An event and a Regional Trend

Israel is confused and Gaza is on the Edge of Explosion

The European and humanitarian mission’s reports on conditions in Gaza, in the shadow of the collective punishment and siege, talk about an imminent explosion. Some analysts expect a popular movement to dismantle the walls, crossings and checkpoints in all directions, especially on the Egyptian side.
Meanwhile, the resistance factions’ flexible stands towards the Egyptian endeavors face a state of confusion in Israel. Some analysts said this confusion might appear in the answer of the Israeli minister to the head of the Egyptian intelligence Omar Suleiman.
Debate started in Israel between the prime minister Olmert and minister of defense Barak while the Likud’s bloc and a number of Kadima’s leaders organize an expanded campaign under the title of invading Gaza and rejecting negotiations with Hamas.
On the other hand, the collective assassination operations continued against Palestinians while Hamas said it is ready to attack the occupation army in a qualitative way. The occupation forces tightened security measures in the shadow of reports, which talked about huge military operations that may target sensitive Israeli positions on the 60th anniversary of the occupation of Palestine.
On the political level, the US diplomacy focused on preparations for the visit of the secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. This visit will precede the visit of President Bush in a last attempt to try reaching a declaration of principles between Olmert’s government and the Palestinian authority, which the two sides may sign during the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of Israel.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Musa on the Line of Dialogue

The Arab league secretary general’s visit to Beirut yesterday and his meeting with the Lebanese sides and especially his meeting with the house speaker attracted the attention of the press. The press referred to the following indicators concerning the contest between the opposition and the loyalists:
- 1. Musa said he is working on a number of points, which may help to achieve a breakthrough linking the movement of the house speaker with the content of the Arab initiative. He said the loyalists admit the reference of the house speaker in sponsoring the internal dialogue while press information talked about a meeting that Musa arranges between the house speaker and representative Saad al-Hariri. This meeting will be crowned with setting a date for the dialogue in accordance with an agenda proposed by Berri.
- 2. It seemed clear that some loyal sides, including Representative Walid Jumblatt, refuse the option of the half plus one. The available information said representative Saad al-Hariri asked Patriarch Sfeir to cover this option but the patriarch warned him form the danger of confrontation.
- 3. The case of Zuheir al-Siddiq and the four arrested security officers continued. The family of al-Siddiq announced that it would start an expanded movement after the French embassy informed the family that its son left France on March 13 while the arrested officer Ali Al-Haj said in an interview with al-Intiqad paper that investigators in Bramerts commission told him the commission will not adopt the testimonies of the false witnesses.
- 4. The date of the coming strike in Lebanon approaches while the syndicates said the strike of May 7 will be followed by movements in the street or the idea of the open strike can be can option.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that the US centers of research do not call for solving any international crises except the ones that serve the US strategic necessities.
The Syrian paper Tichrin said history will record that Bush’s administration was the most aggressive to the Arabs.
The Saudi paper al-Watan said the Arab states are qualified to build an economic partnership that can achieve food security.
Al-Bayan said Palestinian divisions continued for a long time and led to huge losses.

Satellite Stations’ Interviews

Program: Be Arabi
Head of the Phalangalists party Amine Gemayel said what happens in Lebanon is a coup against the constitution and At-Taif agreement.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said the US occupation forces changed al-Sadr city into a collective cemetery.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the Arab league secretary general’s visit did not bring anything new because he knows that nothing developed since the Arab summit in Damascus.
The NTV said economists invited the Arab league secretary general but he entered from the political door and his arrival will not solve the crisis.
The NBN said the Lebanese authority ignored the economic needs of the Lebanese people.
The OTV said on the worker’ day the workers of Lebanon seem hopeless while Amr Musa returns without mediation or proposals.
The LBC said there is no date until now for the meeting between the house speaker and representative Saad al-Hariri.
The Future said general Aoun started the escalation and Hezbollah completed it today by accusing the majority of serving the US-Zionist project.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

People’s Talk
Former deputy house speaker Elli Farzali said he does belong neither to the opposition nor to the loyalists pointing out that Lebanon suffers from the results of the four-sided agreement.

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.