On Wednesday, July 1, protesters blocked the main highway in Beirut's Jal El Dib neighborhood by burning tires and marching down the road. Protesters gathered following the raising of government-subsidized bread prices earlier in the week, as well as to demonstrate against the failing Lebanese economy and deteriorating living conditions. Smaller protests were reported in the evening of Thursday, July 2, with shopkeepers protesting against the fluctuating exchange rate in Martyr's Square. Protesters also gathered outside the Interior Ministry and Central Bank in Hamra, and in Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut.
Further demonstrations are likely in the near to medium-term, with a heightened security presence to be expected near protest sites.
The value of the Lebanese pound hit a record low on the black market on Tuesday, as the government raised the price of bread and announced that soldiers would stop receiving meat in their meals. Supermarkets have been pictured with empty shelves and retailers have closed stores following a rush to purchase goods, such as candles, flour, and yeast, amid rising prices.
Individuals in Beirut are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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