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Israeli Strikes Reported Near Two Gaza Hospitals; Arab League to Hold Emergency Meeting; More Than 100 U.N. Employees Killed in Gaza; President Biden Says Israeli War Taking Longer Than He Had Hoped; Biden, Xi to Meet Wednesday in California; Inside the Situation in Northern Gaza; Father of Football Star Luis Diaz Released by Kidnappers. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired November 10, 2023 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and, welcome, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I am Becky Anderson. It is 7:00 p.m. here in
Abu Dhabi. It's 6:00 p.m. in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia where a major weekend of diplomacy is about to kick off. We'll look at the latest on the efforts
to stop the carnage in Gaza.
Well, CNN has been witnessing rocket fire targeting Israel from Gaza today, while the Israeli offensive against Hamas is very much ongoing on the
ground and from the air. Civilians once again finding themselves caught in the crossfire. Israeli strikes reportedly hit two hospitals in northern
Gaza. Videos showed casualties at a third hospital in Gaza City which was obviously hit by something, the source at present undetermined.
Well, thousands more people fled the violence on foot today. Israel opening what they have described as an evacuation corridor to the south for a
period of six hours. That is now close but U.N.'s top human rights officials questioning the strategy of driving people to flee to so-called
safe zones. He says nowhere in Gaza is safe right now.
CNN's Nada Bashir joining me now from Jerusalem.
Let's start with the strikes on the hospitals. What are the details as we understand them?
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, Becky, we've been hearing those warnings for weeks now from health officials, from medics on the ground,
warning these strikes are edging closer and closer to hospitals across Gaza.
Now of course we are learning from a spokesperson, from the World Health Organization, saying that this Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest hospital,
has come under bombardment. We've seen those videos emerging overnight of people clearly injured and what is said to have been the outpatient clinic
at the Al Shifa Hospital. A huge amount of carnage, as you described it there at the Al Shifa Hospital.
Witnesses they're accusing Israel of carrying out an airstrike on the vicinity of that hospital, though of course the IDF, Israel Defense Force,
has yet to comment or respond to CNN's request for comment on this latest strike. But of course there have been fears that Al Shifa could face
continued bombardment. We know that in addition to the patients there, in addition to the medical staff there, of course, there are thousands of
people taking shelter on the outskirts of this hospital outside, hoping that it will remain a safe section. But clearly that is not the case.
We have also of course reports of strikes that other hospitals in Gaza today. Officials at the Al Awda Hospital say that strikes have hit the
vicinity of that hospital. At least 10 people are said to have been injured and damage is said to have sustained to hospital infrastructure as well as
two ambulances. We've heard the warnings from medical teams on the ground including the Palestinian Red Crescent around potential attacks against
ambulances and medical staff.
Meanwhile, in terms of the on-the-ground fighting, we have heard warnings from officials at the Al Nasr hospital and Al Rantisi Pediatric Hospital,
they have described the hospital as being completely surrounded now and are appealing to the Red Cross to facilitate an urgent evacuation. But as we
know, as we have heard from medics on the ground repeatedly now, there are many patients who simply cannot be evacuated from northern Gaza.
And of course, doctors, including those from Doctors Without Borders, have been telling us that they refuse to and cannot evacuate without their
patients. And of course as we know, we have seen what's been described as that mass exodus of people, Palestinians leaving northern Gaza, heading
south, as per the warnings from the IDF. And of course these airstrikes continue. Those evacuation windows are very short and is very difficult to
make that evacuation on foot for many including the elderly, including children and the disabled.
And as we have seen in parts of central and southern Gaza, those airstrikes are continuing. And when it comes to the situation facing hospitals, it is
not just air strikes that are the concern, though that certainly is the primary worry here at this point in time, but of course as we've heard,
doctors are now operating without necessarily medication. In some cases, carrying out surgeries without anesthesia, according to doctors on the
We understand the majority of hospitals in Gaza are now out of service. A number of operating rooms at the Al Shifa Hospital, again Gaza's largest
hospital, have been close and out of service for some time now.
And of course with no fuel getting in, we are beginning to see is more hospitals shutting down, more power cuts being faced by these hospitals,
and of course the death toll, as these airstrikes continue, is still rising. More than 11,000 now said to have been killed in Gaza according to
Palestinian health officials, including more than 4,000 children. Some 27,000 people now said to have been injured. And the humanitarian situation
as a whole is deteriorating by the hour -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Nada Bashir, on this story for you. Nada, it's good to have you. Thank you very much. Nada with the very latest on the ground in Gaza.
And just to underscore, the words of the U.N. Human Rights chief today nowhere in Gaza is safe right now, he said.
Well, the civilian displacement and suffering only deepening as this war goes on. The heads of the UAE and Qatar urging an immediate cease-fire to
allow in humanitarian aid. The UAE also calling for an open briefing today. They are asking the director-general the World Health Organization to brief
the United Nations Security Council. Of course the UAE is a revolving member of that UNSC at present.
Meantime, Iran's president will be at a meeting in Gaza -- on Gaza in Riyadh this weekend. Also this weekend, leaders of Arab nations meeting in
Riyadh. There is a real concern that this conflict could spread further, and a renewed push regionally for a solution. Leaders will be in Saudi
Saturday for what is an emergency summit of the Arab League, the group calling for a complete cease-fire.
Well, the situation on Israel's northern border with Lebanon is one of the areas that are of real concern to this region. When I say this region, I of
course am broadcasting to you from our programming hub here in Abu Dhabi. Hezbollah and the IDF exchanged crossfire -- cross-border fire again today.
This comes as the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, is expected to deliver another closely watched speech on Saturday.
Let's get you to southern Lebanon. That is where CNN's Ben Wedeman is standing by.
Ben, what is the perspective from there?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What is, I'm sorry, what is expected from those meetings in Saudi Arabia? Well, we've already
heard from the spokesman for the Arab League, that the Arab League is demanding an immediate cease-fire and not a humanitarian pause.
Now this is in complete contradiction to what the United States is saying. Now we did hear Secretary State Antony Blinken in New Delhi today saying
that far too many Palestinians have been killed. But yesterday we also heard President Biden say that no, there's not going to be a cease-fire.
So the Arab leaders will be meeting in Saudi Arabia tomorrow. What they're willing to accomplish is not at all clear. Now you'll recall back in
October, 1973, when King Faisal was the king of Saudi Arabia, he was behind the Arab oil embargo which really did jar the United States into looking a
little more closely at its Middle East policy.
But it appears that at the moment, the Arab leaders are satisfying themselves with beseeching, begging the United States to intercede with
Israel. But they don't seem to have any tools they're willing to use to change Israel's behavior on the ground.
Now we did also hear from Mohamed Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, who also called for a cease-fire and an end to the forced
displacement of Palestinians within Gaza itself. But until now just words. No action -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, it's interesting, isn't it? And there will be talk, we know there is talk behind the scenes, and I'm sure will be talk at these
meetings in Riyadh this weekend. One for the Arab League, of course, one the Organization of Islamic Countries, which would include the leader of
Iran, the leader of many Muslim countries. So, you know, an enormous gathering of both Arab and other Muslim leaders over the weekend in Riyadh.
What comes out of that, you know, will be interesting to watch if anything at this point. We do know that there is an immediate need to address what
is going on in Gaza today.
There was also real concern about what might happen around this region should that immediate Gaza situation not be dealt with. How concerned are
you, given you've been on and off that border now for more than a month. Hassan Nasrallah will speak again tomorrow, the leader of Hezbollah.
How concerned are you at present that this conflict slips outside of the Gaza borders as it were?
WEDEMAN: Well, there's lots of concern here. Now you'll recall last Saturday he made a much-anticipated speech, his first since before October
7th, the beginning of this war. And there was real concern and palpable worry among many people here in Lebanon.
Now we're expecting another speech. It's going to be marking what's known as Hezbollah's Martyrs Day. And there's no indication of whether he's going
to up the temperature or lower it. Now what we've seen today by my count in the last eight hours, there have been at least 14 cross border strikes
between Israel and Hezbollah. And what we've seen in the last few days is at least Israel seems to be using larger bombs or explosives than it's used
in the past.
Today, Hezbollah announced that seven of its militants had been killed. We don't know where or when, but at this point, the death toll for Hezbollah
itself is almost 70. And so obviously he has to address -- Nasrallah has to address his followers to explain why 70 of their fighters have been killed
since the 7th of October. One interesting thing we've noticed is that now every time Hezbollah puts out a statement about its attacks on Israel, it
says this is in support of the Palestinian people in Gaza and their resistance.
So this is perhaps laying -- putting on an extra layer of rhetorical support for the Palestinians. But in terms of going any further, if we're
talking about escalation, many people really doubt that Hezbollah has the desire to drag Lebanon into a war that would most people would expect would
be much worse than the war of 2006. Much worse. Because of course Lebanon is in terrible economic shape.
And we have heard repeatedly from Israeli officials, including Yoav Gallant, the Israeli defense minister, he even before this war said that if
Hezbollah engages in another war with Israel, Israel will bomb Lebanon back into the Stone Age -- Becky.
ANDERSON: Ben Wedeman, on the southern border of Lebanon there just across from Israel. Ben, it's good to have you. Your analysis is important and
your insights having covered this region for so long. Absolutely crucial to us. Thank you.
Well, no one knows the hardships in Gaza better than the U.N. aid agency on the ground there. Now it says more than 100 of its employees have been
killed in the conflict.
Juliette Touma of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency joins us on the phone from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
We'll talk about, Juliet, why you are there in a moment. First let's address what is going on on the ground and these awful numbers, awful
numbers of colleagues that you have lost in Gaza. The most U.N. employees ever lost in any single conflict. Just describe how the agency is coping.
JULIETTE TOUMA, UNRWA (via phone): Yes. Hi, Becky, thanks for having me. Awful numbers except they are not just numbers. These are our colleagues.
These are our friends. We've lost them in this war only in the past month. This is the highest number ever of U.N. staff killed in the history of the
United Nations. They were mainly teachers in our schools teaching children. They were school principals, they were doctors, engineers, counselors,
And the agency will never ever be the same without these people. And I'm very sorry to let you know that this is the number that we were able to
confirm, but the number is highly likely to be much higher as we have many, many colleagues who are unaccounted for and they may still be stuck under
the rubble, Becky.
ANDERSON: As you, say these are moms, dads, they are brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles. These are people who are working for U.N.
agency on the ground and trying to ensure that people are looked after and civilians are protected.
Tell me, what is your perspective as an agency of what is going on on the ground today?
TOUMA: Look, we haven't stopped for one minute. I mean, all we are doing is trying very, very hard to respond to the mammoth needs on the ground in
Gaza. More than 720,000 people have come to our shelters. We are extremely overwhelmed. Meanwhile, the bombardment continues. The displacement
continues. Our supplies are running out. We have severe restrictions on these convoys that are coming in and we are running out of fuel. So it's
like being hit from different directions.
ANDERSON: You are in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, to address those Arab leaders gathered there for what is an emergency summit. What's your message?
TOUMA: Very simple, we need a cease-fire. We need a cease-fire in Gaza because what we're having right now cannot keep going. It's been a hell of
a month, a hell of a month. Not just because we have so many colleagues, it's because of the civilians, the families, the children, the women, the
old people. I mean, I saw an interview yesterday that they interviewed this old guy who's like the age of my dad, 80 years old. He said he has to wait
for two hours to go to the toilet. Two hours. And he's (INAUDIBLE) diabetes and all sorts of other diseases.
Yesterday we had a report that 70,000 people mainly walked on foot from the north to other areas. And the photos and the footage that we received
really resembled what happened in 1948. This is history repeating itself, forced displacement and collective punishment.
ANDERSON: Juliette Touma, on the ground in Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, coming to us on behalf of the UNWRA, the U.N. agency on the ground and its job is
to provide aid for and support for Palestinians. There are millions who get aid from that agency. They have lost at least 100 colleagues, staff, in
this conflict to date.
Still to come, the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gives his clearest condemnation yet of the civilian toll Israel's offensive has taken
in Gaza. More on that after this.
ANDERSON: America's support for Israel could damage its ties in the Arab world for a generation. That is the gist of a diplomatic cable obtained by
CNN from the U.S. embassy in Oman to the Biden administration. Now this cable warns Arab publics see the U.S. as morally culpable in possible war
crimes. It was sent to the White House National Security Council, FBI and CIA.
Listen to what President Biden had to say about the war yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you ask him to pause for three days to get the hostages out?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. I've asked for an even longer pause.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you frustrated with Prime Minister Netanyahu that he's not listened more to some of the things you have asked him to do?
BIDEN: It's taking a little longer than I hoped.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: It's taking a little longer than he hoped, he said.
Let's take a closer look at this with CNN's Natasha Bertrand in Washington.
Natasha, you hear Joe Biden there. This is taking longer than he would've hoped to convince the Israeli prime minister to put a pause on the
fighting. How much time can, will, President Biden give the Israeli prime minister at this point?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the open question. I mean I think that people are expecting the president to
continue putting pressure on Netanyahu, to try to get these corridors open for longer periods of time, to get not only the civilians out but also
allow for the release of the hostages.
But, look, this is something that the administration has definitely shifted its messaging on over the last several weeks. We saw Secretary of State
Blinken say just this morning that far too many Palestinians are being killed. And again, urging these humanitarian pauses to allow for them to
get safely to the south and out of the Gaza Strip.
So this cable that you mentioned, that is something that is really kind of driving the administration's messaging on this. They understand that there
is broad anger in the Arab world. And this cable just kind of drives that home, something that the second highest U.S. official in Oman told the
National Security Council just this week, on Wednesday, based on that official having numerous conversations with well-trusted sources and people
who would know of course in the region how the sentiment is being expressed there, and said essentially that the U.S.'s support for Israel and its kind
of unwavering support for their operation in Gaza is, quote, "losing us Arab publics for a generation."
And the cable went on to say that, quote, "We are losing badly on the messaging battle space." And it warns that the U.S. support for Israel's
actions is being seen as, quote, "material and moral culpability" in what they consider to be possible war crimes. So the Arab public, they are
apparently, according to this cable, seeing the administration here as complicit in Israel's war and the resulting thousands and thousands of
deaths that we have seen of Palestinian civilians.
So now the question is, of course, what is the limit? That remains to be seen. The president has, according to our sources, not placed any red lines
on Israel and on its operations but of course, in private conversations, is pushing them to do more to protect civilians.
ANDERSON: That sentiment in the cable, Natasha, I have to say being in the region as I am and being across this region as I have been over the last
five or six weeks, very much echoed by Arab leaders and indeed the Arab street. It's interesting. And when it comes to the use of these terms, I
think let's just be quite clear about this. These humanitarian windows that the Israelis are announcing daily at this point, four or six hours, are
windows of opportunity just for certain routes out of northern Gaza into southern Gaza, as you'll be well aware.
That's very different, as you know, from these humanitarian pauses in fighting. A three-day pause, for example, is what we understand as being
discussed at present. That is a pause in the fighting across Gaza in order that, for example, hostages may be released and humanitarian aid will get
in. And I think it's really important that we ensure, that we are quite clear about what is being demanded here.
The Israelis giving humanitarian windows. A demand really across the board including the Biden administration, as you have correctly pointed, for
humanitarian pauses, or a pause at this point.
And then the widest story here in the region of course is a call for an immediate cease-fire. That is certainly not something as far as we can tell
that the White House is supporting as of yet.
It's always good to have you, Natasha. Thank you very much indeed. Important reporting.
Well, the White House confirms that President Biden's much anticipated meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping will take place next Wednesday in
California. Both leaders will be there for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. It will be their first face-to-face meeting this year.
And it comes during a particularly tense time in the relationship between the world's two biggest economies.
Well, Arlette Saenz joins me now from the White House.
We've suggested this is significant. The next question, of course, Arlette, at this point is just how consequential might this be. What are the
objectives going in?
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, this meeting between President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be a key test
for the president as he is looking to stabilize the relationship and prevent it from the deteriorating even further, as we've seen these
tensions and strains over the course of the past year.
Now it's not expected that there will be an immediate thaw in U.S. and China relations, but officials here at the White House believe the fact
that the two men are sitting down, it would be the second time since Biden became president, they see that simple fact as being a positive step. Now
officials hope that this meeting will lay the groundwork for a potential framework that would maintain a competitive relationship with China while
also trying to avoid any misconceptions or surprises in the relationships.
But aides are realistic heading into this meeting and aren't expecting a long list of outcomes or deliverables from it, but they do say that
President Biden is ready to bring up a host of issues with Chinese President Xi Jinping. One thing that's of key interest to President Biden
is trying to reestablish those military-to-military communications, something that China pulled down about a year ago. The president is
expected to really push Xi on that matter.
They are also expected to talk about the conflicts in Israel and in Ukraine at a time when the administration has really pushed China to try to take a
more constructive role in these conflicts. Additionally, they'll talk about issues where they agree on, things like climate change, but also talk about
those differences. The officials say the president is prepared to raise human rights issues as well as the issues surrounding Taiwan, which has
been a lot of the tension that has bubbled up between the U.S. and China in relation to handling that.
Of course we have seen these various moments of tension over the course of the past year, just think back to that Chinese spy balloon incident where
things really started to deteriorate. You've seen over the course of the past few months and the lead-up to this meeting, the U.S. dispatching top
officials, people like Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, to talk with their counterparts in China as they
try to lay the groundwork for this meeting that really could potentially affect the future of the relationship as President Biden is trying to offer
some stability to it at this time.
Of course, it's also come in at a time of great political turmoil as the president is also grappling with those crises in Israel and Ukraine. And
the president is hoping that at least with this relationship there will be some efforts with China to try to stabilize things.
ANDERSON: Arlette Saenz, battling a very irritating sound behind you. You've done a very good job, well done. Arlette Saenz, at the White House,
thank you very much indeed.
And while President Biden and Xi prepare for their talks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken just left India after holding talks of his own. It was
the last stop on his whirlwind trip to the Middle East, Japan, South Korea and India.
In New Delhi, Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with their Indian counterparts, aiming to strengthen their defense and strategic
partnership. And they spoke about working to build a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific amid urgent global challenges. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAJNATH SINGH, INDIAN, MINISTER OF DEFENSE: Defense remains one of the most important pillars of our bilateral relationship. Your relief to India is at
a time when India and the U.S. are closer than they were before. In spite of various emerging geopolitical challenges, we need to keep our focus on
the important and long-term issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: These are important meetings. Although Blinken was in India today, his mind not far away from what is happening here in this region of
the Middle East. He commended Israel for its announcement of daily humanitarian pauses and humanitarian corridors for Palestinians caught in
the middle of the war, but Blinken says more can be done to protect innocent lives.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: These steps will save lives and will enable more assistance to get to Palestinians in need. At the same
time, much more needs to be done to protect civilians and to make sure that the humanitarian system reaches it. Far too many Palestinians have been
killed, far too many have suffered these past weeks. And we want to do everything possible to prevent harm to them and to maximize the assistance
that gets to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Well, those remarks, one of Blinken's most direct condemnations yet of civilian casualties resulting from Israeli military operations in
Well, coming up our cameras take you inside the northern part, the enclave alongside the Israeli military, what remains there after more than a month
of war. You'll see for yourself, up next.
ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson from our programming hub here in Abu Dhabi, in the UAE. Updating
you now on the latest in the Israel-Hamas war.
Heavy smoke has been seen rising over northern Gaza on Friday, as the Israeli military continues to attack Hamas targets there. Now conditions
inside many Gaza hospitals have become more dire as Israel expands its military operations. Video obtained by CNN here shows a strike near the Al
Awda Hospital. Officials say 10 workers there were injured. And a separate video shows tanks near a medical complex that includes the Al Rantisi
Pediatric Hospital. Gunfire there can also be heard.
In the meantime the Israel Defense Forces, the IDF, opened a six-hour evacuation corridor today to allow Gaza residents to move to safer
locations. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken now saying that more needs to be done to protect lives and that far too many Palestinians have
been killed in this conflict.
Well, CNN got a firsthand look at the situation on the ground in northern Gaza. CNN's Oren Liebermann was there embedded with an Israeli military
unit. And I want to be very transparent here. The report that Oren filed from Gaza was certainly the filming was done under Israeli Defense Forces'
escort at all times.
As a condition for journalists to embed with the IDF media outlets must submit footage filmed in Gaza to the Israeli military for review. But CNN
did not submit its script to the IDF and had editorial control over the final report. That's the caveat for this so here is then what he saw.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Through the breach, we entered northern Gaza at the Erez border crossing. The land here once fertile farmland is
barren, and the trees that might have provided enemy cover destroyed. In the distance smoke from an Israeli airstrike is a stark reminder that this
is day 34 of a war that may stretch much longer. On Thursday, the IDF chief of staff and the head of the country's Internal Security Service entered
Gaza and promised strength through cooperation.
Everyone is doing everything, said General Herzi Halevi, just so you can be as strong as possible.
Along our path in northern Gaza, the signs of civilian life have given way to the constant hum of drones and the distant echoes of artillery. Our time
with the IDF began at the coordination base for the border crossing, the first international media to visit the site. The terror attack on October
7th hit hard here, the scars of machine gunfire and RPGs still visible.
The base was mostly empty on the holiday but not entirely. The IDF says nine soldiers were killed here and three kidnapped. It took 12 hours for
Israel to regain control of the base. Now it's one of the main gates to Gaza.
(Voice-over): We stopped an overlook near the town of Jabalya.
One of the things uncovered here on this hill near Jabalya is a meeting point of three different tunnels. And you can see if you take a look that's
one, two, three, they came together here and it let Hamas move underground quickly below the feet and out of sight.
(Voice-over): Colonel Tal (PH), the tank commander, says there were many explosives here, there were many trenches. There were a lot of weapons and
ammunition. We found here a storage site with many explosives against tanks, RPGs. Even from a distance the scale of the destruction is stunning.
Apartment buildings, homes, neighborhoods decimated.
Colonel Tal (PH) says the area is almost completely evacuated. We don't see civilians in our eyes. We see sometimes terrorists but the majority of
civilians haven't been here in a while. They've all gone south in the direction of the heart of the strip.
As we talk, we hear rocket fire and see the trails of the launchers, triggering red alerts in Ashdod. After about 90 minutes inside northern
Gaza, we make our way out hugging the border wall for safety. Even here so close to the exit and stop briefly so the dust clears, we can make sure the
way ahead is safe. In the distance once again, the smoke from another strike.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann joining me now live from Tel Aviv. Fascinating to see that report.
Oren, given your years spent in Israel as a CNN correspondent based there, I just want to get your perspective on where we are at with regard to the
Israeli-U.S. relationship. The support for Israel from the Biden administration has been key. And they continue to suggest that Israel has
every right to defend itself. To ensure that October the 7th never happens again. But there is a but here, or perhaps we should put and "and" in here.
They are certainly being more vocal about what needs to happen next in support of Palestinian civilians. What do you make of where we are at? And
how much ramp Benjamin Netanyahu left?
LIEBERMANN: That's an excellent question and one of the key questions. President Joe Biden has said he does not support or see a cease-fire
happening at this time. And it certainly seems like not anytime in the immediate future. A broader cease-fire. But he was the one pushing for
humanitarian corridors, humanitarian pauses. A situation that it's hard to believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have done on his own.
Biden said it took a little longer than he had hoped. And even Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in India, said we're glad we got to this
point but still not enough is being done to protect civilians here.
As we see in northern Gaza, strikes near hospitals, carried out by the IDF, the IDF encircling Gaza City and moving in there. All of this is weighing
on not only international pressure on Israel but also the U.S. watching this very closely. The U.S. support fully, there but what Blinken said is
noteworthy in how critical it was and how vocal it was in pointing out that Israel does need to do more to protect civilians as this continues.
We haven't yet seen, at least not from the outside, a fundamental change in the way the IDF is operating there. There are still very much pushing into
northern Gaza. We have of course seen humanitarian corridors. And there, the lieutenant commander who I was with, said, look, we don't decide these
humanitarian corridors, but we know they're there, we know we don't shoot in that direction. But that war is still very much a hot war in other
Does the pressure and does the vocal criticism from Secretary of State Antony Blinken change anything? Well, we'll keep an eye not only on the
criticism itself but on IDF operations in Gaza as they now try to get underground more and try to destroy Hamas's underground infrastructure.
ANDERSON: A chorus of demands around this region where I am, around the Arab world, calling for an immediate cease-fire. That is something that the
Israelis have categorically ruled out. As you rightly point out, these corridors are open on a daily basis. That is not the same as a pause in
fighting. A pause in fighting that is being negotiated at present between Hamas and Israel in order to get the release of these hostages that are
being held in Gaza. And that is very different of course from these calls for an immediate cease-fire.
On the release of these hostages, I noted what I thought was a very interesting poll today. And I just want to get your sense of it. Let's
bring it up. This is how the Israeli public feel about what is going on at present. And this is about -- Israelis polled on hostage negotiations. 38
percent, Oren, say Israel should negotiate while fighting. They have said that they will not negotiate until Hamas release the hostages, as it were.
Twenty-two percent say Israel should not negotiate at all. Ten percent, one in 10, say Israel should negotiate only when the fighting is over. Nearly
four-tenths, you know, the larger cohort here suggesting Israel should negotiate while it continues fighting. What do you make of that? And does
that sort of tally with what you are hearing from sources in Israel about whether this government stands?
LIEBERMANN: That's again a very interesting question. You see here the posters all over the place about free the hostages. It weighs on the entire
country. And that creates its own sort of domestic pressure to try to do something to free the hostages. It's hard to see any other way to get the
Israeli hostages out except for a negotiation. Right? An example, for five years when Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was in Gaza, the Israeli government
didn't know where he was.
And I've seen no indication the Israeli government knows where approximately 240 hostages are now being held in Gaza. So the only way to
get them out, at least as of right now from where we stand, is through some sort of negotiation probably mediated by Qatar. Does that weigh on the
Israeli government? Certainly. They have said at least publicly that that's one of their stated goals. But you also see the extent of the military
And at some point it may be very difficult to do both, to try to destroy Hamas and rescue the hostages. It's not clear that the Venn diagram
completely overlaps. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be trying to figure out a way to do that, but the longer this drags on, the longer the
hostages are in Gaza, the more public pressure is created to get to a point of negotiations and a willingness perhaps for a prisoner exchange, for a
hostage exchange, for something that he's effectively ruling out as of right now.
ANDERSON: It's fascinating, isn't it? It's good to have you, Oren. Your insight and analysis is so important at this stage. Thank you very much
indeed. And we will be right back.
ANDERSON: (INAUDIBLE) captive for two weeks. Colombian guerrilla group kidnapped Luis Diaz's father at a gas station in his hometown.
For more on this let's bring in journalist Stefano Pozzebon. He joins us from Bogota, in Columbia -- Stefano.
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, Becky. About the current conditions of Luis Diaz Sr., I was able to speak with Jose Brito Diaz, who is the cousin
of Luis Diaz, Jr., the Liverpool football star and the nephew of Luis Diaz Sr., the man released yesterday. He spoke with me on the phone in Barrancas
about an hour ago saying that his uncle spent the night at the family home. He was resting there.
He's in good medical condition but his nephew stressed that Luis Diaz Sr. was really tired because he was kept on the move throughout his captivity
by the guerrillas and had to walk for miles along the forest and mountain terrain to avoid being located.
About what happened yesterday, it was of course the scenes of jubilation just for the family, but for the entire Colombia, when finally Luis Diaz
Sr. was returned to the family home.
POZZEBON: Cheering just like his son a scoring a decisive goal, Luis Manuel Diaz, the father of Liverpool striker Luis Dias, was freed on Thursday
after 12 days of captivity. Diaz and his wife Cilenis Marulanda were kidnapped last month in their hometown of Barrancas in northeastern
Colombia. Marulanda was released alone within a few hours. But a few days later, the National Liberation Army, Colombia's oldest active guerrilla
group, confirmed they were behind the kidnapping.
We deployed 150 men with aircraft and intelligence capability. We are optimist. It prompted a massive military operation and marches demanding
his release. Diaz Sr., a well-known figure in the community, spoke to CNN last year saying he wanted to open a soccer school for underprivileged
children in Barrancas and keep living in town despite the security risk linked with his son's fame.
Northeastern Colombia is one of the poorest regions in the country, with documented presence of criminal groups that profit from trafficking over
the border with Venezuela. On Monday, the kidnappers demanded security guarantees in order to free their hostage. And the Colombian Army stepped
aside. Thursday morning, Diaz was finally handed over to two Catholic bishops and a commission from the U.N. A few hours later, he was home.
Welcome news for the Diaz family. But the kidnapping of the father of one of Colombia's most popular football players lays bare the hurdles to secure
a durable peace for the country. Seven years after signing a historic peace deal with left-wing governments, Colombia is far from pacified. This month
rebel groups suspended negotiations with the Colombian government, and the National Liberation Army appeared to defend their tactic of ransom
kidnappings to finance their armed struggle.
Even President Gustavo Petro, a former rebel who was elected pledging to open talks with guerilla groups had to concede that some of his hopes for
negotiations were premature. While the match to bring Diaz back home ended with a success, the future of Colombia's peace process remains far from
ANDERSON: Stefano Pozzebon reporting. We'll be right back after this.
ANDERSON: It's just before five to 8:00 in the evening here. I'm Becky Anderson.
Israeli strikes are being reported near hospitals in Gaza. A World Health Organization spokesperson said Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City was coming
under bombardment today but not a lot of details. CNN has obtained video from the scene. A warning, this is difficult and disturbing to watch.
ANDERSON: Social media video does appear to show injured people lying on the ground at what is described as the outpatient clinic at Al Shifa
Hospital. CNN has been unable to determine what struck the hospital. Witnesses in the video say it was a strike to the area. CNN has reached out
to the Israeli military for comment.
Mads Gilbert, a doctor with deep ties to Gaza, we have spoken to him many times on this show, recorded himself from Amman in Jordan. With those
screams playing out from his personal computer, here is his message to world leaders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. MADS GILBERT, CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL OF N. NORWAY: President Biden, President Biden, President Biden,
Mr. Blinken, Mr. Blinken, can you hear me? Prime ministers and presidents of the European countries, can you hear me? Can you hear the screams from
Shifa hospital? From Al Awda Hospital? Can you hear the screams from innocent people, refugees sheltering, trying to find a safe place?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Let me tell you, Mads has been trying to get into Gaza to help. He is a very, very qualified doctor. Can't get in. Couldn't get in through
the crossing in Rafah, now in Amman in Jordan.
That's it for us this evening. Stay with CNN.