An Event and a Regional Trend

Gaza’s Massacre and the threats of Abu al-Gait

The Israeli massacre continues in Gaza Strip and the number of the martyrs increases everyday while the US-Israeli pressures continue to tighten the grip around Gaza.
Meanwhile the interaction of Winograd’s report continues in Israel.
- 1. Palestinian resistance factions enhanced the capability of deterrence to confront the continuous Israeli aggressions and destruction operations. The resistance also criticized the statements of the Egyptian foreign minister and his talk about breaking the legs which meant taking strict measures against any new attempt to break the siege on the Egyptian side of the border amid strict measures which started to appear in Sinai to prevent such attempts.
- 2. The Israeli discussion of Winograd’s report continues and its circle widens to cover the stand of the defense minister Ehud Barak who announced that he has a plan to rehabilitate the Israeli army and fill the gaps revealed by the report. Meanwhile, the Israeli press comments and reports talk about a direct intervention in formulating the report to protect Olmert and prevent the fall of his government.
- 3. The possibility of the Palestinian – Palestinian dialogue is still weak in the absence of any serious Arab endeavors and in the light of an intense Egyptian stand due to the US-Israeli pressures.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Phantom of Confrontation and the Chapters of the Initiative

The Arab league secretary general continued his endeavors in Lebanon while the speech of representative Saad al-Hariri expressed a sharp escalating stand charged with enmity to Syria and Iran and seemed as a crowning of a campaign launched by the loyalists since the return of Walid Junblat from Saudi Arabia.
The loyal sources refused the opposition’s description saying that the occasion of al-Hariri’s assassination’s anniversary will be an opportunity to prove the strength of the coalition of March 14 and that the messages of this coalition’s leaders aim at stressing that this alliance will not offer additional concessions and the opposition can not change the balances and weaken the majority and when the international Tribunal starts the opposition will discover that it lost the chances of understanding offered to it.
The press talked about the following indicators:
- 1. Amr Musa continues his visits to the Lebanese leaders and prepares for a new meeting between the loyalists and the opposition.
- 2. The opposition considered the escalating speech of Saad al-Hariri as a call for war while other sources belittled the importance of this speech saying it is a tool for mobilizing people to attend February 14 festival.
- 3. The statements of Walid Junblat and al-Hariri raised questions on the reality of the Saudi stand. The relation of al-Hariri with Saudi Arabia allows considering his stands as echoes for the Saudi policies.
- 4. The Syrian declaration concerning the continuous support of the Arab league’s endeavors in Lebanon and the work to purify Arab atmospheres in a way that opposes the loyalists attempts to escalate against Syria.

Arab and International Press

The Iranian paper Amroz said that the change in the Iranian’s regime’s stand towards Egypt and the tendency to improve relations with Hosni Mubarak’s regime is related to the course of the nuclear file and Iran’s endeavors to keep the support of Mohamed al-Baradi.
The Iranian magazine Mulli said that 350 political and cultural personalities inside Iran sent a letter to president Nejad criticising the government’s internal and foreign policies.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said Annapolis is not the first promise for Palestinians and will not be the last.
Al-Bayan said that Amer Musa’s current visit to Lebanon will be the last chance for the Arab initiative.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the Israeli and international siege of Gaza led to humanitarian crises.
The Guardian said the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice stressed the importance of Afghanistan’s war for the NATO.
The Le Monde said that French interior minister Michèle Alliot-Marie announced expanding the network of searching for the suspects to cover the files of passengers of the air trips.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

The Syrian Satellite Station
Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Moualem said talks with Austrian foreign minister dealt with the latest developments on the Arab arena. Austrian foreign minister Ursula Blasneck said that Syria is an important regional power.

Satellite Station’s News

Al-Alam
News Covering
Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadi Nejad said that the statements of the French president Nicolas Sarkozy against Iran’s nuclear program are useless.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar wondered if the escalating statements of Saad al-Hariri are related to the tour of Saud al-Faisal in the area.
Al-Akhbar said the fire of March 14 burns the Arab league secretary general’s initiative.
As-Safir said the Arab league is threatened with the dangers that threaten the Lebanese condition.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the Lebanese listened today to more escalating speeches which described the opposition as terrorist pointing out that there are attempts to abort Damascus’s hosting of the Arab summit.
The NBN said the speech of Saad al-Hariri is provocative and escalating.
The OTV said the representative Saad al-Hariri launched an attack on Damascus.
The LBC wondered if the Arab league secretary general returned to Lebanon to bury the corpse of the Arab initiative.
The Future said that al-Hariri described the opposition’s concept of the political partnership as a concept that cancels the principle of partnership.

Television Stations’ News

The LBC
Program: People’s Speech
Editor-in-chief of Ad-Diyar paper Charl Ayyoub said that there is no serious research into al-Hariri’s assassination because the investigation’s goal is ousting and besieging the Syrian regime pointing out that the majority stole the country.
Representative Mohamed al-Hajjar said that all the Lebanese should know who killed Rafiq al-Hariri and Syria obstructs the building of the state.

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.