An Event and a Regional Trend

The bloody events witnesses by Gaza Strip yesterday and the daily clashes in the West Bank between the Palestinian police and the resistance activists represent a kind of a Palestinian civil war that the Israelis and the Americans and Saharm el-Sheikh group have succeeded in pushing the Palestinians to it after decades of failure to ignite this war despite the sharpness of divisions and the historical political differences in the Palestinian reality. Palestinian political sources do not exonerate anyone from responsibility and clarify the issue as the following:
- President Mahmud Abbas assumes responsibility for responding to the US and Israeli pressures through his involvement in General Keith Dayton’s plan, which was carried out by Mohamed Dahlan and his team in Gaza against the Mecca agreement and Haniyeh government and his involvement in chasing resistance men in the West Bank and besieging Gaza which is a target for continuous Israeli aggressions and collective punishment.
- Hamas is losing now the strongest card in its hand which is its representation of the reality of resistance. Its opponents have succeeded in dragging it to organizational conflicts with Fatah although al-Aqsa martyrs’ brigades confront Abbas security organs in the West Bank, because he submitted and accepted what was rejected by the late president Yasser Arafat.
- The Palestinian arena needs a third force from national forces and personalities to get rid of the internal conflict and stress the national invariables and the option of resistance. This requires a response by Hamas movement in its way of dealing with others inside Gaza, because the Annapolis conference will escalate the political conflict on fateful choices.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The talks conducted by the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner have reached three results as the political and press circles concluded:
- The efforts concentrated on convincing Patriarch Sfeir to name candidates in the shadow of the Christian political division which will besiege any attempt by he Church to choose names that the French initiative supposes that the House Speaker Nabih Berry and representative Saad Hariri will receive. The patriarch will prepare a list with six names that includes Michel Aoun, Botros Harb and Nassib Lahoud and three candidates from the center.
- Kouchner left but the French envoy stayed in Beirut to continue the communications. Kosran will meet a delegation from Hezbollah, while Moratinus, Da lima , Ki-Moon and Kouchner will visit Beirut.
The loyal sources continued their campaign on the opposition in the light of the indicators that appeared after the speech made by Hassan Nasrallah. But the opposition sources refused to push the conciliation mechanism far from the content of the points related to understanding on a basket of issues. Some opponents warned from changing the conciliation to a trap that ends with electing a loyal president through transferring the list to the Parliament instead of approving a president and electing him through the two thirds quorum.
Kouchners’s statements against Hassan Nasrallah’s speech were a topic of discussion between him and the House Speaker Nabih Berry.
An opposing source said that Hassan Nasrallah’s speech resulted in avoiding the maneuvers and making everybody feel that wasting time is impossible, because the opposition is ready to prevent the coup and this requires on the loyalists and those who intervene from outside to be more serious.

Arab and International Press

In its editorial, The Times editorial talked about the financial challenges of the US forces in Iraq, saying there is a need for billions of dollars to restructure the army and its equipment.
The USA Today paper said the US forces’ torture methods violate the US values and endanger the soldiers who serve abroad.
Joshua Baltru and Scot Tyson said in a report published in the Washington Post that the US efforts which aim at organizing a force that consists of 70 thousand Sunni fighters in Iraq face logistic challenges and the opposition of the Iraqi government.
Los Angeles Times wondered if the US army has a strategy to leave Iraq, pointing out that the surge policy has achieved its goals.
The Emirate paper Al-Khaleej said in its editorial that the efforts to approve a Lebanese president have failed due to foreign interventions and internal forces which are connected with foreign sides.
The Israeli papers quoted leader of the Israeli army’s colleges General Garcon as saying that former head of staff Dan Haluts was not convinced of the capabilities of the land forces to achieve the required goals in Lebanon’s war.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the French initiative has achieved a breakthrough represented in convincing the Maronite Patriarch to name some presidential candidates.
As-Safir said that the visit made by French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner to Lebanon left behind it questions and did not give answers concerning the dilemma of the presidential elections.
Ad-Diyar said Kouchner was unable to convince Patriarch Sfeir to offer a list of candidates to choose from.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered if the French endeavors will result in a solution and convince patriarch Sfeir to hand a list of candidates.
The NTV said the Lebanese have placed all their hopes in the French basket without dropping the possibilities of failure.
The NBN said Kouchner may return to Beirut again if positive developments appear.
The OTV said those who met Kouchner felt that he has a list of candidates but he did not reveal it.
The LBC said the general inability to name a president in Lebanon requires a local, regional and international miracle.
The Future said the UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon will visit Beirut next Thursday to save the presidential merit from the claws of the threats uttered by Secretary General of Hezbollah’s speech.

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.