An Event and a Regional Trend

The Interactions of Gaza Govern Arab Reality

The developments caused by Gaza events and the continuity of the popular steadfastness in the face of the Israeli massacre formed the spine of the political and press events in the Arab area. The latest developments can be summed up as follows:
- 1. The new reality imposed by the popular movement as a way to break the siege by force and eliminate the barriers between the two parts of Rafah, the Palestinian and the Egyptian, and Cairo’s acceptance of this reality through the statements of president Mubarak amid atmospheres charged with anger and sympathy with Palestinians in the Egyptian street and the military establishment.
- 2. The expansion of the circle of popular sympathy with the Palestinian cause in a number of Arab countries. This indicates that the ice ball is growing while Olmert’s government is intended to continue military pressures and negotiations with Abbas.
- 3. The initiative launched by head of Hamas’s political office Khaled Mishal in the national conference which was held in Damascus aims at activating dialogue.
- 4. The anticipated discussions during the Arab foreign minsiters’ council meeting on the Palestinian event. It is clear that Egypt and Jordan will put into consideration the street’s reaction. This may lead to a new map in the Arab official reality.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

A number of developments dominate the Lebanese press and political scene:
- 1. The strike carried out by a number of syndicates and unions which reflected enxpanded commitments in most of the Lebanese areas especially on the level of transportation. The loyalists launched a press and political campaign against the strike that accused the opposition of standing behind these movements, but the opposition said its movement will take place under a political title.
- 3. Lebanese circles anticipate the meeting of Arab foreign ministers on Sunday. This will be an important station in deciding the destiny of the Arab initiative. The loyalists prepared a memorandum that holds Syria and the opposition responsible for obstructing the solutions.
- 3. Press information about the return of French contact with Syria and about a Qatari role in activating communication between Paris and Damascus.
- 4. The continuity of internal political and press contests resulted from the loyalists’ leaders’ attacks on the speech of the resistance’s leader Hassan Nasrallah in the shadow of the Israeli plans to target him in cooperation with the loyalists.

Arab and International Press

Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the Security Council failed another time in performing its humanitarian role and abstained from condemning Israel’s collective punishment against Palestinians.
The Syrian paper Tichrin said that the US stand at the Security Council is very provocative for the Arabs and the Muslims but the Arabs are responsible for this because they accept it.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said the Arabs did not cooperate to defend their rights and it seems that it is difficult to overcome Arab-Arab disputes.
France Press Agency said that head of Jerusalem’s municipality said that he got all the required legal licenses to build about 7300 Jewish houses in the settlement neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem without consulting the prime minister Ehud Olmert.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the opposition in Lebanon is determined to set the fire of civil war.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian Satellite television station said that Syria asks the Security Council to take an immediate measure to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Al-Jazeera
Program: Without Borders
Syrian minister of information Mohsen Bilal said Syria announced publicly its condemnation of the Israeli siege of Gaza.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said the economic problems may lead to an expanded movement on the expense of the political crisis adding that the strike covers the sectors of transportation but it will change into a general national strike due to a psychological climate that dominates all the Lebanese.
Ad-Diyar wondered if Lebanon will witness workers movements that ask prime minister al-Siniora to resign due to the deterioration of the economic condition.
An-Nahar quoted leader of the army Michel Suleiman as saying that securing reconciliation will be a priority for him.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said today is a Lebanese day whose title is the general strike and this is a warning to al –Siniora government from the people who are affected by the deterioration of the economic conditions.
The NTV said the Palestinians broke the siege with their arms pointing out that Egypt which was tolerant at Rafah crossing but repressed and arrested demonstrators in Cairo.
The NBN said the current political stage is stagnant.
The OTV said the loyalists accuse the opposition of obstructing the election of the president through standing behind the strike.
The LBC wondered if the strike will continue.
The Future wondered if the strike will lead to absurd sabotage.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

The Future
Program: The Merit
Head of the Executive Organization of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea said the strike of the transportation workers is politically motivated calling for not participating in it.

Tendencies is a daily political watch newsletter about the Near East, issued by New Orient News agency in Beirut, Lebanon. It is available on Voltairenet.org 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.