Rioters set fire to US Embassy in Beirut after Hezbollah calls for 'day of rage'

The group gathered hours ahead of Biden's arrival in neighboring Israel.

Hundreds of angry rioters carrying Palestinian flags attacked the US embassy in Beirut, Lebanon on Tuesday, following news of an explosion at a Gaza hospital that reportedly killed hundreds of people.

Tear gas was deployed in an attempt to disperse the crowd, according to the New York Post. The group gathered hours ahead of Biden's arrival in neighboring Israel.

One man was seen scaling a fence outside of the embassy, waving a Palestinian flag above the crowd, which also flew Hamas flags. Rioters also set fire to a building behind the embassy gates.

The protestors marched on the buildings following a statement from Hezbollah, an Iran-backed terrorist group in Lebanon, telling the Arab world to protest in front of Israeli embassies, blaming Israel for the explosion at the hospital. The protestors were a mix of Pro-Palestinian and Hezbollah supporters. The UN has said that Israel was not responsible for the blast.

Rioters assembled in front of the US and French embassies, claiming that US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron are responsible for the airstrikes in Gaza by providing military aid to Israel. Israel doesn’t have an embassy in Lebanon.

The State Department gave US embassy workers in Beirut the option to leave the country and is also warned US citizens not to travel to Lebanon. A State Department advisory said, “Do Not travel to Lebanon due to the unpredictable security situation related to rocket, missile, and artillery exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah or other armed militant factions. Reconsider travel to Lebanon due to terrorism, civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, kidnapping, and Embassy Beirut’s limited capacity to provide support to US citizens.” 

The unrest followed news that Gaza’s Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital had suffered an explosion. Hamas claimed it was due to a rocket from an Israeli air strike, while Israel claimed the explosion was caused by a rocket misfired by terrorists. Hamas claimed at least 500 people died in the explosion. 

According to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), “An analysis of IDF operational systems indicates that a barrage of rockets was fired by terrorists in Gaza, passing in close proximity to the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza at the time it was hit.”

The statement continued, “Intelligence from multiple sources we have in our possession indicates that Islamic Jihad is responsible for the failed rocket launch which hit the hospital in Gaza.“ Islamic Jihad is another terrorist group that often works with Hamas.

A UN spokesperson said "While we continue to collect information, our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday."

Videos have also surfaced online of protests erupting at the US Embassy in Jordan, Iran and Iraq, as well as a US military base in Turkey.

Rioters also reportedly clashed with Palestinian Authority security forces in Jenin, Nablus, Bethlehem, and Ramallah.


Biden was set to attend a summit in Amman, Jordan, which would have included leaders King Abdullah II of Jordan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, but that summit was canceled.

"After consulting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and in light of the days of mourning announced by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Biden will postpone his travel to Jordan and the planned meeting with these two leaders and President Sisi of Egypt," The White House said in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon.

"The President sent his deepest condolences for the innocent lives lost in the hospital explosion in Gaza, and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded. He looks forward to consulting in person with these leaders soon, and agreed to remain regularly and directly engaged with each of them over the coming days."

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