HA’ARETZ 1. ASSAD DID NOT COMMIT HIMSELF TO WITHDRAWING FROM LEBANON; US CONSIDERING SANCTIONS. The speech and the reactions: Assad – „Withdrawal must be gradual and organized, not sudden.” Bush – „When we say withdrawal – we mean full withdrawal.” Druze leader – „Hand of Lebanese extended in peace to Syria on basis of speech.” Silvan Shalom – „International community must keep up pressure on Syria to stop its support for terrorism.” 2. ISRAEL: IRANIAN REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS MUST ALSO WITHDRAW. 3. POLL: AMERICAN JEWS DISTANCING THEMSELVES FROM ISRAEL. 4. SHARON BRACING FOR BATTLE. Sharon to meet with MKs – but not with „rebels” – this week in order to convince them to vote for budget. HATZOFEH 1. Increasing international pressure on Syrian President to withdraw his army from Lebanon. ASSAD: SYRIA TO WITHDRAW FROM LEBANON – GRADUALLY. In speech to Syrian parliament, Syrian President said that Syrian forces will withdraw eastward and will deploy along border afterwards. Calls for resumption of negotiations with Israel from point where they left off. Israel: Withdrawal from Lebanon must be full and not partial. Lebanese forces withdraw from positions they had taken up near Syrian command centers. 2. Bush to Palestinians: First necessary change – dismantling terrorism infrastructures. „PA DETAINS GANG MEMBERS WHO ARE NOT CONNECTED TO TERRORISM AGAINST US.” Thus reveals military source in wake of PA statement that it had detained terrorists in town of Dura, south of Hebron. Abu Mazen: We cannot operate before Israeli withdrawal from cities in Judea and Samaria. 3. MINISTER ARRIVES – THE KING WILL NOT. Jordanian Foreign Minister Hani Al-Mulki arrived in Israel last night and met with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom in Tel Aviv. Al-Mulki said that Jordanian King Abdallah would not visit Israel in near future. MA’ARIV 1. Deadly weekend on the roads: Seven killed in accidents. „MY FRIENDS ARE DEAD BECAUSE OF ME.” (…). 2. „FULL WITHDRAWAL – OR IT’S THE END OF ASSAD,” senior American officials warn. But in jovial speech, Syrian President insisted: Our soldiers are staying in Lebanon for the time being. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. President Bush to Syria: Leave Lebanon by May. BASHAR ASSAD THUMBS HIS NOSE. World expected announcement of withdrawal from Lebanon, but Syrian President agreed only to partial withdrawal. US and France demanding full withdrawal. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Yediot Ahronot says that, “The way in which Syria is beginning to withdraw its forces from Lebanon confirms two universal points. The first is that there is nothing more permanent than temporary (Syria’s entry into Lebanon was originally supposed to last only two years). The second is that…the occupier will, in the end, be expelled.” The editors suggest that an Israeli withdrawal from the Shabaa farms area would strengthen calls for Hezbollah to disarm and aid in the acceleration of the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon. The paper believes a withdrawal from the Shabaa farms area, along with disengagement from Gaza, would greatly bolster Israel’s image. Yediot Ahronot, in its third editorial, notes that Likud voters still overwhelmingly support Prime Minister Ariel Sharon even if a majority of the Likud Central Committee does not. The editors suggest that given the current composition of the Likud Central Committee, the Likud can no longer claim to be, “the party of the people.” Hatzofeh asserts that, “Israel is becoming the only dictatorship in the Middle East,” and adds that, “Today, it would not be possible to do to the Kurds in Iraq what Sharon intends to do to the Jews of Gush Katif.” The editors suggest that Prime Minister Sharon refuses to call a referendum on the Disengagement Plan because he fears the results. Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, analyzes the Supreme Court’s ruling last week in the long-running Danny Katz murder case. BY BPI-info