Clashes have broken out between security forces and protesters outside of the US Embassy in the Awkar area of Beirut on Sunday, December 10, as hundreds of protesters gathered to denounce the US government's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Protesters have reportedly attempted to remove a roadblock protecting the embassy. Police have used tear gas and water canons to disperse the crowds.
Hezbollah has called for a large demonstration to be held in southern Beirut on Monday, December 11. Further protests and associated violence are possible over the coming days.
On December 6, US President Donald Trump announced that the US officially recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a departure from the previous US and international position of neutrality on the status of the city claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians; no country has an embassy in Jerusalem. Many world leaders had strongly advised the US administration against the move, claiming it would render impossible the establishment of a Palestinian state and would inflame tensions across the Muslim world.
The US Congress passed a law in 1995 stipulating that the US Embassy in Israel be moved to Jerusalem by May 1999; US Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all issued waivers every six months to delay the move throughout their respective tenures.
Individuals in Beirut are advised to avoid the area, monitor the situation, and any avoid any further protests due to the risk of associated violence