An Event and a Regional Trend

The Assassinations Cancel the Truce

- 1. The Truce ended yesterday because of assassinating the leader Mohamed Shhadah. Egypt directs the negotiations for this truce but Hamas sets as conditions for it stopping all the Israeli operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
- 2. The Israeli minister of defense Ehud Barak announced during his visit to the Israeli units, which take positions near Gaza, that the operations will continue, calling on his officers and soldiers to be ready. It is also anticipated that resistance will retaliate against the Israelis in a painful way.
- 3. Israeli experts and writers criticized the negative results of fighting and, the trend for accepting the negotiations with Hamas emerged quickly.
- 4. Anticipating what Dick Cheney will bring with him in his next tour, which has a title for it the Palestinian file. It became clear that the separation between Gaza and the West Bank became difficult as Israeli experts said, while the Palestinian street pressurizes the Palestinian authority to reject the Israeli conditions.

An event and a Lebanese Trend

Dakar, Beirut, Damascus

The Lebanese event moved in Dakar on the sidelines of the Islamic summit. Attention focused on continuing the current discussions in the conference’s corridors:
- 1. The fall of an attempt led by Al-Siniora’s government in coordination with Saudi Arabia to reduce the Arab initiative to electing a president in accordance with the American conditions, which aim at dropping the items of the opposition.
- 2. The available press information said that a Syrian delegation will visit Lebanon to hand the invitation for attending the Arab summit. Press sources said the invitation will be handed in a way that satisfies the opposition and the loyalists.
- 3. Lebanon has concentrated on the continuous Israeli violations in the south, which reflect an Israeli attempt to impose the Israeli equation that Lebanon rejected in the negotiations of the 2000 which former president Emile Lahoud led at that time.
- 4. Lebanese circles anticipate the document of March 14 alliance, which will be announced on Friday. Press sources talked about disputes among the sides of this alliance on the elections law. Walid Junblat refused the idea of dividing the provinces, while the Lebanese Forces want to nominate its members to all the Christian seats, which are occupied by loyalists to Junblat and al-Hariri.
- 5. Press information from Dakar talked about the success of the Iranian and Qatari attempts to secure a Saudi-Syrian meeting. This raised the level of expectations concerning the possibility of reaching an Arab climate that can achieve a serious breakthrough on the Lebanese track. It became clear that all the Arabs will participate in the Damascus summit in the light of the US-Israeli failure in Gaza.
- 6. The opposition will organize its work by taking more steps suggested recently by Omar Karami.

Arab and International Press

Al-Bayan said in its editorial that despite the disastrous conditions in Iraq president Bush insists that his decision to launch the war is correct.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the right place for the US department of state’s report on human rights is the trash can.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that liberating the Palestinian captives requires on the part of the Arab states pressurizing the Zionist entity.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the Islamic summit in Dakar is very important because the Islamic nation faces a racist campaign that targets it launched by the right-wing forces in the West.
The Israeli radio said that three Israeli rabbis gave orders to three persons to retaliate against the attack on the Jewish Seminary in Jerusalem.

Satellite Stations News

The Syrian satellite station said that vice-president Farouk al-Shara arrived in Dakar to chair Syria’s delegation to the Islamic summit.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said Dakar’s summit witnessed sharp disputes on the Lebanese crisis.
Al-Akhbar said the opposition and the loyalists exchange accusations of attempting to destroy or obstruct the Arab initiative. The paper added that the prevailed climates in the involved states do not reveal that the Lebanese crisis will be solved before Damascus’s summit.
As-Safir said that no one knows the nature of the coming developments in Lebanon in the light of deploying the US destroyers off its coast. The information that came from Russia said this is evidence on preparations for launching war in the area.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered if the Prime Minister Fouad al-Siniora will destroy the Arab initiative.
The NBN said the Iranian foreign minister and the Saudi foreign minister will hold a meeting on the sidelines of Dakar’s summit.
The OTV wondered if the crisis will be solved or the issue will become more complicated.
The LBC said Damascus invited all the Arab states to attend the summit except Lebanon.
The Future said head of the Lebanese Forces Sameer Gagea continued his meetings in Washington with a number of US officials.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: Useful Summary
Head of the Bank of Lebanon Riad Salamh said the US faces a real economic crisis and a collapse of the financial institutions. This crisis prevents the eruption of a new war.

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.