An Event and a Regional Trend

Israel is caught in Gaza: Invasion or Truce?

The Israeli indicators concerning dealing with condition in Gaza are contradictory while the resistance’s confrontation with the occupation forces and their collective crimes continue amid deterioration on the level of health and food supplies and the suspicious silence of the Arab moderate states.
- 1. Hamas’s leadership announced that it submitted its final formula of the truce project to the Egyptian side. The leader Mahmud al-Zahar said Israel should offer its final answer to the director of the Egyptian intelligence who will visit it next week. Az-Zahar said if Israel does not lift the siege and open the crossings in accordance with the proposed formula the resistance will teach the occupation a tough lesson.
- 2. The talk about accelerating the Israeli invasion of Gaza continues. Ehud Olmert personally announced the threats. This raised a debate due to the rise criticism of the occupation’s practices against Palestinian civilians despite generalizing the stories about the existence of resistance men in the populated areas.
- 3. George Bush targeted Hamas saying it is the most dangerous terrorist group in the world. He also attacked Syria and Iran for supporting it. Experts said Bush’s criticisms are motivated by two reasons: He feels embarrassment form the movement of the former president Jimmy Carter in the area and fears that Carter’s statement will influence the American public opinion especially because he said that Hamas is a national liberation movement. On the other hand, Bush is aware that the Israeli failure in eliminating the Palestinian resistance will execute his bet on achieving a breakthrough on the Palestinian track during his term while the reports that come to him say that a third Palestinian intifada is on the road,

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The topic of dialogue between the loyalists and the opposition after the house speaker’s initiative attracted the attention of the press and political circles in Lebanon while a set of factors and local and external influences appeared in the scene:
- 1. After consulting General Aoun, the house speaker answered the loyalists’ conditions on his initiative and their authorization of Saad al-Hariri to negotiate with him saying that the statement of March 14 did not offer any answer to the initiative and that if the dialogue is bilateral, the opposition will authorize General Aoun, but if there is a return to the table of dialogue, this will happen at the parliament. The opposition said turning around the house speaker’s initiative was ordered by Saudi Arabia,
- 2. Moderate Lebanese circles condemned the Saudi call for internationalizing while the press talked about a plan to escalate the crisis in which the moderate Arab states will participate. For his part, the Arab league secretary general said he will arrive tomorrow in Beirut to continue his communications.
- 3. Bush nurtured provocation by making a phone call with Fouad al-Siniora and announced support for him. Press sources said the American side urges the loyalists to study the possibility of electing the president outside the constitutional quorum on May 13 under the slogan of the half plus one. The information said Patriarch Sfeir, leader of the army Michel Suleiman and the differences among the loyalists prevented resort to this choice before. It turned out also that Walid Jumblatt and head of Tripoli bloc Mohamed Safadi consider the house speaker’s initiative as positive.
- 4. The living crisis dominates the atmospheres on the occasion of the workers’ day and al-Siniora’s government delayed amending the prices. 5- Press sources said leader of the army General Michel Suleiman called president Bashar al-Assad and thanked him for what he said in his press interview and on the resumption of cooperation between the two countries’ armies. Gulf papers, which are close to the loyalists, launched an organized campaign on general Suleiman for rejecting the modification of the UNIFIL’s rules of engagement and his insistence that this should cover the international forces’ confrontation of the Israeli war planes.

Arab and International Press

Al-Bayan said in its editorial that the Israeli attack on Gaza is a new black page in Israel’s bloody criminal record.
Jessie Jackson said in an article that although we commemorated the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King work did not finish yet.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that everything in the area is blocked except killing the Arabs in Palestine and Iraq.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said Arab press market baseless news on Syria through talking about a military nuclear reactor.
The Israeli paper Haaretz said Israel works to reduce the sharpness of condemning it at the conference of the donating countries in London which is expected to sharply criticize the Hebrew state.
The Qatari paper Al-Rayah said the Israeli massacre against a family of six members in Gaza confirms that there is an Israeli plan to terminate Palestinians.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said president Bashar al-Assad received a message from the Yemeni president related to bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern.

Lebanese Press

Ad-Diyar said the house speaker did not set a date for Representative Saad Al-Hariri who said I am the leader of the Future Trend and if he does not want to see me he should say that.
As-Safir said May 13 will not be an ordinary day in the history of Lebanon and the area in accordance with the US calendar concerning condition in Lebanon.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the Saudi orders to the loyalists obstructed the house speaker’s initiative.
The NTV said the communications were opened but the palaces are closed and the majority wants to ask Berri about his goal from dialogue.
The NBN said the house speaker did not consider the statement of the March 14 forces as rejection of dialogue and for this reason he waits for the majority’s response to this dialogue.
The OTV said Representative Walid Jumblatt admitted the existence of mistakes in the loyalists’ political performance.
The LBC said the majority authorized representative Saad al-Hariri to negotiate in its name with the house speaker.
The Future said the movement of the opposition is the same: one step forward and two steps backward.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

LBC
With all Courage
Patriarch Sfeir said there are no divisions inside the church but there are different opinions.

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.