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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 15:33 GMT
Press fears new Lebanon civil war
Mideast press

Newspapers in the Middle East view the situation in Lebanon with alarm, expressing fears the country could be heading for a new civil war.

Some commentators accuse the West of propping up the government of Fouad Siniora, which they view as corrupt.

An Omani paper calls for the introduction of a neutral Arab force to keep the peace, while an Israeli daily speaks of "grave concern" for Israel's security following the recent war with Hezbollah.

IRAN'S JOMHURI-YE ESLAMI

The passive reaction of America, England and France and regional rulers to the huge gathering of the people in Lebanon supporting Hezbollah and asking for a change of government proves that the current government in Lebanon is a puppet and the continuation of its activities contradicts Lebanon's sovereignty.

SYRIA'S TISHRIN

Foreign interference, which is unprecedented, is possibly the main factor which has added to the fears national forces [in Lebanon] have about the government's performance. Interference has become a phenomenon through the activities of [foreign] ambassadors, particularly the US ambassador.

SYRIA'S AL-THAWRAH

The last word in the Lebanese political conflict rests with the people, who have decided to bring down the government of corruption, embassies and a monopoly on power. The people's decision will not be rescinded.

JORDAN'S AL-RA'Y

Interference in the Lebanese crisis by Riyad, Cairo, London, Washington and Paris as well as Damascus and Tehran means that the final decision is no longer in the hands of the Lebanese people.

JORDAN'S AL-DUSTUR

Lebanon: Confrontation between the national project and the American project.

LEBANON'S AL-SAFIR

[Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad] Siniora has no alternative at this stage to taking a risk and resorting to the culture of the street. Siniora deserves support, not only because he has been wronged, but also because he is the quintessence of stability and its last guarantee.

EGYPT'S AL-AHRAM

The main problem is that there is a political and constitutional vacuum in Lebanon that has resulted in a power struggle between forces that see themselves as being marginalised in favour of a group seeking to exploit the situation to enlarge its role.

EGYPT'S AL-JUMHURIYAH

The escalation of the Lebanese crisis will open the door wide to foreign intervention, particularly from Israel, which ended the recent war wounded and seeking revenge to restore its lost military and political prestige. We call on all Lebanese parties to resume national dialogue and respond to all sides' legitimate demands to head off foreign interference which is aimed at sparking off another civil war.

SAUDI ARABIA'S AL-RIYADH

If the situation escalates, the spectre of civil war will move closer. The Lebanese people must use their consciences and recall what the recent civil war did to their country.

OMAN'S AL-WATAN

Lebanon needs neutral Arab forces to take steps to avert the threat of civil war.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES' AL-BAYAN

There is a growing Arab conviction that the Lebanese crisis is nearing the point of no return.

BAHRAIN'S AL-WASAT

What is happening extends beyond Lebanon's borders. This country has two choices: either re-establish a state within a new demographic framework or be left exposed as an arena for all international and regional conflicts.

ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

It is no coincidence that there is grave concern in Jerusalem regarding recent developments in Beirut . Not only is the pressure by pro-Hezbollah and pro-Syrian demonstrators liable to cause the government of Fouad Siniora to collapse, but it may also spark a new civil war in Lebanon. If Siniora's government falls, the Sunni leader will be forced to make concessions to Syria and its allies, and possibly undermine the sole major achievement of Israel in the second Lebanon war - namely, the arrangements made along the border. It is hard to imagine European troops in southern Lebanon staying if Hassan Nasrallah signals that Hezbollah intends to target them.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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