An Event and a Regional Trend

The Israeli press focused on the continuous battles that the resistance men fight against occupation in the West Bank, despite accelerating the security coordination between the Israeli intelligence and Palestinian authority organs. _ The press said: the death toll among Israeli soldiers and officers increases every day while the attempts to arrest the new generation of resistance men seem difficult.
This situation indicates a movement in the Palestinian street resulting from the well-known Israeli stand towards Palestinian national rights, and this will benefit the Palestinian factions especially after the US-Israeli measure which considered Gaza an enemy zone. This will enhance the status of Hamas and the resistance factions on the representational level.
Palestinian sources stress that Hamas’s resort to dialogue and its openness to moderate forces on the Palestinian arena will enhance its chances to break the ring of siege after its success in securing the highest degrees of political and security integration inside the Strip in a way that facilitates the work of the resistance men in confronting occupation and deterring aggression. When Hamas appears in the position of defending the Palestinian people, and shows openness to other factions, this will qualify it to lead a new stage of the Palestinian national life, in which the method of resistance will dominate and confront the method of bargaining that the Americans and Israelis are dragging it to accept what is below the minimum which was rejected by the late president Yasser Arafat.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Press and political circles focused on the international interactions of the campaign that accompanied the assassination of Representative Antoine Ghanem. The US embassy’s statement, which reflected a flagrant intervention in the presidential merit and a tutelage tone, expressed the public endeavors of the loyalists to internationalize the presidential merit. That is what the US administration publicly called for under the title of sponsoring the merit.
The loyalists launched their normal accusations without waiting for the investigations’ results, although they control all the organs of the state, including the security organs. They were unable to offer any evidences that prove their political accusation and the only time in which evidences appeared was in Nahr Al-Bared events where the Lebanese army assumed the security responsibility. The result refuted the loyalists’ accusations against Syria. On this basis, many Lebanese suspiciously look at the series of ready accusations, because the complications of Fatah Al-Islam and Tripoli battles cast shadows of doubts on the loyalists’ involvement. The investigation did not only show that Syria is innocent, but revealed also that Arab security organs, which are not Syrian, are involved in mobilizing Arab and foreign armed men and in helping them to run away. It is to be noted that the opposition is still insisting on posing questions on some loyalists’ involvement in financing and arming Fatah Al-Islam fighters. These questions are still without answers, except the talk about offering money in the formula of social aids.
A leading opponent source said what is dangerous is that the US scenario to internationalize the presidency starts off through the two mechanisms of killing and provoking against Syria. Therefore, it is necessary to deal seriously with the loyalists’ talk about other assassination operations. It is clear that this machine puts its political plan and does not care about its bloody price which aims at strangling all the moderate voices and changing Lebanon into a US platform within the framework of the general positioning required by the US plan concerning the area in the shadow of the continuous of failure in Iraq.

Arab and International Press

The Israeli newspapers said the political circle in Israel received with big surprise and resentment what it considered as "a slip of a tongue" by the leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu, who broke the official silence by admitting that he was a secretive partner in the strategic and successful Israeli raid on Syria.
Menachem Ben said in an article published in the Israeli paper Ma’ariv that he tends to believe the Syrian reports on the Israeli raid, adding that all the press leaks on this event and the talk about Syrian nuclear options are groundless.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial the cycle of political assassinations in Lebanon pushes the country to the rim of danger, pointing out that the country seems open to more deterioration.
Amir Taheri said in an article published in the Saudi paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner has put the cat with the pigeons when he announced the necessity of the West’s readiness to launch a war that prevents Iran from possessing an arsenal of nuclear weapons, pointing out that Kouchner’ statements correspond to the style of the new president Sarkozy, which is based on the principle of frank talk.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said Washington has sent messages to the Lebanese majority forces asking them to demand officially international protection in order to deploy international forces on the land and sea borders with Syria.
Al-Akhbar said the majority forces asked for direct international tutelage in the final statement of the meeting which discussed the assassination of the representative Antoine Ghanem.
An-Nahar said the security of the representatives overwhelms the preparations for holding September 25 session.

Arab Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program : Special Statement
Hamas member in the Palestinian national legislative council Ahmad Abou Halbiya said Rice comes to conspire against the Palestinian people and for this reason thus the announcement with the enemy’s foreign minister Tzipi Livni that Gaza is an enemy zone.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the February 14 team quickly moved from accusing Syria of assassinating Ghanem to holding the house speaker responsibility for obstructing the merit.
The NTV said the majority moved to secure international protection for the presidential merit.
The NBN wondered if the Lebanese people will be able to preserve the spark of hope ignited by Nabih Berri’s initiative.
The OTV (which is close to the National Liberal Trend) said the reality of the crime that targeted Antoine Ghanem is not revealed yet.
The LBC said Ghanem’s assassination threatens to assassinate the compromise.
Al-Mustakbal said Ghanem is the victim of a terrorist plan that targets the symbols of independence and sovereignty.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Representative Fareed Al-Khazen said it is wrong to accuse any team without evidences.
Minister Marwan Hamade said March 14 statement calls for an Arab and international sponsorship of the presidential merit.
Ziad Majed, the leader in the Democratic Left, said that Syria wants vacuum in Lebanon as an alternative to any conciliatory president, because a vacuum obstructs the work of the international Tribunal. The compromise also weakens the Syrian influence which fears the Saudi-Iranian closeness.

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.