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Connect the World

IDF: Hamas "Responsible for all Terror Activities Emanating from the Gaza Strip"; Lebanese FM: Don't Want Violation of Peaceful Situation; Biden Administration Report: Lessons Learned from 2021 Drawdown; Israel Strikes Targets in Gaza & Lebanon after Rocket Attacks; Good Friday Agreement; Rockets Fired into Israel from Lebanon. Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired April 07, 2023 - 11:00   ET




BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: Welcome back. You're watching the second hour of "Connect World". I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi, where

the time is seven o'clock in the evening. And we are keeping an eye on the violence in Israel, Gaza and in Lebanon.

Israel has just ordered the mobilization of some of its reserves while Lebanon is getting ready to file a complaint to the UN Security Council

about Israel's actions. Let's back up for a moment and see how we got here.

Earlier this week Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem one of Islam's holiest sites. They did that twice. They arrested hundreds

of Palestinians. The Arab Muslim world condemned this. Then Israel accused Hamas the Palestinian militant group of firing dozens of rockets at Israel

from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip since Thursday.

Well, today the Israeli military carried out airstrikes against what it said were Hamas targets in Southern Lebanon and in Gaza, where the

Palestinian Health Ministry said the strikes damaged a children's hospital. Well, governments around the world are calling for calm and restraint to

avoid a bigger regional escalation.

Hours ago, two Israeli sisters were killed and their mother was seriously wounded in a shooting attack in the occupied West Bank. Well, worshipers

have now returned to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the region's three major religions are in the middle of their holiest days of the year. Let's get the latest

from Hadas Gold for you.


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Here near the border with Lebanon that you can see on the hill behind me there has been a tense

quiet over the last few hours ever since those early morning Israeli airstrikes in Southern Lebanon that the Israeli military said was striking

Palestinian militant targets.

Now from what we see from images posted online, as well as from a Lebanese security source speaking to CNN, these strikes hit mostly open areas,

including places where militants were storing weapons. And as far as we understand, no injuries were recorded.

And there was no response of any sort of rocket fire launched from Lebanon towards Israel after the strikes. And we're hearing words from the Lebanese

government as well as from the Israeli military that neither side has any interest and any sort of escalation.

But the airspace here is still close to civilian aircraft. So that still goes to show that there's some sort of concern that something could still

develop. Most of the action, though, has been down south in Gaza, where the Israeli military overnight, striking several what it called Hamas militant

targets including tunnels and weapons, manufacturing sites.

Militants there respond with more than 40 rockets towards Israeli targets. Again, no injuries reported on either side, although there have been

damages to buildings residential homes on the Israeli side as well as damage to a pediatric hospital in Gaza.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, two Israeli women were shot and killed a third critically wounded and what Israeli police are calling a

Palestinian terror attack on an Israeli car that was driving in the occupied West Bank.

So many fronts ongoing all at the same time, the Israeli military calling up Air Force reservists, but right now it seems to be more of a

precautionary measure. There are lots of calls the international community to try and calm the situation down. It has been calm so far, but eyes are

still open to see if things will develop further. Hadas Gold, CNN in Northern Israel.


ANDERSON: Well, Scott McLean standing by in Beirut. Scott, I've just spoken to the Lebanese Foreign Minister. He couldn't confirm who he believed was

responsible for the attacks from Southern Lebanon into Israel. But he pointed to Palestinian factions on the ground and very specifically said

this was not an Hezbollah attack that we saw some what 24 hours ago now what are you hearing?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes Becky, I watched that interview, the Minister Abdallah Bou Habib sitting in this chair with fascination and it

also stood out to me that he almost seemed relieved to say that look, and this was not Hezbollah.

This was a Palestinian militia group and, you know, relief, for good reason, because of course, Hezbollah is a pretty formidable fighting force

and poses a real threat to Israel and vice versa. And perhaps actually, a senior Hezbollah official summed it up quite well.

When he was quoted earlier today saying that Zionist attempts to threaten and frighten people are an effective deterrent power balance remains in

place. In other words, if these two powers were to go to war, it would not end well. I was also interested to hear that he seems to have some

assurances, at least he says that this is not going to escalate anytime soon.


But what's really fascinating is that Lebanon doesn't necessarily have a clear channel of communication with all of the parties involved here,

because we are talking about smaller Palestinian militia groups.

So the Lebanese are directly in contact with Hezbollah. They are directly in contact with the Americans. So they have essentially asked Hezbollah to

turn down the temperature have these Palestinian groups in its territory.

That it has a huge influence in not to escalate things, it's asked the Americans to do the same to exercise its influence over the Israelis not to

strike again, on Lebanese territory. But this is a very complicated group of telephone, the Minister even after your interview, acknowledged to me

Becky; this is a very complex game of telephone that the Lebanese have to play here.

And he said that look, their intelligence services, they're in touch with some of these smaller Palestinian groups. But look, they asked them nicely

not to do this, but only after the fact because the fact is, they didn't know that this was coming. They have very little oversight.

I think it was clear from your interview over these Palestinian operations in Southern Lebanon, he said that, look; they can't police what the

Palestinians are doing necessarily there. And I asked him earlier, why it was that Palestinian security forces couldn't try to clamp down on these


And the reality is that he said that they don't have control over these Palestinian refugee camps that have been there for decades. And he also

acknowledged that it's his belief that the weapons that were used were actually manufactured very likely inside of those camps.

One of the things to mention Becky, and that is that he said, after your interview that recently he had been meeting with some other Arab Leaders,

Arab Foreign Ministers, and he said that there is a broad concern that domestic issues within Israel could perhaps become a problem for Gaza for

the West Bank and for Lebanon as well, suggesting that some of the motivation here from Israel is because of the problems domestically, the

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to have gotten himself into at home.

ANDERSON: Scott is on the ground in Beirut, Lebanon for you. Thank you. As we said, this latest escalation all started earlier in the week when

Israeli forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jordan is the custodian of that mosque.

And yesterday I asked Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, whether past meetings, recent meetings, to de-escalate tensions between the Israelis and

Palestinians have, well frankly, now been considered a failure, haven't listened to what he said?


AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: So I think again, looking at the broader picture Becky, what Israel is doing right now is pushing all of us

into the abyss of violence, making it very difficult for us to continue to engage in peace talks undermining the peace treaty with Jordan in Israel,

with Israel and other Arab countries, and making it impossible to engage in all that we've been talking about in terms of regional cooperation to

better the lives of everybody.


ANDERSON: Well, all of this coming as we head into what is a very sensitive weekend with Passover, Ramadan, and Easter, all aligning. Well, joining me

now is Dan Illouz a member of the Israeli Knesset for the Likud Party. Thank you. I just want you to listen to a little bit more of what Jordan's

Foreign Minister told me yesterday, Danny?


SAFADI: The two are obviously interconnected. We're unfortunately at the exact moment a dangerous moment, which we've worked for months to avoid,

which is a moment where violence is erupting. What we see unfolding on the Lebanese border is obviously a consequence reaction to what we saw

happening in Al Aqsa.


ANDERSON: Do you accept that characterization?

DAN ILLOUZ, MEMBER OF THE ISRAELI KNESSET: I think that it's clear that Israel's interest to safeguard the status quo on the Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa

Mosque, and all this area. That's what we've done over the years. That's our deepest interest.

However, we'll never surrender our rights to defend ourselves when violence is used against us. And in your reports I hear a lot about police storming

into Al-Aqsa. First of all, we didn't storm into Al-Aqsa. We were responding to violence against Israeli police.


ILLOUZ: And they forced our hands. We have a small minority of worshipers that go to Al-Aqsa who ended up hurting the big majority of Muslim

worshippers who want to actually go.

ANDERSON: That is not the characterizations and I have to say Dan--


ILLOUZ: The blame has been put at the small minority and barricaded himself inside Al-Aqsa Mosque brings weapons--


ANDERSON: Because I did actually ask Jordan's Foreign Minister that exact question. I did put it to him, that there are reports that it's a small

group of agitators that the Israeli police were responding to. He did not accept that characterization. They are the custodians of these holy sites.

He did not accept that and squarely blame on the Israeli police.

ILLOUZ: It's his right to do so. But there are clear pictures and videos that have been published of the Israeli police of weapons stacked up in the

Al-Aqsa Mosque, and of the barricades that were done in order to stop the police from responding to that violence.

And again, I have to say our deepest interest is for there to be quiet. There's no reason for Israel to actually go and try to start some noise in

the Al-Aqsa Mosque, it's not in our interest, our deepest interests for the status quo to keep going on. And that's what we're trying to achieve.

ANDERSON: OK. And I have to say, we have no videos verified by CNN suggesting the stacking up of weapons. There are many interviews - many

videos doing the rounds of the Israeli police being extremely heavy handed with overnight worshipping. I'm just making that point Dan because you -

but you did raise - you raise the point that I can't and CNN verify.

Look, what's important here is another part of the discussion which myself and the Jordanian Foreign Minister had yesterday. And he said this to me,

and I quote him if Israel does not allow the radical agenda advocated by members of government then we have a chance of restoring calm.

He said at present, we see the situation sadly, de-escalating in a very dangerous way. Do you accept that there are factions in the Israeli

government now who are not looking to restore calm in any way?

ILLOUZ: Every single member of the Israeli government has called for the status quo to be held on the Temple Mount. Right now we're committed for

this to happen and we want it to de-escalate in a good way.

We want their violence coming from outside our borders to stop. Though again, we will not surrender our rights to defend ourselves. No country can

surrender its right to defend itself. And when we respond to attacks, we don't do it out of a sense of revenge.

But we do it because we understand that if we don't respond to attacks forcefully, then these attacks will just become more and more attacks

against Israelis. And they have to say, attacks against Israeli that are happening right now from Lebanon or from Gaza.

They're attacking Israeli civilians, not only do they not differentiate between civilians and military, they're targeting civilians. This is the

clearest going against international law. And it's something that the whole free world should go against. And I hope that this is what will happen.

ANDERSON: Dan, those calls have been made by you and other Israeli officials looking for international commitments to Israel's security. And

the same appeal was made by the Israeli President yesterday in response to that barrage of attacks from Southern Lebanon.

While I've got you I just want to loop back to where we started this conversation and the flashpoint that has been the Al-Aqsa Mosque and as the

Jordanian Foreign Minister said you cannot put a wedge between the two. The two are interconnected the - the attacks on Israel and the Al-Aqsa Mosque

incident with the Israeli police.

Your neighboring Arab country seems to think that what happened at the Al- Aqsa was definitely a driver for these missile attacks. And here is Lebanon's Foreign Minister, just speaking to me just moments ago, have a

listen again Dan.


ABDALLAH BOUHABIB, LEBANESE FOREIGN MINISTER: What happened in Al Aqsa is the reason for what happened from Lebanon yesterday. I'm not justifying it.

We don't want any violation of the peaceful situation in South Lebanon. I'm not justifying it, but I'm explaining it.

That is what happened in Al Aqsa, is very important. And it really there is a reaction from the Palestinians. There is a feeling from Palestinians that

this shouldn't happen there are brothers in the West Bank and Gaza should be able to go to Al-Aqsa Mosque without any problems.



ANDERSON: So I put it to you again, do you accept that Israel's actions at Al-Aqsa provoked the situation that we are seeing unfold today? And I must

ask you, you know, you've called for de-escalation you've called for the sanctity of the Temple Mount, as it is called, in Israel, but with the sort

of actions that we see, time and again, Arab leaders are saying, this is provocation? How do you believe things can be de-escalated at this point?

ILLOUZ: Becky, what is our alternative when people come with weapons to the Temple Mount, and endanger the peaceful worshipers and endanger also our

police force? Of course, we're going to defend ourselves, but we're trying to do it in the most focused and the most focused way.

And that's what we're going to keep doing, we're going to try and keep the status quo not only try to keep the status quo, we're going to make sure to

keep the status quo in the Temple Mount because we have no interest to change it. In order to ensure the freedom of worship of all the Muslims--

ANDERSON: But Jordan's Foreign Minister says you violate the status quo with the actions Dan I have to put that to you?

ILLOUZ: Sorry, I didn't hear.

ANDERSON: Jordan's Foreign Minister says you violate the status quo, with the actions of the Israeli police. I must put that to you, I can't let you

go without putting that to you.

ILLOUZ: They're wrong. And they're welcome to come visit the Temple Mount and to see how the Israeli police act in a responsible way and only

response to attacks against it and to weapons that are brought in by fringe groups within the Temple Mount.

Those fringe groups are incited by international forces, by the way. We're talking about Iranian influences here in Israel that are inciting for

violence against Israel. That's the same Iran by the way, that sending drones to Russia, to Ukraine in order to help Russia that same Iranian has

a clear and present danger against the free world. So again, I call on the free world to unite and stand by Israel against these extremist groups that

are leading to this violence.

ANDERSON: Dan Illouz, thank you for joining us on the show your position, your perspective is important for us. Just to note, we have been reaching

out to all levels of the Israeli government to come on to the show since these protests began over Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed judicial reform and

now through the escalation of violence that we have seen this week, and we will continue to extend that invitation.

And I must make the point again, that in that interview, our guests was making allegations about the use of weapons in the mosque. We don't have

any information to confirm that that was the position of our guests, not of CNN.

Well, still ahead, it was a moment that captured the world's attention becoming a symbol of the U.S. legacy in Afghanistan now new information is

coming to light on the chaotic U.S. withdrawal. We share that up next.



ANDERSON: Underway right now, Pope Francis leaving the passion of the Lord Service at St. Peter's Basilica for what is Good Friday. It comes as the

Vatican has announced that the pontiff would not participate in the outdoor way of the cross procession or the Colosseum later today because of the

cold weather instead.

He'll follow from indoors at the Kaiser Santa Margarita. Francis left the hospital last weekend following a bout of bronchitis. Well CNN's Vatican

Correspondent Delia Gallagher has the latest for you from Rome, Delia.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, you know under ordinary circumstances an announcement like the one that the Vatican just

gave us a short time ago that the Pope would be skipping the evening event at the Colosseum in Rome might be cause for concern. But there are two

reasons that we shouldn't be alarmed over this one are that you can see live pictures of the Pope right now inside St. Peter's Basilica.

And so we can see that he is relatively OK. The other is that indeed it has been very cold in Rome and the Via Crucis is an event which is outdoor in

front of the Colosseum, at night from nine o'clock to 11 o'clock at night with the Pope slightly up on a hill, so very exposed to the elements for an

86 year old getting over bronchitis.

That is probably a prudent decision to keep him in his residence where the Vatican says he will be following the event nonetheless, Pope Francis has

participated in all of the Holy Week events, something which is already surprising given that he only got out of the hospital on Saturday. In fact,

yesterday, he looked in very good spirits.

He was washing the feet of 12 young people at a juvenile jail on the outskirts of Rome, stopping and chatting with them, watching and kissing

their feet as part of the tradition for this Holy Week. So certainly, we are watching the health of Pope Francis. We know he has mobility issues. We

know he has had this problem with bronchitis.

But I don't think cause for concern that he will not be participating in the Via Crucis event. We will also see him tomorrow for the Easter Vigil.

That is an evening event at St. Peter's Basilica. And of course, Easter Sunday out in St. Peter's Square. Becky.

ANDERSON: Delia, appreciate it. Thank you very much indeed. Delia is of course in Rome. Well, there were scenes that even two years ago are hard to

forget a crowd of people desperate to escape Afghanistan after the collapse of their government under the Taliban literally clinging on to a U.S.

military plane for dear life.

Well now new information emerging about the chaotic U.S. drawdown in 2021. And why it played out the way it did so tragically. Well here to explain

what more we know is Natasha Bertrand who is at the Pentagon for you, Natasha.

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Becky, the Pentagon has announced that they will be releasing a classified after-action report

about the withdrawal to Congress. Now importantly, the public obviously is not going to get a look at this after-action report that has lessons

learned and things they could have done differently during this very chaotic withdrawal.

But the National Security Council did release their own document just yesterday outlining what they believe are some of the biggest takeaways,

and frankly, offering a full-throated defense of the way that this withdrawal was handled. Now what we know from that document, which is now

public, is that the White House believes that it was dealt a bad hand by the Trump Administration.

They are essentially saying that they had no choice really but to operate, you know the evacuation and withdraw U.S. troops in the way that they did

because it was so hastily organized, really by the Trump Administration, this complete withdrawal of U.S. forces are placing a lot of blame there on

the conditions that were set by President Biden's predecessors.

But also a couple lessons learned that was that were included in that documents, namely that they acknowledged that they should have begun those

evacuations much sooner the evacuations of U.S. personnel, U.S. citizens, as well as of course, those Afghans that had helped the U.S. over 20 years

of war.

One of the main criticisms of the administration of course, was that they did not start those evacuations sooner which are what led to so much of

that chaos. Well now the administration says that they are going to move forward in deteriorating security situations. They're going to try to

prioritize earlier evacuations.


And they're going to more aggressively communicate the risks of staying in these dangerous situations to Americans. Now, the reason that they did not

do that, and the Afghanistan scenario, they say, is because they did not want to undermine confidence in the Afghan government at the time, and

potentially lead it to collapse.

And so, there are some lessons here that the White House is conveying to the general public, but that classified after action report that the

Pentagon has produced, that will likely have a little bit more information here. Now, there was a very contentious briefing I should note, just

yesterday between the White House press corps and the National Security Council Communications Director John Kirby, who defended this withdrawal.

Here's what he said.


JOHN KIRBY, COORDINATOR, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL FOR STRATEGIC COMMISSION: He's commander in chief. And he absolutely has responsibility

for the operations that our men and women conduct and the orders that he gives. And he continues to believe that the order to withdraw from

Afghanistan was the right one.


BERTRAND: That has been the main message Becky, they continue to believe that it was the right move, and largely that the evacuation was a success

saying that they got over 100,000 people out of the country during that withdrawal, Becky.

ANDERSON: Natasha is at the Pentagon. Thank you. And you're with "Connect the World" with me, Becky Anderson. Coming up, we take a look at the

aftermath of early Fridays airstrikes in Gaza, in Rafah and talk to a journalist who is on the ground there plus, Northern Ireland marking a

quarter century of the Good Friday peace agreement amid concerns over growing tensions in the country this Easter weekend.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're with "Connect the World" with me, Becky Anderson. The time here in the UAE in Abu Dhabi is just before half past

seven. Back to our top story driving your headlines today Israel carrying out airstrikes in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip but Israeli forces say they

struck targets belonging to the Palestinian militant group, Hamas they believe or they blame Hamas for a barrage of rockets launched into Israel

on Thursday.

Well, Israel now ordering the mobilization of some of its reserves neighboring Lebanon says it will formally complain to the U.N. Security

Council calling Israel's action a "flagrant violation of Lebanon's sovereignty". Well, CNN's Fred Pleitgen spoke with a member of the Israeli

Defense Forces. This is part of that interview.



FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Those Iron Dome missile defense system, obviously a very active time here overnight as

there were dozens of rockets that were fired from Gaza, but also, as you mentioned, a big retaliation from the Israelis as well. And I do have with

me right now the International Spokesman of the IDF, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht. Tell me some of the things that you guys were doing around

Gaza, but also in South Lebanon overnight.

LT. COL. RICHARD HECHT, IDF INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: So, there's been a convergence of frontiers right now for Israel for regions. And event that

started off in Jerusalem got expanded to Gaza, Hamas and into Lebanon. So basically, is due to the events that happen. And again, we're in very

volatile times.

Two nights ago, an event in - kicked off a response from Gaza who is trying to escalate with a lot of social networks, this region and it started

firing rockets after that some Palestinian factions in Lebanon, predominantly Hamas also started fighting Israel. So, we had like a multi

arena with one --, the Palestinian capabilities.

PLEITGEN: We're saying is a very volatile time. Obviously, we saw that last night. What we're hearing today is that Israel is calling up some reserves,

specifically in air defense and also in the Air Force. Can you tell us how many and why you're making that move now?

LT. COL. HECHT: So I won't go into the numbers. But I will tell you that we are ready for any developments. You can understand from the language of how

this event is unfolding, that we want to de-escalate. I mean, there's a very, very sensitive weekend ahead with Passover, Ramadan, and Easter all


And we're looking for hoping for a quiet weekend, although we had another attack right after the prayers in Jerusalem in the Jordan Valley. But we

look we're looking to de-escalate.

PLEITGEN: Do you feel that on all sides? Do you think there is a chance for de-escalation right now? Or do you see this as you say, it's very volatile?

Do you see that there is the potential for this to blow up into something bigger? Especially right now, when you're dealing with two fronts, you're

in South Lebanon and here in Gaza as well.

LT. COL. HECHT: So again, there was a language here that we spoke, we were very focused on the things that were threatening us specifically, also

these rockets from the north and also the rockets from Gaza. And again, we are now trying to keep the worship and keep this weekend open because it's

the sacred time.

All the crossings from Judea and Samaria open also from Gaza. There's people coming in and if it's quiet, it will be answered with quiet.


ANDERSON: Well, I want to show you some of the images from Gaza overnight. You can see damage to cars and some buildings at Children's Hospital also

struck according to the Palestinian ministry of healthy situation. All too familiar, I'm afraid for the people on the ground in Gaza who lives there

and have seen so much violence over the years.

I want to introduce you to one journalist and Human Rights Activist now, Issam Adwan who is live from the Gaza Strip, in Rafah. Overnight, just tell

me what you experienced and what is the feeling on the ground, Sir?

ISSAM ADWAN, JOURNALIST: Thank you for hosting me. It's very frustrating to hear that there are still a narrative about what's going on in Gaza,

particularly in the context that it's sort of a conflict between Israel and Hamas, ignoring the long history even before the existence of Hamas, the

Israeli human rights violations and Israeli crimes happening in Gaza and the West Bank and occupied territories as well.

The ground since last night is that Israel has targeted more than 10 sites claiming that they are military sites. So, imagine those military sites in

Gaza, that that is almost 365 square kilometers where more than two and a half millions of people are living. So, it's basically a densely populated

area in which you could damage a civilian building and you could kill including children and women.

ANDERSON: The Israeli argument is that, that they understand that. But that it is from there, that rockets are being fired at Israel. I do want to put

something to you. And that is the role of Hamas in all of this. I want to bring up a tweet from James Zogby, who you will know is the Founder of the

Arab American Institute and an adviser to several Democratic administrations in the United States.

He said in response to the attacks from Gaza, and we can talk about whether or not we, you believe that those were in response to what was going on at

Al Aqsa in a moment. But James Zogby said this; Hamas has again shown its stupidity and lack of strategic vision.

The focus should have remained on Israel's brutal assault on Al Aqsa and Palestinians protecting their sacred space, that being Al Aqsa. Now, Hamas

is ineffectual rockets have played into Netanyahu's hands and the Israeli victim narrative. What do you make of that perspective?

ADWAN: It's very easy; it's very easy to take the blame on Hamas whenever you're narrowing down the context that it's only a conflict between Hamas

and Israel.


But I'll stick on the other side of the PA that has taken the responsibility of peace talks with the Israeli administration over the past

50 years. And what those peace talks have resulted more - killing - cities, more expelling forcibly exploding of Palestinian indigenous populations

from a village of Chippewa and many other villages.

And this is a 16 year blockade imposed on Gaza with the international community failing to understand and failing to commit to its obligation of

recognizing Israel as an apartheid regime has been recognized by respected international human rights organizations.

Still, the right to defend, the right for Palestinians to defend themselves the right for Palestinians, to feeling even angry towards this - harsh

policies of dehumanizing Palestinians all over the Palestinian cities. Those facts are being ignored and Palestinians are not being are not

enjoying the right to self-defense, as much as the double standard provides a context of granting those rights to Ukraine and during the invasion of

Russia, for example.

It's a very narrow concept, limiting the rights granted to Palestinians of self-defense, while ignoring the long history again, a long history but

human rights violations of sieging Gaza for 16 years. So, what on earth do you expect if you're saving two million, two and a half millions of people

in 365 square kilometers? And you're granting them prompt surprise whenever the - hit well.

And you are trying to separate them, you're trying to separate them from the rest of the families and communities and the West Bank and in the

occupied territories while Israeli policy is utterly theorizing their existence.

ANDERSON: Yes, you're providing a very dense and coherent argument for the context for what we are seeing at present. The fears are, of course short

term, that we are seeing a real escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinians. This is a weekend of worship for its Ramadan, its Easter, and

its Passover.

Nobody wants to see an escalation of violence, not least the Jordanians who yesterday the foreign minister told me that Israel is making it impossible

to engage in any sort of regional cooperation.

There have been and you will be aware of efforts made behind the scenes both in - and then recently in Sharm el-Sheikh to get at least the

political and security actors together, both regionally and from the U.S. to really try and carve out some sort of roadmap or path to peace going


I put it to the Jordanian Foreign Minister, that what we are seeing on the ground at the moment, effectively renders what's been going on behind the

scenes redundant at this point. Do you believe that? I mean, you will have seen the efforts that are made behind the scenes, do you hold any hope that

at this point, things can de-escalate calm down, and any sort of solution, long term solution can be found?

ADWAN: I feel it's very essential Becky to differentiate that the situation is really escalated before the happening of Ramadan and following the

pattern of Israeli policy during Ramadan or forbidding Muslim worshippers to enter a lot of sub courtyard of brutalizing Palestinians all over


This is an already escalating situation, even to the context of Gaza of long ongoing 16 years blocking. So, this is a really an escalating

situation if Israel is intending of peace talks and delegating likely a medium of calmness between Palestinians and Israelis.

I feel the international community should commit to letting the siege first, letting the siege that has been imposed by the Gaza is stopping the

Israeli continuous settlements building in the West Bank and military checkpoints implementation.

And also lifting the policy the harsh policies that Israel is regularly imposing during Ramadan provoking the Muslim worshippers to act in sort of

retaliation and angry. This is a, this is the deeds that Israel has been implanting an enormous dividend Ramadan for the last 10 years of my life,

witnessing those policies and again and again.

It's really disturbing to keep repeating the facts straightforward and not putting the pattern of Israelis ongoing violations of human rights during

Ramadan provoking the Palestinian worshippers. And then we're witnessing the international media outlets talking about the Israelis retaliation and

this is like an escalating situation when Gaza responds with - or Muslim or Muslim worshippers acts in angry throwing rocks or fireworks to where.


Those are the headlines of the international media ignoring that this is a button of Israeli administration. With dimension, it's very essential to

realize this is the most far right Israeli government established. And we have witnessed the consequences of this establishment since the beginning

of 2023.

With the most debt tool that we have not witnessed over the past 20 years, this is an indication that the Israeli, the current Israeli administration

has a sense of a blood thirst for more Palestinian killing for motherland's to be stolen for more occasions to Palestinian citizen.

And were witnessed as significant increase of Israeli settlers' incursion into Palestinian cities, burning cars, burning belongings, homes of

Palestinian citizens this is the breeding of an ongoing policy of colonialism and ongoing policy of a blood test for Palestinians and

citizens of Palestine.

ANDERSON: Issam, I've run out of time with you. It's a busy news hour. It's good to have you on sir. Your perspective is extremely important. And we

wish you the best on the ground there in Rafah, in Gaza. Thank you, Issam Adwan. Well, Northern Ireland marking a quarter century since the signing

of the Good Friday Agreement as it was known. And look at the landmark deal that brought in an end to decades of sectarian violence more on that after



ANDERSON: U.S. President Joe Biden is preparing to visit Belfast next week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. That was a

landmark peace deal that brought lasting change to the island of Ireland, but this weekend. Northern Ireland's police service says it is deploying a

significant policing operation as they describe it.

That's to combat what they call dissident Republican disorder over the Easter holiday with a raised terrorism threat level. Well, it is worth

revisiting briefly how we got here. In 1993, key leaders from Ireland's nationalist movement began tools aimed at ending decades of sectarian

violence. An IRA ceasefire in 1994 allowed for peace talks to begin the next year.

Representatives from Ireland's Republican Sinn Fein party met with a British government minister for the first time in 23 years. Well, the IRA

ended its ceasefire for a time. But it was reinstated in 1997 and that paved the way for Sinn Fein to take part in multi-party tours at Stormont.

And finally, a year later the Good Friday Agreement was signed and endorsed through an historic referendum.


Have a listen to how the current Foreign Minister, who was in government when the deal was signed, describes its legacy.


MICHEAL MARTIN, IRISH MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The work of the Irish and British governments and the leadership of brave people brought an end

to one of the darkest chapters in the history of this island. The Good Friday Agreement was a shared achievement. It went beyond what many thought

possible, creating a brighter future for coming generations. It simply transformed relationships on and between these islands.


ANDERSON: CNN's International Diplomatic Editor, Nic Robertson has been reporting on Northern Ireland for CNN for 30 years and was outside the

peace talks when the Good Friday Agreement was done. There's no better person to pick apart this story joins me now from Belfast. And it almost

feels like yesterday, when that agreement was signed back in 1998.

I want to start with those words from the Irish Foreign Minister, brighter future transformative beyond the possible if tensions still simmer

underneath the surface ugly wounds reopened by recent events such as Brexit, for example. Nic, what's the legacy of the Good Friday Agreement 25

years on?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think the legacy is peace, that there's no more violence that the more than three and a half

1000 lives lost during what was called the troubles those 30 bloody years came to an end. And that's what everyone here will tell you. It depends who

you speak to on what their view is of how the situation is now.

We were speaking earlier with a U.S. company that invests massively here in Northern Ireland has eight factories employs, 2000 employees, and they

think this is a great place and they came in right after the Good Friday peace agreement.

They think this is a great place to do business, or investing heavily here, making huge mining equipment. But then after that, I was talking to a young

father of a 12-year-old girl, she was a young Protestant girl who, earlier this week was beaten by a group of youths. The police believe were Catholic


The family was shocked that there was this type of sectarian violence still going on. And this is in the town of Derry Londonderry, in the north of

Northern Ireland where the police are very concerned about the possibility of marches that could get contentious.

They say these Republican paramilitary groups want to draw them into violence. So, it does depend who you speak to. But the economic benefits

have come not as much as people hoped. But the peace I think is the main thing that people really enjoy now.

ANDERSON: As I said, you've been reporting on this story for over 30 years. I just do want our audiences just see a clip of yours from Belfast in 2001.

Have a look.


ROBERTSON: This is about as hard-line a Protestant area; you're going to find the choppers are hanging around overhead on the walls. You've got the

big murals; they define the neighborhoods around here. If you go about 100 yards this way, you'll be in a Catholic area.

And one thing you learn as a journalist around here is just how important geography is, never more so than when the communities feel under threat

when the populations are shifting.


ANDERSON: You talked about the geography of Belfast there. And you just talked about the attack on that young girl in Derry. Have these are these

borders between Catholics and Protestants actually softened, Nic?

ROBERTSON: They haven't. And that's one of the remarkable things since the Good Friday peace agreement, those peace walls have actually become longer.

They're also interestingly because there is peace. They're now tourist attractions. We saw two tour buses at the same time, pull up and people

signing the walls.

But for the communities, either side, they still separate them and there's a sense of unease that if the walls came down, then that would be a recipe

for trouble. So, the peace walls have become longer. Another thing people here talk about other schools, there was this aspiration that the schools

that are very much divided along Protestant, mostly Protestant schools, mostly schools were mostly Catholics go to.

There was about 97 percent of all schools were like that back in 1998. That has barely shifted and changed in all these 25 years. And of course,

education is fundamental to how people grew up and what they think.

ANDERSON: Nic, the agreement was hailed internationally as a roadmap for peace. I remember the conversations going on around this agreement when it

was signed.


I want to show our audiences these images of the then Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern with Yasser Arafat, who was seen as a great hope, at

the time for peace between Palestinians and Israel. This photo was taken one year after the Good Friday Agreement was signed.

And that deal is often pointed to as a possible roadmap threat to state solution. Is that still the case 25 years later, not just in the Middle

East but as an example of a roadmap for peace? Well, places in other parts of the world?

ROBERTSON: Yes, when you think about the Palestinians, and the Israelis and the Oslo Peace, peace talks, you know how far they move the ball forward.

And the Good Friday peace agreement here and the Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia in 1995, they were the best that could be achieved in that moment,

the absolute most and best that can be achieved in the moment.

But what you find here talking to people in Northern Ireland, and I was speaking to one of their former loyalists, paramilitary members, but he's

been a politician these past more than 25 years, is that the deals haven't fully delivered the way that they would want.

In Bosnia, for example, there's a sense that the deal there should have morphed and changed over time that it's frozen the frontlines, frozen those

national identities. And I think you could say the same thing about the situation that comparing Bertie Ahern Yasser Arafat with a moment when they

were speaking with a situation in Israel and with the Palestinians today, that so much has changed since then.

So, whatever you try to apply in the way of measures to bring about peace really have to be able to change with time. And the situation there between

Israelis and Palestinians has changed so much since that moment that you're talking about.

So, I think the takeaway from the Good Friday Agreement by some people here is it needs to change and do more, that it's not being as aspirational as

it could be, that it's not allowing for the discussions between communities about identity that are so needed for people to move forward.

ANDERSON: Nic Robertson, always a pleasure, sir. Nic's in Belfast in Northern Ireland for you this evening where the time is 4.52 in the

afternoon. And if you are still confused about what exactly the Good Friday Agreement entails, you can read an awful lot more about that on

There you will find a guide that lays out exactly how the historic deal ended the troubles in Northern Ireland back in the day, detailing how the

deal was signed, how Brexit has affected it and what the future holds. That is at, CNN Digital all right, taking a short break, back after



ANDERSON: Well, a busy week in Jerusalem shows no signs of slowing down. So, I just want to catch you up finally before we leave you this Friday on

what happened Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delaying a decision to formally fire his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Sources tell CNN the delay came due to the present security situation. Well let's talk about that. On Tuesday, two soldiers were stabbed near a

military base outside of Tel Aviv. Officials say 20-year-old Palestinian from Hebron carried out that attack.


Wednesday saw Israeli police storming Al Aqsa Mosque twice within a 24 hour period sparking condemnation from many Arab world leaders including Jordan,

Egypt, the UAE here, for example. Yesterday, rockets were fired into Israel from Lebanon; the Israeli military says Palestinian militants were


And in the early hours of this morning Friday, Israel responded returning fire to Lebanon and launching strikes into Gaza, saying that it struck

targets believed to belong to the Palestinian militant group, Hamas. Well, there's a busy week for you and to see and a worrying one as well, to see

the ripple effects these events have on the ground, on the region and read expert analysis on that.

Sign up to our Meanwhile in the Middle East Newsletter published three times a week. Today's issue takes an in-depth look at the recent uptick in

violence in Jerusalem. You'll find me @beckycnn you'll find many of the interviews that we've conducted on this show. They're @beckycnn on Twitter

and on Instagram. Thanks for joining us. I am Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi.