An Event and a Regional Trend

Gaza’s Siege and the Arab Stand

The press covered the following developments related to the Israeli tightened siege of Gaza:
- 1. Hamas and the resistance factions’ leaders announced their determination to break the siege at any cost.
- 2. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas expressed anger at the Palestinian factions’ leaders justifying the Egyptian measures. Abbas also said the endeavors continue to seek a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in order to help signing the declaration of principles between the authority and Israel.
- 3. Egypt does not allow taking any steps at the crossings with Gaza and threatens to prevent any attempt to break the siege but the Egyptian authorities complain of the results of the campaign that Hamas launches to break the siege.
- 4. The Syrian press said the Arabs are completely responsible for breaking the siege and the Syrian leadership may take steps in this respect.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The press focused on the following developments in Lebanon:
- 1. The house speaker Nabih Berri continued his Arab tour. Available information said that he launched an initiative that may open the door for compromising the Lebanese crisis.
- 2. Observers said the Saudi-Egyptian stand is still the same concerning the Arab-Arab relations and the Lebanese condition. They focused on the security meeting of Iraq’s neighboring states in Damascus and the final statement, which hailed the Syrian measures on the borders and the American and Saudi participation in this meeting. Some believe that Egypt and Saudi Arabia will not be allowed to respond in the topic of the relation with Syria before the end of Bush’s visit and Israel’s new aggression on Gaza.
- 3. The Lebanese press described the statements made by Condoleezza Rice and the movements of Bernard Kouchner under the title of holding an international meeting to support al-Siniora government as a frank declaration of rejecting the compromise.
- 4. The Israeli forces violated the blue line while the state of anticipation and caution dominates the front. The UINFIL forces took measures that suggest possible developments.
- 5. The disappearance of al-Siddiq interacted in France through the written question of the French representative Girard Babit to the interior minister and the minister of justice. The French paper Le Figaro published information related to the complications of fabricating the al-Siddiq’s false testimony before the international commission.

Arab and International Press

Al-Khalij paper said in its editorial that the Israeli foreign minister Tzibi Levni talked and negotiated as a general, dictated conditions and put the red lines in her lecture at the democracy symposium in Doha.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial the Israeli Shin Bit’s psychological torture of Palestinians pushed the Israeli anti-torture committee to condemn it.
Los Angeles Times said the main goal of the surge in Iraq is preventing the press from holding Bush’s administration accountable for the human and economic cost.
David Edwards said in an article that the British paper The Guardian’s stand towards the Israeli army’s killing of Palestinian citizens was cold and indifferent.
The British paper The Independent quoted the former diplomat Thomas Pickering as saying a group of US academicians and diplomats meet Iranians advisers and academicians in many places.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said Iraq’s neighboring states hailed Syria’s efforts and stressed that controlling the borders with Iraq is a common responsibility.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said the house speaker brought with him to Qatar from Syria and Egypt the support of president Bashar al-Assad and president Mubarak for the success of the Arab solution in Lebanon. Al-Akhbar said the house speaker took with him to Egypt the project of a Syrian initiative to solve the file of the presidential merit in Lebanon. It turned out that Syria prefers to call its proposals as Berri’s initiative. As-Safir said all the communications and movements did not succeed in modifying one letter in the joint Saudi-Egyptian stand which called before and after Damascus’s Arab summit to the priority of electing the Lebanese president.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the US plans to push Lebanon to the parliamentary vacuum.
The NTV said the house speaker Nabih Berri refused to attend the democracy symposium in which the Israeli foreign minister Levni participates.
The NBN said Rice statements suggest that the complex lies in the elections laws.
The OTV said it seems that Walid Junblat is the only loyalist who is outside the escalation bet and warned his allies from isolating the Shia group.
The LBC said the new deadline for the presidential elections is a week according to the house speaker.
The Future said the political contests continue while Israel violated Lebanon’s sovereignty again.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: Between two Brackets
Representative of Hamas in Lebanon Osama Hamdan said the Israeli siege will lead to a new Palestinian intifada.
Head of the political science department at Halwan University said to the same program that there is no sensitivity between Hamas and Egypt but Hamas should respect Egypt’s national security.
Political Science professor at Ber Zit university in Haifa Abdul Majed Suelm said the US and Israel prepare for a war due to the failure of their project in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine.

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.