Lebanese, Palestinians protest in Beirut against Trump’s Jerusalem move

Lebanese and Palestinian students burn a picture of President Trump as they protest in the port city of Sidon, Lebanon, on Dec. 7, 2017. (Mohammed Zaatari / Associate Press)
Lebanese and Palestinian students burn a picture of President Trump as they protest in the port city of Sidon, Lebanon, on Dec. 7, 2017. (Mohammed Zaatari / Associate Press)

Thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians marched in the streets of Beirut in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

More than 5,000 people took to the streets near the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila after Friday prayers and marched toward a cemetery where hundreds of Palestinians, including commanders, are buried.

The Shatila refugee camp was the site of a massacre that left hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians dead in 1982 during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. The massacre in Shatila and the nearby camp of Sabra was carried out by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied with Israel.

Carrying Palestinian flags, the group marched from the Imam Ali mosque in Beirut’s western neighborhood of Tariq al-Jedideh to the cemetery before they dispersed peacefully.

Lebanese MPs  slam Trump’s move

Lebanon’s parliament held a special session on Friday over  Trump’s controversial decision

At the end of the session,  Speaker Nabih Berri addressed a recommendation, in the name of the Lebanese people, to the U.S. administration.

The recommendation supports “the right of the Palestinian people to resort to legitimate resistance and struggle to get rid of the Israeli occupation.”

Berri also called for “unifying all Arab efforts to employ the capabilities in supporting the Palestinians as they seek their rights,” urging “the avoidance of all other conflicts.”

“Parliament considers that the U.S. decision on Jerusalem would lead to wars, jeopardize regional and international peace, and represent a cover for the Israeli occupation,” the parliament’s recommendation says.

At the opening of the session, Berri had warned that “those who dare to aggress against Jerusalem would dare to aggress against al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Resurrection, and therefore against Lebanon.”

Speaking at the session, the head of Hezbollah’s  bloc MP Mohammed Raad described Trump’s move as a “new aggression by the highest U.S. authority that is aimed at achieving common U.S.-Israeli interests at the expense of Palestine and the Arab and Islamic countries.”

Raad also called for “endorsing  the confrontation plan that Hezbollah chief  Hassan Nasrallah suggested” on Thursday, which called for a Palestinian intifada( uprising)

Kataeb bloc MP Fadi al-Habre warned that “recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel would undermine the peace process.” He  described Jerusalem as “a city for all religions.”

MP Ghazi Aridi of the Progressive Socialist Party said politicians in the region should not have been “surprised” by Trump’s decision, seeing as “it was taken some time ago and is not new.”

“It is part of a U.S.-Israeli strategy that Trump is implementing after having announced it during his electoral campaign,” Aridi added.

Lebanese Forces deputy chief MP George Adwan meanwhile slammed Trump’s decision as “an insult to the sentiments of Muslims and Christians.”

“We reject and condemn this illegal decision and we call on our government to inform the U.S. administration of our rejection and condemnation of Trump’s decision,” Adwan added.

Jamaa Islamiya MP Imad al-Hout meanwhile called for summoning U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard to the Foreign Ministry and for “boycotting her” until the U.S. administration “reverses its decision.”

MP Sethrida Geagea of the LF for her part called for “avoiding violence” in responding to Trump’s move.

“What is needed is a Christian-Muslim humanitarian uprising transcending borders and continents, which would be able to block this decision and seriously push for peace on the basis of the two-state solution,” Geagea added.