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Three-Way Talks Underway on Hostage Release Deal; U.N. Says Both Israel and Hamas Are Committing War Crimes; Humanitarian Conference Underway in Paris; Five Republican Candidates Spar in Miami; IDF Claim Incursion into West Bank; Over 50 Killed in El Geneina, West Darfur; Call to Earth: Bird Conservation. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 09, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST : These are live pictures of the border between Israel and Gaza. Fighting rages; thousands are moving to the south in Gaza
and the humanitarian situation is deteriorating. It is 5 pm there. It is 7 pm in Abu Dhabi.
Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson, for you.
More from Gaza in a moment, more about what is happening on the ground. But we begin tonight with what is happening in Doha, in Qatar, the location for
ongoing negotiations between key players, in that important city, where the show is broadcast from many times in recent weeks.
We are just getting word of potentially critical behind the scenes talks on a possible deal to release some hostages being held by Hamas. A diplomatic
source tells CNN that Qatari officials met with Israeli and U.S. intelligence chiefs today.
They discussed the possible release of up to 20 civilian hostages. That will be in return for a three-day pause in the fighting and the delivery of
more aid to Gaza. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is following developments for us in Tel Aviv. Katie Bo Lillis is in Washington.
Good to have you both on board tonight. We are hearing from diplomatic sources very close to these talks that there is at least some progress at
this point. And all of us have been following and reporting on the hostages, more than 240, of course, being held, as we understand it, in
Gaza. Most of those, as we understand it, being held by Hamas.
Jeremy, just how significant do you believe this news is, this evening?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: As you said, Becky. We have been tracking these talks for weeks now. And at times it has appeared as if
a deal might be in hand, a deal might be close and then we watch those talks break down.
So I think regardless of the developments, it's important to keep that in mind, that we know how fragile, how delicate these talks are.
But it is very significant to see that Qatari, U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials sat down in order to discuss a very specific
potential deal here, a plan to release 10 to 20 Israeli hostages being held by Hamas, in exchange for a three-day cease-fire, the entry of aid and also
for Hamas to compile and share a list of hostages being held.
As we know, Israel has made very clear that it will not agree to any kind of cease-fire, unless a significant number of hostages were to be released.
So this deal, this potential plan that's on the table here, appears to be aimed at hitting that threshold for Israel and also hitting some of the
points that Hamas has been trying to achieve here, including a pause in hostilities and the entry of aid into Gaza.
Whether or not this actually develops into a full fledged deal is an entirely different question. We know, of course, that, over recent weeks, a
number of other plans have also been discussed during these Qatar mediated relief efforts, hostage release efforts.
We know that there has been discussions about releasing hostages, Israeli hostages being held in Gaza, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
There've been a number of other proposals on the table.
But it is significant that the CIA director, the head of Mossad, sat down with Qatari officials today in Doha, to try and sketch out the details of
this potential deal. Whether or not it actually comes to fruition is an entirely different matter.
ANDERSON: Katie Bo, let me bring you in, because I think -- and just to sort of work through some of what Jeremy has been reporting there, here are
two really important issues, here.
Firstly, that we have got the head of intelligence from Israel. They don't have open, fully open channels of communication with Doha. But David
Barnier in Doha today. We know that Qatar keeps a back channel open with Israel.
We also know, of course, that these talks are being mediated between Israel and Hamas by Doha, because Hamas have offices, are hosted in Doha for --
and the Qataris would argue for exactly this situation, keeping the opportunity for open for some sort of mediation between --
ANDERSON: -- Israel and Hamas, who, of course, do not talk to each other directly. In the first instance, it would be good to get from you the
importance that the U.S. will place, because, of course, if the U.S., incredibly important here in having a direct line to the Israelis, putting
pressure on Israel, to at least consider a cease-fire at this point.
How important is it, that David Barnier, the head of Israeli intelligence, on what we understand to be his second trip into Doha, the significance of
his attendance and, indeed, the wider perspective from the U.S., at this point, on these hostage talks?
KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, look, very important obviously that you're seeing all these different intel chiefs coming together in
Letting intelligence leaders lead these talks in the first instance really lets the different parties speak quietly, speak frankly, trying to get a
sense of the left and right of what might actually be possible in terms of a deal.
But of course, Jeremy raises the critical point here, which is, no matter what the difference intelligence officials might have to say about what's
realistic, at this particular meeting.
It's still a question of whether or not the political leadership in Israel are going to be able to greenlight the release of, a pause in fighting, for
the release of between 10 and 20 hostages, whether or not that will be sufficient to get them to cross that barrier and be able to engage in some
kind of pause in the fighting.
But CIA director Bill Burns from the United States has been intimately involved in the hostage issue, really from the beginning. He's on a multi
country, multi day swing, through the region, not just in Israel and Doha but also in Jordan and a number of other countries in the region.
The CIA has been -- and U.S. intelligence community broadly -- has been very deeply involved in trying to help Israel develop intelligence about
even where these hostages are and what it might take to get them back.
One of the big complicating factors here, Becky, is that not all of these hostages are believed to be held in a single location and, in fact, not all
of the 240 are believed to even be held by Hamas itself.
There's also some belief that some of these hostages are held by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another militant group in Gaza. So all of this
is making for some extremely complicated and sensitive discussions about what may or may not be possible here.
But again, the number one question here is, what happens when it goes back to Israeli political leadership?
ANDERSON: Yes, absolutely. As we know, we've been reporting and this is a consistent line from the Israelis, that there will be no cease-fire until
they get the release of all hostages being held.
Thank you, guys.
I think it's really important as we continue to watch developments here, just to remember that the language is important, here we are talking about
a pause in the fighting, as opposed to a cease-fire.
And I think, as our reporters were just laying out there, there is a crucial line here in our reporting. This is a proposal being discussed for
a three-day pause, in the fighting, to allow for Hamas, as we understand it, to collect information -- the IDs, names of those hostages being held
in Gaza by not just Hamas but by other groups and/or, individuals.
This is something we've been aware of for some time in our reporting. It's important that we are getting more information on this today.
So the intelligence chiefs of both Israel and the U.S. meeting in Doha to at least, in principle, pursue talks on the release of a number of civilian
Meantime, more people are leaving Gaza through the Rafah crossing. We are told a dozen wounded Palestinians arrived in Egypt today for treatment.
More than 300 foreign nationals also made it through the crossing and an extended window, for civilians to leave northern Gaza for the south, closed
in the last hour.
The U.N. human rights chief calling forcible evacuations a war crime, one of several being committed by both sides in this war, he said. Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLKER TURK, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER OF HUMAN RIGHTS: The atrocities that are being perpetrated the (INAUDIBLE) they're heinous, brutal and shocking.
They were war crimes, as is the continued holding of hostages.
The collective punishment by Israel, Palestinian civilians amounts --
TURK: -- full stop, to war crimes, as are the unlawful forcible evacuations of (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more now on those who are leaving northern Gaza and those who are staying behind.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you are among those still in northern Gaza, this is what life looks like now, the heart of a
"May God protect us," this man says. "Those who do not have the means to leave, we will have to stay where we are. It's as if they've sentenced us
The Israeli military continues to call on all residents of northern Gaza to move south. It is the forced exodus of an entire population, Palestinians
say. But some are unable or unwilling to heed the warning.
Thousands of them are taking shelter at Gaza City hospitals. Among them, patients that can't be moved, families too afraid to travel through bombs
and bullets and medical staff, loyal to a duty of care.
Dr. Mohammed Abu Namus (ph) says he has sent his family away but he will stay behind.
"What can be done? There's no other way out of this, there is no safety," he says. "That's why it's best that I get my family out, so I can focus on
On Wednesday, alone, as many as 50,000 people made the perilous journey south, via the time-limited corridors set up by the Israeli military.
REAR ADM. DANIEL HAGARI, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESPERSON (through translator): They're moving because they understand that Hamas has lost
control in the north and that the south is safer, a safer area where they receive medicine, water and food. They understand it's an improvement.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): But the south is not safer and hardly an improvement. Israeli airstrikes level homes here, too.
"Many of those living in this building came from northern Gaza, assuming the south was safe. But our homes were attacked," a survivor says. "Every
day we move to a new location because we don't know where to go."
And the conditions for the estimated 1.5 million, now cramped in this corner of the enclave, are described as inhumane. Thousands of the
displaced are living on the street.
"There is no aid, no water; the toilets are closed," she says, "and no bakeries. We get a single loaf of bread every three or four days, after
waiting in long lines for half a day."
And U.N. shelters are overcrowded. At one site at least 600 people must share a single toilet, the U.N. says.
And as for humanitarian assistance, it is so far a drop in the ocean of need. And fuel has yet to be allowed into the enclave. At the Egyptian
gates of the Rafah crossing, a plea for more help.
TURK: This is the gateway to a hellish nightmare. And then I see in front of me the lifeline that would bring relief and humanitarian assistance,
which until now has not been enough. Woefully inadequate.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The conditions are so dire that this family says they decided to leave a U.N. shelter and move back into the ruins of their
bombed out home.
"We're still afraid, of course, for our children but it's the lesser of two evils," this father says. "At least it's better than being surrounded by
disease, hunger and fear. At least here, our children are home."
With three out of every four Gazans internally displaced, the U.N. estimates home is what so many dream of here but many fear that sense of
normalcy will never return -- Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.
ANDERSON: The worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and how best to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians there is the subject of an
international conference underway in Paris today.
Representatives from dozens of countries are attending, as well as the Palestinian Authority prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. French president
Emmanuel Macron, who is hosting the event, says the world must do more to help save lives.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): Today the situation is grave and it's getting worse each day. In the short term, we
should work on protecting civilians. And to do so, we need a humanitarian pause very quickly and we have to strive for a cease-fire. This should
become a possibility.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Also at the conference, U.N. commissioner general who heads up the agency for aid to Palestinians says it's not just Gaza that worries him
right now. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHILLIPPE LAZZARINI, COMMISSIONER GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY: I'm deeply concerned about the potential spillover of the conflict
beyond Gaza. In the West Bank, military incursions by the Israeli forces and settler violence have caused (INAUDIBLE) among Palestinians.
The West Bank is boiling (ph) and if we wouldn't have Gaza today, all our attention would be on the West Bank.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: My next guest has spent years working for human rights, including in Gaza. But last week he quit his post at the United Nations, in
protest over what he called the unfolding genocide of the Palestinian people.
Craig Mokhiber was director of the New York office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. You saw him earlier, in Salma's report,
Volker Turk. We will discuss Craig's resignation in a moment.
Before we do that, sir, on that trip to the Rafah crossing, your former boss, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said both sides have
committed war crimes. He also echoed calls for an immediate cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
More of the same from the head of the U.N. agency for human rights?
Or a first step at least by Volker Turk toward a change in the agency's position?
CRAIG MOKHIBER, FORMER NEW YORK DIRECTOR, UNHCHR: I think it's an important step. I think he is right to call for the equal application of
international law, on all parties who are suspected of committing war crimes.
What we have seen up until this point is a roar demanding accountability for war crimes, potentially perpetrated by Hamas in their attack on October
7th. That is correct. Any member of Hamas who is implicated in war crimes or anyone who commanded it should be accountable under the rule of law.
But what we've heard at best up until this point is a whisper demanding accountability for Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic
cleansing and genocide, before October 7th and too much of a whisper for accountability for these crimes being committed by Israel since October
International human rights and humanitarian and international criminal law is very clear. It applies to all actors and the duty of all member states
of the U.N. and of the U.N. itself, is to work for accountability for perpetrators and redress for victims regardless of who is the perpetrator
and who is the victim.
And that was apart of my complaint to the U.N., was I saw a sphere of trepidation where there was a hesitance to do that with powerful states.
ANDERSON: I want to talk about that in a moment, because your resignation was widely reported.
In part, your resignation letter said, "This is a textbook case of genocide. The European ethnonationalist settler-colonial project in
Palestine has ended its final phase toward the expedited destruction of the last remnants of Indigenous Palestinian life in Palestine."
That letter got a wide array of responses, some of which have praised your decision, others calling it overt anti-Semitism.
MOKHIBER: We are well familiar with this tactic of charging people with anti-Semitism if they dare to call out Israeli violations against
Palestinians. It is a tactic that is deployed and has been for a long time and partially accounts for the trepidation that you see in international
Nobody wants to be called an anti-Semite. But I made the case and I continue to make the case, that criticism of Israeli human rights
violations is not anti-Semitic, any more than criticism of Saudi violations is Islamophobic or criticism of Burmese violations is anti-Buddhist or
criticism of Indian violations is anti-Hindu.
If it is, if all of those are true, there is no international human rights framework. But if it's only a prohibition on criticizing Israel, that's a
racist proposition, because it means only Palestinians are not entitled to having their human rights defended.
And I point to the many thousands, all around the world, of Jewish human rights defenders and peace activists and principal people who are standing
up and demonstrating, marching, taking over Grand Central Station and the Statue of Liberty, making their voices heard on all continents, saying,
this is not in their name.
They do not support this. Israel does not represent them. And in fact, it's an old anti-Semitic trope to suggest that criticism of Israel is somehow
criticism of Jews. Israel is a state, like all others. It's responsible for its own crimes. And that responsibility does not extend to our Jewish
brothers and sisters anywhere.
ANDERSON: You've said, and I quote, "In the U.N. the only time you get criticized is when you dare to raise Israeli violations of Palestinian
ANDERSON: I wonder if you stand by that, sir, given that we have had near global and very vocal outrage about the high number of civilian casualties
in this conflict, not least from the secretary general of the United Nations himself -- and repeatedly.
MOKHIBER: I do stand by it, because I was talking about the experience of someone working inside the U.N., who dares to raise those issues. I've
been, over the past 32 years in the U.N., responsible for human rights in dozens of countries around the world, on all continents.
I have been consistently principled in my critique of governments that violate those human rights. The only time there's a sustained campaign
against you is if you dare to criticize Israeli violations.
Because there is a machine, a mechanism out there, of organizations that are set up precisely to cause a large blowback, to bring pressure to bear
on the U.N., to punish you, to slander and smear you on social media and websites.
And so I'm -- that's not something I've experienced anywhere else. Of course, it's always pushback when you criticize them. But there isn't this
kind of sustained campaign of slander, to which I objected several times, inside the U.N. and only in the case of defending Palestinian rights.
ANDERSON: I do want to talk solutions. In your resignation letter, you outlined U.N. norm-based position for the future of the region. There were
10 key points. One of which stood out and I want to just quote for our viewers here.
One state, based on human rights. We must support the establishment of a single, democratic, secular state in all of historic Palestine, with equal
rights for Christians, Muslims and, Jews, therefore the dismantling of the deeply racist settler-colonial project and an end to apartheid across the
You're talking about a one state solution here. Not even a two state solution has had sufficient leg to get anywhere over the last 56 years.
How can a one state solution here be realistic, do you think, genuinely?
MOKHIBER: I think it's the only realistic answer. And I think part of the problem is the international community has used this mantra of a two-state
solution as an excuse for not addressing the fundamental root causes of the problem.
Even though many who are engaged in these discussions, know and say in private that a one-state solution is now -- I'm sorry -- a two-state
solution is now impossible. In practical terms, there's nothing left for a sustainable Palestinian state.
There's no hope of an Israeli government, this one or subsequent governments, reverting to the 1967 borders and turning over that amount of
territory. In fact, there is one legal authority over all of historic Palestine, Israel now, a de facto one state.
And so what I've said is, why is the international community not calling for the same thing in Israel and Palestine that it calls for in every other
conflict situation around the world?
Which is equal rights for everybody. Equal rights for Christians, Muslims and Jews. Moving forward into a paradigm that actually has a hope of
existing that is consistent with international laws and standards.
No, Becky, this year is the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But that same year, 1948, was the year that the
(INAUDIBLE) happened in Palestine, the first genocidal purging of Palestinians from their land.
And the same year that apartheid started in South Africa. In South Africa, the international community maintained its focus on international law,
international human rights and equality; 30 years ago, with the advent of Oslo, that was abandoned in Palestine.
And what we've seen is this promise of a two-state solution as a smokescreen behind which we seem to continue dispossession and persecution
for those violations and now, as I have alleged, genocide happening as well.
ANDERSON: Your perspective is a really interesting one and it's really good to have you on, sir. Thank you very much indeed for making the time.
MOKHIBER: Thank you.
ANDERSON: The race to become the next U.S. president had some fiery moments last night in Miami. In just a moment, we'll have a look at the key
takeaways from the third U.S. Republican presidential debate. That's coming up.
ANDERSON: Five Republican U.S. presidential candidates went head to head on Wednesday night in Miami, in Florida. Much of last night's discussion
focused on foreign policies. For obvious reasons, Israel and Hamas were a key point of debate.
This was the first since Hamas' attack on Israel. The candidates pledged support for the longtime U.S. ally.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will be telling Bibi, finish the job once and for all, with these butchers, Hamas. They're
SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will tell prime minister Netanyahu, not only do you have the responsibility and the right to wipe
Hamas off of the map, we will support you.
NIKKI HALEY (R-SC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The first thing I said to him when it happened, was, I said, finish them. Finish them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: The candidates on stage are hoping to emerge as the leading alternative to Donald Trump, who, of course, is the Republican front-
runner. For the third time this campaign, the former U.S. president didn't attend the debate. Instead, he held a rally miles away from the venue.
The New York state attorney general's office has rested its case against U.S. former president Donald Trump; his sons, Donald Jr. and Eric and the
Testimony concluded yesterday, with Trump's daughter, Ivanka, answering questions about securing loans for the company and the valuation of the
Park Avenue apartment that she leased from her father.
Ivanka Trump said she had nothing to do with the preparation of her father's personal financial statements. The defense will begin presenting
its case on Monday.
For more on Donald Trump's legal woes and the latest on the 2024 U.S. presidential election, do be sure to stay with CNN for "STATE OF THE RACE."
That's next, hour 8 pm here in Abu Dhabi.
Israeli forces clashed with militants during what the IDF calls an incursion into the West Bank. That is fueling concerns that the Israeli
occupied territory could become a new front in the war. That is after this.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, with me, Becky Anderson. Time here in Abu Dhabi is half past 7. These are your headlines,
Following a major development in the hostage situation in Gaza. We have learned from a diplomatic source very close to the talks that the heads of
the CIA and Israel's Mossad met with officials in Qatar today. Very specifically with the prime minister who is also the foreign minister.
And they discussed a proposal for Hamas to release some civilian hostages in return for a three-day pause in fighting and the delivery of more aid.
These talks progress, we will bring you more details as they come in.
Meanwhile, on the battlefield, the Israeli defense or Israel's Defense Forces say they have taken control of a Hamas military stronghold in
northern Gaza after 10 hours of fighting. Intense battles pushing more civilians to flee to the south of the Gaza Strip.
An evacuation route was advertised by open by the Israelis for several hours today. It is now closed. The Palestinian ministry of health in
Ramallah, which gets its information from Hamas-controlled Gaza, says the majority of hospitals in Gaza have now stopped functioning.
Eleven Palestinians were killed during an Israeli raid and clashes with militants in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. That is, of course, according
to the Palestine ministry of health.
The Israeli military says it was targeting terrorist infrastructure in a refugee camp in Jenin and carrying out orders to destroy the home of a man
who had killed an Israeli soldier. CNN's Nada Bashir is covering the story for us; she is in today in Jerusalem. She's been reporting from the West
Bank now, over a period of days.
Just explain what you understand to be going on today and how what is happening today fits into the wider picture here?
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As you mentioned here, we have seen yet another Israeli raid into the occupied West Bank, this time focused on the
refugee camp in Jenin, which has been for some time a flashpoint.
When it comes to clashes between the Israeli Defense Forces and Palestinians on the ground, in the West Bank, a number of Palestinians
killed, as you mentioned Israel saying that they were carrying out this raid as part of what they have described as counterterrorism operations.
Demolishing the home, raiding the home of an individual convicted of killing an off-duty Israeli soldier in August, in a rallying attack (ph).
But we have seen these raids taking place in the occupied West Bank on an almost daily basis at this point.
We've seen today not just in Jenin but further raids. We saw Israeli military vehicles coming into the Al-Am'ari refugee camp near Ramallah,
where tear gas was used on the streets.
We saw videos of Palestinian civilians taking shelter behind buildings to avoid the tear gas, to avoid any escalation in violence there. This has
become a regular occurrence across the occupied West Bank.
And there are concerns that this could continue to escalate. We are seeing an intensification of these raids and an intensification of violence
against Palestinians, not just only from the Israeli Defense Forces and authorities but also from Israeli settlers.
There are some 300 illegal Israeli settlements around the occupied West Bank in East Jerusalem.
BASHIR: And that is a huge point of concern, as has been expressed by the U.N. Human Rights Office, which has condemned this uptick of killing that
we have seen in the occupied West Bank.
But there are also concerns on how this plays into the border picture when it comes to the situation in Gaza.
We've heard, of course, from the Israeli government, from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, about the potential postwar prospects of
governance inside Gaza, suggesting that we could see being put on the table.
A system of governance mirroring that we see in the West Bank, mainly the security responsibility being upheld by the Israeli government and so that
has certainly raised concern, not least from the United States, which has characterized the Biden administration, characterizing such suggestions as
They want to see the Palestinian Authority taking leadership in some part, over post conflict governance in Gaza, because, of course, as we have seen
for decades now, the situation in the West Bank is not just problematic; it is deeply fragile.
We are seeing an escalation of violence on a near daily basis now. And we are seeing intensification of restrictions on Palestinians as well, from
checkpoints, from new fast-check points being set up, from control over the freedom of movement and expression, when it comes to Palestinians in the
And that is a huge point of concern here.
ANDERSON: Yes, many describe that as harassment and humiliation on top of what is a tough life in the region. OK, thank you for that.
How this war will end is unclear. What a postconflict future for Gaza will look like is even more unclear. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu
said Israel needs to be in charge of security matters in Gaza to prevent future attacks on Israel. That's Netanyahu's position, for a postconflict
Officials later said he was not talking about a reoccupation but that's very much what it sounded like to many people. And the U.S. says a long
term Israeli presence in Gaza is not a good idea.
Secretary of state Antony Blinken has outlined a vague idea of what he sees for Gaza's political future.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We must also work on the affirmative elements to get to a sustained peace. These must include the
Palestinians people's voices and aspirations at the center of post crisis governance in Gaza.
It must include Palestinian led governance in Gaza, unified with the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: I spoke to Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh when I was in Ramallah a couple weeks ago. Have a listen to what he told me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRIME MINISTER: We will not go to Gaza (INAUDIBLE). We have been responsible for Gaza for the last 30 years.
And as I told you, that we have been responsible for infrastructure, for our people.
We pay $140 million of salaries, we provide electricity, we provide water, we provide medical supplies, we are building the infrastructure, we have
been doing this for 30 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: My next guest says serious diplomatic efforts are required to plan for what is known as the day after. This will require American
leadership and the buy-in of regional Arab states.
Joining us now is Firas Maksad. He's the director of outreach at the Middle East institute in Washington D.C. And the reason we're talking to Firas
today is, one, he's a good friend of the show.
And, two, he's very well connected around this region and will help us understand the thinking that is going on about what happens today, now and
what happens the day after.
And sitting as you do, in Washington, I want to get your perspective through that Washington lens, as it were. Let's start with today.
What is the thinking in region -- let's be clear about the regional thinking for today, what is needed today and how Washington views the
current immediate needs at this point.
FIRAS MAKSAD, DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: Becky, thank you for having me back on the program, it's a pleasure and thank you for
that kind introduction.
Listen, where we are today is that we're a month into this war. Benjamin Netanyahu and the IDF are at the center of Gaza City. They are very much at
the risk of winning the battle for Gaza but losing the war; essentially, ending up with a hollow victory if they don't plan for the day after.
And for that, as you correctly quoted me, American leadership is required and Arab buy-in. We don't have Arab buy-in, currently, not at all.
MAKSAD: In fact, there's no love lost amongst any of these Arab countries for Hamas. Many of them are at odds with Hamas, whether it be Egypt or
Jordan or Saudi Arabia, the UAE, I could go down the list.
The issue here is with the way this war is being prosecuted, the fact that there are over 10,000 Palestinian civilians, that 40 percent of them are
children. And the secretary general of the United Nations said that Gaza is becoming the graveyard of children.
So Israel here is at risk of losing Arab public opinion and Arab buy-in, which is going to be crucial. And that's where U.S. diplomatic efforts have
ANDERSON: We know that when Antony Blinken was in Jordan, what was it, a week or so ago now, he was definitely told, very publicly told that the
U.S. had to concentrate its efforts on putting pressure on Israel, to prevent the increased deadly violence that was costing the death of so many
And told that this day after conversation about what a postconflict Gaza should look like was not open for discussion. But behind the scenes, those
discussions we know are going on.
What do those discussions look like at present?
What sort of responsibility, if at all, are these countries around this region prepared to take in Gaza?
And what does a political solution for the Palestinians look like to this region?
MAKSAD: Let me bring some insight and try to unpack this for you. To date, Netanyahu has been fighting Hamas' war.
Hamas undertook that operation on October 7th, horrific as it is, knowing that there is going to be an Israeli onslaught as a result, knowing that it
could go and hide in these tunnels and it would be Israel's responsibility, that all these deaths would be blamed on Israel.
So for now, that seems to be working and Netanyahu needs to be aware of that. So the Arabs are not willing to buy in, in terms of the day after in
To put more meat on those bones, the Americans want the Arabs to be on the ground the day after, potentially in Gaza, to help stand up Palestinian
Authority, to see Hamas' rule come to and have the P.A. do what it ought to do.
However, the Arab reaction has been, why should we bear the responsibility and all the political baggage that comes with it, in terms of their own
Riding in, as you heard the Palestinian prime minister say, on an Israeli tank to do Israel's dirty work?
And who else is going to put skin in the game?
Are American troops going to be on the ground, U.N. troops, European troops?
All these questions are now being debated. But so far, the U.S. has not made significant inroads in terms of securing Arab buy-in for the day
after. And a large part of that is because of the way this war is being prosecuted and the images that Arabs are seeing, of dead children and
families on a daily basis on their TV screens.
ANDERSON: That's fascinating. Listen, we never have enough time to talk, so that is why you are regularly invited onto this show for us and I have
run out of time and have to take a break.
But I'm going to have you back. Just to fill you in on, I know that you will be aware that the Qatari emirate is in Abu Dhabi, as I understand it,
tonight. Qatar, the UAE, Saudi and Egypt certainly having conversations about what rehabilitation of Gaza might look like, about what transition
might look like going forward.
But to your point, boots on the ground seems to be an absolute red line as far as these Arab nations are concerned; reconstruction, rehabilitation,
helping to provide some capacity building, is certainly something that I think this region is very mindful that they have a responsibility for.
But these conversations will continue and we will not get any sort of clear detail, I'm sure, for some weeks. Meantime, this conflict goes on. Thank
you, Firas, always a pleasure.
We'll get you an update on a story that we've been following closely for you in Sudan before I take a break. Reports of ethnic killings in West
Darfur. The Darfur Bar Association says more than 50 people were killed in this area. Joining me now from Johannesburg to talk about this is CNN's
David, do you have at this point?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you remember, Becky, that yesterday we shared these awful videos that we
geolocated to an area near Al Geneina in the western part of Darfur, which shows Arab militia, particularly Rapid Support Forces and their aligned
MCKENZIE: -- gathering together, it seems, specifically ethnic Africans from that region, harassing them verbally, using racial insults as well as
hitting them with both rifles and whips and debating what to do with these poor people that we've geolocated to that part of the country.
And we believe it comes from the last few days, when the RSF made a fresh assault on an army base in that part of al-Geneina.
Now I want to say show you a disturbing image that we've been able to verify in some sense. Now this shows that these dozen men, we believe,
young boys and adults, it seems, that are lying dead on the ground.
We've managed to place this in the same general area of the videos but we don't know if those same individuals you see in the video are in that still
image. But the importance of this is that it speaks to the ongoing evidence that is building, of atrocities that have been happening in that part West
The U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Becky, saying that they are deeply disturbed by the ongoing eyewitness and evidence of these ethnic targeting, as they
call it, that is happening in that part of the region.
Thousands of people just in the last few days have streamed over into Chad. And in those refugee camps, Doctors without Borders saying also that people
are speaking of these awful atrocities.
The RSF, we reached out to them, they said that they have been involved in targeted killings but do admit that they moved some civilians in that
coordinated move on that part of al-Geneina -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Good to have you. Your reporting is important, David, thank you.
You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. There is more news just ahead, stay with us.
ANDERSON: Experts believe our planet is in the middle of a sixth mass extinction event, as thousands of species are disappearing each year. On
Call to Earth, big series, big initiative here on CNN, we head to Hawaii, where the race is on to save a native forest bird. Let me explain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): High up on a plateau in the middle of the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i, a team of researchers carefully transport
some extremely precious cargo.
They spent three days in this remote and --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): -- rain-soaked expanse of jungle looking for something very specific and very small. The egg of one of the world's
most critically-endangered species, a Hawaiian honeycreeper known as the akikiki, found nowhere else on earth but here.
JUSTIN HITE, FIELD SUPERVISOR, KAUA'I FOREST BIRD RECOVERY PROJECT: We are going to be just trying to collect them and bring them in to a captive
flock. Just because the assumption is that all of these birds are about to go extinct.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to the Hawaiian Department of Land and Natural Resources, there are only five of the species left in the wild.
HANNAH BAILEY, WILDLIFE CARE MANAGER, KEAUHOU BIRD CONSERVATION CENTER: The current state of akikiki is pretty bad right now. We do have about 50
akikiki in human care at our two centers in Hawaii. And we do know that this past breeding season, there were no surviving chicks in the wild.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hannah Bailey manages the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center on the island of Hawaii. The center serves as a Noah's ark of sorts
for the akikiki.
BAILEY: Our mission is to provide safe haven populations of the species that are in peril so that when the environment is ripe for them to survive
long term, we will be able to re-release them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hannah says the current state of all of Hawaii's forest birds is dire, due in part to the usual culprits like habitat loss
but a newer and more deadly menace has emerged.
BAILEY: The biggest threat right now to Hawaii's endangered birds is mosquitoes because they carry avian malaria, which the birds have no
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to the American Bird Conservatory, climate change has enabled nominative mosquitoes to find their way to Kauai's
highest elevations, the akikiki's last refuge in the wild.
BAILEY: This is a portable brooder box that we can also use to incubate eggs. And it helps us transfer eggs from one location to another that have
been incubated safely so that they will continue to grow and develop.
We need to have landscape level solutions to the mosquito problems. And in doing this the state and many other partners have worked with people that
have studied malaria around the world.
And so they are researching different solutions in malaria control, specifically ones that impact the mosquitoes without impacting the
remainder of the environment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In the meantime, keeping the birds in centers like this one where enclosures are designed to mimic their natural habitat but
protected from mosquitoes.
And where human interaction is strictly limited to discourage imprinting, a process where animals lose their natural behavior, these may very well be
an entire species' last chance at survival.
BAILEY: So KBCC, along with San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has been working really hard especially this last spring in saving the remaining
akikiki in the wild.
Our next step for this population is continuing to grow the population so that they have strong genetic diversity and a strong population to go back
to their native habitat.
ANDERSON: Let us know what you are doing to answer the call, with #calltoearth. Taking a break, back after this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Agriculture production is responsible for about 22 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But the cycle
doesn't end there. What's left over, the agriculture waste or ag waste, like shells and husks, also comes with a cost to the environment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Historically what people would do with that ag waste is they'd burn it in the field. It creates a lot of carbon
dioxide, or they rot, giving off methane. Finding ways to not burn or let that stuff rot is very important to addressing climate change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Brian Eagle (ph) saw an opportunity to reuse this waste, by converting it into biocarbon or biochar, which is a
charcoal-like substance that he calls a Swiss army knife for its versatility.
Brian says biochar can be a greener, lower cost solution to purifying water. And, they partnered with Clear Genius, a water filter company, to
develop a more sustainable product.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Now we have a cartridge, where you can keep the plastic and just replace the filtration medium.
Even more important than this saving some plastic is that we're going to be replacing the ion exchange resin beads (ph) with the metal removing
capability of a riso (ph) biochar. And with enough shell biochar, we'll be able to remove the organics.
Finding ways to take waste products and turn them back into usable products in other industries is key to our future as a planet.
ANDERSON: Thanks for watching. Stay with CNN. "STATE OF THE RACE WITH KASIE HUNT" is next.