An event and a Regional Trend

The Israeli Impotence Accumulates

Confusion dominates the internal discussions in Israel since Jerusalem’s operation. This was the annual report of the intelligence, which doubled this confusion in the weekly meeting of Olmert’s government.
- 1. Israel decided to tighten collective sanctions and continue the killing and chasing operations in Gaza Strip and the West Bank. This was clear in the decision announced yesterday by Olmert’s government. Failure is the precise description of the condition of the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations
- 2. The Israeli negotiations on the possible understanding with Hamas through the Egyptian mediation reveal that Hamas’s condition is stopping the Israeli aggressions and the assassinations in return for stopping the missiles’ deterrence.
- 3. Discussions revealed that Israel needs time to secure the protection of the southern colonies from the resistance’s missiles through installing a network of patriot missiles within the framework of what the defense minister Ehud Barak’s called the metallic dome. Press reports in Israel warned from betting on this kind of measures and from the ground fighting because Jabalya battles proved the uselessness of betting on ground invasion.
- 4. Those who call for direct political negotiations with Hamas cling to their stands while the extremists of the Likud insist on the invasion of Gaza.

An event and a Lebanese Trend

The Retreat of the Possibilities of War But the prevention of the Compromise Continues

The parliamentary session, which is scheduled for tomorrow to elect a president, will be delayed. The information said that the probable date of this session will be set be after Damascus’s summit. We can read the following in the Lebanese political and press scene:
- 1. The Arab league’s efforts are frozen while the Egyptian stand, which is biased to the loyalists, poses a question on the seriousness of the attempts to reach a solution.
- 2. The US and Israeli signs confirm a state of impotence and confusion in the aftermath of the Israeli impotence in Gaza. This led to stands and statements that rule out the possibility of the Israeli war despite the Israeli intelligence’s report, which considers the Lebanese resistance the enemy number 1 to Israel.
- 3. The Lebanese internal discussion on the electoral law continues and starts off from the change of Bkerki’s traditional stand, which called, for 20 years, for adopting the divisions of 1960. The opposition announced its rejection of any modifications. The house speaker Nabih Berri said it is impossible to surpass this law except towards the wider constituencies. The sources of the national liberal trend stressed the rejection of dividing the constituencies again in accordance with the interests of the loyalists. A leader in the opposition said that the patriarch and Saad al-Hariri should agree first on dividing Beirut and then generalize the sandard that they agree on in identifying the constituencies of the capital.
- 4. A new case related to al-Siniora’s economic policy dominated the scene. Press reports said the government intends to give licenses to companies that belong to the loyalists in a way that affects the Middle East Aviation Company’s control over the civil aviation and its service.

Arab and International Press

The Syrian daily Tichrin said the Palestinians are divided and this serves their enemy.
The press said that the Israeli investigations into Jerusalem’s operation did not reach any results.
The military correspondent of the Israeli Television Channel 2 said that those who ordered the operation have no interest to reveal their identity.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial tat the promises of the US occupation to the Iraqis are numerous, including that they will get what they what the previous regime deprived them of, but what happened is the destruction of Iraq and tearing it off.
In an interview with the French paper, Le Figaro Shimon Perez said the French-Israeli relations are excellent and his current visit to Paris aims at thanking France.
Al-Hayat said that the Iranian president Mahmud Ahmadineja’s visit to Iraq crowned a stage of conflict between Iraq and Iran on the Gulf area.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said that the Sudanese president will chair the delegation of his country to the Arab summit in Damascus.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said the house speaker Nabih Berry will announce today the 16th delay of the parliamentary session that aims at electing a president for the Lebanese republic, and that the new date of the meeting will be March 25.
Al-Akhbar said the Israeli intelligence’s annual report talked about the possibility of the eruption of a new war with Hezbollah.
The report said missiles will play an important role in the coming war and Syria develops long-range missiles.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said it is certain that the house speaker will delay the electoral session.
The NTV said that informed sources denied holding any summit that included the foreign ministers of Qatar, Iran, Syria and Oman Sultanate.
The NBN said that there will be no electoral session on Tuesday.
The OTV said if the date of the session is set before Damascus’s summit this means that the Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo did not succeed only in separating between the election and the summit but also opened the door for a bigger compromise.
The LBC said the coldness between Damascus and Riyadh coincides with the beginning of warmness between Tehran and Washington.
He Future said the electoral session will face the same destiny of the previous sessions.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Program: The Week in an Hour
Former minister Talal Arsalan said Iran is enthusiastic to solve the Arab disputes more than the Arabs are. He added that the main goal of all the current movements is the weapons of the resistance not the electoral law.
The researcher Abdou Sa’ad said that the law of the year 1960 liberates the Christian representatives from the Muslim vote.

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.