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Isa Soares Tonight
U.N.: Only One Operational Hospital Left In Northern Gaza; Israel Shows Hamas Armory At The Basement Of A Hospital In Gaza; Thousands Take To The Streets In Washington In A Massive Show Of Solidarity With Israel; Interview With Norwegian Foreign Minister On How To Support Both Israel And Ukraine; Tens Of Thousands Expected At D.C. March For Israel; UNICEF Says Over 700,000 Children Displaced In Gaza; U.S. And Chinese Presidents To Meet As U.S. Hopes To Improve Strained Ties; CNN New Travel Series. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 14, 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, Gaza's healthcare in crisis. Only one
hospital in the north remains operational according to the U.N. Earlier, I managed to speak to one of the surgeons inside that hospital, we'll bring
you that in just a moment.
Then thousands take to the streets of Washington D.C. in a mighty show of solidarity, as you can see there, for Israel. We'll be live from the march
for you. Plus, Germany says the EU likely won't reach ammunition targets for Ukraine. I'll speak to Norway's foreign minister as western leaders
grapple, of course, with two major international conflicts.
But first tonight, major tension is now focused on militarily -- military action around hospitals in Gaza, with one medical director describing
conditions there as catastrophic. Fire fights and bombings have centered around medical facilities, and with the lack of crucial supplies, the U.N.
now says one out of roughly 30 hospitals is functioning -- is not functioning in northern Gaza.
The World Health Organization warned the situation amounts to what it calls a death sentence for the injured. You're looking at really on your screen
there all the hospitals there in the -- in northern Gaza, but only one is operational at the moment, and that's the one, that Al-Ahli Baptist
Hospital. Now, Israel has accused Hamas of embedding itself in civilian structures, including hospitals. CNN cannot verify these claims.
And Hamas has repeatedly denied that its fighters hide under hospitals as have health officials in Gaza. Joining us now from Jerusalem with the very
latest is CNN's Nada Bashir. And Nada, only one hospital operational when what is already a catastrophic and desperate situation for patients. We'll
be hearing from doctor -- a doctor inside Al-Ahli Hospital in just a second.
And I'll be showing viewers that. But first, just give us a sense what you are hearing from your contacts in northern Gaza, and particular Al-Shifa
Hospital as well as beyond.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, Isa, Al-Shifa Hospital is a huge point of concern. This is Gaza's largest hospital, and we have been hearing
the warnings from doctors inside the hospital for some time now, as we know their operating theaters are out of service. We have seen the footage of
premature babies being removed from incubators because oxygen supplies have run out in the Neonatal Unit.
We're seeing babies now being huddled together in operating rooms wrapped in foil and blankets and placed near bowls of boiling water in order to
keep them warm. The situation facing Al-Shifa is catastrophic to say the least. There were hundreds of patients still inside this hospital as well
as hundreds of medical staff.
And in addition to that, there are thousands of civilians who have taken shelter around the large hospital complex, and of course, as we know the
situation inside Al-Shifa, like the vast majority of hospitals now in Gaza, particularly in northern Gaza is deteriorating by the hour. There is not
enough fuel to keep generators going certainly, for the vast majority of hospitals in northern Gaza have run out of power entirely.
There's not enough medical supplies or equipment functioning, not enough food and safe drinking water or water to keep things clean at this
hospital. And for those who are trying to take shelter on the outside of this complex, there is a huge amount of concern about the ongoing
bombardment around the hospital.
As we know, fierce fighting still ongoing on the vicinity of the hospital. Airstrikes edging closer and closer, the ground fighting and circling many
of these hospitals. And we've been hearing from medical staff on the ground at Al-Shifa and other hospitals, particularly at Al-Shifa where doctors
from Doctors Without Borders have said that they are afraid of sniper fire around the hospital.
The IDF has denied targeting civilians who are outside with live fire. But that is certainly a point of concern. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society
this morning telling CNN that they've heard from their contacts on the ground, saying they're too afraid to open their doors for fear that they
will be targeted, that their ambulances have, in their words, being targeted.
And as we know, of course, as you mentioned, the IDF, the Israeli military has said that it is targeting Hamas positions it believes there is a Hamas
Command and Control Center beneath the Al-Shifa Hospital.
But that has been denied by both Hamas and doctors who have worked at Al- Shifa for decades. It is a claim that CNN is unable to verify. Important to note that. And of course, while this intense bombardment continues, it is
civilians that are getting caught up in the fighting. Not just Hamas fighters, we are seeing that death toll mounting by the hour.
Thousands killed, including more than 4,000 children. And the concern is, from doctors that we've been hearing from, that hospitals will soon become
a clear target in this war.
SOARES: Yes, and we have heard today, Nada, from the U.N., they say they estimate that about 200,000 people have now fled northern Gaza, that is
since November the 5th. I mean, just explain to our viewers how they are getting out, given the conditions and the fighting that you just painted
BASHIR: Look, we've heard from the Israeli military saying that they have allowed for the safe corridors for civilians from northern Gaza to evacuate
southwards, including a corridor said to have been allowed and established on the eastern side of the Al-Shifa Hospital. But it's important to
remember that for many civilians in northern Gaza, they simply cannot evacuate.
There are hundreds of patients who are reliant on urgent care, who aren't able to walk the long and dangerous distance it takes to get to southern
Gaza, because they require specialist medical evacuations, not least those premature babies that we've seen in that footage who require transportation
via incubators. And of course, there are many elderly and disabled.
It is difficult to get across by car. Many are walking. We've seen those videos of hundreds walking in droves for hours to get to southern Gaza, in
the hope of finding safety. But I think it is important to also highlight - - the situation in the south is also dire. Hospitals in the --
SOARES: Yes --
BASHIR: South are overrun. Doctors are overwhelmed, and of course, as we have seen, those airstrikes are continuing in southern Gaza just overnight.
The southern region of Khan Younis again targeted by airstrikes. The death toll in that region also rising. Isa?
SOARES: Nada Bashir with the very latest there for us. Thanks very much, Nada. Well, it is hard to imagine following on from what you just heard
from Nada, how doctors are working through this. Well, earlier, I spoke to Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah in Gaza city, he told me about the near-constant
machine gun fire around him, buildings shaking, and an endless line of wounded people who can't get the treatment that they need.
He has moved from the Al-Shifa Hospital to the Al-Ahli Hospital. That is the -- now the only functioning hospital in northern Gaza. He spoke about
the conditions he and his colleagues are operating in. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GHASSAN ABU-SITTAH, BRITISH-PALESTINIAN SURGEON IN GAZA (via telephone): I'm currently at the Al-Ahli Hospital, which is Gaza's only functioning
hospital. This is the hospital that has been targeted since the beginning of the war and is partially damaged. And so, we only have two operating
rooms and some ground floor wards. When Al-Shifa collapsed four days ago, we became the only hospital --
SOARES: Yes --
ABU-SITTAH: In Gaza city, and we started getting the wounded from initially all the airstrikes. But today, also sniper injuries, and we have over 500
wounded in the hospital. There's only two operating rooms and three surgeons. We were joined yesterday by an obstetrician who started
delivering babies because there is no maternity services left in Gaza.
And so, he's doing some caesarean and some normal deliveries. We are just overwhelmed and under-resourced. We are doing really painful procedures
with no anesthetic, because we're trying to conserve the anesthetic, and because we don't have access to operating rooms and we try to keep it for
the most life-saving procedures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, overwhelmed and under-resourced. And as you could hear there, communicating with those inside Gaza remains extremely difficult. We were
unable to make contact at all if you were joining us yesterday, and today, only managed a really shaky -- apologies for that telephone line. We
thought it was important that you heard what was happening inside those hospitals in the north of Gaza.
And our thanks once again to Dr. Abu-Sittah for his time, of course, for speaking to us. And later in this hour, in about 20 minutes or so, we will
continue to look at the overwhelming health concerns in Gaza. I will be speaking with UNICEF's spokesperson Toby Fricker(ph) in about 20-25
minutes. So do stay with us for that.
Well, the big focus right now in Gaza is on the enclaves cut-off hospitals as you heard, which appears to be reaching a point of no return, as intense
fighting erupts nearby. CNN's Nic Robertson was able to get into Gaza recently, and was taken by the Israeli army to a hospital.
He was escorted by the Israel Defense Forces at all times. But CNN did not submit its script or footage to the IDF, and has retained editorial control
over Nic's final report. Here it is.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Driving into Gaza with the Israeli forces, it's a war zone. The conditions of our
access only show officers, no faces of soldiers, and don't show sensitive equipment. We are passing mile after mile of destruction. Buildings blown,
collapsed. Nothing untouched by the fury of Israel's hunt for Hamas. Streets here crushed back to sand.
(on camera): Shops, everything that we see, no sign of any civilians here. And the soldiers have been telling us that even inside the stores, they've
been finding things like rocket-propelled grenades ready to use against them as they were advancing through this area.
(voice-over): A few miles in, we pull up at a command post. Soldiers living in blown apartment buildings.
(on camera): Every building I'm looking at here, wherever you turn, it's destroyed. It shot up, hard to imagine how civilians endured the
(voice-over): Our next journey much deeper into Gaza. We arrived 100 meters from a battle with Hamas. Tanks blasting targets in nearby buildings. The
IDF's top spokesperson waiting for us.
DANIEL HAGARI, SPOKESPERSON, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: We're now -- we're now conducting an operation inside Gaza next to Rantisi Hospital.
ROBERTSON: Israel is facing massive international pressure over the destruction of homes, the shockingly high civilian death toll, and in the
last few days, over its apparently heavy-handed tactics at hospitals.
HAGARI: We have 13 (INAUDIBLE), we've got bulldozers to reveal the tunnels that we suspect that are underneath the hospital.
ROBERTSON: Hagari has brought us here to show the connection he says exists between Hamas and the Rantisi Children's Hospital.
HAGARI: We are now here in an area between a hospital, a school and a terrorist house.
ROBERTSON: A Hamas commander, he says, lived there. He points out the solar panels on the roof.
HAGARI: This is a tunnel that was sliding against the floor. You can see here --
ROBERTSON (on camera): This is the ladder going down?
HAGARI: So the ladder going down.
ROBERTSON: I see the --
HAGARI: Yes --
ROBERTSON: Ladder going down, yes --
HAGARI: OK, this is a 20-meter tunnel. And look at here, look at the -- look at the -- look at the panel -- be careful here --
ROBERTSON: Yes --
HAGARI: But look down here.
ROBERTSON: There's --
HAGARI: Cables are going down to the tunnel, OK?
ROBERTSON: So they're hard-wired into the tunnel --
HAGARI: For what I wanted to show you, the solar panels on the terrorists house provide electricity directly to the tunnel. We've entered -- we have
entered a robot inside the tunnel, and the robot saw a massive door, a door that is on the direction of the hospital.
ROBERTSON: We are in what is an active fire zone here. You can hear the small arms fire. The IDF say they're still clearing this area out. They're
getting definitely -- just taking a bit of cover to stay safe. We're still taking fire. But over here, we were able to smell what smells like rotten
flesh, what is perhaps buried underneath the rubble.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No --
ROBERTSON: No, don't go up high. Don't expose yourself.
(voice-over): As we move off to the hospital a 100 meters away, we're still taking fire.
HAGARI: We're still conducting an operation. Operation conducted by a special unit, the Israeli Navy SEALs are researching the hospitals.
ROBERTSON: Hagari later tells us he took a big risk bringing us into such a combat zone. It is clear he wants this story told.
HAGARI: We're searching here to see the connection of the tunnel through the hospital, OK? Don't fall here.
ROBERTSON (on camera): I won't. Where -- this is where the connection --
HAGARI: We are looking for the connection.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): As we finally reached the hospital, it is already getting dark. A huge hole has been blasted through the walls and to the
(on camera): Why is the hospital so damaged?
HAGARI: We're talking -- why is the hospital so damaged like this?
ROBERTSON: Yes --
HAGARI: I'll explain --
ROBERTSON: Yes --
HAGARI: It's an important question.
ROBERTSON: Yes, it is.
HAGARI: We came to this hospital five days ago. There were still patients inside the hospital, we did not enter into the hospital.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): He claims since then, all patients were evacuated by hospital staff.
HAGARI: We assist this evacuation, of course, to make it a safe pass for all the patients in the hospital. We do not know that the hospital is
entirely clear. We did not know. We only entered to this area which was suspected because we were being fired.
ROBERTSON: Hagari leads us through a war room, of basement corridors to this room.
HAGARI: This was the armory, OK? This was the Hamas armory.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Yes --
(voice-over): He shows us a few rusting guns and some explosives. These guns alone have potentially huge implications for Gaza's hospitals and
Israel's apparent push to take control of them.
(on camera): The International Committee for the Red Cross say that hospitals are given special protection under international humanitarian law
in a time of war. But if militants store weapons there or use them as a base of fire, then that protection falls away. In other rooms, he shows us
a motorbike with a bullet hole in it, that he suspects was used by Hamas attackers October 7th. And nearby, possible evidence hostages could have
been held here.
HAGARI: We are now in the basement, in the same area, yards from the motorcycle. We see a chair, we see a rope, we see a woman's clothes or a
woman's -- something covering a woman.
ROBERTSON: Do you think a woman was tied up in this chair?
HAGARI: This is an assumption, it's going to be checked by DNA.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): More evidence, Hagari says, points towards Hamas and possible hostage presence below the hospital.
(on camera): And by bringing us here to this hospital and showing us the connection that you believe exists between the terrorists and the possibly,
hostages, what does this say about the other hospitals here in Gaza?
HAGARI: Cynically, Shifa Hospital is known by fact, by intelligence to be a terrorist hub. And also, it's suspicious also in holding hostages. This is
the best shelter for the terror war machine of Hamas.
ROBERTSON: But the hospital authorities said they have no knowledge of Hamas or other groups inside the hospitals. Is that possible?
HAGARI: I think it's not possible for a hospital to have this kind of an infrastructure. We knew the terrorists were here. We knew.
ROBERTSON: How did you know?
HAGARI: We knew. By intelligence, and also we got some fire from this area.
ROBERTSON: From this area or this building?
HAGARI: From this area, and we were right to fire because what we found, an armory.
ROBERTSON: But so much damage all around here.
HAGARI: Yes, there is damage all around here because Hamas made it impossible for us to fight them. They build all this infrastructure in
tunnels and in hospitals, around areas populated.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): As we exit the hospital, it is already dark.
(on camera): We are just getting ready to leave right now, the fire-fight still going on. Still intense, bullets fired, explosions going and up the
(voice-over): This war and the controversy surrounding it far from resolved. Nic Robertson, CNN, Gaza.
SOARES: The Gaza hospital director is denying the Israeli military accusations. He told CNN the Rantisi Hospital basement was used to shelter
women and children, not store Hamas weaponry or hold hostages. The director added that recent flooding made it impossible to use. And still to come
tonight, only so much time and money to go around.
So can the West really manage military support for two wars in the Middle East and Ukraine? I'll put that to one of Europe's top diplomats after
SOARES: Welcome back everyone. It's a delicate balancing act for leaders in North America and Europe, as they try to keep what's happening in Gaza
under control, while also keeping an eye on the war in Ukraine. The long- grinding conflict there against Russia continues. And Ukrainian officials are urging their western allies not to lessen support.
Top EU officials met in Brussels earlier to discuss both crises and admitted that they will likely fall short of ammunition targets in Ukraine.
The EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell is due to visit Middle East this week and had this to say ahead of his trip. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEP BORRELL, EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: We ask for an immediate pauses, I'm saying that in plural, not a single one, but several
ones, pauses. But it is an objective. These immediate pauses and humanitarian corridors to be established in order to face the dire
situation of the people in Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, I'm pleased to welcome the Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide to the show. Foreign Minister, thank you very much for taking
the time to speak to us this evening. You heard Mr. Borrell there calling for immediate pauses were his words in Gaza. French President Emmanuel
Macron has recognized Israel's right to protect itself, but also had this to say. Have a listen, sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE: De facto to the civilians are bombed. De facto to these babies, these ladies, these old people are bombed and
killed, there's no reason for that, acknowledged(ph( mercy. So we do urge Israel to stop. I'm not here to -- I'm not a judge. I'm a head of state. I
just remind everybody international law. I call for a ceasefire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: You heard Mr. Macron there. Should there be a ceasefire in your view?
ESPEN BARTH EIDE, FOREIGN MINISTER, NORWAY: Yes. We have called for what we call an immediate humanitarian truce -- or which is almost the same as a
ceasefire. In order not necessarily to be the final end of the conflict, but in order to make sure that we get the humanitarian aid in, that we can
establish corridors, that we can take care of the sick and wounded.
Get the -- get the hostages out. And while we also, of course, recognize the right of Israel to defend itself. And here Israel is responding to a
terrible terrorist attack. Any use of force has to be contained within the agreements(ph) of international humanitarian law. And we are worried that
both the blockade itself, which is a near-full blockade of the citizens of Gaza and the way that, I'm sure(ph) the fighting has been conducted has led
to a staggering number of kills and maimed and wounded, and that human suffering is simply too much.
So, we need to get this terrible situation into another gear. We need to think towards the future, towards a political solution at some point in the
future, and to build a bridge between where we are now and how to get there.
SOARES: And we'll talk about the politics in the future in just a moment. But you know, you're saying, calling it almost for a truce. And given
everything you -- how concerned Norway is about the dire situation on the ground, why not call it -- not call for a ceasefire like Mr. Macron is
EIDE: Well, I mean, it is more or less the same. Because it is the -- I'm using the word "truce" because that's what we will put forward in the U.N.,
but 120 countries agreed, it was an immediate and sustained humanitarian truce. All their people speak of a ceasefire. I just make that distinction
in order to --
SOARES: Yes --
EIDE: Say that, this is a humanitarian purpose, more than, you know, the final end of the conflict. And we need that humanitarian access now, and we
need also to relax this blockade because people are not only dying from shells and actual fighting, but also increasing, you know, from lack of
medicine, lack of clean water, lack of fuel, lack of electricity in hospitals and outside of hospitals. And this situation has gone --
SOARES: Yes --
EIDE: Too far, and we need to speak up about that. And that is not in any way to say that, we do not understand the terrible loss that Israel --
SOARES: Yes --
We all know that, but we still have to get this into a different track. And I am frankly quite worried about the fact that if we care about these
standards when they are broken by Russia and Ukraine, we also need to speak up when we see violations of international humanitarian law in the Middle
East because otherwise, we will be seen as holding different standards.
And I think the rest of the world, the Arab world, the global south will wonder how committed we actually are to the principles that we as western
countries hold high.
SOARES: Very good point you make, minister, and of course, Norway served in terms of political context here, served as a facilitator in the early 1990,
talks between Israel and the PLO. And I'm keen to get your insight into what next post-conflict Gaza? Of course, your negotiations helped led to
the Oslo Accords. Those talks were conducted in complete secrecy. I am wondering whether you are looking, whether Norway is looking to revive any
sort of diplomatic channel here.
EIDE: Yes, and I think it is incredibly important to remember that sometimes in history, from the most terrible moments of history comes new
ideas and new initiatives to move forward and get into a better place. That has happened before. And what I do detect now is, in the U.S., in Europe,
in the Middle East itself, in many Arab countries, there is a renewed interest in the peace process leading to a two-state solution.
Because it's my firm commitment, and it has been mine and Norway's firm commitment for 30 years, three full decades, that it's -- the best solution
for Palestinians and Israelis alike is that we establish an organized two- state solution, that there is a Palestinian state living in harmony with itself and its neighbors where the Palestinians can flourish and develop
their economy and culture.
And that Israel can continue to be both a Jewish state and a democratic state at the same time living beside this Palestinian state. It seems to be
far away now. I think we all have to recognize the complexities of this.
EIDE: But this still is the only solution. And since we are chairing what is called the HALC, which means ad hoc liaison committee, which has been
ironically ad hoc for 30 years. It is still the only body where the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Arabs, the Americans, the Europeans and
others need to discuss this and to pop up -- prop up the legitimate Palestinian Authority.
Those authorities that are currently running out of the West Bank of Ramallah, where we have the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. And we
need to maintain their capacity to run the place and hope for and work for in the long run to have an integrated Palestinian administration covering
both Gaza, not Hamas, but somebody else together with the West Bank and then being able to negotiate with Israel.
And if we can be helpful, we are ready to be helpful. And a number of parties to this conflict are suggesting that we should actually do that
homework, do that thinking about how we can come back. You know, if I may say so, many of our Arab friends have been working towards improving their
relationship to Israel, which I think is great. But I think --
SOARES: Yes --
EIDE: That trying to do that without solving the Palestinian question was futile. And that's what we've been seeing now. We have to see this in the
broader regional context, but we also have to deal with the question of Israel and Palestine proper.
SOARES: And if you do revive that diplomatic channel, do come back to us and talk to us about this, foreign minister. I'm keen to get your thoughts
on another crisis, of course. A crisis that probably hasn't been making the news as often, and that is, Ukraine. We have heard today from Germany's
Defense Minister, who had this to say. Have a listen, sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS PISTORIUS, DEFENSE MINISTER, GERMANY (through translator): It's safe to assume that the 1 million rounds will not be reached. The war that
Russia is waging against Ukraine is still brutal and ruthless. And we all expect that the attacks on the Ukrainian infrastructure will increase in
Winter, which is foreseeable. That's why it will be particularly important to strengthen the air defense, but also to protect the infrastructure.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, Ukraine's Foreign Minister meantime, Mr. Kuleba, has said that Ukraine is ringing the bells a lot and loudly. Those were his words.
But is he being listened to? Talk to what we're seeing in terms of production. Is this a question of production or is this a lack of political
will here, Minister?
EIDE: So I spoke to Mr. Kuleba, the Ukraine Foreign Minister, and I agree totally with his assessment and although that of the German Defense
Minister, Pistorius. We need to prop up our own production of munitions. We need to make sure that we have sufficient military support to uphold the
EIDE: And It is incredibly important to say that nothing has gotten any better in Ukraine, despite the fact that most of the cameras and most of
the attention has moved to Israel and Palestine.
It is really, really an entrenched conflict right now. There is a lot of fighting going on but relatively limited progress on the battlefield. And
that has a dire military, political and humanitarian consequences for Ukraine.
And for us, as a European country, it is incredibly important that Ukraine prevails, that it is able to come out of this as an independent, sovereign,
democratic, Western-leaning state, as they want to.
And we must be able to have two thoughts in our head at the same time. We have to deal with the Middle East. But we have to keep focusing also on
Ukraine. Norway has a five-year commitment, which was unanimously adopted by parliament. It is roughly 50 percent military, 50 percent civilian, a
very substantive amount of money.
And the Ukrainians tell us that one thing is the amount of money, which they appreciate. But it's also the long duration of this because we need to
demonstrate that we are in there for the long haul.
So I'm actually not so worried about us, European countries; not even about the U.S. I think they will sort out their internal discussions about this.
But I'm worried that the longterm effect that was happening in Gaza will reduce the sympathy and support for the Ukrainian cause globally, because
if we, Westerners, are seen as, as I said before, holding ourselves to different standards, I think that will undermine our credibility.
It was a massive support in the U.N. General Assembly when the war in Ukraine started in favor of Ukraine. We need to uphold that because it's
not only about our support from NATO countries; it's also about the global understanding of what is going on in Ukraine.
SOARES: Foreign minister, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you very much, sir.
EIDE: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight the youngest victims of the war in Gaza, hundreds of thousands of displaced children. We will get the latest on
their struggles from the UNICEF official after this short break. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Welcome back to the show, everyone.
Right now, the families of hostages taken by Hamas are on a five-day march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, demanding the release of their loved ones. The
plan to carry their message all the way to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- pardon me -- and their government's war cabinet.
And pressure to take action to bring the hostages home. This was earlier. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIT ZACH, HOSTAGE ADINA MOSHE'S NEPHEW: We want to know what happened because I don't know what happened (INAUDIBLE). I don't (INAUDIBLE). It's
not my job to get a solution. It's my job to demand (INAUDIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Prime minister Netanyahu says, in his words, he's working relentlessly for the release of the hostages. He believes Israel's ground
campaign is ramping up the pressure on Hamas and moving things in the right direction.
U.S. President Joe Biden says he is optimistic there will soon be a deal to free the hostages. Here's what he said in the last few hours or so.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The best I can, I've been talking with the people involved every single day. I don't know when this
will happen but I don't want to get into any detail.
QUESTION: What is your message to the families?
BIDEN: Hang in there, we are coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: "We are coming," he says.
Meantime security is tied to Washington, D.C., for a march for Israel, a rally going on now. Tens of thousands of people are expected on the
National Mall to denounce anti-Semitism and call for the release of the 239 hostages. Remember the number, 239. CNN correspondent Gabe Cohen is at the
march in D.C. and joins us now.
Gabe, it was quite a turnout, as you see right there behind us. Tell us what you are seeing and what you are hearing from those there.
GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, this crowd behind me is really just a tiny section of the crowd in front of me -- what appears to be certainly
thousands of people and organizers here were expecting tens of thousands of people.
They said it would be the largest gathering of American Jewish communities in recent history. And what we just saw on that stage was a really strong
showing of bipartisan support between congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle here in the U.S.
We heard from the new House Speaker, Republican Mike Johnson, standing beside his Democratic counterpart, Hakeem Jeffries, as well as Democratic
senator Chuck Schumer and Republican senator Joni Ernst.
They stood together, saying that they stand with Israel, with the hostages, who are still in Gaza today. Take a listen. This is what Senator Chuck
Schumer said to this massive crowd just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: And history shows, that when anti-Semitism rears its ugly head, if it is not dealt with forcefully and
directly, it grows into a deadly force.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: And as they were speaking, we could also hear echoes, chants from many people in the crowd, chanting "no cease-fire, no cease-fire." It
speaks to how polarized this issue, this conflict is right now here in the United States.
This rally comes just 10 days after a similarly massive protest, pro- Palestinian protest, calling for a cease-fire that unfolded just one mile down the road from where I'm standing here in Washington.
Those protesters were extremely critical not just of Israel but also President Biden and his support, unequivocal support for Israel throughout
Today, a very different tone. We heard from the president of Israel, Isaac Herzog, who thanked President Biden and thanked the U.S. Congress for its
support in recent weeks. And the speeches continue, as you can hear right. Now we are expecting in a few minutes to hear from family members of
hostages still being held in Gaza today.
SOARES: Gabe Cohen in Washington, D.C., appreciate it. Thanks very much, Gabe.
The U.N. Children's Fund says more than 700,000 children are displaced in Gaza.
SOARES: UNICEF is calling for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire to assess and provide assistance and safe release to, quote, "all abducted
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports more than 1.5 million people in Gaza are displaced. Shelters are being
overwhelmed, leading to health concerns as well as dehydration, of course and starvation. That is according to the U.N.
SOARES: Joining us now from Amman, Jordan, is UNICEF spokesperson, Toby Fricker.
Toby, good to see you -- 7,000 children displaced, more than 4,000 dead. It's not only heartbreaking, it is just very hard just to comprehend.
What can you tell us, what are your teams on the ground telling you?
TOBY FRICKER, UNICEF SPOKESPERSON: Yes, it is hard to comprehend. And it's really a tragic number since the horrific killings inside Israel. The
killings now, the numbers are just on another scale, which is a massive concern we are seeing.
What we are seeing is these more than 700,000 children who have been displaced, are living in increasingly difficult situations. That means the
conditions in shelters are incredibly poor.
Sanitary conditions, very little access to safe water, families living extremely densely populated together. So in schools, for example, in
hospital grounds, their classrooms have become homes with 30 or 40 families. It's a horrific situation.
The big concern now is to stop another catastrophe, meaning outbreaks and diseases, particularly as winter is approaching. And today the first rains
as well inside the Gaza Strip.
SOARES: Are you already starting to see other diseases rising from the conditions, the pretty dire conditions you are seeing on the ground?
FRICKER: Yes, we are. We are seeing now there is more than 30,000 reported cases of diarrhea. There is dehydration rising. We have spoken to UNICEF's
staff members, whose own children have been suffering from diarrhea.
So we are seeing worrying signs of these diseases breaking out, waterborne diseases in particular but also respiratory tract infections. For example,
usually are higher in the winter months anyway.
Now when you have a child health service which is on the brink of collapse, that support, that medical care for children who will need it is extremely
difficult. The resources are extremely strained.
You've got medical doctors who are caring for civilians, children who've been injured in the fighting. So it's a massive concern that these won't
even be treated even if they arise more and more over the winter months.
SOARES: Can you tell us some of the stories that your teams on the ground are telling us, are telling you, I mean?
This is really important to get a sense of what is happening across Gaza.
FRICKER: Yes, I mean, the teams are trying to do what they can to reach civilians, reach shelters, provide lifesaving aid where they can. The
stories of children are obviously tragic.
One child was talking about -- staff members talking about how the stress, cycling through the stress of what she's living through day in and day out,
she's ripping her hair, scratching her thighs.
It is really these symptoms of extreme stress because of the everyday horrors they are living through. So this is another issue, the
psychological impact, not just the killing and the maiming and the reported numbers we've seen but also around these other conditions, around mental
well-being, which is both immediate and also has the long term impacts.
So the key thing now is trying to provide, at least alleviate some of that suffering, particularly in the shelters where people are moving to and
living in these really horrific conditions. That involves bringing in much more lifesaving aid on a much higher scale, medical supplies, water,
hygiene kits, et cetera.
SOARES: In your press release, I saw that UNICEF says it is calling for the safe release of all abducted children. Explain what you mean by that, Toby.
FRICKER: Well, we are. We are calling for the unconditional safe release of all children who were abducted from Israel to be released and returned to
their families like now. We've been calling that since the start.
At the same time, we've been calling for an immediate humanitarian cease- fire to prevent further suffering, prevent further deaths of children, prevent further deaths of civilians.
And then it's about bringing in that lifesaving aid; like I said, increase that humanitarian access so we see hundreds of trucks coming each day. On
average, it's around about 40-50 at the moment.
And then fuel is extremely low. We've now hit a critical point with fuel, where it is so low that the rationing is running out. Water plants that
won't be able to run, desalination plants that UNICEF also supports, which produce safe water, which is critical to be able to move around to shelters
and other areas is extremely low now.
And that has become a real critical breaking point at the moment.
SOARES: Yes, and then the concern of waterborne diseases.
SOARES: Toby, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Really important to get your insight on this. Thank you.
We will take a short break. We will be back after this.
SOARES: In a few hours, U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to land in California for the APEC summit and a meeting with his Chinese counterpart,
Wednesday's summit will be the only -- will be only the second time Mr. Biden and president Xi have met in person over the last three years, the
last time being a year ago around the G20 summit in Bali.
Washington and Beijing, as you well, know have a strained relationship. The sticking points, Taiwan, U.S. national security and China's role on the
world stage. So these leaders headed into those highly anticipated sitdowns facing, as you all know, several challenges.
Our David Culver is in San Francisco joining me now.
And David, before departing Washington, President Biden told reporters he wanted to get relations with China back to normal. Just explain what back
to normal is in this context and how realistically critically that is.
DAVID CULVER, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isa, I have the same question.
What is normal these days between the U.S. and China in this relationship?
Going back to when I was living in Beijing in 2019, it was a fraught relationship and getting even more damaged. Now we at what we keep using as
an all-time low reference. But it does slide lower and lower.
This is perhaps an incremental step toward progress, if you will. It is dialogue. We know that both leaders are headed here right now, both are in
the air. Xi Jinping leaving China, making his way to San Francisco in a few hours. President Biden doing the same.
As you mentioned, the hopes from the U.S. side have been made very clear to perhaps bring things to some sense of stability. You mentioned last year in
the G20 and that ended with that similar hope of stability.
Certainly, the world community was craving that. But what we ended up seeing shortly thereafter was the downing of a suspected Chinese spy
balloon in the U.S., that then derailed secretary of state Antony Blinken's planned trip at the time to Beijing.
And it was then followed by worsening communications, basically severed between the two countries' militaries. So at this, point the hope is to
pass -- reestablish some of that communication, certainly between the two militaries, when we think about what you mentioned as --
CULVER: -- highly contested waters in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and concerns over China's desire to unify with Taiwan.
But perhaps the more realistic takeaway will be something to do with fentanyl. We are hearing U.S. officials are really trying to press that.
And that is indirectly sourced from China, the precursor, (INAUDIBLE) in Mexico and then are smuggled here into the U.S.
So that is one thing that U.S. officials have said is a big point of contention they are hoping to bring some resolution to, Isa.
SOARES: David Culver for us there, good to see you, David, thank you so much.
We will take a short break. We will be back after this.
SOARES: All this, week we are exploring Japan off the beaten path in CNN's new travel series, "Next Big Trip." Today, CNN's Will Ripley learns the
ancient art of making Japanese sake where it all began, have a look.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Shimane is the birthplace of sake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They really make you work for your sake.
RIPLEY (voice-over): And this the saka shrine where the gods are said to have gathered to enjoy their sake.
Oh, we really have to work for our sake today, I think.
RIPLEY: Nice to see you.
Do you do the stairs every time you come here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
RIPLEY: OK. Well, you are a better man than I am.
RIPLEY (voice-over): This is local brewmaster Toshiyake (ph) Imaoka. He visits this temple to pray for a good brewing season, something I am all
too happy to help him out with.
The saka shine is dedicated to the Shinzo god of sake brewing.
And what would a good sake shrine would be without huge round drums of sake?
RIPLEY: There is a really deep connection between sake and spirituality, isn't there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Well, nowadays we know how to make sake and what's in it. But a long time ago, they didn't know. They thought
that was a gift from the gods.
RIPLEY: I appreciate you taking the time to show us around, here but what I'm really curious to see is your brewing, if you don't mind.
Can we go?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Let's go.
RIPLEY (voice-over): It is the start of the brewing season. Toshiyake's (ph) team is in full swing. I am gearing up to join in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).
RIPLEY (voice-over): So-called koshiki steams the rice. Everything is done by hand.
RIPLEY (voice-over): It's like a sauna kind of room here.
It has a texture that's very -- it's firm but also delicate.
RIPLEY (voice-over): This is the part of the brewing process where we get to sample a starter batch of sake, called shubo, which happens to be my
favorite thing ever. It's like Cream of Wheat mixed with like a shot of something sweet. It is so good. I like it. You could sell it just like
this. I would buy it.
Can I have a little more?
Will Ripley, CNN, Shimoni prefecture, Japan.
SOARES: And Will Ripley very much looks like he's in his element. That does it for us. Thanks very much for your company, do stay right here. "QUEST
MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day.