Protesters near US embassy in Beirut sprayed with water cannon, teargas
PHOTO CAPTION: People clash with security forces during a protest near the U.S. embassy in Awkar, after hundreds of Palestinians were killed in a blast at Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza that Israeli and Palestinian officials blamed on each other, Lebanon October 18, 2023. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese security forces used teargas and water cannon to repel scores of protesters demonstrating on Wednesday near the U.S. embassy in Beirut against what they said was Israel's attack on a hospital in Gaza that killed hundreds of Palestinians.
The United States has been targeted for criticism across the region for pledging ironclad support for Israel in its war in Gaza after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas carried out a deadly cross-border attack into Israel on Oct. 7.
Demonstrators, who blame Israel for Tuesday's blast at the Gaza hospital although Israeli officials say it was a misfired rocket from a Palestinian group, were prevented from reaching the embassy's boundary by barricades blocking roads hundreds of metres (yards) from the mission in a north Beirut suburb.
Some protesters waved Palestinian flags while others hurled stones at the security forces, who pushed them back with water cannon and volleys of teargas. Television footage from the scene showed flames licking up from a building near the barricades.
Elsewhere in Beirut, thousands of protesters gathered in south Beirut at a demonstration called by Iran-backed Hezbollah, which fought a war with Israel in 2006. Hezbollah officials denounced Israel and the United States for the hospital blast.
(Writing by Edmund Blair; editing by Mark Heinrich)