An Event and a Regional Trend

Kosovo and Palestine in the Forefront of the Regional Scene

The political and press circles in the area focused on two titles: the independence of Kosovo and the developments of the Arab-Israeli conflict:
- 1. The declaration of the independence of Kosovo ignited new interactions in the international tension between Russia and the US. It seems that one of its theatres will be the Security Council while attention is focused on the Balkan dimension of the event in the aftermath of the Serbian consensus on rejecting the step which returns the Balkans to the climate of tensions which will not be limited to political and legal borders.
- 2. The continuity of the Israeli military and security campaign against Gaza and the West Bank in the shadow of the collective sanctions and siege and the Israeli prime minister’s declaration of the existence of a decision to launch war whose timing will be decided in the suitable time. Meanwhile Egypt announced that it will tighten the siege under the title of not allowing any violations of the borders.
- 3. The Palestinian factions’ movement on the all levels to retaliate against the assassination of Emad Mughniyeh through carrying out operations against the Israeli occupation and the appearance of political partnerships that jumped over the divisions in dealing with this event through the mourning assemblies which were organized in occupied Palestine.
- 4. The angry reactions in the Arab street against the assassination of Mughniyeh and the collective movement of solidarity with Mughniyeh in all the Arab states which hailed resistance and its importance.

An Event and Lebanese Trend

Poetical Treatments of the Security Events and the Ambiguity of the Arab Initiative

Fears from the continuity of the security confrontations that dominated the Lebanese streets overwhelmed the other Lebanese titles due to the intensified atmospheres that cast their shadows on the political reality. The elements of the scene can be summed up as follows:
- 1. Violent clashes among the supporters of the Future Trend, Amal Movement and Hezbollah in a number of Beirut’s neighborhoods which took place on last Saturday. Identical security sources said the Future Trend’s supporters are responsible for these clashes.
- 2. The clashes between the Future Trend’s supporters and some Palestinian youths in Sabra area which resulted in hitting some Palestinians and the spread of tension between Sabra camp and its surroundings in the New Road and al-Fakhani.
- 3. The field reports talk about increasing complaint among the capital inhabitants who think about sending delegations to Saad al-Hariri to close the Future Trend’s offices in the neighborhoods which are full of armed men who came from Akkar and the Beka.
- 4. Director of the military intelligence sponsored a meeting for representatives of the involved forces who issued a statement after the meeting that stressed understanding among Hezbollah, Amal, and the Future Trend.
- 5. The condensed deployment of the Lebanese army which announced that it will arrest rioters.
- 6. Lebanese people and the whole world anticipate the important speech which will be delivered by secretary general of Hezbollah on February 22 which will be preceded by announcing specific results about the assassination of the leader Emad Mughniyeh in accordance with the press sources which leaked that there are Arab and Lebanese sides involved in this crime.
- 7. The continuity of the state of alarm in America and Europe and fears from the retaliation of Hezbollah while tension dominates Israel.
- 8. The rise of the propaganda campaign against the resistance and holding secretary general of Hezbollah responsible for the open war.
- 9. The press talked about activating political communications concerning the ideas of the three thirds as a framework to launch the Arab initiative without offering any real signs to confirm this, while the US belittled the importance of the Arab initiative and rejected it.

Arab and International Press

Israeli intelligence sources said the department of foreign operations in the Mossad has assassinated Emad Mughniyeh through planting an explosive charge in his car’s backseat.
The sources added that three Israeli agents entered Syria with Iranian passports, killed Mughniyeh and returned immediately.
Focus News Network said the CIA monitored the movement of Emad Mughniyeh saying he left Iran and headed for Syria three days before his assassination.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said that violence increases when people talk about peace.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said Israel is a power of occupation, terrorism and racism.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Olmert’s government is unable to refute the criticism of the French foreign minister of Israel’s settlement activities and siege of Gaza.
The Israeli paper Haaretz said Israel is swaying between its celebrations of the assassination of Emad Mughniyeh and its fear from Hizbullah’s retaliation.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Al-Alam
News Covering
The spokesperson for the Iranian foreign ministry said delaying the Iranian talks with the US on Iraq’s security resulted only from technical reasons.

Satellite Stations’ News

Syrian satellite station said Colonel Muammer Cadafy has received a written invitation from president Bashar al-Assad to attend the Arab summit in Damascus.

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said the scene of the deserted streets in Beirut in the aftermath of the riots nurtured the fears from a sectarian conflict.
As-Safir said that the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stabbed again the results of Annapolis’s conference when he declared that Israel has absolute freedom in the war.
Al-Akhbar said Beirut seemed in the last two days as a battleground that reminded the Lebanese of the civil ear era.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the culture of death and killing citizens spread from Aly, Armon until the capital Beirut.
The NTV said Kosovo climbed to the map of the world through the declaration of independence.
The NBN said that this week was full of dangerous events while the loyalists work to obstruct any solution.
The OTV said the return of Amr Musa is no longer a topic for preparation or following up.
The LBC said the Syrian-Saudi dispute concerning Lebanon will continue, because Damascus believes Lebanon is basic for its national security while Saudi Arabia considers it as a part of its influence and it is difficult to reconcile the two points of view.
The Future wondered who changed Beirut’s streets to a battleground.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

The Future
Arab league secretary general announced that a four-sided meeting that includes the opposition and the loyalists will be held on February 24 under the auspices of the Arab league.
Hisham Yusef, director of Musa’s office said condition in Lebanon is very dangerous and this requires reaching an agreement that protects Lebanon as quickly as possible.

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.