An Event and a Regional Trend

Battles in Gaza continue between Israel and the resistance factions amid very difficult circumstances that affect Palestinian citizens due to the economic siege on Gaza. The Israeli circles raise doubts on the benefit of the operations against the resistance even if they enter the stage of comprehensive invasion.
The Israeli analysts say that the Palestinian citizens are biased to resistance and that the Israeli army was unable to subjugate Gaza since its occupation in 1967.
The analysts add that the Palestinian authority’s cooperation with Israel is a political and moral burden on it and will involve Israel in continuous confrontation with more experienced resistance cells in the West Bank and Gaza.
It seems that Annapolis conference is destined to fail and it is certain that it will lead to a possible Palestinian third intifada as long as Israel does not respond to Palestinian rights.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Despite the retreat of the wave of optimism and the exposure of the real limits of the initiatives and internal and external communications concerning the presidential merit, the house speaker Nabih Berri believes that electing the president will take place in accordance with the constitution. The Arab signs do not serve this anticipation despite the press reports about a possible visit by head of the Egyptian intelligence Omar Suleiman to Damascus. But the new movement started yesterday in the aftermath of the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner’s phone call with Syrian foreign minister Waleed Al-Moualem and the expected arrival of the French envoy Jean-Claude Cousseran to Damascus tomorrow, while Istanbul’s meetings are still under light.
It turned out that the Maronite patriarchy is unable to name a specific candidate for presidency due to the size of contradictions and the embarrassment that may result from such a step. The last meeting also proved the scope of general Michel Aoun’s and former minister Suleiman Frangie’s response to conciliation’ requirements, while Samir Geagea chose escalation.
Political information said that the US ambassador did not reveal the reality of the American stand which is circulated in the corridors, when he said yesterday that he refuses president Lahoud’s staying in Ba’bda after the end of his term on November 24 if it is difficult to elect a new president. The international and European circles warned from the consequences of electing a president with the half plus one or through the present representatives, but the Americans want to preserve the status quo until the data about a comprehensive regional compromise appear, or until settling the stand in the area through the wars of Olmert and Bush who beat the drums of war against Iran, Syria and Lebanon.

Arab and International Press

The Israeli paper Ha’aretz wondered what will happen in the streets of Tel Aviv if war between Syria and Israel erupts, pointing out that this new war will be different from the previous ones and that the inhabitants of Haifa and Tel Aviv will be easy targets for Syrian missiles.
The Washington Post said the new set of American sanctions against Iran activated the campaign that aims at stopping Iran’s nuclear program.
Arab and International Press Agencies said the US set a plan to convince the European states and other states to impose additional sanctions on Iran outside the UN, and this will start with the meeting of the six superpowers, but Russian president Putin warned from this, while China condemned the ban on 22 persons and banks in Iran.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in it editorial that it is not a chance that while Olmert meets Abbas the Israeli occupation forces attack Gaza and kill Palestinians .
Agence France Presse said the nuclear provocation against Syria continues and the US experts talk about commercial satellite images that show that Syria dismantled completely the site that the Israel air raid targeted and this raises suspicions on the possibility of trying to build a nuclear reactor.
Al-Watan said in its editorial that the new US sanctions on the Iranian revolutionary guards are an introduction to a military strike against Iran.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: Frankly
President of Kurdistan Region Masud Al-Barazni said he does not expect the eruption of war on the Iraqi-Turkish borders and people are exaggerating the issue, pointing out that the Pkk is not welcomed on the region’s land, but if the Turkish army invades Kurdistan region it will be resisted.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said Egypt does not want a Lebanese president with good relations with Syria.
An-Nahar said France’s slogan with Damascus is, " facilitating the presidential merit peacefully, then normalization through dialogue".
As-Safir said general Michel Aoun will meet Walid Jumblatt and a delegate from Hezbollah will meet Amine Gemayel.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the failure of the Egyptian foreign minister’s visit to Beirut did not dissipate hope.
The NTV said there is a consensus among analysts that Abu Al-Gait’s visit did not lead to any solution in the presidential file.
The NBN the Arab League will send a delegation to Lebanon to continue the efforts to solve the crisis.
The OTV said the situation in Lebanon in the shadow of the diplomatic movements and communications can be described as a return to the zero point.
The LBC said time pressurizes all the sides, while the Future said head of the Egyptian intelligence will arrive in Damascus while the French envoy Jean-Claude Cousseran will be delegated to Syria and Saudi Arabia before the anticipated visit of the foreign minister Bernard Kouchner to the area.

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.