Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Antony Blinken Puts Off Trip to China Amid Spy Balloon Incident; EU Leaders Attend Summit with Zelenskyy in Kyiv; Israel: Palestinian who Attempted to Attack Soldiers Shot; One Family's Terrifying Ordeal During Jenin Military Raid. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired February 03, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

puts off his trip to Beijing after a Chinese spy balloon is spotted flying over the United States. Then the EU promises more aid to Ukraine but

stopped short of fast-tracking membership to the bloc.

I'll speak with one of the EU officials who was at those meetings in Kyiv. Plus, an Italian mafia boss disguised as a pizza chef is arrested in

France. We'll have all the details on his double life. But first, this evening, we start in the United States because the U.S. Secretary of

State's visit to China is now postponed due to a strange development in the skies.

The trip was meant to smooth over tense relations between Washington and Beijing. But a mysterious Chinese balloon that's floating over the U.S. is

having the opposite effect. Now, that is not the moon. That is a balloon. The Pentagon says it's actually a surveillance balloon able to maneuver and

it's currently heading east.

People in Montana shot the video you are seeing here. The state is home to an air force base where about 100 Intercontinental ballistic missiles are

located. I want to bring in CNN's Marc Stewart in Hong Kong and White House reporter Kevin Liptak. And Kevin, first to you, what are you learning about

Secretary Blinken's decision to postpone this trip? And is it a postponement, Kevin, or a cancellation here?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, right now, they say that it's a postponement, and that the secretary will travel to China when the

conditions are right. But what they haven't said is what would constitute the right conditions, given what this has done to U.S.-China relations.

And really, they announced this postponement only hours before Secretary Blinken was set to get on his plane and fly to Beijing. He made that

decision in conjunction, of course, with President Biden, who agreed that now is just not the right time for Secretary Blinken to go to China for

these high stakes talks.

And what U.S. officials said is that they fear that this balloon would come to dominate the conversations there, essentially, that it would be the only

thing for Blinken to talk about with his Chinese counterparts. Now, this morning, Secretary Blinken did speak with his counterpart in China to

inform him of his decision that he would be postponing this trip.

And they haven't necessarily set a new date for when he will go. U.S. officials had been viewing this trip as kind of the culmination of what had

been increased discussions between American and Chinese officials. Now that is off, it sort of remains to be seen when those discussions will resume

again. Isa.

SOARES: So Marc, what has been the reaction so far then, from Beijing to Blinken's postponed trip here? And just explain the reasoning as well

behind this balloon that we're looking at, really, flying over the U.S. in the first place. What are -- what are you hearing from Beijing?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, it is just after 3:00 in the morning right now in Beijing. And we have not received any kind of official

response from the Chinese central government about this postponement of the trip. But what I can tell you is that in the hours leading up to that

decision, we heard very guarded statements from Beijing, very diplomatic statements from Beijing as to what happened.

And then, in an acknowledgment, a statement saying something to the effect that what happened was a mistake. This was a balloon, a weather balloon on

a fact-finding mission, and somehow it veered off course because of circumstances out of China's control. What is very telling though in the

statement, and I'm going to point to a specific line, Isa, "the Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace."

The use of the word "regret". The acknowledgment that a mistake was made. Some contrition. That is very unusual to hear from the Chinese government,

especially in a diplomatic discussion. I'm pointing that out because It's perhaps a signal that China realized that there is a lot of fragility

involved, and that perhaps, it could impact this upcoming visit. And as we have seen, it certainly has.

SOARES: Indeed, and Kevin, to you then, what happens now? I mean, the balloon is still flying, we don't know its exact position, other that, it's

veering going east.


LIPTAK: Right.

SOARES: Is President Biden under pressure here to shoot it down? Give us a feel of the political pressure at the moment for Biden on this.

LIPTAK: Yes, certainly, President Biden is coming under pressure, particularly from Republicans in the American Congress to take more steps

to take this balloon down. And what the Pentagon says is that that would pose a risk to people who are on the ground. The debris from this balloon

could potentially damage lives or damage property.

And so, you have these two sides. But certainly, President Biden is sensitive to that sort of criticism that he is potentially weak on China.

What the U.S. and China have been doing over the last several months is trying to resume these channels of communication that had broken down

following this trip over the Summer by the American House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

That had really ruptured relations, and after President Biden met with Xi Jinping in Bali in November, the two sides had really come back to the

table and started talking. That had been a good sign to White House officials that this relationship, the most important bilateral relationship

in the entire world was on the right track at least, at this moment of tension.

What this does now is sort of put everything back in some ways to square one, as they try and --

SOARES: Yes --

LIPTAK: Figure out what the next step will be. The White House did just say that they have taken steps that will ensure that this balloon isn't able to

collect certain types of information. They didn't expand on that. But they are trying to show that they are taking this seriously, and certainly, the

cancellation of Secretary Blinken's trip is part of that effort. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and we just heard in the last few minutes that President Joe Biden will continue to be briefed on the Chinese surveillance balloon that

is hovering over U.S. as it moves eastward in the coming days. Gentlemen, thank you very much, Kevin Liptak and Marc Stewart for us there, in the

very early hours there of Hong Kong, appreciate it, thank you.

Well, let's take a closer look at this balloon and how it can be used for reconnaissance here. CNN military analyst Cedric Leighton is in Washington,

he joins us now. Cedric, great to have you on the show. So, the balloon, from what we understand, is still moving over the U.S. Has it limited --

from what I understand, limited Intelligence-gathering capabilities compared to satellites, that is. So what risks does this balloon actually


CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: So, Isa, the risk that it poses is, you think, this is really a mini satellite that is going much closer to the

earth's surface than you would normally have a satellite traverse the area with. And so, what it can do is, it can potentially take some very good

images of particular areas, say for example, the Chinese are interested in Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Which was one of the bases that they are reportedly -- they've reportedly overflown in Montana. They could take some really good pictures of the

runway from a balloon at 60,000 feet, especially given high resolution cameras. The other thing that this balloon could potentially have on board

is a singles intelligence collection capability.

That could include the ability to collect cellphones, conversations on cellphones, data being transmitted on cellphones. It could also indicate

the ability of the -- of a particular sensor suite, it could have the ability to collect data in the UHF-VHF frequency ranges. Which would mean

radio transmissions, such as the types of radio transmissions that would occur on a military base, with the transmissions that would occur for

police vehicles. Those kinds of things.

So it could be a very robust intelligence collecting source. If they have the sensor capability and the ability to store that information and then

transmit that information to analytical place in China where they could look at it.

SOARES: So, given everything you just laid out for us, Cedric, then what should be the next move from the U.S. government here?What should President

Biden be doing or considering at this stage?

LEIGHTON: Well, I think he's got several options that he needs to look at, Isa. One of them, of course, is kind of a standard approach that has been

used all the way since the cold war days or, you know, from that period. Where when a satellite, a Soviet satellite would cross a particular area,

there were instructions that went out, that tooled the military in the path of that satellite to conceal certain activities.

So that's where you limit your radio transmissions to completely not unimportant traffic, you make sure that, you know, certain things that you

don't -- and we just see -- yet, you can -- you can actually use those then in that case.

SOARES: But bringing it down, is that something that he ought to consider as some are suggesting from the Republican Party?


LEIGHTON: Yes, I think that's a dangerous thing, Isa, because what -- it depends on where they can do that. What you really want to do is, you want

to capture something like this intact so that you can actually see what its capabilities really are.

SOARES: Yes --

LEIGHTON: And you know, right now, we're speculating a lot of what those capabilities are. But the actual devices, the actual sensors, that would be

the best thing. So, if you shoot it down, you risk destroying those sensors and then not being able to really ascertain what it could do.

SOARES: Important analysis there from Cedric Leighton, Cedric, always great to have you on the show, appreciate it. Thank you. Well, the European Union

is promising nearly $500 billion in new aid to Ukraine and pushing -- and punishing new sanctions on Russia. But it is not offering a fast-track for

Ukraine's EU membership.

Hours ago, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hosted a summit with EU leaders, as you can see there in Kyiv. The European Commission president

praised Mr. Zelenskyy's efforts to root out corruption as well as root out corruption as well as implement reforms. She says Ukraine still has to

reach certain goals before it can join the bloc.

The EU promised unity and resolve with Kyiv, with air-raid sirens blaring in the background with fierce fighting as well underway in Bakhmut. And

with stepped up Russian missile attacks on cities right across Ukraine, we'll have more on the developments on the ground a bit later. CNN's Scott

McLean now has been following the EU meeting in Kyiv and has this report from London.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, delegates at the first Ukraine-EU Summit since the full-scale invasion began were welcomed to Kyiv by air-

raid sirens that blared across the city. The summit itself came with new commitments from Europe, around a half a billion dollars in new assistance,

new money to help de-mine recaptured areas.

Promises to train thousands more Ukrainian troops and even millions of energy-saving light bulbs to cut down on energy use amid Russian attacks on

the grid. What Ukraine was hoping for though, was some kind of a signal though, that their EU membership bid might be fast-tracked.

President Zelenskyy says that his country deserves to start negotiations on that this year. But Ukraine's potential membership comes with conditions.

One of the biggest is cracking down on corruption. The weeks leading up to the summit were filled with anti-corruption raids and investigations.

And today, police announced charges against the heads of two companies accused of defrauding the Defense Ministry out of more than $3 million.

Scott McLean, CNN, London.


SOARES: Well, let's get the EU perspective now. Maros Sefcovic is the European Commission Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations and

Foresight, and he joins me now from Brussels. Mr. Sefcovic, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. As we were telling our audience

just now, you have recently returned from Ukraine.

As we see the attacks here on a daily basis almost, escalating on the ground, frequent, more brutal. Give us your assessment first of all of

where we are right now.


your program, thanks for that invitation indeed to just come back from Kyiv. And I was a frequent visitor to this beautiful city before the war

started. So I really enjoy the big boulevards greenery.

And I will say this very nice atmosphere over truly European -- when you visit Kyiv right now, so, you immediately see that this is a city under

stress. The sirens could go anytime as they did this morning. There is a very solid security precautions, have to be respected all the time.

But what you have to admire is this calm resilience, determination and courage of the Ukrainian people and the government, who are trying every

day just to make sure that they would go about their lives as much as before the war. For me, what was really impressive was the fact that you

have atrocious war going all over Ukraine and especially in the eastern part.

But still, the whole Ukrainian government spent the whole day with us. European Commissioners just discussed what more we can do for Ukraine, is

how we can prepare them for membership. And how to really charge our joint future history together.

SOARES: Let's talk about the plan for membership, because President Zelenskyy, as we have heard before, and we heard particularly today, has

been asking for a fast-track membership to EU. And he wants negotiations, from what I understand to start this year. How confident are you that, that

can happen?

SEFCOVIC: I have to say that we have seen -- we have seen enormous progress since the war started. And our support for Ukraine was rock-solid from day

one. And our main message is that we are with you and on your side as long as it takes. And as you rightly pointed out so far, 50 billion euros have

been pledged for the support of Ukraine, be it military personnel and different -- I would say technical and humanitarian support.


And yesterday, we focused quite some time on making sure that we will prepare Ukraine well for the future membership. I can tell you that there

was one very clear message coming from President Zelenskyy and from Prime Minister Shmyhal that, we do not want any shortcuts. We want to be well --

SOARES: Yes --

SEFCOVIC: Prepared. Please make sure that we will be well prepared for the membership. And this is what we discussed yesterday.

SOARES: Let's talk about that, because clearly, like you said, you do not want any shortcuts. What we have been seeing with our team on the grounds,

have been reporting in recent weeks are a series of corruption raids that we've seen in Ukraine. So I assume that rooting out corruption is one of

the EU's goals. What else needs to be done for progress on membership here?

SEFCOVIC: Of course, the accession talks is very important effort. You have to take over a very vast European law. You have to prepare your economy to

be performing on one of the most competitive and biggest single markets in the world. You have to align your trade policies, your tariff policies and

so on and so forth.

And of course, tackling the corruption is one of the key demands. And therefore, I have to say that all of us have been very much impressed by

the recent steps that despite the war, the President Zelenskyy and the prime minister took such very clear steps in rooting out the corruption

despite all the difficulties Ukraine go through.

So we feel that their commitment, their effort is really genuine, and that we have to help them in that regard, but also to prepare them from the

perspective of joining our single market as quickly as possible. I was yesterday proposing to increase our electricity trading with Ukraine. We

believe that Ukraine can become the critical minerals, critical raw materials superpower because they have everything, what we need in Europe

to build our future.

Technologies -- and I also invited Ukrainians, for example, to join our joint purchasing of gas platform, wich we also want to bring to the United

States, because I believe that this is what we need to do together, to use the European might and wit to get a better price for gas, and share the

results of this joint purchasing also with our Ukrainian friends.

SOARES: And Europe together with other allies have also been pledging from what we've seen in the last several weeks, pledging tanks to Ukraine. But

now, what we are hearing is that Ukraine as it prepares for their Spring offensive that you no doubt have heard a lot about. They're calling for

fighter jets, long-range missiles. Where does Europe stand on both of these requests, sir?

SEFCOVIC: As I said, we've been rock-solid supporters of Ukraine from day one. So part of our system is that we will train this year, 30,000

Ukrainian soldiers, and to prepare them really to man such a complex machines like the tanks. We've been supporting also with EU budget, this I

would say military hardware.

And of course, we are very supportive of the decision of all of countries who want to help Ukraine also by providing them with the tanks, with the

longer missiles. But if it comes to this, of course, heavy automatic system, they have to respect that in the end, this is the decision of these

countries who are providing this equipment.

SOARES: So let me ask you this, the Polish prime minister has been quoted as saying that he is open to sending fighter jets to Ukraine. Do you think

that there will be enough support for fighter jets?

SEFCOVIC: I think that this is always the complex discussions, and usually it takes time. What was, I think very important argument made yesterday by

President Zelenskyy, well, is that he is ready to reassure any leader in the world that they want to have this very strong military hardware for

defending the country.

They do not want to make attacks in Russia. But they need them to defend the country. And therefore, I think that discussion will continue. I mean,

it's very -- it wouldn't be unwise to preempt it, because this has to take its course. It has to be well thought and discussed with the countries who

have the ability to supply these types of armaments.

But as we have seen in the past, these discussions are ongoing, and the support of the western democracies for Ukraine is very strong, and it will

continue, I'm sure until Ukraine will be able to liberate the country.

SOARES: Mr. Sefcovic, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, sir. Thank you.

SEFCOVIC: Thank you very much for the invitation.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, dangerous conditions in the U.S. as the northeast faces an Arctic blast. We'll head to Boston for the latest. That

is next. Plus, one of Italy's most wanted man was finally caught after working incognito as a pizza chef. We have the details and the arrest next.



SOARES: This story is something out of a movie. A reputed Italian mob boss on the run was hiding in plain sight as a pizza chef. After 16 years, 60-

year-old Edgargo Greco has been captured in France. He had adopted a new identity and was even featured in a local paper as quote, "an authentic

Italian pizza maker."

In reality, authorities say he was a hit-man for one of the most powerful Italian criminal networks. Greco was wanted for the killing of two brothers

from a rival gang back in the 1990s. It's the second big mafia arrest this year after Matteo Messina Denaro was picked up in Sicily, if you remember,

last month.

Let's go to Barbie Nadeau who is in Rome with more on this arrest. And Barbie, I mean, what a story. How did they capture him? How much did ego

play a part here, Barbie?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Ego played a huge role in --

SOARES: Yes --

NADEAU: His demise, let's say. You know, they were really honing in on him since about 2019, Isa. But he was a prolific social media poster. He had,

you know, created this sort of alter ego. We took a closer look at the arrest.


NADEAU (voice-over): His name is Edgardo Greco, a hit-man from the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mafia caught after 16 years evading Italian justice.

Despite being on Italy and INTERPOL wanted list for allegedly killing two brothers with iron bars and dissolving their bodies in acid, he was living

under an alias and working as a pizza maker in France.

He was even featured in a local newspaper and posted selfies on social media. His ego leading to his downfall. Greco's arrest follows that of

mafia super boss, Matteo Messina Denaro last month after 30 years in hiding. Authorities have uncovered hideouts decorated with mafia movie

posters and luxury items.

Journalist and author Roberto Saviano has been living under police protection since his book, "Gomorrah", about the mafia was published in

2006. He tells us that it's normal for these bosses undercover to still want attention.

ROBERTO SAVIANO, JOURNALIST & AUTHOR (through translator): Look at El Chapo when he was working. He wanted to meet Sean Penn who he wanted to make a

movie about him, Al Capone wanted to go to the movie set of "Scarface".


NADEAU: But despite these high-profile arrests, there are still dangerous mafiosi in hiding. This man, Giovanni Motisi has been convicted of murder

in mafia association in Sicily. He's been on the run since 1998. Renato Cinquegranella of the neopolitan Camorra has been on the run since 2002

after being convicted of murder, weapons charges and extortion. .

Italy's anti-mafia squads say they're working around the clock to find those still in hiding. And to make sure those recently convicted of mafia

crimes don't get a chance to get away.


NADEAU: And you know, when you look at that, you know, there are still these dangerous people out there. And the Italian authorities tell us that

they are focused on them now, and that just because they've got one or two behind bars, it's really the focus to get everyone, and to stop anyone from

getting away next time. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and I best -- and I bet the (INAUDIBLE) are celebrating really. They've had two arrests in several weeks or so, several months. How

much has social media here played a part? What are they telling you?

NADEAU: Well, you know, these are -- you know, the guy that was just arrested in France was posting on social media about what a great pizza

chef he was. You know, when you talk to these anti-mafia investigators, obviously, they're not going to give away all the secrets of how they're

finding these people, but they do comb social media.

They do try to follow the connections of people who they know are protecting them. They make a lot of arrests around the protective network.

They try to, you know, sequester assets and money and close bank accounts and all of that. But everything, you know, nothing happens in a vacuum

these days.

Everything is sort of out there. And so, say you've got someone helping protect a mafia boss who is posting on social media, that may just get the

big guy in trouble too, and police here are looking and not leaving any stone unturned. Isa.

SOARES: Clearly, and for many years. Barbie Nadeau, great to see you, appreciate it. Thank you. Now, the big chill is on in the U.S. northeast

where tens of millions of Americans are facing the coldest temperatures in years. The National Weather Service is even calling it a generational event

in the state of Maine.

Dangerous wind chills as cold as minus 50 Celsius is set to blast the northeast with more than 50 million people under windchill warnings or

advisories through Saturday. These extreme conditions can cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. Let's go to Boston, Massachusetts now where

Athena Jones is braving the chilly temperatures.

And Athena, we're not going to keep you for too long. Just talk us through how everyone is preparing for this bitterly cold blast.

ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Isa, well, as you mentioned, this is a big show. The temperatures have been dropping steadily all day. In a couple

of hours, we are going to be in the single digits Fahrenheit. I can tell you right now in terms of Celsius, it is negative 10 degrees Celsius with

the windchill or the feels like temperatures negative 21 Celsius.

So very cold. And this is why the city of Boston, the mayor of Boston Michelle Wu, has declared a cold weather emergency. Boston public schools

have been closed today to keep the children from having to commute, walk to the bus stand, the bus stop, that sort of thing.

There are warming centers open all over the city, either for people who don't have a home to go to or for those who may lose power. Those

temperatures I just told you, that's the real temperature and the windchill temperature. It's the windchill temperature that is going to be so

dangerous as we get into the overnight and early morning hours much colder.

The kind of temperatures that could give -- that can give you frostbite in just a matter of minutes or even hypothermia which could be of course

deadly. And so, that is why these precautions are being taken. I can tell you that I have on multiple layers, eight layers on top, four others on

bottom 3 hats.

This is the advice that folks here are giving people. Stay inside of course, if you can.

SOARES: Yes --

JONES: If you must go outside, bundle up and make sure you check on your neighbors, bring your pets inside. And when it comes to your pipes, make

sure they don't freeze. Here, they're saying that people should open their faucets and let a little bit of water drip through. So a lot of

preparations for what could be a historic record-setting cold here. Isa.

SOARES: Very good advice. Athena Jones, you stay warm there. Thanks very much, Athena. And still to come, Israel says it's standard procedure, U.N.

officials say it breaches international law. CNN speaks with the Palestinian whose home was used for cover by Israeli forces during a deadly

operation in Jenin.

And we'll take you to Bassaden(ph), Kramatorsk, in Ukraine. A city that suddenly again finds itself the target of the Russians. Both of those

stories after this short break. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. The Palestinian health ministry says Israeli troops shot and killed a man in the West Bank today. Israel says

the attempted -- he says the attempt upon me to attack soldiers at a military outpost near Nablus. The region is experiencing the worst violence

between Israelis and Palestinians in years. A terror attack last week in Jerusalem killed seven people or just a day after the deadly Israeli

military operation in the West Bank. Ten Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp were killed, both gunmen and civilians.

Our Nic Robertson visited Jenin and met a family who got terrifyingly close to that military operation. He joins me now from Jerusalem. And Nic, before

you tell us what you saw in Jenin, just give us a sense of where we are right now in the region because 48 -- we're about 48 hours or so since

Secretary Blinken's departure. Where are we on the diplomatic front to try to at least put an end to the cycle of violence?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, part of the diplomacy has shifted to Paris because the Prime Minister, Netanyahu,

visited there with President Emmanuel Macron. And the message there has been very much one of trying to establish peace and Macron telling

Netanyahu not to sort of, you know, lean towards colonization, was what he called it. Blinken came and it's not clear what he's been able to do

diplomatically. But in terms of the spike in violence, it has subsided the shooting of that 26-year-old Palestinian this evening as he approached some

IDF soldiers trying to attack one of them, according to the Israeli Defense Forces.

His death, that's the 36th of a Palestinian so far this year is sort of the first uptick since Secretary Blinken was here. But by and large, the

tensions have eased, but they're by no means gone. And that was something that we really found when we went to Jenin and talked to the family there

who experienced this raid, that there really is this sense of foreboding about what comes next.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): So the soldiers came onto the roof of your house here. From the roof of his Jenin apartment, Muhammad Abu Al Hajah (ph),

shows me where Israeli troops fought a three-hour battle with Palestinian gunmen just a few feet away.


ROBERTSON: So the whole house here was surrounded by Israeli troops.

It was Thursday last week the Raid killed ten people, seven of them Palestinian gunman, one of the deadliest such West Bank operations in

years. Muhammad thought he and his family might die, too, because Israeli troops took over his apartment to fight the gunman. He shows where he says

two soldiers shot from his window.

And you can see all the bullet holes along the along the wall there. They've spent bullet casings he says, testimony to the ferocity of the

firefight. He says the soldiers tied his hands behind his back, ordered him and his wife to get on the floor, cover their two daughters' ears.

ROBERTSON: This is one of the bullets that came into your room right here.

The gunman began firing back at the Israeli soldiers, hitting the wall and the door while he, his wife, and his 2-year-old and 1-year-old daughters

lay terrified on the floor. He thinks at least one soldier was hit.

ROBERTSON: So they cut this out here?


ROBERTSON: And there, they're looking right over the house. This is the house to target.

(voice-over): In his bedroom, he shows where he says the soldiers cut the bars off his window.

(on camera) And they fired the rocket from here and that's the blast back here.

(voice-over): "The whole place shook," he says. "There were three rockets. It was so loud we were terrified."

(on camera): The Israeli military say it was an urgent mission that when they arrived here, their troops came under heavy fire, that they returned

fire. They say the suspects barricaded themselves in the house here. So, they fired a shoulder launch anti-tank missile at them.

(voice-over): The buildings so damaged, local officials had it bulldozed. Using apartments like Muhammad's to give covering fire is standard

operating procedure, an Israeli military spokesman told CNN, so that the action can be more precise. U.N. officials say the incident breaches

international law.

In the ground floor apartment beneath Muhammad's, Ziad (ph) says he saw the firefight. Saw an Israeli soldier hide behind his car, shoot one of the

gunmen. "This is the worst I've seen it, much worse than the 2002 raids," he says, "there are lots more gunmen on the streets now." It's a younger

generation. They were born into it.

Upstairs, Muhammad's is close to tears when I ask him how safe he feels. "We're not safe. Not safe for a moment after what happened," he says. "If

they had killed me, no one would hold them accountable. You have to be very cautious."

Despite the battle scars, it might look as if some kind of normality is returning. But in people's hearts here, there is fear. The worst is yet to



ROBERTSON: And there's a real sense on the streets as well we found that you people were just really shocked by the scale of what happened. So, it

leaves them wondering, well, can that happen again? And like Ziad, many people in the city there are very well aware that there are a lot more

young Palestinians who are angry with the Israelis. And they know, therefore, that this sort of incident can happen again. So, this is a lot

of fear on the Palestinian's side and equally on the Israeli side, there's a huge amount of fear there about what may come out of Jenin. So, this is a

very tense situation. But for Muhammad and his family, utterly traumatizing.

SOARES: It's just incredible seeing those pictures there of bullets and having to live like that. But let me ask you this, because in the last 24

hours, Nic, the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were invited to Cairo for talks with Egypt. Do we know what has come out of that? I know you've

talked about Macron-Netanyahu trying to make a push there. But what is Egypt's role here and has anything come out of that meeting?

ROBERTSON: Well, historically, Egypt has had a role, particularly with Hamas, particularly in Gaza, increasingly because Islamic Jihad has risen

and become a strong force as well. Egypt has had a role to play there and, of course, Secretary Blinken did visit Cairo before he came here to

Jerusalem and to the West Bank.


And that's significant because he would have been, as U.S. diplomats have done in the past, enlisting Egypt's help to try to find to the West Bank.

And that's significant, because he would have been, as U.S. diplomats have done in the past, enlisting Egypt's help to try to find a way to resolve

the issue.

Look, the crux of one of Israel's concerns right now with the Palestinian Authority is that they've withdrawn their security cooperation with Israeli

forces, which means a Palestinian Authority is not telling Israelis what they know about Hamas and Islamic Jihad, or, you know, all this sort of

stuff happens behind the scenes. It's useful for the Palestinian Authority. It's very useful for the Israelis. And there's a sense within Israel, the

Palestinian Authority, while it's sort of calming tensions, and controlling guns, if you will, in Ramallah and places like that, in places like Nablus

where this young man was shot today, in places like Jenin, they're not able to control or they're not controlling the government.

So, whatever influence Egypt can bring to bear on groups like Hamas or Islamic Jihad, if there are some -- if there's some diplomatic traction

they can make, that's the way that it's happened here in the past, but I don't think anyone really thinks there's an easy solution at the moment.

Most people here assess that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are fermenting trouble in the West Bank so that they can unseat Palestinian Authority President

Mahmoud Abbas. He's not popular. So there's -- there are a lot of moving pieces in this. It is complicated, but that's an important part, a process

that could bear fruit.

SOARES: And we really appreciate that context, Nic. Nic Robertson for us there in Jerusalem. Thanks very much, Nic.

Now Russia is ramping up its deadly shelling and missile strikes around one city in eastern Ukraine this week. CNN's Fred Pleitgen and his team are on

the ground in that area. And as they were heading to the scene, when one strike, a second missile hit. Here's his report.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Two missile strikes on the city Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine.




PLEITGEN: Right at the location we were about to film. There were just two massive missile strikes right in our vicinity. You can see it's just a

couple of yards away from where we are. We're not exactly sure what kind of missiles it was. But this is a residential area. We're right in the middle

of town.

Photojournalist Matias Heng (ph) films the damage caused by the impact. Ukrainian authorities later said they believe the missiles were S-300s,

normally used to shoot down planes, devastating when launched at urban centers. As medics tended to the wounded, producer Tim Lister checks in

with our headquarters.


TIM LESTER, PRODUCER, CNN: Extremely loud detonations, really, really close. We're going to stay in shelter.


PLEITGEN: As we take cover, residents are clearly traumatized by the violence. "It is terrifying," Natalia tells me, "but what can we do?" The

strikes came as search and rescue efforts were ongoing in exactly the same neighborhood after a Russian missile leveled an apartment block on

Wednesday night, killing at least three and wounding eight.

The Russians seem to be bringing the cities of this region into their war regardless of the consequences. And Russian President Vladimir Putin is

saying there is worse to come. Putin spoke Thursday at events commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad where Soviet forces defeated Nazi, Germany, 80

years ago, openly threatening the U.S. and other countries supporting Ukraine.

"Clearly, they don't understand that modern war with Russia will be quite different for them," he said. "We won't send our tanks to their borders,

but we have the means to respond, and it won't be with the use of armored vehicles." Cities like Kramatorsk already know that the Kremlin is ready to

escalate its war on Ukraine. Largely quiet just weeks ago, they are now in the eye of the storm, as Russian forces seek to grind their way through


When the coast seemed clear, we left Kramatorsk.


PLEITGEN: We're going to get out of here as fast as possible just in case there is more missile strikes coming, but it's certainly seems to us as

though the Russians are making Kramatorsk a frontline in this war.


PLEITGEN: A grim prospect for the thousands of civilians here and in other towns in eastern Ukraine. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kramatorsk, Ukraine.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, Australian tennis star Nicholas Kyrgios has avoided jail time for assaulting his former girlfriend even though he

pleaded guilty. We'll tell you what happened in court next.




SOARES: Nick Kyrgios has apologized for the hurt he caused. He's avoided a criminal conviction, that is despite pleading guilty to insulting his

former girlfriend. The Australian tennis star has -- had wanted the assault charge removed on mental health grounds. But that was rejected by the

court. The 27-year-old tennis player admitted he shoved his ex-girlfriend after an argument in 2021. And the court dismissed the charges. I want to

bring in Patrick Snell, CNN Sport -- World Sport with more. Patrick, good to see you. So talk us through these charges then.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yes. Hi, Isa. Yes. Nick Kyrgios, one huge name from the world of tennis. He's one of the sport's biggest

personalities just to elaborate for our viewers as well why the player, just to remind really, I think on reflection known for his on court

outbursts at times over the years. There's no question about that. But no one doubts his supreme talent as well on the court of tennis.

But what went down on Friday in Australia's capital city is highly significant indeed. The 27-year-old Kyrgios appearing on crutches. He

recently had knee surgery, this at the magistrate's court in Canberra, the city, Australia's capital city, the city which he was born in fact, having

admitted to shoving his ex girlfriend, Chiara Passar. Now, this followed an argument, the court heard, outside her apartment just over two years ago on

January the 10th, 2021 to be exact per reports from CNN affiliate 9News.

Now, as you mentioned, Kyrgios's lawyers failing to get the charge dismissed on mental health grounds. What the magistrate Beth Campbell said

was significant. Beth Campbell hearing his guilty plea then dismissing the charge, accepting the seriousness of the matter was, "low level," meaning a

conviction was not recorded. She would add Kyrgios acting in what she called the heat of the moment, calling the incident a single act of


Now in an Instagram story, Kyrgios is ranked 20 in the world apologizing for the hurt he had caused and saying he was focusing on recovering from

that recent knee injury that forced him to pull out of last month's Aussie Open. So let's look at what exactly last year's Wimbledon finalist has been

saying, "I respect today's ruling, and I'm grateful to the court for dismissing the charges without conviction. I was not in a good place when

this took place and I reacted to a difficult situation. In a way, I deeply regret." Kyrgios adding, "mental health is tough. Life can seem

overwhelming, but I've found that getting help and working on myself has helped me to feel better and to be better." The words of Nick Kyrgios

there, Isa.

SOARES: Patrick Snell, appreciate it, my friend. Thank you. And still to come tonight, Pope Francis makes a dramatic gesture for peace in the

world's youngest country that's wrecked by fighting.


We'll explain why he felt it's so important to visit South Sudan.


SOARES: We want to bring you some good news out of Iran. One of the country's most influential filmmakers has just been temporarily released

from prison, his wife said on Instagram. She shared this image of Jafar Panahi shortly after he was freed. He's been serving a six-year sentence at

the notorious Evin Prison, charged with making anti-government propaganda.

Now Pope Francis is bringing his message of peace to the South Sudan -- to South Sudan. A war-torn country, he says, longs for an end to constant

violence. The pope met with the country's president after arriving in Juba earlier, after a visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo if you remember,

two countries mired in civil war and humanitarian crises. Larry Madowo takes a look at one of the Pope's visits to South Sudan.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not just historic that the Pope is in South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, it's also historic because of who

he's accompanied by. For the first time ever, the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Anglican

Church, are doing a foreign trip together. And they're also accompanied by the leader of the Church of Scotland. Why is this important? Because about

60 percent of the population in South Sudan identifies as Christian, and this country has been rocked by civil war for most of the last decade.

Since it gained independence in 2011, they had two years of peace and then forces allied to President Salva Kiir for those allied to Vice President

Riek Machar, and this country has been destabilized with so much conflict and pain. Above 100,000 people are believed to have died. About four

million people are displaced either in the country or beyond its borders and that is why the pope held a spiritual retreat for the country's

political and religious leaders back in 2019. And he had this incredible moment where he knelt and kissed their feet, imploring them to find a way

to work together, to give peace a chance.

And so, his visit to South Sudan is building on that work that he's been doing, he's been meaning to go to South Sudan for as long -- as much as

possible and this window finally came up. So with the other religious leaders, they hope to finally speak to these religious political leaders in

the country to find a way to implement the 2018 peace agreement so that finally South Sudan can live to its full potential. And if there's anybody

who can do it, maybe is this three religious leaders, Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.



SOARES: Now an unopened first-generation iPhone from 2007 is going in the auction block and it's expected to sell for some $50,000. The owner says

the phone was a gift but she never broke the seal. It is about half the size of its current iPhone Plus models and has a two-megapixel camera.

Another one just like it closed that auction for $39,000 back in October. Bidding is opening at $2,500 and it closes February 19th.

And finally, fashion designer Paco Rabanne has died at age 88. He rose to prominence, if you remember, in the '60s with his out of the world's

designs for space film Barbarella, setting a futuristic tone for the rest of his career. Rabanne advocated for women to embrace their power on as

well as off the runway. And it's this quote, really, that I want to share with you tonight. This is what he said, "The woman of tomorrow will be

efficacious, seductive, and without contest." This is the word "Superior to a man."

And that's that for us tonight. You can tell we are all female team here tonight. Don't tell the boys behind the camera. Thanks for watching. Do

stay right here. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in next. Have a wonderful weekend. I shall see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.