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Palestinian UN bid: US alerts citizens in Lebanon

The US embassy in Lebanon warns its citizens to stay far from Palestinian refugee camps and large gatherings before the expected submission of the Palestinian proposal for UN recognition

AFP , Friday 23 Sep 2011
Beirut march
Lebanese and Palestinian people march in Beirut in support of Palestinian President Abbas' bid for statehood recognition in the UN 22 Sep 2011 (Photo:Reuters)
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The US embassy in Lebanon warned its citizens on Friday to avoid Palestinian refugee camps and large gatherings in light of the expected showdown at the United Nations over Palestinian statehood.

"The US embassy in Lebanon is alerting US citizens to a possibility of a surge in demonstrations in Beirut and around Lebanon in the coming days," the embassy said in an emergency message sent to its nationals.

It said such gatherings should be avoided, as should the 12 refugee camps across the country housing an estimated 300,000 Palestinians.

"We are concerned about a possible increase in planned or spontaneous demonstrations in response to debates at the United Nations, including on the Palestinian issue," the embassy added in a statement.

"As even demonstrations or gatherings intended to be peaceful may sometimes turn violent, we wish to remind American citizens to take common-sense precautions."

Demonstrations have been held in Beirut this week in favour of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas' expected historic bid later Friday for statehood at the United Nations.

Israel and the United States are fiercely opposed to the plan. Lebanon supports the Palestinian bid.

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