An Event and a Regional Trend

Keeping Olmert’s government Afloat and the Palestinian Resistance Confront the Challenge

The press in the area focused on the Israeli event after publishing Winograd’s report and the Knesset’s session to discuss the report. This session revealed the size of the US influence on the Israeli political map to protect Olmert and his government from falling.
The Arab press talked about the operation which was carried out by the resistance in Demona, which confirms the size of the Palestinian resistance factions’ capabilities and political will and their confrontation of the Israeli policy of massacres and collective punishments.
- 1. The ramified Israeli discussion on the benefit of the military action in Gaza Strip and the appearance of Israeli reports that talk about the possibility of the resistance’s possession of developed weapons including antiaircraft missiles to the degree that the Israeli paper Maariv quoted military sources as saying there is a decision to prevent war jets from flying over Gaza.
- 2. The Condensed US and Israeli pressures on the Egyptian authorities to prevent Hamas’s participation in controlling Rafah’s crossing and lunching a condensed campaign against Cairo in this respect.
- 3. The rise of political tension inside the Israeli parties while Olmert’s government continues with a slight majority.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Lebanon and the International and Arab Talk about the Edge of the Abyss

The press and political circles anticipate the current investigations concerning the bloody Sunday events which happened in Beirut’s southern suburbs. The loyalists escalate the political campaign which targets Hezbullah and accuse the opposition of trying to cancel Al-Taif agreement while the Lebanese anticipate the joint televised talk of general Michel Aoun and secretary general of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah on the OTV screen. Former minister Suleiman Franjiyeh described the situation in Lebanon saying the condition in Lebanon became an open arena for a vicious international conspiracy while a number of opponents talked about the necessity of completing the investigations into Mar Mkhael’s massacre in order to reveal the political and military leaderships’ responsibilities in order to enhance the military institution and confirm its credibility. The opponents welcomed the preliminary report announced by the military judiciary.
The main indicators of the Lebanese developments are the following:
- 1. The Arab league secretary general announced that he will return to Lebanon next Friday to continue his mission while his assistant Hisham Yousef said the Lebanese condition is on the edge of the abyss. In another talk Musa said his endeavors will start off from the resumption of the dialogue between the opposition and the loyalists.
- 2. A press report from New York published by the Lebanese paper al-Ahram which said that the loyalists will be exposed to further pressures in order to make them push the country to internal confrontations in order to facilitate the plan of the foreign intervention. The report anticipated that official security forces will arrest opposing groups under the title of preparing to oust the government as a starting point to explode the Lebanese condition in accordance with the international orders.
- 3. The continuity of discussion on the Winograd’s report and its Lebanese dimensions in the light of the contests between the opposition and the loyalists since 2006.

Arab and International Press

Peter Spiegel said in an article published in al-Qabas there are disputes among leaders of the US army concerning the reduction of the US forces in Iraq.
Louise Rene Peres and Thomas Mackenzie said in an article published in al-Qabas that Iran’s ambition to develop a nuclear weapon is still existent.
The Israeli paper Haaretz said that despite the closure of the borders between Gaza and Egypt abduction and suicide operations may happen, but the question is: when?
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the Syrian national will refuses the Israeli decision to annex the Golan Heights.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said that Israel practices aggressions against Palestinian on a daily basis.
The New York Times said the Pentagon will submit the anticipated budget for the year 2009.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said Iran prepares for launching a satellite from its first space station.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said investigations into Mar Mkhael massacre posed questions on the missions of the military, pointing out that the joint talk between Michel Aoun and Hassan Nasrallah on the OTV screen will stress understanding.
As-Safir said Amr Musa will bring with him a revised and new version of the Arab initiative which is similar to the previous one in its “constructive ambiguity”.
An-Nahar said wondered if Amr Musa’s return will cool the fevered atmospheres and tension between the army’s leadership and Hezbollah.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the investigations into Mar Mikhail events should be completed.
The NTV said rejecting the Arab initiative means rejecting the nomination of the army’s leader Michel Suleiman to presidency.
The NBN said Al-Siniora government continued its policy of abstaining from giving compensations to those who were hurt by July aggression.
The OTV said Arab league secretary general will return on Friday to hold a meeting between the loyalists and the opposition.
The LBC said the signs of a deep crisis between Hizbullah and the army appear in the horizon due to Sunday events.
The Future the suicide operation Demona which killed an Israeli woman is the first of its kind since one year.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: Between two Brackets
Representative Mohamed Raad said the relation with army is very strong and will not be affected by some practices that the leadership does not accept.

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.