An Event and a Regional Trend

Informed Palestinian sources said that the US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice informed the Palestinian authority of the necessity of agreeing on any text that Olmert’s government accepts or can agree on in return for allowing the president’s police to start deployment to disarm resistance activists.
The information said America exerts pressures to prevent the resignation of Olmert before the visit of George Bush or before signing a document with the Palestinians. What is frank and essential in this is that the item of the refugees’ return will be cancelled.
Olmert’s scandals and the current investigations overwhelmed the Israeli public opinion and some anticipates the resignation of Olmert at any moment while discussions on post-Olmert stage started in the Israeli political circles. Meanwhile, the resistance groups continued their confrontation of the Israeli aggressions in Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas leadership warned of adopting a firm stand and carrying out non-conventional operations against the Israeli occupation’s tightened measures in the West Bank and Gaza which take place under the title of protecting the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the declaration of the Hebrew state.

An Event and a Lebanese Trend

The Lebanese event will be the stand that secretary general of Hezbollah will announce in the aftermath of the critical events as a result of al-Siniora’s government public and direct attack on Hezbollah.
The event took place yesterday in the suburbs in the aftermath of the clashes that the loyal militias started against the workers union’s strike.
The press covered the following developments on the Lebanese arena:
- 1. The general strike was comprehensive and covered all the Lebanese areas and 80% of people participated in it. The security events pushed the workers union to delay the demonstration until a further notice.
- 2. The roads, including the airport road, were closed. This expressed a popular anger at al-Siniora’s decisions concerning the resistance’s network of communications. The opposition described these decisions as an internal explosion based on US-Saudi orders.
- 3. Political and press sources linked the ruling team’s political escalation which reached its apex through the decision of the republic’s mufti to the declaration of the US administration that Bush will meet al-Siniora in Sharm esh-Sheik. The name of al-Siniora was included in the official statement with the name of the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
- 4. The battles with the future trend armed men pushed the army to control their offices which were occupied by the resistance supporters who were from different sects contrary to the loyalists accusations that they are from Amal and Hezbollah.
- 5. The political communications between the opposition and the loyalists are completely frozen while protests continue and everyone anticipates the stand that Hassan Nasrallah will announce.
- 6. Observers think that what the opposition tried to prevent happened finally in accordance with Sharm esh-Sheik plans which aim at eliminating the Palestinian cause and dropping the right to return. The loyal sources say that a comprehensive Syrian-Iranian attack targets al-Siniora’s government and the loyalists while moderate analysts think that the current clashes express the regional crisis and a Saudi wish to prove Saudi Arabia’s ability to control the track of the Lebanese condition in accordance with the understanding with the Americans and without the need for understandings with Syria and Iran.

Arab and International Press

Al-Bayan said in its editorial that events in Lebanon entered a dangerous turning point.
The Emirate paper al-Khalij said there are fears from a hot summer in Lebanon.
The Syrian daily Tichrin said the Arab street should announce its rejection of Bush’s visit to the area.

Satellite Stations’ News

The Syrian satellite station said that the Lebanese ruling team faces the workers’ strike with bullets and bombs.

Lebanese Press

Al-Akhbar said Lebanon is in the dragon’s mouth pointing out that the confrontation is open in the field and secretary general of Hezbollah will draw the ceiling today.
The paper added that the Lebanese authority demands an immediate internationalization of the crisis.
Ad-Diyar said the republic’s mufti, Qabbani instigates the Sunnis in Lebanon and al-Siniora hinted at announcing the state of emergency.
As-Safir said bloody clashes broke out in the heart of Beirut pointing out that the army’s leader refuses announcing the state of emergency.

Television Stations’ News in Lebanon

Al-Manar said the madness of al-Siniora and Walid Junblat will burn the green and the dry in Lebanon.
The NTV said the rehearsal of war happened. This is a part of what the opposition has after it was pushed to dialogue with fire.
The NBN said the government obeys orders from overseas and turns a deaf ear to the groans of its people.
The OTV said it seems that foreign orders told al-Siniora that it is time to start the coup against the opposition.
The LBC said May 7 needs a deep reading because it became one of the big stations in Lebanon.
The Future said Hezbollah besieged Beirut and forced its citizens to stay inside their houses.

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.