An Event and a Regional Trend

Gaza’s Second and the Resistance’s Attacks

The press focused on the Israeli occupation forces’ massacre in Gaza and focused on the following developments:
- 1. The Israeli occupation forces kill more Palestinians and resistance activists.
- 2. The operations of the Palestinian resistance against the Israeli aggression reflect qualitative developments.
- 3. Leaders of the Palestinian resistance factions announced their determination to break the siege while the Egyptian authorities deployed their tanks near the crossings. Hamas issued orders for its fighters to attack the Israeli targets anywhere.
- 4. President Bashar al-Assad announced his movement as head of the Arab summit to confront the siege of Gaza asking all the Arab states to respond to Syria in this topic. President Bashar also said that Syria is ready to confront any Israeli war despite ruling out this possibility due to the balance of power between the Arabs and Israel after July war.
- 5. The popular and political interactions of the Israeli massacre continue on the rhythm of the events.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Settling and Campaigns on Aoun and Berri

The political movement in Lebanon continued despite the stagnant crisis while the press focused on the following developments:
- 1. President Bashar al-Assad announced today Syria’s support for the Arab initiative stressing that the progress of this initiative requires the cooperation of other Arab sides like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. President Bashar al-Assad explained at the symposium of the Arab thought Syria’s rational policy against the provocations of the Lebanese loyalists.
- 2. The campaign of the loyalists against the house speaker and general Aoun continued. This campaign of attack resulted from the confusion generated by the issue of the collective cemeteries and in the aftermath of the opposition’s success in facilitating the compromise. The loyalists said the Arab initiative should be limited to electing the president and dropping all the other items. The opposition sources said the US works to obstruct the elections and keep al-Siniora in office.
- 3. The campaign that aims at releasing the four officers continue while the public opinion follows up the interactions of Zuher al-Siddiq disappearance in France. This pushed some to believe that the game is revealed and that is the reason for the hysteria among the loyalists.
- 4. The statements of the Italian right-wing leader Berlusconi on the rules of clashes of the Italian forces in Lebanon, the French role and the bias to Israel in the Security Council’s statement which was modified by China and the continuous Israeli violations of the blue line, all these issues pushed observers to think that there is an American plan for escalation in the south that may take place when Bush leaves the area after his coming visit.

Arab and International Press

The Syrian daily Tichrin said April 17 is an exceptional day in Syria’s modern history; it is the day of independence from French colonialism.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Silvio Berlusconi, who will return again to the position of prime minister, expressed quickly his enmity to the Arab area.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said it is time for the UN and the G8 states to put an emergency plan that activate real development and enhance agriculture.
Leonid Alexandrovich said they started in Russia to talk about the political future of President Vladimir Putin.
Al-Riyadh said it seems that the problems that face Yemen are difficult to solve.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian Satellite Station said president Bashar al-Assad received cables of congratulations on the occasion of the Day of Independence anniversary,

Lebanese Press

An-Nahar said most of the political forces admitted that the house speaker will not be able to launch his new initiative.
As-Safir focused on the Israeli holocaust in Gaza pointing out that this holocaust reached a new climax after the resistance carried out a qualitative operation against the occupation forces. Al-Akhbar quoted the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as saying that Syria is ready for war with Israel and thinks that the war is possible but he rules it out due to the current data and indicators. Ad-Diyar said that in the shadow of the current stagnation the deputy premier Michel Al-Murr called the Christian representatives of the change and bloc trend to go to the parliament and elect the consensus president immediately.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar wondered if the Lebanese file delayed until the visit of the US president to the area on mid-May.
The NTV said Israel destroys Gaza while the ears of the Arabs did not hear anything except Tzibni Levni’s call fro normalization from ad-Doha.
The NBN said the political and economic crisis in the country is stagnant.
The OTV said the US and Europe still adopt the viewpoints of the loyalists while the real policy is absent on the Lebanese arena.
The LBC said the internal arena is busy with impotent contests and the Arab initiative is still in the fridge.
The Future said the internal contests continued and aimed at drowning the country in dark labyrinths.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

Program: Useful Summary
Representative Michel Al-Murr said he is independent and he will remain so and will not join the loyalists and attack Syria and General Michel Aoun.

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.