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CNN International: Gaza's Humanitarian Crisis Deepens As Health System Crumbles; Former U.K. PM David Cameron Appointed Foreign Secretary; State Of Emergency In Iceland Due To Quakes, Magma Threat. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired November 13, 2023 - 08:00   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello. You're watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead, the Israeli military pushes further into Gaza City while tensions arising at the border between Israel and Lebanon. We'll have live reports.

Then former British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a surprise return as foreign secretary.

And Iceland prepares for another volcanic eruption likely to happen in the coming days. I'll speak to an expert about why this time may be different.

Israel is intensifying its ground operations inside Gaza. Military officials say Israeli troops have pushed deeper into Gaza City. They breached the outskirts of the Al-Shati refugee camp and carrying out raids in multiple areas. The IDF says it's arrested 20 alleged Hamas members, including some accused of taking part in the October 7th attacks on Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, talking to CNN. He's refusing to answer whether he takes responsibility for failing to prevent the October 7th massacre.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: The first thing we have to do is destroy Hamas because otherwise they'll do it again and again and again. And they've said so. So we'll destroy Hamas. The second thing we have to understand is that there has to be an overriding and overreaching Israeli military envelope because we've seen any place that we leave, we just, you know, exit, give it to some other force. Very soon, terrorism resurges. So we must achieve nothing. The third thing we have to understand is that a civilian authority has to cooperate in two goals. One is to demilitarize Gaza and the second is to de radicalize Gaza.


FOSTER: The director of the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza says the situation there is catastrophic. He says about 7,000 people are sheltering at the hospital, along with 1,500 patients and staff. But it's now ran out of food, water, milk for children and babies. Israel says it dropped off 300 liters of fuel outside the hospital on Sunday, but claims Hamas blocked hospital workers from picking it up.

With intense fighting reported in the area, the hospital, which is run by the Hamas-controlled health ministry says, workers are too afraid to go outside and get the fuel, which in any case would have powered generators for about half an hour only.

Israel alleges that Hamas's headquarters are housed underneath that hospital. CNN's Nada Bashir has more on the desperate situation in Gaza hospitals. And a warning, some of the video you're about to see is graphic.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): These are the sounds of the final gasps from Gaza's collapsing healthcare system. Medical staff in Gaza City, working under near relentless Israeli bombardment for over a month. But now this chorus of frantic voices, seen here working under torchlight, tells its own gut wrenching story.

The Al-Quds Hospital, the second largest in Gaza, has now collapsed. The hospital no longer operational, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. But these scenes are all too familiar across the besieged Gaza Strip. The vast majority of hospitals here are already completely out of service, the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah says, and those remaining now on a cliff edge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There is a direct injury in the head, internal bleeding, and we can't do surgeries. No surgeries, no oxygen, no electricity. We work manually. We are using a manual resuscitator. It is a clear injury. It needs an urgent surgery, a lifesaving one. He is less than a year old.

BASHIR (voice-over): Remarkably, this baby survived. But his father, who was in the very same building when an Israeli airstrike hit, did not. At Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa officials say newborn babies had to be moved and that at least three babies in the neonatal unit died after a generator powering incubators was damaged in an Israeli strike. CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment. The IDF regularly says it is targeting Hamas. But doctors here say the hospital is now completely surrounded.

MOHAMED KANDIL, DOCTOR: The situation overall is difficult, according to our colleague there. There is no water, no electricity. They cannot communicate between each other. There is a lot of targeting around the hospital.

BASHIR (voice-over): Under a near constant barrage of airstrikes, it is impossible for both patients and staff to safely evacuate. Doctors are overwhelmed. Morgues now long beyond capacity. And with communications frequently cut off contact between medical teams on the ground and with the outside world is growing increasingly difficult. Hospital officials say thousands of displaced civilians are still thought to be in the compound, taking shelter in what once was thought to be a sanctuary in the midst of this seemingly unending nightmare.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We thought the hospital was a safe place, but it wasn't. If we had stayed another five minutes, we would have been killed. They started to bomb us and we ran away from Al-Shifa.

BASHIR (voice-over): The Israeli military says it is now enabling passage from three hospitals in northern Gaza with an additional route said to have been open to allow civilians to evacuate southwards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is another form of torture. We have about six kilometers to go, no less. She got a stroke that caused her brain damage. She can't speak and is paralyzed.

BASHIR (voice-over): But the United Nations itself has raised doubts over the so called safe zones outlined by Israel, warning that nowhere inside Gaza is safe for civilians anymore. And for those too injured, too sick, evacuation is impossible. Many doctors on the ground vowing to stay beside their patients no matter what.

Nada Bashir, CNN in Jerusalem.


FOSTER: To the north, tensions rising along the Israel-Lebanon border. The IDF says it's striking back after two mortars launched from Lebanon landed in Northern Israel today. On Sunday, the militant group Hezbollah claimed responsibility for missile attacks that injured civilians in the northern part of Israel. An IDF spokesman says Israel has, quote, plans to change the security situation in the north and that it will not allow people who live there to feel unsafe.

Let's get some insight into that comment from Ben Wedeman, who's in Southern Lebanon. What does that mean, that sort of language we're getting from the IDF, Ben?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that language and what we also heard from Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, who said over the weekend that what we're doing in Gaza we can also do in Beirut. Now here in the south, we're about 20 kilometers north of the border. We've been hearing fairly steady what sounds like artillery, incoming artillery and airstrikes from that area.

Now, according to the official Lebanese National News Agency, just in the last half hour, two civilians have been killed, several wounded, when the house they were in was struck in an Israeli airstrike, completely leveling the house. Now, yesterday afternoon, according to the Israeli media, one worker with the local electricity company was killed as a result of a Hezbollah strike.

So it does seem to be that the situation is escalating somewhat. Certainly basically since Saturday, we have seen fairly intense cross border fire. Now the worry is of course, obviously the Israelis are going to make good on their threats to escalate, especially now that we're seeing more injuries and fatalities. But until now it seems to be limited at least to the border area about 10 kilometers on this side, a few more kilometers on the other side. But it hasn't yet reached the point where it could spark a full out war, Max. But we're getting close.

FOSTER: OK. Ben in Southern Lebanon, thank you.

Here in the U.K., we've seen a dramatic government reshuffle and a surprise announcement and it's linked to the Middle East conflict as well. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron back in frontline politics, this time as the new foreign secretary. And Suella Braverman is out as home secretary. She's been under fire in part over comments about the policing of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations here in London.

Political observers say her tenure has caused fractures in the government of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Busy few hours in Downey Street. Clare Sebastian has been taking it all in. It started off with that shock news about Suella Braverman. Not so much shock news, but it's been shocking, the whole process of her departure. And then in comes David Cameron.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I feel like that overshadowed the sacking of Suella Braverman. I think there was a collective double take because we saw him walk calmly back along Downing Street as we've seen many times before. That may explain perhaps why it took a while, given that the backlash was increasing last week against Suella Braverman. Perhaps they were arranging this reshuffle that involved James Cleverly, the former foreign secretary now taking over the home secretary interior ministry role, and then David Cameron coming back as foreign secretary.

I think surprising one, because his relationship with Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, has been testy. They disagree on Brexit. David Cameron recently criticized Sunak over the cancellation of a high speed rail line, saying it showed the government was moving in the wrong direction, you know. And I think people were surprised to see that, to see these two coming together.


But perhaps it shows, given the severity of foreign policy at the moment. The two wars, one in Ukraine, the crisis in the Middle East, they want to bring back an experienced hand. I think others, though, are asking, you know, was this a last resort? Is there no one else among the ranks of current MPs who could have filled this role? So I think the country isn't quite sure yet what to make of this.

FOSTER: The other way you could read it, I guess, is that Rishi Sunak, having had someone like, Suella Braverman, who's, you know, quite right wing for the Conservative Party go, and David Cameron, who's really known as a centrist, coming in, perhaps Rishi Sunak is preparing for the upcoming election by moving much more to the center ground, just as Tony Blair did from the Labour Party. SEBASTIAN: Yes, I mean that, certainly Suella Braverman has excited the right wing of the party through various inflammatory comments from everything towards the police and migrants to even the homeless. She recently described homelessness as a lifestyle choice. So I think certainly David Cameron is from a different wing of the party, as you say, much more liberal, much more centrist. And bringing him back has certainly caused much celebration among the more Liberal members of the Conservative Party. That's one way to look at it. We are, you know, very much assuming that there will be an election next year, although the date hasn't been announced yet. Max?

FOSTER: OK, Clare, thank you so much.

Still ahead, an evacuation order in Iceland after warnings of a possible volcanic eruption. A volcanologist joins us from Reykjavik, when we return.


FOSTER: Iceland has declared a state of emergency following a series of earthquakes linked to a possible volcanic eruption. Thousands of residents in the coastal town of Grindavik were forced to evacuate as a precaution. And officials are urging calm, but have also warned about a, quote, significant likelihood of a volcanic eruption in the coming days near the world famous Blue Lagoon geothermal pool. Now Iceland is home to 32 active volcanoes and eruptions aren't uncommon. Earlier I spoke to a civil protection official in Reykjavik who told me why this eruption might be different.


VIDIR REYNISSON, SUPT., ICELAND DEPT. OF CIVIL PROTECTION & EMERGENCY MGMT.: In 2010 we had a volcanic eruption ongoing in a glacier. So it was a mix of water, ice and volcanic lava which caused the explosive ash cloud that we saw. This time, there is nothing like that. There is no glacier near the eruption site. So everything is in much other risks and most of the risk is from the floating lava to a lot of very critical infrastructure. First, one is of course the town of Grindavik, the home of almost 4,000 people. And then secondly, it is power plants for which produce a lot of electricity, and they're almost all hot water for the southern part, so southwestern part. So it's a big critical infrastructure also.



FOSTER: Our next guest says the country needs to be prepared for the worst. Thor Thordarson is a professor in volcanology and petrology at the University of Iceland. He joins us live from Reykjavik. Thank you so much for joining us. What's your latest data telling you about when it might hit and how bad it's going to be?

THOR THORDARSON, PROFESSOR IN VOLCANOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ICELAND: Well, the current situation is such that the seismic activity in this fracture -- magma field fracture that went under the town of Grindavik has reduced significantly. So it's calmed down a fair bit. And if that trend continues, we may escape an eruption. There's still a possibility that the eruption will take place within the limit of the town.

FOSTER: So we heard earlier, this isn't going to create the sort of cloud that, you know, was created in 2010 and caused a lot of international flights to be diverted and closed. But what will this eruption look like if it does come through?

THORDARSON: Well, if this eruption takes place on land, it will feature lava fountains which could reach heights of maybe up 100 to up 200 meters, and a lava would be issued away from the vents that would flow over everything in its path. But it is not impossible that this volcanic event might take place offshore because the current seismic activity extends offshore. And if that happens, then we will have an explosive eruption with an ash plume that might go up to maybe 6 to 8 kilometers and cause some, but probably minor disruption to air traffic.

FOSTER: So there could be a possibility of this cloud in this situation, but not nearly as bad as last time?

THORDARSON: Yes. And this would be a small eruption and not as much ash. So the effect of the plume from that event would be much less than, and would be much less than, sorry about that. It will be -- the influence of the eruption would be much less than what was in 2010. It would not be as white of an airspace closure. And we also have developed new technology that we can track the ash much better in the atmosphere. So, yes, it would be a much, much more reduced impact if it happened.

FOSTER: And just briefly, you said that the latest information seems to suggest it's calming down. Could this just completely subside then, or does it need to come out somewhere?

THORDARSON: It could completely subside. It could stop within the next few days if the trend continues. But there's also a possibility that the activity will pick up again and we may have an eruption. And it's not guaranteed. If that happens, it will take place within the town. It could happen outside the town, north of it, on the land north of it, or out in the sea south of it.

FOSTER: If you're saying the north of it, as you can see from our map, you're talking closer to Reykjavik. So is that, you know, are you worried about the capital?

THORDARSON: No, it would not threaten the capital, but it could threaten other towns on the north shore of the Reykjavik Peninsula, like Warga (ph). That's a possibility if the eruption takes place on the northern end of this volcanic lithium. And that has been activated now.

FOSTER: OK. Thor Thordarson, thank you so much for joining us and spending time with us.

We're going to go to the U.S. now where Senator Tim Scott stunned Republicans by abruptly announcing he was suspending his presidential campaign on Sunday. Members of his team say they were given no advance notice. Scott was facing an uphill battle against Donald Trump, the clear front runner in the party. The senator announced his decision during a live television interview, taking AIDS and donors by surprise.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): But when I go back to Iowa, it will not be as a presidential candidate, I am suspending my campaign. I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they're telling me not now, Tim. I don't think they're saying, Trey, no, but I do think they're saying, not now. And so I'm going to respect the voters and I'm going to hold on and keep working really hard and look forward to another opportunity.



FOSTER: Scott says he's not endorsing ever any other candidate right now.

And in less than two hours, Donald Trump's legal team will launch their defense in the New York civil fraud trial. The former U.S. President's eldest son, Donald Jr., will be the first witness in the defense case today. Earlier this month, he denied having any role in the preparation of his father's financial statements. The judge has already ruled that Donald Trump and his company are liable for persistent and repeated fraud by inflating the value of assets in the financial statements. We'll be right back.


FOSTER: This week, we are exploring Japan off the beaten path in our new travel series, Next Big Trip. Today, a Mountaintop Temple may consider to -- many consider to be among the country's most beautiful tourist attractions, yet one of the most difficult to reach. As CNN's Will Ripley finds out, where.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Where we're headed is known as Japan's most dangerous national treasure. Our guide, Toshi Mifune, is taking me to explore some temples, and I need his help. The sites are perched on cliff faces, high up Mount Mitoku. Climbers forbidden from going it alone. You even have to have your footwear assessed for safety before you're allowed up.

RIPLEY: OK. Thank you. Because -- hold on. Come here. Take a look at this. If my shoes were not OK, I would have to wear these, and that's a big no for me, so I'm glad I have the right shoes.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Next up, accessorizing in the form of a pair of white gloves. RIPLEY: I'm getting all decked out here.

RIPLEY(voice-over): To climb up, tough going. As we reach the top, these gloves are really beginning to make sense.

RIPLEY: Oh, my gosh.

RIPLEY (voice-over): I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I am awestruck by this view. Sitting on a rock face, Mon Jodo hall (ph) is one of several sites that punctuate the skyline.

RIPLEY: Why do people do this? Why do people come here?

TOSHI MIFUNE, GUIDE (through translator): Firstly, it's a place of religion to visit the gods. The second is curiosity.

RIPLEY: Thrill seeker.


RIPLEY: Yes, but I wasn't expecting the thrill to be mixed with so much spiritual power.


RIPLEY: More than any other shrine I've ever visited, you feel a sense of achievement when you get up here. It's really powerful.

TOSHI MIFUNE, GUIDE (through translator): I've climbed up here more than 120 times, but I still get an energy from this mountain every time.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Pilgrims have been visiting Mount Mitoku for 1,300 years. Here in Japan, people practice mountain worship. While some people talk of conquering a mountain for adventure or fitness, here they are places to be revered and respected. One thing I can respect, how did someone build this up here? Nageiredo hall is Japan's most dangerous national treasure built around the 12th century.


RIPLEY: This bronze bell, almost 900 years old, it weighs two tons. And they, to this day, have no idea who brought it up or how the heck they got it all the way up here. It's extraordinary.

RIPLEY (voice-over): The beauty and the feeling of this place will stick with me for a long time.

Will Ripley, CNN, Tottori Prefecture, Japan.


FOSTER: Now a search is underway for a missing California woman and her parents after police arrested her husband on suspicion of murder. Thirty-five-year-old Samuel Haskell's arrest comes after human remains were found in a dumpster. Police trace those remains back to the couple's home near Los Angeles. CNN's Camila Bernal has more from L.A.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities arrested 35-year-old Samuel Haskell on suspicion of murder. And they say this is after someone here in Los Angeles was looking through dumpster bins and found a bag with a woman's torso inside. Now, authorities at the moment say they have not been able to identify the human remains, but continue this investigation.

The evidence that they found eventually led them to Samuel Haskell and his home. They say he shared a home with his wife, three children and his in laws. The children, according to police, they are OK, they are safe, they're with family. But his wife and his in laws, they are still missing. So of course, the community in shock and terrified reacting to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what to say, you know. No human should die like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That woman that's missing, Grandma, I don't know what we're praying for her to survive, to live, to know what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know what kind of a person can do something like that, honestly. It's another human being. Whether you know him or not, it's a human being and it's just very scary.


BERNAL: And police found blood and other evidence in the home that they searched. That's according to our affiliate KABC, who's also reporting that no other human remains were found. Now, in the meantime, Haskell is set to appear in court here in Los Angeles on Monday morning. It's unclear if he has an attorney, his father, an Emmy-winning producer and agent here in Hollywood. We've reached out to him and have not heard back.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.

FOSTER: Thank you for joining me here on CNN Newsroom. I'm Max Foster in London. World Sport with (INAUDIBLE) up next.