US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies, who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks causing further unrest in the Middle East.

Demonstrators in the city of Rabat, Morocco shout slogans during a protest against the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognise the city as the capital of Israel. December 10, 2017.
Demonstrators in the city of Rabat, Morocco shout slogans during a protest against the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and to recognise the city as the capital of Israel. December 10, 2017. (Reuters)

Palestinian protests waned in the occupied West Bank and in the Gaza Strip on Sunday while violence flared near the US embassy in Beirut where security forces fired tear gas and water cannons at protesters over US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Four days of protests in Palestine over Trump's announcement on Wednesday had largely died down, but his overturning of long-standing US policy on Jerusalem – a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians – drew more Arab warnings of potential damage to prospects for Middle East peace.

"Our hope is that everything is calming down and that we are returning to a path of normal life without riots and without violence," Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Army Radio.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli security guard at Jerusalem's main bus station who is now in critical condition. 

The incident appeared to be the first attack since Trump's announcement. In more than two years of intermittent attacks, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces have killed more than 260 Palestinians in that time, mostly attackers.

TRT World's Adefemi Akinsanya has this report.

Tens of thousands have protested in Muslim and Arab countries, including Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia.

Further protests were held in Lebanon, Indonesia, Egypt and the Palestine on Sunday.

Beirut, Lebanon

Several hundred pro-Palestinian demonstrators had gathered near the US embassy in Awkar on the outskirts of the capital Beirut.

Security forces fired tear gas and water cannons to repel demonstrators who tried to open the gate by force. A group of demonstrators set alight an effigy of the US president.

"We're here to tell Trump his decision is meaningless. Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine," Sylvia Ammoud, wearing the trademark keffiyeh headdress tied around her neck as a scarf, said.

"It isn't just a city, it's the struggle in which we grew up to build the Palestinian cause," she said.

The government of Lebanon, which hosts about 450,000 Palestinian refugees, has condemned Trump’s decision. Lebanese President Michel Aoun last week called the move a threat to regional stability.

Istanbul, Turkey

Thousands of people flocked to Istanbul’s Yenikapi Square on Sunday, protesting the US move.

"Peace can never prevail without the independence of Palestine and Palestine cannot be an independent state without Jerusalem as its capital," Palestine's Ambassador to Ankara Faed Mustafa, who was among the protestors, said.

He went on to say Jerusalem was not the capital of Israel; “It is sacred land on the earth. Israel occupied it forcibly."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly warned of the consequences of Trump's move, lashed out Sunday by calling Israel a "terrorist state" and "state that kills children".

"Palestine is an innocent victim... As for Israel, it is a terrorist state, yes, terrorist," Erdogan said in a speech in the central city of Sivas.

"We will not abandon Jerusalem to the mercy of a state that kills children."

Rabat, Morocco

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Morocco's capital Rabat against Trump's decision, waving Palestinian flags, holding banners reading "Jerusalem, capital of Palestine!"

The demonstrators marched from Rabat's Bab el Had square to Morocco's parliament building, down Mohammed VI Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare.

Cairo, Egypt

In Cairo, students and professors demonstrated at Al Azhar University, a university spokesman said, with pictures on social media showing several hundred protesters. Dozens of students protested at two other Cairo universities.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Thousands of Indonesians also protested outside the US embassy in the Indonesian capital on Sunday.

Leaders in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, have joined a global chorus of condemnation of Trump’s announcement, including Western allies who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks sparking more violence.

Afghanistan & Pakistan

In Afghanistan, more than 1,000 protesters hit the streets after Friday prayers in Kabul.

They burned effigies of Trump as well as American and Israeli flags. A few dozen tried to reach the heavily-barricaded US embassy but were pushed back by local security forces.

Around 2,500 demonstrators also protested in the western city of Herat.

Hundreds also took to the streets in Pakistan, including in the capital Islamabad. The protesters chanted "Death to Trump" and "Trump is mad."

Protesters hold a rally outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, to condemn the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, December 10, 2017.
Protesters hold a rally outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, to condemn the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, December 10, 2017. (Reuters)

Roman Catholic Pope Francis also spoke on the matter, renewing a call for "wisdom and prudence."

"The Holy Father renews his appeal for the wisdom and prudence of everyone, and raises fervent prayers so that the leaders of nations, in this time of special gravity, commit themselves to avert a new spiral of violence," a statement from the Vatican said.

Late on Saturday, Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo urged the United States to abandon its decision and said the move would spur violence throughout the region.

Israel says that all of Jerusalem is its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

Most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it in a 1967 war, to be occupied territory and say the status of the city should be left to be decided at future Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies