An event and a Regional Trend

Gaza Raises the Concern of Cairo and Amman

A number of Arab sources focused on reactions in the capitals of Sharm esh-Sheik to what takes place in Gaza saying the stands are cold and do not take any practical steps to lift the siege of Gaza or try to stop the collective assassinations that target Palestinians. Press and political circles concentrated on the Saudi foreign minister who expressed regret concerning the escalation on the Palestinian track referring to Israel’s rejection of facilitating reaching a declaration of principles during the visit of the US president Bush to the area.
- 1. Reports say that there is an increasing popular anger in Jordan due to the qualitative weight of the Palestinian presence in this country. The press talked about official fears from uncontrollable popular movements due to the influence of the Israeli massacres in Gaza and the West Bank especially after the winning of the wing that supports Hamas in the Muslim Brothers’ elections in Jordan.
- 2. The interactions in the Egyptian street and the big boiling inside Gaza warn of a real explosion on the Egyptian side of the borders. The reports from Cairo say the Egyptian authorities try to achieve a ceasefire agreement in order to get rid of a time bomb that may explode inside Egypt if conditions do not change and especially because Israeli does not respond to the Egyptian endeavors.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

Arab league secretary general Amer Musa announced the result of his communications and meetings with the Lebanese sides on the sidelines of the Arab economic forum anticipating delaying the parliamentary session scheduled for May 13. He adopted the idea of the house speaker’s call for a declaration of principles that include the topics of the government and the elections law which should be followed by a parliamentary session to elect the president.
The press covered the following developments on the Lebanese arena:
- 1. Jumblatt launched an organized campaign against Hezbollah which the party considered as a part of an organized US campaign to pressurize resistance. The US employed in this campaign newspapers and symbols led by Walid Jumblatt in accordance with an official statement issued by Hezbollah.
- 2. Analysts linked the campaign of Jumblatt to the topic of the resistance network of communications saying this prepares for the report of Terry Roed Larsen on May 8 to the Security Council on the resolution 1559. The analysts said there is a series of programmed statements and leaks in Beirut ordered by Larsen which coincides with the statements of Saud al-Faisal and Berlusconi about internationalizing the Lebanese crisis.
- 3. Observers and the Lebanese public opinion focused on the Israeli information about the resistance success in obstructing an assassination operation in Beirut’s southern suburb coordinated by the Mossad and some Lebanese sides including a leader in the socialist progressive party according to the Israeli television station.
- 4. Some Lebanese papers said that Amr Musa considered the loyalists’ stands as negative while the opposition cooperated with him to facilitate the compromise.

Arab and International Press

The Emirate paper al-Khalij said in its editorial that when Ehud Olmert talks about readiness to withdraw from the occupied Golan Heights he aims at gaining time and testing the reaction of the Israeli public opinion whose majority opposes withdrawal from the occupied lands.
Al-Bayan said in its editorial the no one cares about the Arab causes despite the large number of international resolutions which raise the slogan of justice.
The Financial Times said it is important to focus discussion on the US future method in dealing with globalization in a time when all the discussions concentrate on the financial crisis of the US economy.
The Qatari paper al-Rayah said the return of Amr Musa to Beirut to implement the Arab initiative is highly important after setting a new date for the parliamentary session to elect the president which a lot of people pin hopes on.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the attempts to judaize Palestine and the occupied Golan will fail.

Satellite Stations News

The Syrian satellite station said that a US reconnaissance plane crashed in Iraq.

Lebanese Press

As-Safir said there is no danger that threatens the airport and the aero planes of 54 international companies land on it.
As-Safir also wondered about the reason of raising a number of security files saying this targets the summer holidays and tourism.
As-Safir quoted informed Arab intelligence sources as saying that Israel made a decision to kill secretary general of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrullah.
Al-Akhbar said Amr Musa said the parliamentary session scheduled for May 13 will be delayed which means that pessimism is still dominating the political scene.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the representative Walid Jumblatt is professional in lying and especially when he said that Hezbollah will attack the airport with missiles.
The NTV said that the talk of Jumblatt and Samir Geagea about imminent assassinations refer to the sides that plan them.
The NBN wondered if the sides will return to the table of dialogue far from the logic of raising doubts.
The OTV said Jumblatt’s accusation that Hezbollah prepares for a security operation in the airport is a lesson in the art of press misleading.
The LBC said the Arab league secretary general did not bring any thing new to solve the Lebanese crisis.
The Future said the chances of optimism retreated and the meeting between the house speaker and representative Saad al-Hariri is no longer proposed.

Television Stations’ Interviews in Lebanon

The Hour’s Talk
Former minister Weam Wahhab said that Junblat has in al-Mukhtarah missiles which are bigger than the Sam missiles.
Prince Khalid Ben Abdul Aziz Al-Saud criticized Weam Wahab’s attack against Saudi Arabia saying this aims at planting schisms.

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.