy, east of Beirut, Lebanon, on Sunday. Bilal Hussein/Associated Press|
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanese security forces on Sunday fired tear gas and water cannons into crowds that had gathered near the United States Embassy, in a sign that protests against President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel may be escalating.
Thousands of protesters chanted slogans against Mr. Trump’s orders, which involves moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with some throwing rocks and setting tires and a large trash container on fire outside the embassy’s highly secured gated compound in a suburb north of the capital, Beirut.
Some protesters tried to rip the barbed wire off a fence, but they were repelled by the security forces, who fired a barrage of tear gas and sent them running, with many choking from the smoke, vomiting or fainting.
Mr. Trump’s decision, which dealt a blow to the idea of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, has been widely condemned across the Arab world and beyond. The Arab League, which held an emergency meeting in Cairo, on Sunday denounced Mr. Trump’s announcement as a “dangerous violation of international law.”
Germany and France criticized the move, and North Korea denounced Mr. Trump for what it called his “reckless, wicked act” and called him a “dotard” anew, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, 10,000 people rallied outside the American Embassy in the capital, Jakarta. It was the third and largest demonstration in that country against the Jerusalem decision by Mr. Trump.
Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has said that Mr. Trump’s move was a violation of United Nations resolutions. The country has been a longtime supporter of Palestinians and has no diplomatic ties with Israel. In a statement, Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party described the decision as “a form of humiliation and provocation against Muslims all over the world.”
The Taliban, Hamas and Shia extremist leaders also vowed bloodshed after the move, though the Islamic State has played down its significance and criticized fellow extremist groups.
In Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun both condemned Mr. Trump’s decision. Mr. Hariri said the United States move foreshadowed dangers for the region.
In a post on Twitter on Wednesday, Mr. Hariri wrote that Lebanon “declares on this day the highest degree of solidarity with the Palestinian people and its right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Foreign ministers from Arab states called on Sunday for the United States to reverse its decision, which they said put Washington on the side of the occupation. In a two-page resolution, the ministers meeting in Egypt said they would seek a United Nations Security Council meeting to address the issue. But the United States has veto power on any resolution.
The Arab League’s chief, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said at a news conference: “Jerusalem has been occupied for 50 years. This is an extended battle, a battle that will be escalated.”
In Lebanon, the security forces clashed with protesters who were trying to break through a roadblock to the American Embassy on the main road from Dbayeh, a coastal town, to Awkar.
The protesters, bused in from around Beirut, included Lebanese and Palestinians. Some chanted, “Jerusalem is Arab! Palestine is Arab!” and other slogans. Many waved Palestinian flags and the flags of Lebanese parties, Arab nationalists and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia and political party formed to fight Israel.
As the security forces confronted other protesters with batons, some retaliated by throwing rocks and glass bottles. One man drop-kicked an officer to the ground. Several people were injured after being hit directly by tear gas canisters, witnesses said. One man who said he had been hit by birdshot was seen bleeding from two places in his back.
Lebanon is home to more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees, many of whom fled what is now Israel and the West Bank during the wars of 1948 and 1967 or are descendants of those who did.
They live under tight restrictions imposed by the Lebanese government, which has barred them from more than 30 professions as part of efforts to avoid normalizing their status in Lebanon.
There have been daily protests in the camps since Mr. Trump’s announcement, and Hezbollah has called for a larger demonstration in southern Beirut on Monday.