Return to Transcripts main page
Interview With French Minister Delegate For Transport, Clement Beaune; Interview With Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center Senior Research Associate And "Inheriting the Bomb" Author, Mariana Budjeryn; Interview With Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary General, Jan Egeland. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired July 05, 2023 - 13:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what is coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have been dismantling in the last two days, the hub of terror in Jenin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The Israeli military incursion into the West Bank is over for now, but at what long-term cost? I speak to Norwegian Refugee Council head,
Jan Egeland, who helped launch the Oslo Peace Accords.
And after a week of riots across France, the far-right seizes the political moment. French transportation minister, Clement Beaune, weighs in on
government efforts to regain control.
Then, as Ukraine warns of a potential Russian threat to the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Correspondent Ben Wedeman reports from Eastern Ukraine.
Welcome back to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour.
Israel's military operation in the West Bank City of Jenin is over, defense forces say. At least 12 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier are dead.
Thousands were forced to flee their homes. It was the most intense incursion on the West Bank since the Second Intifada 20 years ago. And
still, the violence continues.
Earlier today, Israel conducted strikes in Gaza in response to the rocket launches there. And a mosque claims a car rammed attack in Tel Aviv
injuring eight pedestrians was carried out by one of their fighters. Correspondent Salma Abdelaziz live on the ground, and she joins me now.
Salma, what are you seeing around you?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, I'm in the West Bank, we've just pulled out of Jenin just a short time ago because it is nightfall now, and
there were extraordinary scenes today. The Israeli military had just withdrawn, and thousands of people who had been fleeing that violence we're
returning to see a city that was damaged, deeply destroyed, deeply devastated. A place without running water, without electricity, without
But what was really astounding, and we have images to show you of that, is that one of the first things that took place was a massive funeral. People
wanted to bury the dead, the dozens -- one dozen rather, 12 people who were killed in the Israeli military raid, Israel says they are all combatants
and Palestinian factions, were claimed among some of those dead as their own, but those Palestinian factions were out in full force, as you could
see in that material, we have for you there.
They were waving their flags, shooting celebratory gunfire in the air, sending a clear message that they were unbroken, unbowed by Israel's
military incursion, and that they would continue to fight. And despite the widespread devastation we saw, there seemed to be an atmosphere of
defiance, of resistance. There seemed no doubt among those in the Jenin Camp that Israel's military would return, it would return again soon.
But what you heard from those Palestinian factions and their supporters is that they were ready and willing for that fight. For the residents caught
in the cross fires, of course, there was a traumatizing and massive impact. There were still drones flying overhead.
We went to one woman's home. She was the mother of three daughters. She says they were pin downed in the fighting for hours. She came back. Was
able to flee at some point. Came back to find her home completely devastated. Her daughter's little room, she has three little daughters. Her
daughter's little room, the wall had just been blown out with explosives.
And what she said to me that really stood out, she said, we can rebuild. We can rebuild our homes. We can return material possessions. But how do I
rebuild the psyche of my little girls? How do I ever make them feel safe again? And in one of the most impoverished and marginalized corners of the
West Bank, an area already deeply deprive. You can imagine that for those little girls. There's little hope, little promise in a future other than
another cycle of violence.
GOLODRYGA: Even prior to this incursion, these residents living in really dire circumstances and poverty. Salma Abdelaziz, thank you so much.
And later, in the program, we'll look at the direct impact of Israel's incursion on more than 10,000 Palestinian refugees living in Jenin, with
Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, that is later on in the program.
But first, we turn to France where as a wave of violent protests subsides, the country is taking stock of the damage. The uprising, a reaction to the
fatal police shooting of a teenager named Nahel Merzouk, caused more than 1 billion euros worth of damage according to a French business association.
And while the economic fallout is still being tallied, the political effects could be major. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National
Rally Party is capitalizing on the unrest to gain support, calling to restore order to France.
Clement Beaune serves as Frances' minister delegate for transport, and he joins me now from Paris. Minister, thank you so much for your time.
We know that things do seem calmer on the streets there, largely due to weather and storms that had impacted the region. What are you and you are
government doing to maintain that calm and see that it continues?
CLEMENT BEAUNE, FRENCH MINISTER DELEGATE FOR TRANSPORT: Good afternoon and thank you very much for your invitation. I think it's important to express
from Paris what is going on here. As you say, it has been much more quiet these last two nights, not only last night and not only due to the weather,
but it has been a clearly strong decrease in the violence we have seen the previous days, and this is due to the first thing we have to do, which is
maintain public order.
There's no excuse or justification to violence, which are just about going to shops, some stealing things. So, we need to be very strict on that. Of
course, we need also to debate some root causes in the longer run. But for now, we are active and we are determined to maintain this order, and this
is producing results.
GOLODRYGA: It is a difficult balance to maintain order and obviously address the root cause here. And President Marcon and your government has
been quick to condemn the actions of the officer accused of shooting and then killing the 17-year-old, Nahel, calling it inexplicable and
But you stopped short of addressing and suggesting that perhaps this could be a symptom of a larger issue that is underlying the police force as a
whole, and the training of the police force in the country and the system.
In the past, week there have been more than 5,000 vehicles burned, more than 1,000 buildings damaged or looted, 250 police stations attacked, more
than 700 officers injured. A shocking attack on mayors' homes as well. Some 3,400 people have been arrested. Doesn't that suggest to you that this is
much larger than an outlier of an officer who committed a heinous crime and perhaps speaks to a bigger problem that the police itself is dealing with?
BEAUNE: I think in such circumstances we have to be very simple and very clear facing the events we are facing and the violence that you have
described. First, of course, there was a young person, a 17-year-old, which was shot and died last week. We were very clear that this is not
acceptable, it is not justifiable. And this is one issue. And then, there were some violence which were not about expressing some issues about
discrimination, about difficulties in some deprived areas, which were much different and much broader, which are about just stealing and destroying,
including public services in these areas.
And when you look at the actual violence that we have seen these last days, it is extremely difficult to give a simple explanation because it has also
taken place in some cities, in some areas which are much more quiet usually. There was violence against some elected people, the mayor for
instance, which I think has no link with what happened the week before. So, we have to be simple and clear. This young person losing its life is not
acceptable and justice is being done according to our rule of law.
And then, there were violence, we had to remain order. And then, of course, we have to work even harder in areas in which we are already investing a
lot to improve public services, to improve conditions of living, of young people in particular. But we should not mix up issues, otherwise we will
not bring the right answers.
GOLODRYGA: No. And violence can't be condoned and it's quick to spiral. That having been said, what exactly is your government doing in terms of
introducing new policies to address this divide? I know that President Macron had been speaking with mayors in the country. And here is what one
mayor said in response. He said, I came to hear the president give us a vision, to set a course. I didn't come here for a group therapy session.
Are you concerned that there is a lack of leadership from your government and your president on this issue?
BEAUNE: No, I think it's very clear that agenda, the political agenda we are developing will go on, our economic reforms, our social reforms, are
reforms about energy transition concern (ph), this should go on and this is very important.
We have invested a lot in our public services these last years, for instance, in schools, to make sure that classes are much smaller, groups
are much are much smaller and so on and so forth. We will go on with that.
What we see, and we see that in a lot of democracies, unfortunately, is that there is violence which is sometimes difficult to justify, impossible
to justice, and difficult to explain. When, for instance, during the weekend, a mayor and his family was attacked at night by unknown people. I
think that no justification and no link with the murder which happened the week before.
So, we have to be humble (INAUDIBLE) very clear on the principles and to go on with the agenda that we have. President Macron has been re-elected a
year ago. We are developing the same political agenda, and I think we are the most stable country in the E.U. now, and we would go on with these
public services investments and big economic reform agenda. And probably, we have to discuss how we do even more in deprived and difficult areas. But
this is not a justification for the strong violence which have happened and that we are condemning.
GOLODRYGA: And now one is justifying, but you have said that you are among the most stable countries there, if not the most stable in the E.U. I don't
have to tell you how significant and what a big role optics cam play. And from the past week, when we have seen from these mass protests and the
violence that has ensued following weeks that we've covered of other protests stemming from economic changes, in pension reform. What kind of
message do you think that sends about the stability that the E.U. are saying is on full display in your country?
BEAUNE: I'm aware of this and is I also why want to explain from Paris what is happening. But as you can probably see if you visit France and Paris,
most of our countries, of course, in quiet situation, the situations that we have seen in the last days has been lasting a few days and is now much
better and much quieter.
There have been protests, which I think we should not, again, mix up at the current situation, against a strong reform of our pension system, which
also demonstrates that we are doing our job, putting -- implementing reforms. And of course, we have to face all this type of violence to reform
our country, to bring stability. But I can reassure you, come to France and you will see that this is a quiet and stable country for good.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. I was just in France a couple of weeks ago, I do have to say. President Macron has suggested cutting access to social media sites
during this unrest at recent meetings with the mayor. Some people say that this conflicts with the idea of a democracy and that these are actions that
authoritarian regimes like China or North Korea would resort to. Would you support cutting access to social media sites?
BEAUNE: Let's be very clear about this, because this has been a topic for discussion, the role of social media in the violence during the meeting
with the mayors, there's no idea of cutting social media for everyone or in a specific area. What President Macron is insisting on is that sometimes
young people uses the social media to gather, to bring violence in some areas, and we have to work with the platforms themselves to bring
regulation, which is not, of course, about cutting any freedom of expression, freedom of press, freedom of the media.
We are a strong democracy. We are very committed to keeping these values and principles, and there's no idea that people should not be able to
express ideas and to use social media across the country, certainly not.
GOLODRYGA: Well, as we've said, and as you know, far-right parties have been quick to jump on this opportunity to campaign for themselves against
your government, perhaps sensing a sense of weakness in response.
Marine Le Pen is expected to run again in 2027, and a recent opinion poll conducted on June 30th showed that more people actually approve of her
response to this crisis than any other leader, that was a 39 percent versus even President Macron, which stood at 33 percent. What do you -- how do you
justify those numbers?
BEAUNE: Of course, extremist parties and nationalist parties are using old crisis to try to get more support. This is happening in France, this is
happening in a lot of western democracies, unfortunately. I think there is always a democratic risk of these parties to get into office, but there's
no written story in advance and we have elections in four years, and before that, we have to do our job.
Our job is to stick to our democratic principles, what we could (INAUDIBLE) in France, which are very important. We have to maintain order, respecting
the rule of law and the functioning of our independent justice. This is the best way, I think, to bring responses. We've not been weak when we look at
the violence. We have, each night, 45,000 police forces in our country, making sure that order is coming back. But we should not go to extremism,
saying that, for instance, everything would be due to migrations, that it's very simple to just close our borders or to quit the E.U., and that
everything will be fine.
The simplistic solutions, extremist and necessarily solutions will bring no solution at all to the French people. They never do. And we have to explain
this politically. This is a fight, because this danger, this risk is present, unfortunately, most our democracies. But we had this risk in the
last previous -- in the two previous presidential elections, and each time, President Macron explains that we should not have this platform on one.
GOLODRYGA: All right. Minister Beaune, we thank you for your time today. We appreciate it. Thank you.
And coming up after this, Kyiv warns of an attack on Europe's largest nuclear plant. We'll get the details from a Ukrainian expert. That's up
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to the program. The rhetoric is ramping up around a possible attack on Europe's biggest nuclear power facility. Ukraine's
president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his nightly address said that Russia is the only source of danger to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. This as
the Kremlin says the potential for sabotage by the Kyiv regime is quite high.
Zelenskyy sat down for a wide-ranging exclusive interview with our Erin Burnett recently. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Zaporizhzhia, I know you've been touring the nuclear power plants. You have warned that Putin could be prepared to have
a terrorist attack on Zaporizhzhia. Do you feel that that could be imminent?
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: So, what I -- I have real from intelligence, I have documents. I don't -- can't tell you what kind of
documents, but it's something connecting with Russia. I said that they are technically ready to do something. It's very important that they mined some
local mining. Yes, local.
BURNETT: At Zaporizhzhia?
ZELENSKYY: Yes, at Zaporizhzhia, in this station. They are technically are ready, and that's why we pushed (INAUDIBLE). (INAUDIBLE) in English? I'm
sorry. IAEA. Yes, IAEA. Yes. We push them, and we said look, your team there, your four -- there are four, four people. And this plant is like a
city. It's really like --
ZELENSKYY: It's huge. It's very big.
ZELENSKYY: Four people will not find mines.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: And you can see Erin's full exclusive interview when it airs later at 7:00 p.m. in New York. That's midnight in London tonight.
But now, here to discuss more on this is Mariana Budjeryn, a senior research associate at Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center, and the author
of "Inheriting the Bomb: The Collapse of the USSR and the Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine."
Mariana, thank you so much for joining us. So, in addition to what we heard there from his interview with Erin Burnett, President Zelenskyy cited
Ukrainian intelligence, accusing the Russian military of placing objects resembling explosives on the roof of several power units of the
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
Now, the director general of the IAEA has visited the plant recently, and two IAEA staff have been stationed at the plant, he says said that the
plant -- the part of the plant that they have visited, they had not seen any mines, but that he would like to have more inspections as soon as
possible. How worried are you right now at any potential risk of attack to this plant?
MARIANA BUDJERYN, SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL'S BELFER CENTER AND AUTHOR, "INHERITING THE BOMB": Well, I've been worried
since March 4, 2022 when this plant was overtaken by the Russian troops. And clearly, there is something -- there is a spike and there's an
escalation around the plant that is going on. It's not easy to make out exactly what the plan is. We know very scant details. We know that there
are some explosives spotted on the roof, and there might have been a plan that was -- that Ukrainian intelligence has been privy to.
Now, these explosives on the roof alone will not cause a major radiological accident. They might, you know, breach the structure of the containment
chamber, of the actual building in which the reactor is housed, but it takes a lot more to undermine the cooling systems, the reactor core itself,
in such a way as to cause a major radioactive release.
That is not to say that Russians who have the run of the plant, who have had the time to place these explosives in all the right places, which would
require the recommendation of experts, to which they also have access to, and who have shown that they are not restrained in causing the kind of
damage that, you know, as the breach of the Kakhovka Dam showcases, right, that they might not be restrained from causing just such an accident.
GOLODRYGA: And it is a Zelenskyy government, it's pointing to the blast at the Kakhovka Dam and accusing the West of not responding adequately enough
to that, to -- that's perhaps is allowing Russia to continue with its threats surrounding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant itself.
When you about how structurally sound this plant is, a lot of people, of course, think of Chernobyl, and all of the experts that I have turned to
and have read from suggest that this plant is more structurally sound than Chernobyl was, even prior to the accident. Is that reassuring for you and
for -- should it be reassuring for viewers here?
BUDJERYN: We are certainly very lucky that this is not a Chernobyl type plant and not a Chernobyl type of reactor. The actual reactor itself was a
different type of reactor. It was much less protected. It didn't have a robust containment chamber. So, even if the core melts, even if there's
sort of a nuclear radiological release from the reactor core, the containment chamber is there to kind of keep it in to prevent it from being
released into the atmosphere, which, of course, you know, the containment chamber can be breached, it can be shelled and bombed and mined and
We are also very lucky that this is not an active reactor. It has been in a cold shut down, at least since September last year, which means that the
fuel that's contained in the cores is much cooler, it's not as hot, it's not as radioactive. And that gives us some, you know, measure of optimism
that even if there are damage that's made to the cooling systems and to some of the other critical systems there might be time for the staff to
respond, to replenish the water or to make the necessary -- take the necessary measures to prevent an accident.
GOLODRYGA: And that's coming from an expert like yourselves, reassuring views who are thousands of miles away, perhaps, watching this. Let's play
sound from residents of Zaporizhzhia about their concern about any likely attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I follow the news, and of course, I hope that everything will turn out fine. Nuclear energy is not a joke after
all. We've already had this once before, and something frightful in principle. We have hoped that nothing serious will happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: So, it's great that they have hope. How would you assess how the IAEA, from their vantage point and the best access that they've been able
to have to this plant, the role that they have been having in monitoring the situation? Have they been conducting a good job, in your view?
BUDJERYN: Well, they have been conducting a good job within the limits of their mandate, which, of course, is limited. As we know, the IAEA is a
technical organization. They do not take any kind of political stances. The director general of the IAEA represents all member states, including
Russia, right? So, it was -- it is amazing that they have been able to organize these monitoring missions, this is unprecedented, but all that the
monitoring missions can do is go where the Russian forces allow them to go and report on what they see in earnest. That might not be enough.
But also, they are not, you know, in a position to demand more. There are for people, or two people currently in a plant full of Russian military.
GOLODRYGA: And we should remind viewers that all the responsibility lies with Russia, which, as we noted, has been in control of this plant since
they invaded last year.
On the subject of nuclear plants, another one comes to mind, these headlines today. So, I have to ask you about it. It's been 12 years since
the Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan, we now know will soon release Fukushima radioactive water into the ocean after sign off from the IAEA,
saying that it is safe to do so. Do you agree with that assessment from the IAEA? Should we be worried at all about this?
BUDJERYN: Well, the water from Fukushima does contain somewhat elevated levels of tritium, which is not a good element to be releasing into the
environment. But by the same token, an ocean is a very big place. And clearly, the IAEA has judged that it is safe to release these amounts of
water in a, you know, particular way into the oceans.
Having said that, you know, that release could still have very real-life consequences because if Japan is not successful in convincing the publics
and the convincing its neighbors, such as China and South Korea, that it is a safe thing to do then there will be economic, there will be political
fallouts from the release of Fukushima water.
GOLODRYGA: We'll be covering Fukushima and, obviously, Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facilities very closely. Mariana Budjeryn, thank you so much for your
expertise. It's really been insightful.
Well, now, we get an inside look at what's happening inside the Russian trenches. In an extraordinary report, CNN's Ben Wedeman interviews several
Russian soldiers, now prisoners of war in Ukraine. They tell him how they got caught up in the war and reveal the chaos within parts of the Russia's
military. Here's his report.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No longer on the front lines, Anton, recounts how he ended up a prisoner of war. Back in Russia,
he was behind bars for the third time for drugs.
When they put me in prison, I heard they were recruiting. Serve six months and they pardon you, he tells me. So, he signed up with Storm Z, a unit
made up of convicts attached to the Russian Defense Ministry. After only two weeks of basic training, he was shipped off to the front lines near
After days of intense shelling, no food and only rain water to drink, he heard Ukrainian troops outside his foxhole. He assumed they would execute
I thought that was the end, he recalls. I switched my rifle to single shot mode and thought, I'll shoot myself, but I couldn't.
This video shot by soldiers of Ukraine's Third Assault Brigade shows the tense moments when Anton and his comrade, Slava, surrendered. The Ukrainian
troops told them, unlike Russian, we don't kill prisoners.
We spoke Anton, Slava and another soldier in a makeshift jail in Eastern Ukraine, concealing their faces and not using their real names. The Third
Assault Brigade gave us access to the POWs, and two of the soldiers were in the room for the interviews. The POWs will soon be transferred to Ukrainian
intelligence. They didn't appear to be under duress, and agreed to share their stories.
Slava, also serving time for drugs, said conditions in the trenches were grim. Food was scarce. We didn't have medical kits, he says. His commanders
took all the painkillers to get high, he recalled. And as a result, issued nonsensical orders. Morale was terrible.
Sergei was wounded by a grenade before surrendering to Ukrainian troops. He was a contract soldier not a convict. He completed his six-month contract
in Kherson and went home. But when he hesitated to sign another contract, a military prosecutor gave him a choice, prison or back to the front. He
ended up outside Bakhmut under constant Ukrainian fire, discipline collapsed. The officers fled. All illusions were shattered.
It was very different from what I saw in TV, a parallel reality, says Sergei, I felt fear, pain, and disappointment in my commanders.
A law passed last year in Russia imposed sentences of three to 10 years for soldiers who surrender voluntarily. If he returns home in a prisoner
exchange Anton may end up again back in a Russian prison.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
GOLODRYGA: Wow. Incredible rare access into the psyche of Russian prisoners. Our thanks to Ben Wedeman for that report.
Well, we're turning now to news out of the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Navy says that it intervened to stop Iran from seizing two tankers. CNN's Pentagon
Correspondent Oren Liebermann has more on this developing story. So, Oren, what can you tell us?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, this played out over the course of several hours early this morning, local time, in the Gulf of
Around 1:00 a.m., the U.S. Navy says a vessel from Iran's navy approached a commercial oil tanker, drawing fairly close. The U.S. Navy saw this, and
even before that tanker issued any sort of distress or looked for a call for help, a U.S. Navy destroyer intervened, sailing closer to the two
vessels. And according to the navy, at that point, the Iranian vessel sailed away, changed course and headed away from this incident.
But it wasn't over yet. Only three hours later, also in international waters in the Gulf of Oman, another Iranian navy vessel approached another
commercial oil tank. This time, drawing even closer. But this time, that oil tanker called for help, hailing a distress signal, which was received
by the U.S. Navy destroyer which sailed at full speed toward the incident.
In that time, the U.S. Navy says personnel on the Iranian vessel opened fire. You can see video of this incident provided by the U.S. Navy's Fifth
Fleet, which operates in the region. According to the U.S. Navy, it was small arms fire, and crew served weapons that were used by the Iranian
personnel to fire upon that oil tanker. And the U.S. Navy says nobody on board that tanker was injured.
But you can see some of the ricochets, according the Navy, in that video and there were hits on the oil tanker near the crew living quarters of the
crew of that tanker. As the U.S. destroyer approached, once again, the Iranian navy vessel sailed away from the incident.
It's not the first time we have seen Iran try to interfere or try to seize oil tankers and commercial vessels, especially in that region. The Gulf of
Oman and the Strait of Hormoz, an absolutely a critical waterway for international maritime traffic.
In fact, in April and May, Iran seized two vessels within just a couple days of each other. And in response to that, the U.S. Navy and the U.S.
military bolstered its presence in the region, sending in more warships and sending in more aircraft, including patrol aircraft, specifically for
incidents like this.
And yet, Bianna, again, we see this play out, the Iranian attempted seizure, according to the Navy, and the Navy stepping in there to intercede
and make sure that the commercial traffic was free and able to continue on its way toward the Arabian Sea.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. As you said, this may have happened before but it's still notable that the U.S. decided to intervene, as well. And you'll continue
following this story for us. Oren Liebermann, thank you as always.
And still to come tonight, as Israeli forces leave the Jenin Refugee Camp, what comes next? I ask Jan Egeland, one of the architects of the Oslo Peace
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back. We return to the story now, the end of the Israeli military incursion into the West Bank.
Given the ongoing tension there, the United Nations human rights chief delivered this warning, the recent operation in the Occupied West Bank and
car ramming attack in Tel Aviv worryingly underscore an all too familiar patterns of events, that violence only begets more violence.
As secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, my guest, Jan Egeland, is monitoring events in the Jenin Camp.
In 1993, when he was state secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egeland helped initiate the Oslo Peace Process.
Jens Egeland, welcome to the program. It's great to have you on to talk about this current crisis. So, as we've noted, this is Israel's largest
incursion into the West Bank in some two decades. 3,000 civilians were forced to leave their homes, there's been damage to infrastructure, water,
The IDF has left with a camp. But just now, Prime Minister Netanyahu says, "If Jenin returns to terrorism, we will return to Jenin." So, clearly
things are still heightened in terms of tension and potential re- incursions. You have people on the ground there, what are they saying?
JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: What they are saying is that the Jenin attack that was so bloody and had such an effect
on the refugee camp is part of a much larger picture.
On the West Bank, it's now the bloodiest year since 2005. 152 Palestinians have been killed, 28 of them are children, and we're halfway through this
year. These 56 years of occupation has become increasingly ugly, increasingly humiliating, increasingly indefensible.
So, in the interest of the Israeli people and their security, and the interest of the Palestinian people and their human rights, this occupation
has to end. If not, we'll have a cycle of violence, and it is going to get worse.
GOLODRYGA: I'll get to the history of this camp in just a minute. But the Israeli officials say that the goal of this incursion, this extended
operation, is to end Jenin's role in the "city of refuge for terror." And they're citing some 50 attacks on civilians, stemming from the Jenin Camp
alone. Here is what Prime Minister Netanyahu said about this operation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: In recent months, Jenin has become a safe haven for terrorists. From that safe haven, terrorists
perpetrated savage attacks, murdering Israeli civilians, men, women, and children, as many children as they could find.
As I speak, our troops are battling the terrorists with unyielding resolve and fortitude, while doing everything, everything, to avoid civilian
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: So, what is your response to that, from the prime minister, that Israel needs to dismantle what is a safe haven for terrorists? What would
you consider a more effective and constructive response to end this cycle of violence?
EGELAND: Well, law and order operation would be with police, with use of non-lethal and limited power use, not smashing the place with the Israeli
army. This was an operation where they were -- where there was aerial bombardment in a refugee camp.
So, again, in the interest of the Israeli people's security, they shouldn't foment new generations of hatred, of bitterness. There's a lot of youth now
who see no hopes for the future. They are denied all of the rights that the Israeli brothers and sisters of the same age have. They will go to
extremism. I mean, this is the recipe for making your neighborhood insecure for you.
So, stop using the sledgehammer on any problem, because you have a big sledgehammer. There should be -- I mean, I'm going back to the Oslo Accord,
the whole point of the peace process at that time was to have corporation between the people.
EGELAND: Have a common market, have a common economy, have two states that would be equals. These are neighbors, these are cousins, they have so much
GOLODRYGA: Let's talk about this Jenin Camp. It is a poverty-stricken, densely packed area with anywhere between 10,000 to 12,000 to 17,000
residents living in a half square mile of space. The whole area has been under Israeli military occupation since 1967, with the sort of
semiautonomous control by the Palestinian authority.
From your work, as you mention, with the Oslo Accords, 30 years ago cities like, this cities like Jenin were meant to only be a temporary facility on
the process to a two-state solution. How had they turned into what appears to be an ongoing permanent living hell?
EGELAND: Well, the Oslo process was killed, there was violence all around. There was violence in Israel by Palestinians. But remember, that being the
architect, the Israeli hero was killed by a right-wing Israeli extremist. They -- the settlers have been a cancer against all our peace work. There
were more illegal settlements now in the West Bank than at any time the ministers sitting in Netanyahu's extremist government come from these
illegal settlements under international law.
441 times so far this year there has been brutal attacks by these settlers. The settler attacks, these are mafia style organizations and they beat
women, children, the elderly. They take all of -- they destroy hope forever, et cetera. It's something you can't believe when you travel
(INAUDIBLE) many times across the West Bank, Israel and Gaza, to see the humiliation that is now institutionalized by this occupation, which has to
end, it is in the interest of Israel and the interest of Palestinians.
GOLODRYGA: To your point of the right-wing elements and Bibi Netanyahu's government and this coalition, the most extreme in Israel's history, there
are those that are there supporting a settlement expansion. And there's an argument by some analysts that Bibi was pressured for this incursion of
such a scale as opposed to what his government that proceeded him, the Lapid and Bennett government had which were nightly sort of more targeted
Do you think that this scale of an incursion came about because there had been pressure from within Bibi Netanyahu's own coalition to do such a
EGELAND: Yes, it could well be. We've never seen this kind of a military war machine attacks on refugee camp. Of course, there were groups inside
there who were bad. There are bad guys inside there, but there are many, many more babies, women, children. And then, to start with aerial
bombardment, what kind of an idea is that? So, yes, it comes from these extremists who are now sitting in ministerial portfolios.
I'll give you one other figure now here. So far, this year, 147 -- or other structures like waterworks, sewage, like -- places have been (INAUDIBLE) by
Israel. The occupation power has destroyed 447 structures. 61 of them, we set up as aid organizations there with European and other aid money. So,
you can't make it up. I mean, which -- the European Union, aid money is being destroyed by an occupation army.
So, I think the U.S. has to wake up. I mean, they have -- it's the only power that has leverage with this extremist government. They have to do
something about the occupation. It's also critically one of the reasons that the world is not following the West when they try to assert leadership
in Ukraine and other places is that they see astronomic hypocrisy around Israel and some other places.
GOLODRYGA: Well, Jan, let me interrupt you. First, I just want to let you know, I am not sure if you are aware that the connection, our internet
connection with you seems to be a bit weak at times. You're cutting in and out. Hopefully, in our remaining minutes it can remain stable.
I do want to ask, as you talk about the Israeli leadership the lack of leadership and when it comes to the Palestinian authority. And you talk
about the new generation of Palestinians who have no hope and no optimism in terms of what their futures can hold. And also, see no leadership as far
as the Palestinian authority and those representing them. They are accused of corruption. They are accused of basically allowing for this vacuum to
So, how can either side come together when, one as you noted, is extremists in some of its fringes and then, the other seems to be nonexistent at this
EGELAND: Yes, very weak and very disjointed really. It's true, and many of them (INAUDIBLE). They were there. They were very old, we felt, when we did
the Oslo Accord in 1993. The only way out is very strong international leadership, and the United States have to take their lead on behalf of the
The State of Israel was created by a U.N. resolution. There has to be U.S. leadership in getting out of the current cycle of eyes that is getting
worse and worse. We're there on the ground, we're trying to do as much as we can for the Palestinian, women, children, civilians, disabled, but it's
getting worse and worse by the day. There has to be a peace process again and that has to be led by the United States.
GOLODRYGA: Let me ask you now about on the issue I know that's very important to you and obviously, for us as we've been following what's
happening to women specifically in Afghanistan. We just saw a report about the Taliban banning women's beauty parlors in the country, barred women
from public spaces like parks and gyms, a crackdown on media freedoms, obviously not allowing many women to attend schools and work.
This is coming despite what may now be viewed as naive promises by the Taliban that they would be in favor of granting women more rights. What is
the appropriate response? What action, if any, can the global community take to address this?
EGELAND: I mean, there has to be united international front on this attack and assault on women's rights in Afghanistan. My own female colleagues
basically said, they took away our education, they took away education from our daughters. We cannot go to the park. We cannot travel anymore. Freedom
of movement is gone. And now, they also threaten our right to work.
Engagement is the solution. We have been able now to get 80 percent of our female colleagues back to work by agreements locally across Afghanistan.
So, it is possible to engage. And here, I wouldn't ask you as to take the lead, I was asked the neighbors, Iran, Pakistan, and countries like Turkey,
the Gulf and et cetera, the Islamic countries, have to push the Taliban to respect basic human rights for women and men alike.
GOLODRYGA: Is there an appetite, quickly, for those neighboring countries to respond the way that you have just laid out?
EGELAND: Well, they say they are working on it. I think they can have much more energy. I mean, I ran has a huge (INAUDIBLE) general in Kandahar, they
are next to the (INAUDIBLE), they can do more, so can Pakistan, so can many of the Islamic countries, so can the Gulf countries, China for that matter.
But, of course, we -- from the West to kind of have ambassadors in Doha and then going in maybe once every six months and to go to Kabul and stay
there, it's the same 40 million women and children and civilians are left behind by NATO when they went for the door two years ago.
GOLODRYGA: We have been covering how Iran has been brutally attacking women's rights as well on their own country. So, I'm not sure many of us
are optimistic that Iran could step up. But you're right, there are other countries that could take that lead as well.
Jan Egeland, thank you so much for your time today.
And when we come back, why King Charles' coronation is being marked for the second time. We have the latest in London after the break.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to the program. Well, today, Britain's King Charles III had his coronation. And you keep getting a little deja vu, that's
because this is the second ceremony. This time, it's a slightly more subdued event in Scotland.
The royal procession was seen arriving at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburg today for the service of Thanksgiving and dedication, where King Charles
III received the Scottish crowned jewels, the oldest jewels in Britain.
And Anna Stewart joins us from London with the details. So, not as much pomp and circumstance as we saw just a few months ago, but tell us what we
did see today?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: This was an interesting one, and I'm sure many people would've had deja vu, pomp, pageantry, crown jewels and King Charles
III. But no, this was really a celebration of the coronation of a new monarch and in Scotland. And it was also perhaps a celebration of the union
between England and Scotland and the rich history of that union.
And there were lots of crowds gathered along the whole procession route to catch a glimpse of the king, the queen, the 700 members of the armed
forces. So, while it wasn't quite on the scale of the coronation, it was still fairly significant.
Now, what was so interesting, I think what people always want to see at these things is what you're see right there, that is the crown of Scotland.
And as you mentioned, it is much older than the crown jewels that were seen in the coronation. Simply for the fact for history fans, that in Scotland,
these crown jewels were hidden from Oliver Cromwell and his army during a very turbulent period of British history where it became a republic. So,
much older. They were rediscovered over 100 years later.
It's an interesting ceremony. It's not steeped and as much tradition as the coronation. It first happened in the 1800. And you know what, different
monarchs have actually been presented with these Scottish crown jewels, the honors of Scotland, in all sorts of different ways. The ceremony really
reflected what happened in 1953, following the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. And today, a really nice touch was actually that a new sword
has been crafted. It has been called the Elizabeth.
So, there was really nice tie actually between King Charles III and the late monarch, his mother. So, there was all of that being wrapped in. Not
everyone was celebrating. On arrival to the cathedral, there were notable chants from anti-monarchy campaigners saying -- chanting very loudly, not
my king. You could hear over the national anthem so slightly awkward moment, I think, for King Charles and Queen Camilla as they arrived.
And it does reflect, particularly in Scotland, I think, not only the anti- monarchy protests but also you have to remember that Scotland has led by a political party for the Scottish national party. They would like an
independent Scotland and a vote really on whether or not they want to remain a country that has the monarchy. So, there is a lot going on there.
But today, definitely a moment I think for Scotts who wanted to celebrate a new king, for them to get out in the streets of Edinburgh and do so.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. And we also got to see other members of the royal family as well. Quite a fascinating history lesson though for those of us that
weren't aware of that. Anna, thank you so much for bringing that to us. We appreciate it.
And finally, today marks the 75th anniversary of the U.K.'s National Health Service. Here, you can see Prince William and Princess Kate at a tea party
in London recently celebrating with a birthday cake and speaking to guests there, including the first born -- the baby first born in the NHS, Aneira
U.K. prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer, attended a service at Westminster Abbey to mark the milestone. Now, it
comes at a time when the U.K.'s universal health care system is dealing with record-breaking wait times and staff vacancies. But still, this
beloved NHS is what a former minister once called the closest thing the English have to a religion. Wow.
Well, that is it for us today. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media. Thank you so much for watching, and
goodbye from New York.