From Today's Israeli Press
NO WAR, NO PEACE
LIGHTNING STRUCK, ROCKETS FLEW: Ben Caspit in Maariv writes that the assessments in Israel and the Strip is that in all likelihood the rockets on Beersheba and the center of Israel were not man launched, but resulted from the weather and rockets that were already prepped for launching.
LIEBERMAN WANTS EVERYONE TO HOLD HIM: Sima Kadmon in Yedioth Ahronoth explains that more than war, the defense minister wants to make clear that what everyone understands now, that Hamas is not headed for a deal, he understood a long time ago. Up till now he restrained himself. Now he wants to be restrained.
ESCALATION OR LULL?: Yoav Limor in Israel Hayom expects that the demonstrations along the fence will indicate the direction of the entire sector. A senior source stresses Israel will not count the single balloon, but will monitor the general trend.
ANOTHER ROUND, NOT ALL-OUT CONFRONTATION: Yoni Ben-Menachem on News1 states that Israel has decided not to escalate in Gaza, but the coming days are critical and Hamas intentions remain unclear. 'Abbas is trying to push Israel and Hamas into war and is expected to announce new sanctions against the Strip, which could lead to an eruption.
TALKING ISRAEL INTO A CORNER: Zvi Bar'el in Haaretz argues that the situation with Gaza is escalating because the balance of threats contradicts the working assumption that neither Israel nor Hamas wants war.
THERE IS A PATH FOR GAZA: Jason Greenblatt in The Jerusalem Post declares that the United States, as it has said many times, cares for the Palestinian people and wants to help, but refuses to empower a regime that launches attacks on Israeli kindergartens.
From Today's Arabic Press
LOST ALLIES, WHILE MOSCOW WAITS IN THE WINGS
UNPRECEDENTED ASSAULT: The fact that Egypt and the UAE, Saudi Crown-Prince Mohammad bin Salman's most important allies, have not hastened to demonstrate their official support for him in the Khashoggi affair may appear to be surprising, notes Bashir al-Bakr on Friday on the Qatari-owned, London-based, pan-Arab news portal www.alaraby.co.uk.. But Egyptian President Sissi may view this as an opportunity to blackmail bin Salman further, while Emirati Crown-Prince Mohammad bin Zayed may be wary of attracting international anger against him if he were to express solidarity with bin Salman.
WAIT AND SEE: Russia's influence in Saudi Arabia and the region may receive a significant boost if the Saudi authorities were to be officially held responsible for the crime, but if a way out is found for the Saudi regime, Moscow will use this to accuse the West of hypocrisy in applying the standards of international law as regards its alleged involvement in the Skripal case, argues Charles Abi-Nader on Friday in Istanbul on the Hezbollah-affiliated news portal www.alahednews.com.lb
A LETHAL BLOW: Saudi Arabia's closest Western allies' boycott of the 'Davos by the Desert' conference represents a major blow to the Saudi crown-prince's economic plans, maintains the Friday's editorial on the pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com. Riyadh's power and standing in the world may now be at risk unless there is a change in its leadership that restores its international credibility.
TIME FOR TRUMP TO GO: With his 'businessman' mentality in dealing with other states that are only valued depending on their ability to purchase American goods, U.S. President Trump has proven that he is not only a threat to world peace, but an even a greater threat to America's system of values and its image and standing around the world, argues 'Urayb ar-Rintawi in Friday's Jordanian daily ad-Dustour. It is time for the U.S. 'establishment' to get rid of him.
ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO: After a period of relative calm, the West Bank has witnessed an escalation in the number and nature of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli settlers this year, notes Yasser Manna' on the Hamas-affiliated website www.palestine-info.info. This suggests that a number of factors are pushing the West Bank towards a major explosion, but there may be no organized force capable of directing it.