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Israel escalates the Punishment and the Egyptian Campaign continues

The Lebanese arena anticipates the results of the meetings and consultations that the Arab league secretary general Amr Musa held with the conflicting Lebanese sides. What is remarkable is that these meetings take place a few days before the scheduled date for electing the president. The press wondered about the reason for delaying Musa’s return to Egypt and his staying in Beirut. The press also talked about other issues.

| Beirut (Lebanon)
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An Event and a Regional Trend

Israel escalates the Punishment and the Egyptian Campaign continues

The Egyptian stand’s change towards Gaza Strip overwhelmed the events that take place on the Palestinian level through the development of the political attacks of Cairo against Hamas leadership and tightening the measures in Sinai and on the separating line between Gaza Strip and the Egyptian lands.
A Palestinian source said that these pressures resulted from the US – Israeli pressures in order to affect the Palestinian equations through limiting dealing in the file of the crossings with the Palestinian authority to force the other factions to accept this equation through the need to facilitate Egyptian practical measures at the crossings to secure some of the needs of the Strip which is under collective punishment.
Observers said that the siege on Gaza is tightened especially after the Egyptian side’s retreat from the Palestinian breaking of the siege. Israel announced that it will escalate the collective punishment through reducing electrical and fuel supplies. This accompanies the organized operations of killing that the occupation carries out in Gaza despite the continuous discussion of the Israeli experts and politicians about the uselessness of the collective punishment or the military invasion of Gaza as long as the resistance factions can develop their deterring capabilities and continue their operations in the Israeli depth indicating the continuity of the missiles’ falling on the Israeli colonies and the recent operation in Demona.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Endeavors Fail and the Escalation Knocks the Doors

Lebanese political and press circles focused on the details of the meeting among the representatives of the loyalists and the opposition which was sponsored by the Arab league secretary general Amr Musa which spread optimistic climates before the loyalists inform Musa of their rejection of his proposals after his meeting with the house speaker Nabih Berri:
- 1. The disputes concentrated on the structure of the government and its balances and distributing the main ministerial positions. The loyalists and the opposition are expected today to announce their stands and story concerning the negotiations while it seems certain that the session for electing the president will be delayed.
- 2. The continuity of the state of tension which resulted from the escalating statements of the loyalists who prepare for the celebration on the occasion of Rafiq al-Hariri’s assassination’s anniversary which the opposition warned that there is an attempt to change the celebrations to an attempt to break into the set-in camp in Beirut and ignite the spark of civil conflict.
- 3. The continuity of the Saudi escalation against Syria concerning the Lebanese topic through the Saudi foreign minister’ European tour and his doubting of the Syrian role in helping to solve the Lebanese crisis.
- 4. A frank call by the Maronite patriarch to appoint a president by the UN. This was considered as a call for internationalization of the presidency.
- 5. The loyalists said what happens is a translation of a plan to put the hand on the army and the state and held the opposition responsible for obstructing the Arab initiatives. The loyalists also rejected the priority of electing the consensus candidate and resorting to the constitutional mechanism to solve the other issues, but the opposition considered this a prolonging of the crisis.

Arab and International Press

The Syrian daily Tichrin said that the Arab geopolitical scene is very bad, but the opportunity is not missed yet.
The Qatari paper Al-Rayah said the success of the Arab league secretary General Amr Musa in arranging a meeting between the Lebanese opposition and the loyalists is an important breakthrough.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said all the US justifications to deploy the missiles shield in Poland and the Czech Republic did not convince Russia.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the Israeli plan which was prepared by Yitzhaq Rabin for drowning Gaza with the waters of the sea was translated by strangling it by the current military siege.
Adel Darwish said in an article published in al-Sharq al-Awsat that the status quo imposed by Hamas two weeks ago is still raising debate on the quality of the real solution that provides peace and security to the two sides.

Satellite Stations’ News

Arab satellite stations said that the US dilemma is deepening in Afghanistan.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said that the Arab league secretary general Amr Musa’s mission was obstructed by the conditions of the representative of the opposition general Michel Aoun, but Berry considered this as a violation of the authorization given to Aoun.
As-Safir said that the Arab league secretary General Amer Musa succeeded in keeping the Arab initiative afloat for an additional month.
Ad-Diyar said the Arab initiative failed and Musa was unable to achieve the mission authorized to him by the Arab League.

Television Stations” News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered about the reason that pushed Amr Musa to delay his departure after his visit to Ain At-Tineh.
The NTV said Musa’s tour succeeded in its first day in arranging a meeting between the opposition and the loyalists.
The NBN quoted the Maronite patriarch Sfeir as saying that if the country remains like this in confusion it is the duty of the UN to interfere and appoint a president.
The OTV said it is certain that the session for electing the president will be delayed.
The LBC said that Amr Musa is on the verge of despair from the possibility of achieving a breakthrough in solving the Lebanese problem.
The Future said that Amr Musa discovered for the second time that the opposition obstructs the Arab initiative.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Al-Manar
Program: The Hour’s Talk
Former representative Naser Kandil said all the atmospheres suggest that war is coming and that the tour of Musa is a drug which is given through intermittent doses, but what is prepared for Lebanon comes within the framework of dark anticipations.

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.

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