An Event and a Regional Trend

Barak Refuses the Truce and a Dialogue in Yemen

The Palestinian and Israeli developments did not hide the biased statements of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Israel and the reality of what the vice-president Dick Cheney brought with him in his tour in the area. The press focused on the following developments and events:
- 1. Two delegations from Fateh and Hamas start today a visit to Yemen under the title of discussing the content of the Yemeni initiative to restore the Palestinian national unity.
- 2. The Israeli aggressions continue and also the Palestinian retaliations. The battalions of the Galilee Free confirmed its presence in the Palestinian resistance through a new operation against an extremist rabbi while confrontations between the occupation and the Palestinian inhabitants and the resistance continue.
- 3. The Israeli press quoted the defense minister Ehud Barak as saying that he cautiously looks at the calls to accelerate the invasion of Gaza. He refused the equation of the truce proposed by Hamas and clung to the organized assassinations to eliminate resistance leaders and targeting Palestinian villages and camps, considering this as a service to the Palestinian authority.
- 4. The observers and journalists focused on the Russian foreign minister Sergi Lavrov’s visit to the area, which covers Damascus and the area in the shadow of the Israeli discussion on the Syrian option that the Israeli intelligence recommended to get rid of the crisis. Some analysts said this debate is a new-old maneuver while others consider it an expression of an Israeli-US strategic dilemma that may lead to such attempts on all the tracks of the area before talking about the ripeness of the suitable circumstances for compromise.
The experts did not rule out that the Israeli discussion is an attempt to exploit Moscow’s meeting on the Golan which was proposed at Annapolis to weaken the activity of the Syrian stand which supports resistance in Palestine and Lebanon and test the possibility of returning to the attempt of singling out the axis of Syria-Iran-Hezbollah and Hamas.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

From Beirut to Riyadh and New York

Al-Siniora government has delayed its decision concerning the participation in Damascus’s summit until next Tuesday after a long session that lasted until after midnight, while the interactions of the Lebanese conditions continued:
- 1. Debate on the participation in the summit continues in the circles of the loyalists and some say that the real reason for delaying the decision is waiting for the Saudi decision concerning the participation in the summit.
- 2. The statements made by Saud al-Faisal recorded a retreat in their sharpness and provocation concerning the Lebanese condition and considered the summit an opportunity for solving the Lebanese crisis. Al-Faisal said this in Algeria in a time when the press talked about the possibility of delegating a high ranking Egyptian official to Damascus within the framework of new endeavors on the level of the Saudi-Egyptian and Syrian relations.
- 3. The loyalists are disappointed at the signs of the success of the Arab summit and the progress of the Palestinian topic on the Arab level in the light of the failure of the campaigns that linked participation in the summit to the Syrian intervention in Lebanon to serve the loyalists.
- 4. The loyalists resorted to press escalation on the topic of the international court and the interactions of the anticipated report of the judge Bremmertz. Detlev Mehlis appeared again and said an extremist group assassinated the representative Gibran Tweni.
- 5. Loyal press sources talked about a project to amend al-Siniora government.
- 6. Information from the UN headquarters said the UN secretary general expressed discomfort concerning Larsen’s movements to hold the international conference in Paris to exert pressures on Syria.
- 7. Former minister Suleiman Franjiyeh said the opposition will organize its ranks to start the rescue work.
- 8. The expectation of reconciliation between General Aoun and the Maronite patriarchy.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that there are a lot of dangers that threaten the area and the Arab should pay attention to this before Israel and the US devour everything.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said five years of occupation in Iraq reveals the failure of the US policy.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that vice-president Cheney is the only one who is not convinced that Iraq is empty of weapons of mass destruction.
A report published by the center for equality for defending the rights of the 1948 Palestinians said Israel adopts a racial policy towards them.
The Israeli paper Haaretz said the assassination of the four resistance men in Bethlehem last week was ordered by the highest levels in the Israeli army’s general staff.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said that the transitional Arab parliament stressed the importance of Damascus’s summit.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said an Arab and local pessimism prevailed concerning the election of a president in the coming Parliamentary session.
As-Safir said everybody is waiting for a solution and the Arabs wait for a miraculous solution that makes the consensus president occupies his seat at Damascus’s summit.
Ad-Diyar said the Lebanese cabinet did not reach a decision concerning participation in Damascus’s summit.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered about the reason for talking about the internationalizing of the Lebanese crisis through the caretaker of the resolution 1559.
The NTV said participation in Damascus summit is necessary but the loyalists do not want it.
The NBN said the ruling team works with foreign sides to internationalize the Lebanese problem.
The OTV said the loyalists obstructed the Gulf initiative by refusing to offer any guarantees on the formation of the government.
The LBC said all the sides prepare for the stage which will follow Damascus’s summit.
The Future said the ruling team announced the necessity of repairing al-Siniora’s government.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

LBC
Program: With all the Courage
The previous head of the committee which investigates into al-Hariri’s assassination Detlev Mehlis said that the International Tribunal will take many years but the criminals will be discovered in the end.

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.