An Event and a Regional Trend

Winograd and Preparations for War Precede the Conflict on Power

The ball rolls slowly inside Israel due to the condensed US interventions which aim at protecting Olmert and his government’s formula at any cost during the coming months. The size of confusion raised by Winograd’s report on the political level is very clear in the absence of strong and balancing parties and leaderships while the coalition’s partners are obliged to work together to get rid of the influences of Lebanon’s earthquake.
The discussions in Israel deal with many topics but they focus on hiding the new failure of the military campaign in Gaza and the siege and the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.
Israel needed the US role to pressurize the Egyptian authorities to tighten the siege and obstruct any attempt that may activate the climate of dialogue and national unity among the Palestinians. The US did this through dictating new US conditions on president Abbas to refuse any joint preparation with Hamas. Wiongrad’s report move moves in Israel on two levels:
- 1. The conflict on power inside Kadima, between Kadima and the Labor, and between the government and the Likud in a climate of mixing cards in which the big Israeli failure changed into a material for contests and mutual accusations. The Likud insists on calling for early elections and the resignation of Olmert.
- 2. The continuous work of the Israeli military and security leaderships under the title of preparing for restoring the prestige of deterrence which was considered by Winograd’s report as a priority related to Israel’s destiny. The report called for concentrating on this issue before anything else. This means moving to a new war in the area.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Anticipation of the Report’s Results

The final report on Sunday massacre was achieved and sent to the army’s leader. In the second stage, the report will be transferred to the judiciary with specific suspects. The political and press information about this topic and field events refer to the following indicators:
- 1. The expansion of the scope of the military investigation which covered a number of officers and there are fears from protecting some leaders who are involved in the events through ignoring their roles. The opposition sources said this will not be allowed because what happened was a big conspiracy and those who were involved in it deserve punishment in order to protect the country.
- 2. Some sides attack the army’s positions on the outskirts of the suburb. Informed sources said some aggressors were arrested. It is clear that the aggressions on the army’s position aim at causing schism between the army and the inhabitants of the suburb in order to destroy the army and the resistance.
- 3. The army’s leader stressed that he will not cover any suspect in order to prevent the repetition of this event again.
- 4. Western intelligence reports said that the events of Sunday were part of a decision made by Fouad al-Siniora to open fire on a popular gathering due to a US advice. The report, and especially the one published by Stratford Institute, said that the military institution moved to confrontation with Hezbullah and the opposition while many questions were posed on the role of the defense minister Elias Al-Murr and on the leader of the regiment which is involved in the event who is close to him.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper said in its editorial that Zionists adopt the policy of terror against all the Palestinian including the 1948 ones.
The Israeli paper Maariv said that Olmert may make a deal with Hams to release the Israeli captivated soldier when the political storm of Winograd settles down.
The Israeli papers said minister of defense Barak did not decide yet to stay in the government or leave it.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Human Rights Watch criticized violations of human rights in Western states which claim defending them.
The Saudi paper Al-Watan said the meeting of the Arab interior ministers in Tunisia laid the foundation of joint Arab security work.
Tichrin daily said Winograd’s report and Hamilton-Baker’s report revealed shortcomings in the US and Israeli policies.

Satellite Stations’ Interview

News Covering
Syria’s permanent representative at the UN said Syria chose just and comprehensive peace as a strategic option.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian satellite station said 72 Iraqis were killed and about 149 others were wounded in two terrorist explosions in Baghdad.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said head of the military investigation committee handed yesterday the report on black Sunday’s events to general Suleiman. This was considered a positive indicator.
Al-Akhbar said the army’s leader received the report pointing out that Arab diplomatic sources said this issue may negatively affect the nomination of Suleiman to presidency.
The paper added that March 14 team deals with Sunday events as something normal and does not put into consideration the increasing pressures on the opposition which tried to discipline the masses.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the Israeli occupation army wanted to destroy resistance but it was defeated by the Lebanese resistance.
The NTV said that Lebanon anticipates the Winograd of Mar Mikhail and what is important is achieving a result out of this.
The NBN said that February 14 forces continue their provocation and distortion of facts.
The LBC said the investigation committee formed by the army’s leadership will submit its report to the army’s leader.
The Future talked about the developments of the Arab league secretary General Amr Musa’s visit to Beirut and the consequences of the bloody Sunday and the attacks on the army’s positions.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: The Hour’s Talk
Coordinator of Al-Aman network for strategic studies Anees al-Nakkash said that Winograd’s report referred to the fall of the Israeli deterrence theory, pointing out that Israel prepares to launch a new war.

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.