An Event and a Regional Trend

The negotiations mediated by Egypt between Hamas and Israel continue under the title of ceasefire in the shadow of the Israeli confusion that the press talked about and which coincided with the movement of the US former president Jimmy Carter and his statements about his meetings with the leaders of Hamas movement, which he described as a national liberation movement hailing the stand of head of Hamas’s political office’s Khalid Mishal’s stand towards establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 occupied lands in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Israeli press said Israel continues preparations for a military operation in Gaza and revealed the reality of the ceasefire’s goals. Some analysts said Olmert and Barak want a truce that extends until President Bush’s departure from the area and consider that they may after this carry out a comprehensive attack against Hamas when the celebrations on the anniversary of the foundation of Israel end.
A number of Israeli commentators said Hamas’s leadership revealed this game since the beginning and that is why the movement links the ceasefire with the exchange of captives. If this happens it will enable Hamas to achieve a political gain and increase its popularity in the West Bank and Gaza on the expense of the deteriorated asset of the Palestinian authority.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Al-Qaeda on the Line of Lebanese Interactions

The Lebanese press focused on Kuwait’s meeting, which dropped the Arab initiative concerning Lebanon and launched a campaign under the title of electing the Lebanese president without any conditions. The press covered the following developments:
- 1. The rules of the UNIFIL forces’ engagement that Berlusconi raised and al-Zawaheri’s threats refer, according to the press, to suspicious behaviors by the European units in the UNIFIL that violate the resolution 1701. The press said the Lebanese army and the resistance move quietly to contain a lot of these violations, while the threats of al-Zawaheri revealed the reality of what threatens the UNIFIL forces and their role. This also revealed that the loyalists’ statements which said there is no real presence for al-Qaeda in Lebanon are baseless and politically motivated.
- 2. The communications concerning the Lebanese crisis stopped to wait for Bush’s tour while the press said the discussion among Iran, Syria and France on Lebanon continued.
- 3. The loyalists started a heated discussion on the elections law. The opposition said this formed the basic motive in the stand of the representative Walid Junblat and pushed him to coordinate with the house speaker.
- 4. Efforts continue to contain the event of Zahleh and the liberal national trend started a counter attack on the loyal sides that target it.

Arab and international Press

The Syrian daily Tichrin said Jimmy Carter was brave when he announced in Jerusalem that the complex lies in Washington because the current administration distances itself from peace.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said in its editorial that Iraq needs political measures that achieve justice among the Iraqis.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial that Hilary Clinton seems ready to violate all the norms in order to win the presidency.
The Israeli press said the case of the Israeli spy Ben Ami Kadish caused embarrassment to the Israel and to Jews in general and may affect the Israeli-US relations.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij wondered in its editorial how freedom and occupation can coexist in Iraq.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite Station said Tehran and Damascus stressed that their viewpoints concerning the various issues of the area are identical.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir wondered if the UNIFIL forces came to protect Lebanon or Israel pointing out that these forces establishes Lebanese security networks.
The paper added that Ayman al-Zawaheri’s threats against the UNIFIL did not come from a vacuum.
Al-Akhbar said the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner was not comfortable after the meeting with the Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Mouallem who stressed his government’s stand towards the solution of the Lebanese crisis and the Syrian-French relations.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the house speaker did everything to facilitate the solution but the loyalists are determined to obstruct it.
The NTV said the representative Saad al-Hariri is still absent and the representative Walid Junblat was unable to communicate with him.
The NBN said the parliament witnessed a step to activate the work of the parliamentary committees waiting for the loyalists to identify their stand.
The OTV quoted Ayman al-Zawaheri as saying that Lebanon will play a central role in the coming battles of al-Qaeda organization with the crusaders and the Jews.
The LBC said the meeting between the German Chancellor Merkel and President Mubarak in Berlin stressed the need to solve the Lebanese crisis and elect a new president.
The Future said the conditions reflect a suspicious quietness that may precede unexpected storm.

Television Stations’ News Interviews in Lebanon

NBN
Program: Useful Summary
Former representative Naser Kandil said the majority’s decision is not in its hands and Lebanon is an aero plane hijacked by Welch and Rice. He pointed out that the loyalists want to put their hands on the machine of the state in an illegitimate way.
Kandil said Syria trusts General Michel Suleiman but there are two problems that face Suleiman on the Druze and Christian arenas.

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.