Lebanese security forces on Thursday stopped protestors from reaching the US embassy near Beirut where they wanted to demonstrate against what the U.S. role in Tuesday's Israeli jail attack to seize Palestinian activists.
The protest was called for by the Arab Organization for Defending Detainees to protest the Israeli prison raid in the West Bank town of Jericho in which Israeli forces captured six Palestinians, including Ahmed Saadat, the leader of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
According to Nahranet, the committee published a statement in which it voiced its surprise about the government's ban of the rally. The group said the demonstration was against Israel's "kidnapping of Ahmad Saadat and his comrades with the American green light." Two of the organizers, Mohammed Safa and Bassam Kintar, were detained by police.
Lebanon's Acting Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said the deployment of security forces was not aimed at blocking the protest, although organizers did not ask for permission. He stressed that security forces intervened to prevent violence at the embassy.
Similar measures were taken in southern Lebanon, with witnesses reporting soldiers blocking roads leading out of Palestinian refugee camps in the port city of Sidon to prevent protesters from heading to Beirut.