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Isa Soares Tonight
Thousands Of Civilians Flee Northern Gaza; Democrats And Abortion Rights Score Major Victories; Trump Ahead In Polls Against Biden In Key Battleground States; CNN Poll Shows Trump Narrowly Leading Biden In Rematch; U.N. Chief Says Gaza Deaths Show Something "Clearly Wrong" With Israeli Tactics Against Hamas; Egypt's Important But Complicated Role In Gaza Crisis; Going Green: Solar Desalination; Ukraine Ready To Start Process Of Joining E.U.; Coral On Great Barrier Reef Begins To Regenerate. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 08, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, thousands of people flee northern Gaza
as Israel says its forces are fighting in the heart of Gaza city. We have the very latest for you. And then U.S. state elections give Democrats a
glimmer of hope, but with Donald Trump ahead in the polls, where is America headed in 2024?
We'll break down the polls, and of course, the politics. We are, though, just over a month into the Israel-Hamas war, and as Israel says, it is now
in the heart of Gaza, we are hearing different versions of what post-war Gaza could look like.
Speaking today, the U.S. Secretary of State says occupation, either by Hamas or Israel is not on the cards, and that any new government must be
led by the Palestinian people. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: Gaza cannot be -- continue to be run by Hamas. That simply invites a repetition of October
7th, and Gaza uses a place from which to launch terrorist attacks. It's also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza. Now, the reality is that, there
may be a need for some transition period.
At the end of the conflict, but it is imperative that Palestinian people be central to governance in Gaza and in the West Bank as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, in the past couple of hours, CNN spoke to Mark Regev; the senior adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister. He reiterated Benjamin
Netanyahu's calls for Israel to maintain security in Gaza for an indefinite period after the war. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK REGEV, SENIOR ADVISER TO ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Israel is not interested in just letting things fall apart after we destroyed Hamas. We
have to make sure that the security situation is stable. We have to make sure there isn't a residual terrorist element that starts to grow again.
And Israel will not -- cannot ignore what goes on in Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, within Gaza itself, let's bring you the very latest. Thousands more people are fleeing as you can see there for their lives with
very limited options on where to go. This is the scene of one of the two main highways in Gaza serving as a temporary evacuation corridor opened by
Israel. We'll have more on that in just a moment.
Let's get the very latest, Nic Robertson in Sderot, in southern Israel, close of course, to Gaza's northern border. Nic, good to see you. We are
starting, as we just laid out there, to hear more from the U.S. on what the administration, Nic, believes post-war Gaza were to look like. And that
vision seems to be somewhat different from the Israeli one. Talk to those differing views as the IDF goes deeper, of course, into Gaza city.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it's very clearly a disconnect with the -- between the United States and Israel on some of
the finer, more nuanced points of what Israel is trying to achieve, how quickly it can try to achieve it and what it should be doing in the process
of trying to achieve it.
And I think what we heard before the ground incursion started was really, the United States asking Israel to pause a little bit and clearly state its
aims and goals of where it was trying to get to. They didn't. And now, we're hearing a different version of that, which is Israel saying that
version of where it will get to will be one where it will need to control the security situation.
The United States trying to dial back on that and say look, you can't go back to a 2005 situation. This is -- this is -- this is not the right way
to go. There needs to be an alternative, but we're not hearing what the alternative can be. And I think another area of divergence is, of course,
and again, no progress on this that we're seeing publicly, at least, that the United States continues to push Israel for a humanitarian pause.
The Arab neighbors of Israel are pushing for an absolute ceasefire at the moment. Israel is holding out on that. So, you have these sort of two
different views between the United States and Israel, and essentially, different views on what the timeframe could be to achieve whatever
objective Israel may be able to get to.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): As crushing as Israel's airstrikes targeting Hamas are militarily, they've also become politically counterproductive. A
crippling consequence, civilians, thousands of them, have been killed. Israel under U.S. pressure for a humanitarian pause.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translator): On the diplomatic front, we are working around the clock to provide the IDF with
international maneuvering room for continued military activity.
ROBERTSON: Netanyahu's plan to destroy Hamas is under threat, time may be running out.
RONEN BERGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES JOURNALIST: The two clocks, one of how long will it take the IDF to finish what they see as their target, and second,
how longer the international community and specifically the U.S. will tolerate the continuation of this ground offensive? Those are -- those are
not in sync.
RON BEN YISHAL, FORMER IDF MEMBER & MILITARY ANALYST: I am afraid that the United States will succeed in stopping us from completing the work.
ROBERTSON: Both Ben Yishal and Bergman are respected veteran Israeli journalists. Both have been taken by the IDF to the frontline in Gaza.
BERGMAN: None of the strategic goals of this operation has been achieved. Hamas are not going out of the tunnels.
ROBERTSON: According to the IDF, Hamas operatives killed, rockets captured, launch sites discovered. But according to Ben Yishal, at a pace that both
Netanyahu and Biden can stomach.
BEN YISHAL: They go very slowly because of two things. First of all, because of the Americans, to be honest. And secondly, because of the safety
of the soldiers.
ROBERTSON: Bergman says he's asked IDF officers if they can wrought Hamas from its tunnels.
BERGMAN: When you ask them, do you think that you can take out the whole of subterrain bunkers? They said no, there's no way.
ROBERTSON: Meanwhile, Hamas' regular rocket salvos into Israel reinforced their bunker resilience is working, reminding Israelis of their
vulnerability to U.S. politics.
BEN YISHAL: This demand by the United States to make a humanitarian pause hits the deepest emotions of the Israelis.
BERGMAN: The prime minister and other speakers for the government and the military need to be by far more transparent and direct with Israeli public.
I think that they're creating expectations that will not be fulfilled.
ROBERTSON (on camera): A month into the war, Israel appears weakened by its own strength. Hamas empowered by its tunnels, easily able to weaponize the
high civilian death toll. Their officials claim that at least one child is killed every ten minutes. A shocking statistic that may buy them enough
time to fight another day.
ROBERTSON: And as we talked, IDF troops are in Gaza city. The defense minister has said that they were in the center of Gaza city. The IDF is
advising that perhaps, not in the very heart of the city itself, but certainly closing in on it, going house to house, using intelligence-led
operations, so they're not actually getting into each house, but they're going into houses where they have a certain level of suspicion.
They say they have captured so far 4,000 pieces of weaponry, some of those have been captured in schools, some of them they say have been captured in
Mosques. So, it's an ongoing operation, but I think the key details here are that Hamas isn't coming out for a fight. The IDF --
SOARES: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Casualties, therefore, on the ground, are not so high. Israel, essentially weakened by its own strength. Hamas empowered by its tunnels.
SOARES: Important reporting there from our Nic Robertson, thanks very much, Nic. And as we've been reporting, the Palestinian Health Ministry in
Ramallah says more than 10,500 people have been killed by Israeli attacks in Gaza since the war began Many of them, by the way, women, children, and
the elderly. Those figures drawing from sources in the Hamas-controlled enclave.
While the toll on civilians in just four weeks has been alarming, Israel insists it has hit more than 14,000 terror targets since the war began.
Let's assess then the bigger picture when it comes to Israel's most strategy in Gaza. And what it could mean for the future of the territory.
Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is CNN military analyst, a very well known face here on the show.
He also served as Commanding General for U.S. Army Europe, and the Seventh Army. Lieutenant General, always great to see you on the show. I want to
pick up with what you heard there from Nic Robertson's report, that Hamas is not coming out for a fight. A month into this war, how -- what's your
assessment of how the IDF is faring here?
MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, first of all, Isa, Nic's reporting was masterful.
SOARES: Yes --
HERTLING: He hit all the complexities of this issue, having fought in an urban environment myself, and not one that is as difficult is what the
Israelis are seeing in Gaza. There is just a difficulty and a complexity in this kind of urban combat with underground subterranean tunnels to the
extent that it's there. And what Nic pointed out, I think is the most important part of this, is the end state declared by Israel at the start of
this campaign, was interesting to me because I thought there is no way they can accomplish that.
When you're talking about a strategic and state of destroying a terror group in a short period of time by force of arms only, you can't do that.
It's an ideology. There has to be a political factor involved, some diplomacy involved, and you can't continue to make enemies by killing the
people that are surrounding this terrorist group no matter how horrible they are.
And the fact that they are using this subterranean environment to their advantage, Hamas has gained significant advantage because they are using
all of the strengths of Israel, as Nic said --
SOARES: Yes --
HERTLING: Against them. The ability to portray military might to fight in an environment where civilians are going to be killed and on the world
stage, they are seen as dastardly executors of a -- of a flawed strategy.
SOARES: Such important context and analysis that you provided there. In that case then, as we heard from Nic, we know the IDF is now in the heart
of Gaza city, we don't know, really, the exact location. But they're encircling a bit closer. What -- and we've seen video tanks, I think, in
the north. What happens now? How do you see this playing out here?
HERTLING: Well, there's still so much pressure on the IDF from the Netanyahu government and from the citizens of Israel to take care of these
individuals, this terror group, that assaulted 1,400 Israeli citizens brutally. So, there is going to be a continued push to sustain this
military operation. But unfortunately, what is going to happen is, as the Israeli Defense Forces get further and further into these rural
environments, they are going to have a fight on their hands, even if they destroy the tunnel, some of the tunnel complexes and they kill a lot of
There are going to be quite a few civilian casualties involved, too, and it won't stop. It will be extremely difficult because more enemies will be
made from the Palestinian people. The other piece of this, you know, I just noticed you had as the counter on the 1,400 -- excuse me, 14,000 targets
SOARES: Yes --
HERTLING: Israel has engaged, how do we define those targets? What are those? Is it a massive terrorist targets? Is it a building that allegedly
houses terrorists? Is this an underground tunnel complex? Or is it something an individual, just one tank ground against a group of
individuals? I don't know.
So, you can't lump that into this giant figure. It's almost like a body count that means nothing if the enemy is still fighting.
SOARES: Indeed, and we heard Nic saying that Hamas have not come out for a fight. I don't know how you interpret that, but I'm also interested to get
your thoughts on how the IDF then takes this all war on inside such an overpopulated enclave there in Gaza city with 240 hostages.
HERTLING: Well, and that's the problem. They can't just willy-nilly go into the tunnels and start firing or bombing or -- because we don't know where
these 240-plus hostages are. The hostages, unfortunately, and I think we all know this, it's not a priority for the Israeli Defense Forces. They say
that they want to get those hostages released, but their major purpose from the very beginning has been stated -- destroy Hamas.
And those two are counter intuitive, of going together. You just can't do one while saving the hostages on the other. Now, you know, the new phases
of pauses or humanitarian relief operations, those are all critical. What's also critical is how Israel defines the end state. What is going to happen
after X amount of Hamas terrorists are killed and their infrastructure is destroyed?
SOARES: Yes --
HERTLING: Who is going to be ruling --
SOARES: Yes --
HERTLING: In Gaza? And that's a critical point.
SOARES: And that we have not heard as of yet as you well know. Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, always great to get your insights on the show. Thank
HERTLING: Thank you, Isa.
SOARES: Well, Israeli forces open another temporary evacuation corridor out of northern Gaza on Wednesday, as the fighting there grows more intense.
Thousands of people have been traveling south, fleeing on foot. Our Salma Abdelaziz has more for you.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, the U.S. says as the humanitarian crisis grows on the ground in Gaza, D.C. diplomats are pushing Israel for a
pause in the fighting. Now, Israel has so far been reluctant to do so. Prime Minister Netanyahu insisting that any pause in fighting will only
allow Hamas to regroup.
Still, of course, aid agencies are ringing the alarm as food, fuel, water, all run out, and more than 2 million people, half of them, children, remain
under siege and under bombardment. I want to give you the example of medical supplies. Doctors saying they're having to perform surgeries
The ICRC, the International Committee for the Red Cross says that one of its convoys came under attack, making it ever more difficult to get those
crucial medical supplies to places like Al-Shifa Hospital, the main hospital in Gaza city, where doctors say they're having to make decisions
as to who gets treatment because of running out of supplies.
Now, there's also, of course, the evacuations that took place over the last couple of days. The Israeli military has been opening these windows, these
time -- just a few hours of time windows to allow civilians to flee Gaza city. But that doesn't mean there's a pause in fighting as they move
southwards. The U.N. estimates some 15,000 people have used this corridor so far, but they face harrowing conditions only to get to another place in
Gaza, the south, that is also not safe. Take a look at our report.
ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Taking only what they can carry, families are fleeing Gaza city. They wave white flags made of anything they can find.
And as the sounds of war echo around them, they signal yet again that they are innocent.
"Now, we're supposed to be in the safe area, but you can hear the bombs behind us", he says. "All of our houses are gone. Nothing is left." The
Israeli military has been calling for weeks on all those living in the northern part of the Strip to move southwards. Most recently, opening what
it called safe corridors for limited windows of time, pushing thousands here to Salah Hadeen(ph) Street where evacuees describe a harrowing
"We saw along the road destruction, dead bodies everywhere. And the Israeli tanks would demand to search the youth", she says. "We saw one young man
stripped naked. We witnessed unbearable scenes." The only way to reach the route is by foot or by cart for those who can find room.
"There was heavy shelling on our neighborhood, and we were forced to flee. We have to use these donkey carts because there is no fuel", he says. "They
cut everything off to force us out of our homes." Israeli troops are now in the heart of Gaza city, as Israel's Defense Minister apparently declared
the entire city the whole of the enclave's largest population center, a legitimate target.
YOAV GALLANT, DEFENSE MINISTER, ISRAEL (through translator): Gaza is the biggest terrorist stronghold that mankind has ever built. This whole city
is one big terror base. Underground, they have kilometers of tunnels connecting to hospitals and schools.
ABDELAZIZ: The U.N. calls this exodus forceable displacement, and accuses Israel of the collective punishment of some 2 million people. And these
routes can be dangerous and deadly. This was Salah Hadeen(ph) Street just a few weeks ago. CNN geolocated and authenticated these videos, showing the
aftermath of explosions that killed evacuees. You can see luggage among the bodies.
And many fear they will never be allowed to return home. Some here say, this is reminiscent of the nakba, the Arabic term for the expulsion of
Palestinians from their towns during the founding of Israel. "We walked a very long way, it felt like the nakba of 2023", she says. 'We walked by
dead people who were ripped to shreds, children were very tired because there was no water.
People were dying, and there were elderly who couldn't walk." And for those who do make it, bombardment and siege await them in the south, too.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ABDELAZIZ: There is no true escape.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ABDELAZIZ: It's just heart-wrenching, Isa, to see these images of young children waving their white T-shirts as flags of surrender, as if they have
to surrender in this conflict.
Families putting their hands up, but very much civilians feel trapped in the middle, especially when you hear these comments from Israel's Defense
Minister describing the whole of the Gaza city as a potential legitimate target, calling it a Hamas base. Now, we do understand, of course, 15,000
people, potentially, an estimated 15,000 have fled Gaza city.
But there still could be many thousands of innocents who are trapped inside the city. Think those who are wounded, those who are incapable of moving.
The doctors and nurses who insist that they will continue to man and staff those hospitals inside the city. Their fate is of deep concern to the U.N.,
to rights groups, to all those ringing the alarm. Isa?
SOARES: Thank you very much, Salma Abdelaziz there. And still to come tonight, U.S. Democrats are celebrating after scoring some big wins on
election night. But will that momentum carry over into the 2024 presidential election? We'll break it all down for you after this.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Leaning into the fight over abortion rights prove to be a winning formula for U.S. Democrats on election night. A new
polling suggests there are challenges ahead for President Joe Biden as he seeks re-election in 2024. Ohio voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved
an amendment that enshrines abortion access in the state's constitution.
Abortion rights also played a big role in Virginia, where Democrats took control of the House of Delegates and kept their majority in the state
Senate. In Kentucky, Democratic Governor Andy Beshear won a second term, even though, remember, Donald Trump won that state by more than 25 points
back in 2020. Compare these wins by Democrats to the results of a new CNN poll, showing U.S. President Joe Biden trailing Donald Trump in a
CNN politics senior reporter, Stephen Collinson joins us now from Washington with the very latest. Stephen, great to see you. Look, I think
as we outlined there for our viewers, last night was obviously a positive sign for Democrats heading into 2024. But as I kept telling my team today
in our editorial meeting, this was about the cause, not the candidate. So, what does this tell us?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: You know, Isa, like a lot of things in American politics, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense on
the surface. There are so many conflicting forces at play here. I think there's always a price for winning in politics, and Republicans spent
decades trying to get the constitutional right to an abortion overturned.
It's the biggest victory for the conservative movement, possibly, you know, in its domestic history in United States, but that is causing a backlash.
It did in the midterm elections last year. It did this year. Voters are making clear, especially in suburban, more moderate areas, that they have
no time for Republican restrictions on abortion. And that is really costing Republicans elections, and I think it's going to be something that they
really are going to have to think about as they head into the next general election.
You know, Donald Trump was responsible for building the Supreme Court majority that overturned abortion, and it's going to be very interesting to
see if he is indeed the Republican nominee next year. How he navigates this very tricky political question.
SOARES: Yes, on that point, let me break it down on the Republican point, I mean, they've clearly thrown money behind this -- the Republican side. Is -
- how do you see them changing tact, and what relates to abortion? Is it -- I mean, is this a hill they're prepared to die on, basically? And for the
Democrats, I mean, clearly, it's a proven political winner for them. So, what do we expect then to see from Biden presidential campaign, more of
this? What do we expect to hear?
COLLINSON: It was very interesting on Capitol Hill today. You had a lot of senators coming out and saying, we have to de-emphasize social issues. The
problem with that is that the Republican Party is very split and advancing more restrictive policies on abortion is something that's very popular with
their most fervent supporters. The voters that will go to vote in the Republican primary next year.
I think what you can see is that President Joe Biden knows when there is an issue that he can profit from. He's going to run the abortion issue. I
think you're going to find Democrats try and put ballot measures on states. That's where voters get to vote, not just on our election, but on issues.
They're trying to get abortion measures like the one we saw in Ohio, to enshrine abortion rights in the constitution into a lot of these local
Ohio, for example, is a state that is now pretty solidly Republican. But even in some of the districts that Trump won in 2020, you saw Republican
voters rebelling against tighter restrictions on abortion. So, you can see how powerful this issue could be --
SOARES: Yes --
COLLINSON: For Democrats, if they can live with it next year.
SOARES: So, they will probably be trying to leverage that, as you said. But everything you've just told me then, I'm trying to make sense of the
polling that we have seen, Stephen. How do we then reconcile the -- you know, the results last night for the Democrats with the brutal polling
that we have seen this week from the "New York Times", even in CNN polling, that -- I mean, "New York Times" are saying that President Biden was
trailing Donald Trump in five of the six most important battleground states. Help us make sense of that.
COLLINSON: It does seem very contradictory. It's a paradox because President Joe Biden is deeply unpopular one year out from the election.
Donald Trump is beating him as you're saying in a lot of these swing states. I think one potential explanation is that, you know, Joe Biden
wasn't on the ballot yesterday in a lot of these elections.
The questions about Joe Biden, unless about the issues he is putting forward, but more about his age and competence to serve another term of
president. Only 25 percent of people said that they believe he was up to the job in a new CNN national poll. That's quite extraordinary.
SOARES: Yes --
COLLINSON: One other way of looking at it is that Democrats and moderate voters, for all their reservations about the president, they don't want a
return to Donald Trump-style MAGA extremism as Biden has called it. And I think next year, the question is going to be whether people can shelf their
concerns about Biden's capacity in order to stop someone like Trump coming back and being president, and all the events that, that might entail in a
second Trump term. So that's going to be I think the central question of next year's election.
SOARES: And very briefly, if you are a Democrat -- you know, strategist, how do you turn -- how do you change minds, Stephen, regarding President
Biden's age or lack of vitality or lack of energy, whatever adjective you want to use here.
COLLINSON: I don't think you can. He's going to turn 81 later this month. You know, he's not going to get younger over the next year. You have to
make the election about something else. You --
SOARES: Yes --
COLLINSON: You have to make it about abortion. You have to make it about Donald Trump extremism. I think Democrats will be helped in that goal, by
the fact that Trump will spend much of next year in court on trial.
And it will remind people of the chaos and the volatility of his presidency, which they haven't seen much of because he has been out of the
public eye, for all his social media rants. Most Americans haven't had the cacophony of Donald Trump in their lives the last three years.
SOARES: And we will not be seeing him today in tonight's debate either. Stephen, always great to have you on the show. Appreciate it.
SOARES: Well, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of former president Trump, is on the stand in the New York courtroom. She's expected to be final witness
before the prosecution rests its case in a civil fraud suit against her father.
Early on Wednesday, emails were presented, showing Ivanka Trump proposed to change to a lower than net worth requirement for her father to get a loan
with Deutsche Bank. Ivanka Trump is not named in the suit but both of her brothers are.
We're going to take a short break. Be back after this.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
As the human toll in Gaza worsens, the United Nations chief is now openly questioning Israeli military tactics. Secretary general Antonio Guterres
says the large numbers of reported Palestinian deaths should weigh on Israeli commanders in the fight against Hamas. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: There are violations by Hamas when they have human shields. But when one looks at the number of
civilians that were killed in the military operations, there is something that is clearly wrong.
Every year, the highest number of killing of children by any of the actors in all of the conflicts that we witness, is the maximum in the hundreds. We
have, in the few days in Gaza, thousands and thousands of children killed, which means that there is also something clearly wrong in the way that the
military operations are being done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: In the meantime, calls for cease-fire are falling short among Israel's allies. Though the G7 foreign ministers do support pauses in Gaza
to deliver aid to supplies, allow the movement of civilians and the release of hostages, they are refraining from calling for a stop in military
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: All of us want to end this conflict as soon as possible and meanwhile to minimize civilian suffering.
But as I discussed with my G7 colleagues, those calling for an immediate cease-fire have an obligation to explain how to address the unacceptable
result that would likely bring about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's get more on all of this on the diplomatic front. CNN's Alex Marquardt joins us from Washington.
Alex, great to see you. You would have heard this, week without the U.S. comments from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has suggested, Alex,
that Israel would take responsibility for security in Gaza for an indefinite period after the war is over.
But America's top diplomat has also said that any new government there must be led by Palestinians. Talk to this disconnect between the U.S. and
Israeli government, when it comes to postwar Gaza and what it might look like.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa. Those comments by prime minister Netanyahu really set off a firestorm here in
Washington, D.C., and around other capitals. Concerns about what that meant for Israel's intentions.
Now those were made on Monday night. Prime minister Netanyahu is saying that there should be an indefinite period. He called it of overall security
responsibility by Israel in Gaza.
What we've seen here in Washington, D.C., at least, is two days of very forceful pushback from the Biden administration, saying there should be no
Israeli reoccupation of Gaza, that should be completely discounted.
Secretary Blinken, who has just left the Middle East, he was in Tokyo earlier today. He said very firmly that Israel should not occupy Gaza. We
should note that Israeli officials have walked back some of what Netanyahu has said. We have heard top Israeli officials saying they have no intention
of re-occupying Gaza.
But Isa, it really does beg the question of who would govern the Gaza Strip, if Israel is successful in pushing Hamas out. And for that, there is
no answer right now. There is no clear -- there are no specifics from Israel, from the United States, from any others.
And what we heard interestingly, from Secretary Blinken today, was allowing for what he says could be a transition period in Gaza after this war. Take
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLINKEN: Gaza cannot be -- continue to be run by Hamas. That simply invites a repetition of October 7th and Gaza used as a place from which to launch
It's also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza. Now the reality is that there may be a need for some transition period at the end of the conflict.
But it is imperative that Palestinian people be central to governance in Gaza and in the West Bank as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: So Isa, it is clear the devil is going to be in the details. Israel will want some kind of security presence. At the same time, they are
saying they don't want to occupy the Gaza Strip. What everyone seems to agree on is that the Palestinians should rule over themselves.
But what kind of governance structure is that?
Is that the Palestinian Authority that currently is in charge in the West Bank?
Do they take over in some capacity in Gaza?
These are the answers that really, the questions that really no one seems to have the answers, to.
SOARES: Alex Marquardt, we should be pushing for answers, as we have done here on the show. Also with, European officials. Appreciate it, Alex.
Well, as the U.S. rejects calls for a cease-fire and as G7 nations hold back on calling for one too, the West is finding itself at increasing odds
with Arab nations over the situation in Gaza.
Egypt has been a critical diplomatic player, helping open the Rafah border crossing to get hundreds of foreign nationals and wounded Palestinians out
of Gaza. But Cairo is wary of opening the border too wide, as Melissa Bell explains.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For a month now, Israel's war on Hamas has mostly focused on the North of Gaza,
splitting the enclave in two and forcing civilians South, even on foot.
With 70 percent of Gazans now displaced, the pressure around the Rafah crossing is growing. So too, are Egyptian fears over an influx of refugees.
NABIL FAHMY, FORMER EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The assumption was the South is safer and now the South is also being bombed.
And of course, from the South, they will be asked to go out -- since we're still looking for combatants, you need to move out and move out means move
into Egypt. I don't know a case in history where the Israelis have allowed Palestinians to go back.
BELL (voice-over): Egypt has, from the start of the conflict, played a key role, opening up its airports for international aid, setting up field
hospitals for the most severely wounded Palestinians and giving foreign passport holders a desperately-needed way home.
SUSAN BESEISO, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN EVACUEE FROM GAZA: It's like, you die or you leave. What do you choose between?
Your childhood memories, your home, your land or being alive?
BELL (voice-over): But the numbers and nature of those getting out of Gaza have been carefully controlled by Cairo.
TIMOTHY KALDAS, TAHRIR INSTITUTE FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY: The Egyptian authorities have had a lot of concerns about that border area for quite
some time but also have cooperated with a really painful blockade on the Gazan population for much of the last 17 years.
BELL (voice-over): A complicated history with Israel and Gaza have fueled Egyptian caution but so, too, have domestic issues.
KALDAS: The standard of living in the country has collapsed. Poverty has risen. Labor force participation has declined substantially and the result
is that people are very frustrated. Inflation in Egypt reached about 40 percent. Inflation on food exceeded 60 percent.
BELL (voice-over): With elections next month and as the conflict drags on, Egypt's president has taken no chances.
ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI, EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The expansion of the conflict is not in the interest of the region. The region
will become a ticking time bomb that harms us all.
This is why I'm saying, please, Egypt is a sovereign country and I hope we all respect its sovereignty and status. What I'm saying now is not to brag
but Egypt is a very strong country that shall not be touched.
BELL (voice-over): Egypt, striking a delicate balance between meeting the urgent humanitarian needs of Gazans without opening the door too far, even
as it keeps a close eye on those voicing support for the Palestinian people back home in a country all too familiar with the power of the street --
Melissa Bell, CNN, Cairo.
SOARES: We are taking a short break. We'll be back after this.
SOARES: Desalination is a centuries-old method of turning ocean water into clean drinking water. But its high cost and energy expend has held it back
from becoming more mainstream. One Dutch company has invented a more sustainable and affordable approach. Bianca Nobilo has more from our "Going
SID VOLLEBREGT, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, ELEMENTAL WATER MAKERS (voice-over): When you look at the desalination industry, which is currently responsible
for 5 percent of the water supplies globally, it emits a lot of carbon dioxide, lots of greenhouse gases.
So we knew that we had to do it totally different. My name Is Sid Vollebregt. I'm the cofounder and CEO of Elemental Water Makers. We want to
saw fresh water scarcity using only the sea and sun.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Today, the U.N. estimates that more than 2 billion people globally do not have access to clean drinking water.
VOLLEBREGT (voice-over): The idea of Elemental Water Makers originated a long time ago in Madagascar and there we witnessed what it means not to
have access to clean water for a rural community.
NOBILO (voice-over): They built their innovation around reverse osmosis.
VOLLEBREGT (voice-over): Reverse osmosis has been used since the '60s but we actually improved it with energy recovery technology that allows us to
use 70 percent less electricity.
The second step is that we made the system suitable to be powered by solar energy. And the last step is that we don't use any chemicals in the
This is one of our solar desalination facilities. Here we have the sea water entering the system. It first goes through the three treatment steps.
Reverse osmosis takes place in these membranes. Here we can tap fresh water from the sea.
NOBILO (voice-over): Sid says that they've built projects in 27 countries to date.
VOLLEBREGT (voice-over): For these remote communities, we help them set up the solution, we install it, we train them to operate and maintain the
NOBILO (voice-over): The remote coastal town of Efoetsy, Madagascar, has seen improvements in illness rates as a result of having a desalination
facility, according to a local nonprofit.
PIERRE-FRANCOIS DUBOSC (through translator): It's pretty fantastic. It allows people to drink water that is clean, that is very healthy, that is
very good. And in terms of hygiene and health, it is crucial. We have diseases that may be disappearing now.
VOLLEBREGT (voice-over): For me it was really closing the loop from seeing a problem, developing technology to actually making a solution available
onsite. And the moment that we were starting the machine and handing out water to people, who have never drank clean water in their life, that was
something I will never forget.
SOARES: For more, you can visit cnn.com/goinggreen.
We're taking a short break but we'll be back in just a minute.
SOARES: Let's have a quick look at some of the other big stories we are following from around the world this hour.
Ukraine's bid to one day become a member of the European Union took a significant step forward on Wednesday. The E.U.'s executive body is
recommending that officials begin formal membership talks next year once Kyiv meets final conditions.
The European Commission president Ursula van der Leyen called it a historic day. Any final decision to allow Ukraine into the E.U. would still take
October is the fifth month in a row to break the hottest temperature records in 2023. That is according to the E.U.'s Copernicus Climate Change
Service. Last month, if you remember, saw the global temperatures reach 1.7 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.
Ocean temperatures continue to soar, spurring developments of hurricanes and tropical storms, according to the service. 2023 is virtually certain to
become the hottest year on record. That is very alarming indeed.
Climate change and high temperatures are considered the greatest threat the world's coral reefs. But part of Australia's Great Barrier Reef are showing
some resiliency with coral now starting to regenerate.
It's welcome news for scientists who are lobbying the Australian government to do more to protect this natural wonder. Our Ivan Watson has the story
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nighttime on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The sea explodes in an otherworldly
This is coral spawning. One of the world's greatest natural wonders is made up of billions of living creatures that reproduce like this each year. And
this season has scientists excited.
ABBI SCOTT, CAIRNS-PORT DOUGLAS REEF HUB COORDINATOR: We were out driving until about 11 pm last night, looking at the coral spawning and we were
lucky enough to see some of the species spawning. Not all of them but we saw the soft corals and they filled up the water with bundles of eggs and
sperm, which was really spectacular.
WATSON (voice-over): The spectacular sight is a type of synchronized breeding. Coral polyps release millions of sperm and egg bundles into the
water all at once. When two bundles from the same species collide, new life is born. It's a display of nature's resilience, repeated around this time
year across the Great Barrier Reef's nearly 133,000 square miles. But while some parts of the reef remain healthy, other parts are bleaching and dying,
killed by temperature rise due to global warming.
ROGER BEEDEN, CHIEF SCIENTIST, GREAT BARRIER REEF MARINE PARK AUTHORITY: They're a little bit like goldilocks. They need the temperature and other
conditions to be just right. And if they go outside of those boundaries, then we have this phenomenon called coral bleaching.
WATSON (voice-over): Scientists in Australia are studying ways to boost the chances for successful reproduction. Right now, it is nature that holds the
key to the reef's survival.
BEEDEN: This process, the sexual reproduction, which is what's going on, is also one of the ways in which you get natural adaptations to changing
Now one of the big challenges with climate change is it's happening so fast that it may mean genetic variability isn't able to keep up with it. But
nonetheless, it's really important that the process is happening.
WATSON (voice-over): The coral spawning at Moore Reef near the city of Cairns gives hope that this wonder of the world might still be rescued.
WATSON (voice-over): The speed at which we transition to green energy and the degree to which our planet warms will determine how much of the Great
Barrier Reef can be saved -- Ivan Watson, CNN.
SOARES: Just beautiful.
And finally, some giant pandas are heading back to China after an extended stay in Washington, D.C., have a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): The three giant pandas were at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. They were supposed to
return to China in 2020 but their stay was extended an additional three years.
The pandas' stay has been part of China's panda diplomacy program that loans the animals to host countries. This is the first time since 2000 the
national zoo will not have any giant pandas at the zoo. We'll leave you with those images.
Thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here. Zain Asher will be back after a very short break with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS," which will
have more on the Israel-Hamas war. Thanks for your company, I'll see you tomorrow, bye-bye.