Protesters burn Israeli flags during rallies in Lebanon

Palestinians and Lebanese hold Palestinian flags as they march in the streets after Friday prayers in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP)
Updated 08 December 2017

Protesters burn Israeli flags during rallies in Lebanon

BEIRUT: Palestinian and Lebanese groups staged demonstrations after Friday prayers throughout Lebanon and inside Palestinian refugee camps. They denounced US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Friday sermons stressed “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”

A massive rally was staged in Beirut's Tareek El-Jadida, an area where Palestinian refugee camps are mixed with Sunni-majority neighborhoods. People carried signs that read “Jerusalem unites us,” and “We will sacrifice our lives for Jerusalem.”

The Future Movement organized a rally near the tomb of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri at which party MPs raised both Lebanese and Palestinian flags.

Sheikh Abdul Latif Deryan, the grand mufti of Lebanon, said from a mosque in Beirut: “Jerusalem was, and will forever be, Arab, against the wish of all tyrants. This decision will have repercussions and will not go unnoticed.”

Rallies where Israeli flags were burned took place in Saida and also in Ein El-Hilweh refugee camp on the city’s outskirts.

University students rallied in Tripoli as well.

Supporters of Lebanese parties loyal to Hezbollah and Syria will rally around the US Embassy on Sunday, and Hezbollah’s supporters will also rally next Monday in Beirut's southern suburb.

The US Embassy in Lebanon issued warnings to its nationals in the country to “avoid demonstrations,” knowing that several groups had announced staging public rallies following the US decision to designate occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The warning noted that the rallies “may become violent.”

In an official statement, the US Embassy called on its nationals to “review personal safety precautions, stay aware of their surroundings and local events, follow local news for updates, maintain a high level of caution, follow the right steps to ensure their personal security, follow the local authorities’ instructions, avoid areas where riots are staged, and be careful if they happened to be in an area where a riot or a massive rally is taking place.”

Lebanon participated in the delegate-level extraordinary meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on Friday and was represented by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.


Algerian court jails protesters over election

Updated 19 November 2019

Algerian court jails protesters over election

ALGIERS: An Algerian court has jailed four protesters for 18 months for disrupting a candidate’s campaign for the Dec. 12 presidential election which is opposed by a mass protest movement.
The court sentenced the four on Monday after protests on Sunday in the western city of Tlemcen, where one of the five candidates, Ali Benflis, was campaigning. No details were available on what their exact actions were.
Algeria’s authorities are trying to quell a protest movement that erupted in February to demand the departure of the country’s ruling hierarchy, an end to corruption and the army’s withdrawal from politics.
The army, which has emerged as the most powerful institution in the country, has pushed for next month’s election as a means to end the protests and restore normality. The former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, quit in April.
The judgment comes a week after a series of other prison sentences were handed down to protesters who had raised flags with Berber symbols during earlier demonstrations.
Several opposition leaders have also been held during the protests, and charged with contributing to damaging army morale.
However, the authorities have also detained numerous current and former senior officials on corruption charges, and have jailed some of them including the once untouchable former intelligence chief.
The protesters have rejected any presidential election carried out now, saying the continued presence of Bouteflika allies in the upper echelons of the government mean it cannot be free or fair.
Human Rights Watch said last week that the arrest of scores of protesters looked like “part of a pattern of trying to weaken opposition to Algeria’s interim rulers and their determination to hold presidential elections.”