Police clashed with protesters outside the US embassy in Lebanon on Sunday as demonstrations against Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel spread across the Muslim world.
Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian protesters burned an effigy of Trump, U.S. and Israeli flags, and tires outside the embassy in Beirut before hurling stones at police, who responded with tear gas and water cannon.
Meanwhile marchers in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, also burned a likeness of Trump and thousands gathered on the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia, in a third straight day of protests against his decision.
Elsewhere the Israeli military said it had demolished a tunnel leading from Gaza into its territory, adding that it had belonged to Hamas.
The tunnels are used to store rockets and weapons, and during the 2014 conflict the cross-border channels were used to launch attacks against the Israeli military.
Meanwhile Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Europe where he is expected to rebuke leaders for condemning Trump’s decision, but failing to criticise Hamas for launching rockets at Israel.
Missiles were fired into Israel from Gaza on Friday night, provoking a response from Israeli fighter jets and tanks that left two members of Hamas dead.
Mr Netanyahu is expected to meet with Emmanuel Macron in France on Sunday, before going to Brussels where he will speak with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy representative, on Monday.
‘I will not accept a double standard from them,’ Mr Netanyahu said. ‘I hear voices condemning Trump but not for rocket fire. I will not accept this hypocrisy. I will represent Israel with my head held high.’
Ms Mogherini, who has criticised Trump a number of times for his Jerusalem announcement, said last week that the president’s move ‘has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in.’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also weighed in on Trump’s decision, describing Israel as a ‘state of occupation’ and accusing the government of using ‘terror’ as a weapon against Palestinians.
Erdogan, who regards himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause and an opponent of any perceived global injustice against Muslims, described Jerusalem as the ‘apple of our eye’ and a ‘red line’ for Muslims.
He said that the American decision was ‘null and void’ for Ankara. ‘Trump seeks to move forwards by saying ‘there we go, I did it, it’s done!’. I’m sorry but… being strong does not give you such a right.’
The most serious disturbances yesterday came at Rachel’s Tomb near Hebron, in Tulkarm and on the outskirts of Bethlehem.
A Palestinian youth was critically injured when he was hit in the eye by a rubber bullet in Ramallah, local media reported. The Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, denied this, saying that protesters were ‘precisely injured in the lower part of the body’.
Meanwhile, three Israelis were wounded as a bus travelling near Haifa in northern Israel came under attack by Arab youths hurling rocks.
The driver was injured by flying glass and evacuated to hospital while two passengers were treated at the scene, near the town of Arara. Police made two arrests.
Demonstrations were also held elsewhere in the country, including in Umm el-Fahm, Rehat, Tira and Tamra, but these were significantly smaller than those seen on Friday’s ‘day of rage’.
Nevertheless, the protests on Friday and the subsequent scuffles were less serious than had been expected, falling well short of the ‘new intifada’ demanded by Hamas.
Mr Netanyahu is due to attend high-profile meetings with EU leaders in Paris and Brussels today and tomorrow, a trip which one Israeli official called ‘entering the lion’s den’.