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IDF Rescues Four Israel Hostages During Deadly Raid In Gaza; U.S. Seeks To Ratchet Up Pressure For Gaza Ceasefire; Emmanuel Macron Calls Snap Elections After Loss To Far-Right; Stocks Slip After Emmanuel Macron Calls Snap Elections; Israel Defense Forces Rescues Four Israeli Hostages During Deadly Raid In Gaza; United States Seeks To Ratchet Up Pressure For Gaza Ceasefire; Mass Urbanization Creates "Ghost Villages" In Rural China. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 10, 2024 - 10:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And welcome to the second hour of the show this hour. Free after eight months in captivity. New details of

the deadly daytime rescue operation that freed four hostages in Hamas captivity.

This as the U.S. Secretary of State arrives in region. He is calling for more pressure on Hamas to agree to a ceasefire deal.

Plus, European Parliamentary elections lead to a major political shakeup in France.

Well, we're getting new details and we are hearing new accounts from hostages freed in the daring Israeli read in Gaza. Palestinians also giving

terrifying descriptions of what was one of the deadliest days of the Israel Hamas war and one of the most consequential events of this conflict.

Listen firstly to the mother of freed hostage Almog Meir. Unfortunately, I don't have that at the moment. I'll come back to that.

Officials in Gaza report more than 270 people killed during the operation. Israel says the number was below 100. CNN unable to verify casualty numbers

from Gaza and the information released doesn't differentiate between civilians and militants.

Whatever that exact number, though, is, Palestinian witnesses say the raid was brutal, and deadly.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There's someone under the rubble whose family left her, we've become worthless. We're human beings like all

others in this world. They eat, drink and breathe. And so do we, they speak and we do too.


ANDERSON: Well, the fallout from this raid sure to impact the latest visit to the region by one of Joe Biden's key team members U.S. Secretary of

State Antony Blinken, who is again, trying to broker a ceasefire.

Oren Liebermann back with us this hour from Tel Aviv and Jennifer Hansler is at the State Department.

Let me start with you, Oren. Just walk us through how this rescue went down as we understand it.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it took weeks of planning to get to the point where Israel felt he could carry out this

operation and that planning involved hundreds of personnel that included not only soldiers and military personnel but also intelligence, a special

police unit, all to get to the end result.


LIEBERMANN (voice over): In a hospital in central Israel, they hugged as if there was no tomorrow, because for so long, they feared there wouldn't be.

Four Israeli hostages were rescued from Gaza in Israeli operation on Saturday after eight months of captivity.

Among the rescued one of the most well-known hostages Noa Argamani, reunited with her father here. Video from October 7th showed her pleading

for help as kidnappers drove her into Gaza.

Her father thanked the Israeli military for the rescue.

But reunions like this remain all too rare. This is only the third successful Israeli rescue operation since the war began.

Orit Meir reunited with her son Almog one day before her birthday.

ORIT MEIR, MOTHER OF ALMOG MEIR: There are still 120 hostages in Gaza. And we want a deal now.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The daring daytime operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza lifted the spirits of the nation. But unity

was fleeting as antigovernment protests demanded a deal to secure the release of the remaining hostages and a ceasefire.

On Sunday, War Cabinet member Benny Gantz resigned from the government, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of slow walking into war for his

own political gain.

Netanyahu vowed to keep pushing towards total victory over Hamas, the cost of which was once again apparent.

Witnesses in Gaza described Israel's operation as hell on Earth, inside a dense residential area with the crowds of midday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Increasing bombardment started hitting everywhere. Something we never witnessed before, maybe 150 rockets

fell in less than 10 minutes.


LIEBERMANN (voice over): Palestinians rushed the wounded to ambulances. In this disturbing video, many including women and children bore the horrific

scars of heavy bombardment. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital quickly filled with the injured and the dead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Dogs for eating people's remains. We pulled out six martyrs, all torn up, children and women.

LIEBERMANN (voice over): The operation drew swift and severe international condemnation, and Hamas called it a massacre.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza says more than 270 were killed in the Israeli strikes and 700 wounded, which would make it one of the

deadliest days for Gaza in months.

The IDF disputes those numbers, saying an estimated the number of casualties was less than a hundred, CNN cannot independently verify these


On Sunday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN's Dana Bash, the innocent people were tragically killed in this operation. He called on

Hamas to accept the ceasefire that's on the table right now.

JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: And the best way to end this war is for Hamas to say yes to the deal President Biden announced and that

Israel has accepted.


LIEBERMANN (on camera): Also worth noting the senior IDF officer also resigned over the weekend, Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld was the head of

the Gaza division. In his resignation, he said he had let the country down, he had failed in stopping October 7th.

It is worth noting, two points here, first, that his resignation is an indication at least that he felt that the military operation in Gaza as it

lasted eight months has gotten to the point where he felt he could resign.

And second, it also points out those who have not taken responsibility for October 7th, and that, of course, would be Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu, Becky.

ANDERSON: Oren, let me just step back for a moment and get back to the actual raid itself. We are learning that the IDF disguised themselves as

Hamas fighters, I want our viewers just get a listen to this eye witness.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I saw the special forces that arrived. They were dressed in military uniforms, like resistance fighters,

carrying helmets and wearing signs of the resistance, giving the impression to people that they were resistance fighters.

In reality, they were in Israeli special forces unit.


ANDERSON: This rescue, Oren, raises important questions about proportionality, and those questions are being praised. But also about

Hamas's strategy of being among the civilian population. Tell us more if you can.

LIEBERMANN: So, first, that's one of Israel's major defenses here. And we've heard it from IDF spokespeople, as well as from politicians, as well

as that, there wouldn't have been this number of casualties, regardless of what the actual number is if Israel didn't have to go in to a dense --

densely populated urban area in a refugee camp, to try to extract hostages, that is a large part, or at least some part of what led to this high

civilian death toll we're seeing amongst the Palestinian population there.

On the question of proportionality. Without getting into the debate itself, we'll simply say that, for many who have observed this is very much black

and white.

For Israel, it was worth it. For the U.S., you have seen a backing of the operation, a welcoming of the release of the hostages, but also an

acknowledgement that Palestinian civilians were tragically killed in this operation.

And then you have seen a simple condemnation from other countries, Egypt and many others, essentially saying there were too many killed here. And

far too many killed in eight months of war to this point.

ANDERSON: Oren, thank you, and it was Jake Sullivan, who very specifically said, you know, tragically there were many civilians killed.

Jennifer, let me bring you in here. And this, of course is Antony Blinken, the Secretary of State is back in region trying to drum up support for a

ceasefire and hostage deal.

Again, we heard from Jake Sullivan on our air over the weekend, suggesting and I'll quote him here, "The best way to end this war is to get Hamas to

agree to the deal that Biden had announced and that Israel has accepted," which is interesting, because there's much talk about whether or not -- and

confusion as to whether or not Israel has actually accepted what was sold that is -- as an Israeli offer effectively.

So, what are we hearing from the Secretary of State at this point because he is in region where on the one hand you've got Benjamin Netanyahu still

calling for total victory over Hamas, that does not equal a ceasefire anytime soon, does it?


JENNIFER HANSLER, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT PRODUCER: Well, Becky, we are hearing from Secretary Blinken that Hamas is the outlier here. He was

adamant in a press gaggle this morning in Cairo that Israel has accepted this proposal that is on the table. He said not only had they accepted it,

that they were critical in putting it forward.

So, he's sort of downplayed this public rhetoric we have heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu and others in the Israeli government that they have not

accepted this deal that is on the table.

And Blinken said that his message to all of these regional partners who he will be seeing throughout this extensive diplomatic push will be that Hamas

needs to say, yes, they need to press the group to say yes.

Now we should note, Becky, that this proposal has been on the table for more than a week now. And we have not heard an official response from the

group. There have been statements. But the U.S. does not see these as an official response. They are waiting for indication that the group's leader

Sinwar or someone who has the ability to make a decision has made a decision on this proposal that it is on the table.

He said this will be a key aspect of his meetings here in the region. He just met with Egyptian leaders there in Cairo. He said that they had been

in touch with Hamas within the past hours. But he did not give any indication about whether the group would say yes or when they would put

forward their answer.

Now, the Secretary of State noted that this deal is the best thing to stop the suffering of the Palestinians to get to a ceasefire and to secure the

release of the hostages, especially the American hostages who are still being held by Hamas.

Take a listen to what he said on this.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The best way, the most effective way to get everyone home, including the American hostages is through this

proposal, is through the ceasefire deal that's on the table right now. That's what we're focused on. That's what we're determined to see achieve.


HANSLER: Now, Becky, the other interesting thing he noted is that this conversations around a day after in the Gaza, when there is a ceasefire in

place are also going to be a key part of all of his meetings in the region.

This is something the U.S. and its Arab partners have been working on over the past five to six months, they want to have plans in place so that the

minute there is a low and a stop in the fighting, they will be able to move forward on things like security, on things like reconstruction.

And Blinken said that in the absence of any of these plans, we could see either a vacuum where Hamas and other groups would be able to take

advantage or there would be possibly an Israeli occupation, or there would just be absolute chaos.

So, he is really going to be pushing that all of these plans are ready to go if and when this proposal moves forward. And a ceasefire is put in

place, Becky.

ANDERSON: And you rightly pointed out that he was in Cairo earlier. We heard earlier from officials who suggested that this weekend's raid and

hostage rescue will likely have a negative impact on any deal that's been reported by Egyptian officials.

So, likely what the Secretary of State may have heard while he was in Egypt, he goes on to Tel Aviv, of course, and then into Amman, tomorrow.

This is his eighth trip in region. You and I have spoken over the last eight months about each and every one of those trips. Antony Blinken had

wanted to get conversations going, you know, months ago, about the day after as it were.

Now, once the ceasefire is in place. What happens next? Is there any indication from state, from your sources at present about how optimistic or

not the Secretary of State is about furthering those conversations?

Certainly, there's a big meeting in Amman with many of the Arab representatives of a -- of a sort of structure that might help work through

day after plans. But until we get a ceasefire, that's not going to happen?

HANSLER: Well, that's the key point, Becky. We have heard from sources that there has been progress on these conversations over the course of the past

several months, that there are partners who are willing to support reconstruction into sport security.

But as you mentioned, all of this hinges on the fighting coming to an end and all of this in the U.S.'s mind hinges on this proposal that is on the

table and that is why they're making such a strong diplomatic push both with Blinken in the region.

We've seen other key top administration officials, Bill Burns, Brett McGurk also traveled to the region and they are also making a push at the United

Nations to get everyone on board with this deal that could open the door for all of these postwar plans, Becky?

ANDERSON: Yes, we're eight months in, of course, one can only hope. It's always good to have you. Jennifer, thank you.


As we reported earlier, Noa Argamani was so one of the four Israeli hostages freed during Israel's operation. This is video of her as she was

rescued on Saturday, her family filled with joy over her safe return as they just endured eight grueling months desperately hoping that she would

be free.

Here is an interview that I conducted with her father back in October in the week, just the very first week after October the seventh that

highlights the pain that this one family has suffered.


ANDERSON (voice over): She's a very special kid. So loving, so giving, I miss her so much. It's only been 2-1/2 days. I cannot believe she has gone,

he says. She made this house so alive. Felt like this house is empty without her.


ANDERSON: Her father's anguish finally put to an end. And we've been keeping a close eye on this story from day one exploring all the

perspectives that we -- that we possibly can on CNN and we will continue to do so here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

Well, just ahead, we'll get you to Europe as the far-right makes inroads in the European Parliament.

France calling new elections. We'll take a look at that and other implications after this.


ANDERSON: France going up for a snap election while it's being called by President Emmanuel Macron after his party was trounced by the far-right in

what were European Parliament elections over the weekend.

The far-right made big gains elsewhere, namely in Germany and were on track to win a record number of seats.

This is something that Mr. Macron says he finds hard to grasp.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): In France, the far- right parties representatives have garnered nearly 40 percent of all votes. For me who has always considered Europe to be united, strong, independent

and good for France. This is a situation that I cannot come to terms with, the rise of nationalists, of demagogues is a danger for our nation but also

for our Europe, for France's place in Europe and in the world.


ANDERSON: CNN's Melissa Bell standing by for us in Paris. Not holding back there. I mean clearly shocked. Mr. Macron's decision to call an election so

is a big risk is near. Tell us more about what is behind that decision and why.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think you hear in his voice as you suggest, Becky, that that shock, that disappointment how personally he took

the results.


Of course, this was a European election result that had nothing to do with a snap election, he was not obliged to call that snap election. In fact,

there are people already wondering about the wisdom of that.

But behind the strategy, officially, the -- his party and Laissez-faire (ph) say that, look, it's important to hear what the French people are

saying. This was, after all, a result that the far-right, the hard-right here in France scored more than 30 percent vote, double what Mr. Macron's

party had scored in this election.

So, it is an important vote, he feels he needs to take it seriously and take this to the people. But I think the strategy electorally is to share

that sense of alarm with the French electorate to say, look, this is extremely serious now. And we face the prospect of potentially the far-

right doing extremely well in legislative elections with the implications that would have for the choice the next prime minister, it is time that

everyone rally around my party, whether they are on the traditional left or on the traditional right.

Also, should that fail and should the far-right come to take the premiership, the idea that is behind it also that there would be time

during that cohabitation for the French electorate to come to its senses, according to Mr. Macron ahead of the next presidential vote, which won't be

until 2027.

So, I think those are a number of the things that went into their consideration of what -- whether to call this election but it's a hugely

controversial move, and full of danger, because of course, the effect might be that the far-right does, as well as the polls suggest that it might,

that a far-right prime minister is chosen. And that far from taking the wind out of the sails of the party ahead of the next presidential poll, it

consolidates what appears to be their inexorable rise.

So, there are a lot of people already on the traditional center -- in a traditional center of French politics that are extremely upset about

President Macron's decision.

But it does certainly take the -- give the voice to the French. And we will see now on the 30th of June in the first round and on July 7th in the

second round at how they choose to vote.

But there is a distinct possibility of the stage that by the time the Olympics are held here this summer that they are two of the figures that

you will see, (INAUDIBLE) not just the French President Emmanuel Macron but possibly, a far-right, Prime Minister.

And I think no one could have anticipated that as we went into this weekend of election in the -- at the European level, that it would have this

fallout on the national level for France, Becky.

ANDERSON: Yes, no, I know, this is -- this is a really big story. I want to get back to, you know, the sort of, you know, where this started as it

were, which is the European Parliament voting process.

Let's have a listen to the European Commission's President Ursula von der Leyen.


URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: The center is holding. But it is also true that the extremes on the left and on the right

have gained support. And this is why the result comes with great responsibility for the parties in the center.


ANDERSON: She's right. In Europe, the center has held but the trend will be worrying her and when I say her, I'm talking about Ursula von der Leyen,

who is herself sort of ironically, you know, center right, but not hard right. Not where we are seeing this trend, like I say that will be worrying

her and others across Europe. Where does this put Europe's political future, Melissa?

BELL: For the first questions is going to be facing these incoming European Parliamentarians is going to the question of Ursula von der Leyen's re-

election. Certainly the fact that the center right, her center right has done as well as it has, it's a huge relief to those who are profoundly

European at heart, who believe in the European project.

Alarming bells will be sounding with them, though, at the gains that were made by the far-right because so many of these parties whilst not being

unified in all of their views, do have at their heart a fair dose of Euro skepticism, some more than others. And that is likely given their strength

now as the second largest group within the European Parliament to lead to questions over how Europe continues either to further its future as a sort

of bastion of liberal values and defender of strong Europe and a Europe that stands for certain values and certain things or whether as you've seen

these last few years with voices like Viktor Orban, there are greater and greater number of voices within the European Parliament who represent a

different view for Europe, a minimalist view for Europe, one that is on certain questions.


For instance, Ukraine opposed to the continued help of the European Union to Ukraine, but perhaps more fundamentally questioning whether power should

not come back to within the national borders of the member states. These are things that are likely to have a profound impact on the nature of the

European Union, on its functioning and on its future, Becky.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. Good to have you.

Melissa Bell is our senior international correspondent in Paris. Thank you.

Well, the announcement of snap elections in France rattling stock markets, it has to be said in Europe, and not just the stock markets, euro fell

against the dollar, hitting its lowest level in a month.

Let's get you Anna Stewart, who's got more from London. Look, election uncertainty always rattles investors. How would you -- how do you see this

playing out? Is this a sort of, you know, just a one off reaction or is this going to be, after all, look, we're seeing -- we're seeing a trend to

the far-right, certainly, in the presence of you know, France's government and the decision made by Macron.

But how does what we've seen play out over the weekend, how is it likely to affect these markets going forward do you think?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, there was the market reaction to the E.U. Parliamentary elections, which in some -- to some extent, that trend

was kind of expected. We did see the euro fall about half a percent against the dollar earlier today. It's come back a little bit.

But we're seeing much more reaction Becky in France, you can see that French bond yields have spiked, those are borrowing costs. And you're

looking at some equity markets really read across Europe right there.

But look at Paris's CAC (INAUDIBLE), which is down nearly two percent. It was down lower and some stocks being hit particularly hard like bank

stocks, BNP Paribas, SOCJEN (ph) and so on.

Now, this speaks to the situation in France, the uncertainty with the election, but also the fact that investors had a few question marks about

France already heading into this weekend, largely because France has something of a debt problem so much so that at the end of last month, S&P

the credit rating agency actually downgraded France's long term credit rating. And that's because its government debt burden stands at over 110

percent of GDP, its budget deficit, Becky, is 5.5 percent of GDP. That is way above the threshold in the E.U., which is actually three percent.

And what this new election means is that you could see a president with a hostile parliament, potentially a far-right prime minister, and how easy

will it be them for President Macron to implement all of the reforms, the spending cuts that he's planned to do to try and bring those debts down?

So, for investors at this stage, it's looking much less likely that he'll be able to do that.

ANDERSON: Yes, fascinating. It's good to have you. Thank you very much indeed. Adam Stewart in the house, everybody. Let's you look at markets.

Well, Iran's Guardian Council has announced six presidential candidates ahead of the country's snap elections on June the 28th. The list of is

comprised of establishment hardliners like the parliamentary speaker Mohammad Ghalibaf and just one reformist candidate, legislator Masoud

Pezeshkian, notably former president and political firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as the former parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani have

both been disqualified.

Iran's elections come after hardline President Ebrahim Raisi died in a helicopter crash last month.

Still to come, more on the Israeli raid of freed four hostages. We have reaction from Israel's military and from Palestinians who describe massive

bloodshed during that operation.

And Hunter Biden is back in court, we'll get you updated on what has happened in his trial today.



ANDERSON: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Becky Anderson. Wherever you are watching you are more than welcome.

More on our top story, the dramatic rescue of four Israeli hostages in Gaza. Israel's military says they were being held in civilian multi-story

buildings in the densely populated Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

And I want to play you the words of the mother of one of the rescued hostages, expressing her relief, but also her concern for those still being




They are 120 families who are waiting without being able to breathe or sleep, without thinking about the loved one in Gaza. We are so grateful to

the IDF for the brave rescue that brought Almog home to us.


ANDERSON: Well, Paula Hancocks has video of what was the deadly raid provided by Israel's military, and also footage of the aftermath from

inside Palestinian hospitals. And I have to warn you, her report contains graphic images.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A complex mission that achieved its objectives, according to Israel, extensive

airpower, hundreds of personnel, weeks of intelligence gathering, and training to rescue four Israeli hostages held by Hamas in two residential

buildings in central Gaza.

This, the moment IDF headquarters learned the hostages have been rescued.

For those on the ground, it was the deadliest day in six months, according to Gaza officials, capturing the moment of impact of Israeli airstrikes.

Sustained gunfire followed, the IDF says there were fierce gun battles with Hamas's fighters throughout the operation, but did not provide evidence of

this claim.

Then, a constant stream of dead and injured arrive at two nearby hospitals. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital overwhelmed by the sheer number of trauma

cases. The breakdown of fighters versus civilians is unknown. But women and children are seen in every corner of this hospital.

Gaza officials and hospital directors, say more than 270 were killed, hundreds more injured, sparking cries of a massacre from some countries,

including the E.U.'s top diplomat.

Israel claims less than 100 died, blaming Hamas for the shockingly high death toll. CNN cannot independently verify either side's, figures.

LT. COL. PETER LERNER, SPOKESPERSON, ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES: Hamas intentionally puts the hostages in houses of civilians with the house

owners in the same houses at the same time.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): As families of those rescued celebrate, calls for a ceasefire and hostage deal become louder. Even families of those rescued

Saturday are not calling for more of these missions.

MEIR: There are still 120 hostages in Gaza, and we want a deal now.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Seven living hostages rescued in three missions in the past eight months, compared to more than 100 released during a one-week

ceasefire last November. The United States and others say a hostage deal is the only solution.

JAKE SULLIVAN, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The best way to get all of the hostages' home and to protect Palestinian civilians is to end

this war. And the best way to end this war, is for Hamas to say yes to the deal President Biden announced and that Israel has accepted.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): As residents deal with the devastation left behind in Nuseirat, survivors struggle to understand what happened.

I am 60 years old, this man says, and have never experienced anything like this. A barrage of heavy gunfire, artillery, missiles, rockets. It was

something unimaginable to the human mind.


ANDERSON: Paula Hancocks, joining me now from Tel Aviv. And Paula, what more are we learning about where the hostages had been kept for the past

eight months?

HANCOCKS: Well, Becky, we're having more information given to us by the military itself. They say that they were held in two separate buildings.

So, the three men were in one building, and the woman was in a separate building about 200 meters away. They say they were civilian buildings,

multi-story residential buildings.

And we also understand from an eyewitness on the ground when this mission took place, that they believe that the Israeli military were wearing Hamas

fighter uniforms. They had disguised themselves to be able to come in undercover in the light of day.

This was an unusual daytime operation. Now, the Israeli military is not commenting on that at this point. But we know they have used disguise as a

tactic in the past.

So, there were two separate locations that these hostages were being held in. We saw from the devastation that was left after this mission just how

significant the arsenal used on this.

There were hundreds of personnel used on the Israeli side. We know that there were Apache helicopters, we have images of the airstrikes on

buildings nearby as well, and significant firefight. So, it wasn't unusual mission, and the fact that it was in daylight, usually these missions would be done were under the cover of darkness. But,

of course, questions are being asked now as to why such a massive death toll after this particular mission. Becky?

ANDERSON: Paula is in Tel Aviv for you and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has just landed there. He has been in Egypt He is now in Israel on

the ground and we are just seeing the pictures of his plane, which is on the tarmac there in Tel Aviv.

We're just awaiting the image of the secretary of state coming out of that plane. He is there to try and push forward talks in a Gaza ceasefire and

the release of hostages.

But as CNN's Stephen Collinson writes, "President Joe Biden's power to engineer a swift abatement of the war between Israel and Hamas just

suffered two serious new blows."

Fallout from this weekend's deadly hostage rescue operation, and the resignation of Benny Gantz from Israel's war Cabinet could make diplomatic

talks more difficult for Biden's administration.

CNN's Stephen Collinson, joining us now from Washington. And to that last point, of course, Benny Gantz, has been calling on Netanyahu to come up

with a plan on the hostages, on a ceasefire, and get to a plan on the day after, as it were. But he answers now resigned from that war Cabinet.

You got Benjamin Netanyahu's absolutely determined that this will be total victory, in his words, over Hama. That he will rescue the hostages, and

that the military and political infrastructure for Hamas will be completely destroyed.

So, I just guess we should step back at this point, and just get a sense of why this hostage rescue over the weekend really complicates things for Mr.

Biden this week.



The -- Blinken, who's just arrived, as you see in the Middle East is saying that this hostage rescue and the aftermath shows that the only way forward

is a ceasefire deal, that would eventually lead to some kind of settlement that would end the war, it may be more difficult to reach because of the

political developments in Israel, which could leave Prime Minister Netanyahu even more reliant on the far-right to members of his coalition,

who wants an even more robust operation in Gaza.

And because it could narrow the bandwidth for some of those Arab states that have been involved that the U.S. is trying to get to broker and to

lean on Hamas. It's more difficult for them politically.

Then, you have the situation in the United States, President Biden is in a very vulnerable position with his re-election, scenes of more civilian

carnage and Gaza will further strange him from members of the progressive part of the Democratic Party, which is very critical in many key states to

his re-election.

So, what President Biden needs for humanitarian, diplomatic and political reasons is this for this war to end soon, it looks like we're going to go

through a long grinding conflict in Gaza that could well go all the way up to his reelection effort in November, and that's a very tough position for

the president to be in.

ANDERSON: Absolutely. It's 5:40 in Tel Aviv, and that is where we see the Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He has just landed in Tel Aviv. He's

been in Egypt, and to your point about how this rescue -- this rescue and the deadly aftermath of this rescue will possibly detrimentally affect

these hostage negotiations. I think it's important to point out Stephen that from Egyptian officials, we heard today that what happened over the

weekend, in their words, could have -- will likely have a negative effect on those negotiations towards mediation efforts, call you what -- call them

what you will. And it's very likely that, that has been the message that the secretary of state has had, as he makes this what is an eighth trip now

through the Middle East. And I don't think that is lost on anybody.

In eight times in over eight months, still trying to effort, at least, in principle, a short-term temporary ceasefire with a view to something longer

at the back end of this.

In Washington. Can you just give me a sense before I let you go of the sort of atmosphere around this, around the Biden administration. You speak about

this election being now five months or so off. Just reminders how this is landing domestically for Biden and his administration?

COLLINSON: Well, we're in a situation now of the election that is so close, there are signs of great strength for Donald Trump, I think, in the West.

We could be looking at election where Biden needs to win Philadelphia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Plus, one electoral district in Nebraska to get to

the 270 electoral votes, he needs to be present.

There are thousands of Arab American voters in Michigan, for example, who have already registered a protest against Biden, voting against him in the

Democratic primary.

There are a lot of progressive voters who have been appalled by the scenes from Gaza in Wisconsin. Biden won Wisconsin by 20,000 votes last time. He

won Michigan by about 150,000. It doesn't take many votes to shift for many people not to show up for Biden, for him to be in trouble in an election in

which he's already losing to Trump on key issues like immigration and the economy.

Foreign policy doesn't generally decide U.S. presidential elections, but any hemorrhaging of Biden's vote at the margins makes this very difficult.

We have open revolt from many on the left against the president, progressive members standing up and criticizing him over his Israel policy.

We could see protests at the Democratic National Convention in August that could play into Trump's contention that cities are sort of tumbling out of

control in terms of law and order. So, this is an exceedingly difficult effort.

Then, we have on the right, the Republicans are trying to stoke this as much as they can to keep Biden between the left and the right, if you like.

Netanyahu is coming here, principally at the invitation of Republican members of Congress to address Congress in July. That is going to

exacerbate all this. So, the president is in a very, very vulnerable political position over this.

He really needs it to end very soon and there is no prospect of that, I don't think.

ANDERSON: Good to have you, Steven. Thank you.


Stephen Collinson in the house for us, folks.

Still to come, President Joe Biden's son back in federal court for his gun trial, which could soon be in the hands of the jury. A live report from

outside that courthouse is up next.


President Joe Biden's son is back in federal court this hour for week two of his gun trial. A short time ago, the defense team indicated that Hunter

Biden will not testify in his own defense, and that means closing arguments could get underway very soon.

CNN's senior U.S. justice correspondent Evan Perez is outside the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware. Evan.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, just a few minutes ago, the defense rested their case. And so, what we now have is the

prosecution has called a rebuttal witness who is an FBI agent. She is been the one that they use, to sort of introduce a lot of the evidence --

mountains really of evidence that they have against Hunter Biden. Again, he is facing three charges. Two for lying -- allegedly lying on the form that

he filled out when he was getting a background check in order to buy the gun back in October of 2018. The third charge is for possessing that gun

while he was addicted to drugs.

According to the prosecutors, they believe there is plenty of evidence showing that he was using drugs from -- using crack cocaine from 2015 to

2019. The defense is pushing for the jury to be told that he didn't knowingly violate the law.

And so, that's what we expect now to begin happening sometime perhaps later this morning. Or certainly, by early afternoon, we might be able to hear

some of the closing arguments from both sides before the jury gets to get the case. And we'll see how long that takes.

Again, for the -- from the point of the defense, they believe that the prosecution has not proved that Hunter Biden was using drugs in the month

of October of 2018. There is circumstantial evidence that shows around that time he was, but they don't -- there was nothing definitive from the case

so far.

So, now, we'll see whether the jury buys the argument that the defense is putting forth that the prosecution fell short of the standard that is

required. Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you, Evan.

Well, the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee is set to meet later today with a probation officer. Donald Trump required to take part

virtually in a pre-sentencing interview after he was, of course, convicted last month on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Now, this

will form part of the report that the probation department will submit to Judge Juan Merchan ahead of Trump's sentencing on July the 11th.


Well, for regular defendants in the pre-sentencing interview, and it can be a factor in deciding whether there will be prison time. But Trump, of

course, not a regular defendant. We'll have to wait and see what the judge decides on that one. And we will be back after this short break. Stay with



ANDERSON: Well, tech watches say Apple is on the verge of kicking off what may be its most important event in years, in an effort to reinvigorate

iPhone sales, also, it is expected to announce a partnership with the creator of ChatGPT-OpenAI. And the idea is it will unveil its first

generative A.I. tools for iPhones. This is all expected in the coming hours at Apple's annual worldwide developer conference. The rest of the tech

world has really gone full steam ahead of course on A.I.

Well, that's your tech news. For your sports news, there is no chance of a medal at the Paris Olympics for a WNBA rookie Caitlin Clark this year. But

she is apparently taking it in a stride.

The University of Iowa and Indiana fever star didn't make the roster for the U.S. women's team. But Clark says there are plenty more chances to



CAITLIN CLARK, GUARD, INDIANA FEVER: Honestly, no disappointment. Like, I think it just gives you something to work for. You know, that's a dream.

You know, hopefully one day I can be there. And I think it's just a little more motivation. You remember that? And, you know, hopefully in four years,

and four years comes back around, you know, I can be there.

I'm going to be reading them on to win gold. I was a kid that grew up watching the Olympics. So, yes, it will be -- it will be fun to watch them.


ANDERSON: Well, you only have to imagine what -- how good she will be if she needs. If she works on a little bit more motivation, right? The U.S.

women have won gold at Seventh Street Olympic Games going back to 1996. They will play their first game in Paris on July the 29th.

And there is a new king of clay. Carlos Alcaraz of Spain won his first French Open title on Sunday. He beat Alexander as very, in five sets to

claim his third Grand Slam victory overall.

At age 21, Alcaraz is now the youngest man to win a Grand Slam title on every surface. He won the U.S. Open in 2022. And, of course, last year, he

won at Wimbledon. He is the youngest man to win the French Open since Rafael Nadal in 2007. Good on him.

Well, tonight, for our "PARTING SHOTS", visit to the so-called ghost villages of China. rapid urbanization has pushed more and more people into

Chinese cities and left some towns in a state of abandonment. Marc Stewart with a story.


MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In parts of rural China, time stands still.

STEWART: We're on a road trip to show you what's known as a ghost village.

We are technically still in Beijing, about, 40 miles from the city center, and we came here to show how people have moved over time. This was once a

thriving village. Now, it's almost abandoned.


STEWART (voice-over): Houses in the village are overgrown with weeds. In this home, reminders children were once here. Artwork and school

certificates hang on the wall. Shoes lay on the ground.

STEWART: We don't know exactly what this once was, but it's clearly locked up. The windows are broken. No one has been here for a while.

STEWART (voice-over): To give you some context, in the 1980s, only about 20 percent of Chinese families lived in cities. Now, that number is closer to

70 percent. This village reflects that transition.

STEWART: This shift isn't without side effects, as young people move to cities for better opportunities and jobs, in some cases, they are leaving

parents, even children, behind.

Urbanization on such a massive scale has drastically changed the economic and social landscape across rural China.

What's happening here isn't that much of a surprise. Modernization has been a big part of the Chinese government's blueprint for the future. An effort

to keep up with the strength of the West.

So, we're seeing this movement from farm to factory and now beyond.


ANDERSON: That's it for this show, at least. CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson. Stay with CNN, and "NEWSROOM" with Rachel Solomon is up