An Event and a Regional Trend

Gaza is the Arab and regional event and the center of attention in the press and political scene. The latest events and developments can be summed up as follows:
 1. The signs of the Palestinian popular anger which was manifested in storming Rafah crossing. This embarrassed the Egyptian government in the shadow of big interactions which started to appear in the Egyptian street in a number of professional sectors in some Egyptian cities.
 2. Demonstrations took place in a number of Arab countries including Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria. This indicates the interaction of the Palestinians in the Diaspora with the events.
 3. The Palestinian authority is embarrassed by the quick answer of Khalid Mishal against the Palestinian president who accused the resistance’s missiles of being responsible for the current situation. Mishal said the missiles are used specifically for defensive deterrence.
 4. Egypt and the US marketed the idea of handing over the crossings to the Palestinian authority but Israel rejected this repeatedly claiming the Palestinian police can be penetrated by resistance.
 5. Israel insists on putting the steps of the gradual lifting of the siege within the framework of the attempt to contain the angry Arab and international reactions while Barak and Olmert adopt a long term siege plan.
 6. Arab and Palestinian circles anticipate the results of the national Palestinian conference which will start today in Damascus in the light of the information about the return of dialogue , unity, and internal flexibility showed by Hamas under the title of the priority of the conflict against occupation.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Symbols in the Lebanese opposition talked about the existence of a US plan to assassinate leader of the Lebanese resistance Hassan Nasrallah which entered the stage of implementation and some Lebanese sides are involved in it. The statements of some loyalists, especially Gemayel and Geagea ,were considered as a translation of this political process. This file adds a dangerous dimension to the climate of political tension.
The following indicators appeared in the field of the political interaction of the constitutional and political crisis:
 1. Syria stressed during its talks with Russian deputy foreign minister Sultanov the necessity of continuing the Arab endeavors and calling the Arab league secretary general to abridge the gap among the different points of view while preparations continue to hold the Arab foreign ministers council next Sunday.
 2. The preparations of the syndicates continue to announce the warning strike tomorrow amid a campaign launched by the loyalists to obstruct the strike and accuse the opposition of standing behind it but the opposition repeated what was announced by Hassan Nasrallah who said the opposition has the ability to call for a movement under a political title instead of hiding behind the social slogans.
 3. The opposition discusses the idea of sending a leading delegation to Cairo to submit a memorandum to Arab foreign ministers that stresses the principle of partnership and calls to an Arab neutral stand in dealing with the presidential file.
 4. Calls continue in Lebanon to organize demonstrations against the Israeli siege on Gaza.
 5. French foreign minister Kouchner ruled out internationalization due to the fear from the reflection of this on the UNIFIL forces and due to the impossibility of changing the equation on the ground with an international resolution.
 6. The opposition warns from the presence of an internationalization plan while the information said the Arab league secretary general and some Arab foreign ministers will be delegated to Lebanon in accordance with the proposal of the house speaker Nabih Berri.

Arab and International Press

Elided Back said in an article published in al-Qabas that the US president George Bush and French president Sarkozy are still resting from their long journey to the Middle East.
Ellen Brasher said in an article published in al-Qabas that the liberation party which was founded by a Palestinian-Jordanian judge started to fill the vacuum left by Hamas without resorting to policies of violence.
The Israeli paper Yidiot Aharonot said the speech of Hassan Nasrallah caused turmoil inside Israel. He is an expert in the Israeli rituals of death and succeeded in touching the wound. Some ministers fell in the trap and called for assassinating him.
The Pakistani official press agency said the joint Saudi-Pakistani military exercises started yesterday in the Arab Sea under the name the Breeze of the Sea.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that talking about an urgent Arab summit indicates the dangerous stand in Palestine and Lebanon.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said the Israeli prime minister does not care about the disaster in Gaza Srtip.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the Arabs achieved two prominent achievements: calling the Security Council for holding a meeting to discuss the disaster in Gaza and the arrival of some fuel trucks to Gaza.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: The Opposite Direction
Head of the New Orient Center for Studies and Media Naser Kandil said that the US president intended to visit Lebanon during his tour but he was advised not to come because he is not welcome in this country.
Professor of political science at al-Kuwait university Ayed al-Manna’ said President Bush deserves honorable reception and appreciation not only in our country but everywhere in the world because he is the liberator and the son of the liberator.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the internal condition is open to all the possibilities.
As-Safir said Lebanon lives a political crisis that changed it into an arena for all the conflicts of the world.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said Amine Gemayel and Samir Geagea expressed their sympathy with the fragments of the Israeli soldiers. It turned out that this is an Israeli order conveyed to them by David Welch to divert attention from the hysteria caused by the speech of Hassan Nasrallah inside Israel,
The NTV said that the women of Gaza are more active than the Arab rulers and they stormed Rafah crossing to confront the security elements of a brotherly state which dealt with them with gas bombs.
The NBN said the loyalists fabricate accusations against the opposition and this obstructs initiatives.
The OTV said the opposition clings to the guaranteeing third but the loyalists reject this even if the price is a civil war.
The LBC said the Arab initiative which started as a project for solution ended as a topic of a problem.
The Future said popular movements are nurtured by the opposition to embarrass the government and increase pressures on the Arab initiative.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: The Morning of the World
Representative Saleem Aoun said the majority refused to elect Michel Suleiman because he does not belong to its political team and because he has military roots and signed the memorandum of understanding with Hezbollah.

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, French, German, and Spanish languages. Also worth a read is Indicators, the daily Near East economic watch newsletter, available in Arabic, English and Spanish.