An Event and a Regional Trend

The escalating Israeli operations against Gaza Strip and threats to assassinate resistance activists and Hamas leaders take place in a political climate secured by the US movement, which was represented in the stands that support Israel since the collapse of the Palestinian unity government and the joint US-Israeli exploitation of the Palestinian political crisis. The Arab states that revolve in the US orbit have supported this movement under the title of supporting the Palestinian authority against Hamas since the movement’s declaration of aborting Mohammad Dahlan coup under the sponsorship of the US General Keith Dayton and the Israeli intelligence as the recently revealed documents showed.
The Israeli aggressions continue amid a tightened siege and Israel talks about preparations for invading Gaza while the resistance factions do not only hold the US-Israel alliance responsible for this, but also the Arab governments, which provide a political cover.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

After the state shura council’s decision to reject the appeal against the decree, which calls for the by-elections in al-Matn and due to the failures of mediations, it seems that the by-elections will take place in Beirut and al-Matn next Sunday. The press focuses on condition in al-Matn due to the nature of the electoral battle between the candidate of the National Liberal Trend Camille Khouri and the higher chief of the phangalists sheik Amine Gemayel.
Two days ago, the electoral positioning was completed in the northern Matn by the siding of the machine of the deputy premier Michel Al-Murr with Tachnag party, the Liberal Trend and the other forces in al-Matn that support Camille Khouri. On the other hand, all the sides of the loyals announced their support to Gemayel. Meanwhile, the Lebanese army took tightened security measures to protect the electoral operation.
Things seem different in Beirut despite the presence of an opponent candidate that belongs to the People’s Movement, who will compete with the candidate of the representative Saad al-Hariri. Political forces and parties and active personalities and gatherings in Beirut called for boycotting the elections starting off from the unconstitutional nature of the decree, which called for holding them.
An opponent source said al-Matn battle has the aspect of dispute on the Christian representational reference while the presence of General Michel Aoun is necessary to fight the battle despite the clear stand of the Liberal Trend, which considers the elections as illegal and the failure of the attempts to avoid the battle.
The Future trend can not say in Beirut that its battle is with all the opposition because Hezbollah and Amal movement decided not participate. The battle is between the Future Trend and the People’s movement.
The source added that the loyal political and press campaign concerning Beirut’s elections is and attempt to fabricate a false victory.

Arab and International Press

Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa said in an interview with the BBC that Syria’s representative at the Arab ministerial meeting has reserved on the a paragraph in the resolution related to the peace process, which talks about the necessity of achieving Palestinian reconciliation and refers to the fact-finding committee, and the dispute was on one point which is: Will the resolution be implemented now or accompany the final report of the fact-finding committee?
The Emirate paper said the Security Council issued the resolution 1769, which provides for sending an international peace force to Darfur.
The Saudi paper Al-Watan said Gulf security faces dangerous challenges.
Diplomatic sources in London said: the Russian government has sent a new scientific expedition to explore the depths of Northern Polar Ocean to fix its claims of owning areas in the North Pole, which may contain gas and oil.
The Saudi paper Al-Sahrq al-Awsat said international press agencies and television stations and the major papers contract professional correspondents for a field covering of Iraq’s news, but despite this, knowing what happens in Iraq is still limited.
Informed Libyan and Arab sources said there is a silent conflict between Seif al-Islam Kadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader, and the old guards in the revolutionary committees movement due to statements by Seif al-Islam, which said the Libyans have fabricated the aids story.

Lebanese Press

Al-Nahar said the Maronite patriarchy warned from the reflections of al-Mtn electoral battle on ordinary citizens.
Al-Akhbar said president Gemayel refused the patriarch Sfeir’s initiative.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: The Day’s Harvest
Saudi Foreign minister Saud al-Faisal stressed his country’s participation in the Peace conference that President Bush called for, pointing out that it contains important and positive elements concerning the comprehensive solution, dismantling settlements and establishing the independent Palestinian state and solving the refugees’ problems.

Television Stations News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the state shura council has proved that it is not authorized to look at the decree that called for the elections and this means the elections will take place on Sunday.
The NTV said the language of conciliation disappeared and Lebanon is heading for a Sunday elections.
The NBN said the initiatives that aimed at avoiding a fierce battle in al-Matn failed
The LBC said the initiatives concerning the by-elections in al-Matn collapse one by one and their timing seemed as a fuel to the battle.
The Future said next Sunday will witness a fierce confrontation after the failures of all the mediations.

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on in Arabic, English and French languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic and English.