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Isa Soares Tonight

Biden and Xi To Meet Amid Disputes Over Military Ties; IDF Launch Operation Inside Gaza's Largest Hospital; Biden And Xi Meet; Families Of Hostages March From Tel Aviv To Jerusalem; Interview With Jordan Foreign Minister Regarding Strike On Gaza Mobile Hospital; Spaniards Rally Against Proposed Catalan Amnesty; New CNN Travel Series Exploring Regions Of Japan. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired November 15, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello and welcome everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, we begin with a high stakes meeting between the leaders of

the world's two biggest economies. In just minutes from now, U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are to meet in person for

only the second time in three years.

The two men are then set to talk behind closed doors at a historic estate south of San Francisco. And they have, I think it's fair to say, plenty to

discuss and to talk about -- Taiwan, trade, national security as well as restoring military channels of communication. Relations, as you know

between the nations are at low point, but both sides say they are ready to mend the frail relationship.

And the stakes for this meeting are high, but the expectations are actually low. U.S. officials say -- list of outcomes to come out of these talks.

Let's get more analysis really from the deputy director of the Atlantic Council's Global China Hub, Colleen Cottle who joins us in Washington D.C.

Colleen, great to see you. I mean, it does seem here that the goal is to keep the two sides talking, restoring like I said, those channels of


But I was intrigued by what I've heard from Jake Sullivan; the National Security adviser, that says that the driving aim it seems is to keep the

relationship from tipping over. I mean, if this is a starting point, Colleen, what does that say?

COLLEEN COTTLE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ATLANTIC COUNCIL'S GLOBAL CHINA HUB: Yes, I think after a difficult year with starting with the balloon incident

earlier this year, and then some more tit-for-tat trade measures on both sides, restricting trade, I think the importance of this meeting really is,

on a more symbolic level, trying to ensure that both sides maintain a commitment to high-level communications.

This is also important because there is a chance that the leaders will not be able to meet next year. And so they're really setting the tone for the

entire year ahead with this meeting and with that commitment for high-level communications.

SOARES: Yes, and there does seem to be a long list as we outlined. Plenty for them to talk about in terms of topics that they may want to discuss

including areas of disagreement and strain like military tensions around Taiwan, human rights violations, trade, as well as the war that we are

seeing play out in the Middle East. Where are they most likely, Colleen, to find common ground here?

COTTLE: I think we've already gotten some hints, and it actually might even be a little more robust than what some of those initial very low

expectations were. We were -- we heard some word in the last day or so that there's going to be an agreement announced on fentanyl, precursor chemicals

as China has been a large source of shipping some of those precursor chemicals to Mexico.

And there is once a higher level of cooperation between the two countries, and it looks like there may be set to resume some of that cooperation in

exchange for the U.S. removing one of Chinese entities from one of its list here, reducing restrictions there.

I think another area that there might be some more movement, and it seems that at lower level, we've had some movement on the increased military-to-

military communications, we're opening channels there to again, prevent that risk of an incident that escalates into something larger.

And then, there may be some -- there was a State Department announcement today that there had been an agreement to improve -- increase the use of

renewable energy as a replacement for fossil fuels, and that, you know, would certainly be a well-timed, even if more symbolic announcement and

cooperation ahead of the climate change talks and to -- by later in the next couple of weeks.

SOARES: I'm interested to -- I wonder really, Colleen, how this will play out in China. Because we -- what we've been hearing is that planning has

been intricate with a focus on every piece of choreography, down to even where Xi would sit, you know, how he -- what he might see out of wind of

any given moment.

Optics, as we know matters to Beijing. But does it say something about the challenges he is facing at home as well as of late?

COTTLE: Yes, I think that is exactly right. I think those domestic challenges are really a -- were really a key driver in Xi's willingness and

interest in coming to the United States for this meeting.


As you know, the headlines have been pretty grim about the economy in terms of how fragile of a recovery they have had in China since the COVID

lockdowns. They are in desperate need of more foreign investment, which has been waning. And so, this meeting is a chance for Xi to show to foreign

investors and foreign businesses that China remains open for business, and is a good place for doing business, whether the CEOs and U.S. companies

agree with that is another question.

And as a follow on after this meeting with Biden, Xi is set to meet with some U.S. CEOs at our private roundtable later this evening that I think

will be a second chance to kind of foot-stamp that message.

SOARES: And for Xi, Colleen, will that be the priority? I mean, not just opening up the relations and communications, but in terms of economically,

would that be the aim? Would that be going home with a win?

COTTLE: I think for Xi, yes. I think a big goal of this visit was to really shore up a little bit of confidence among foreign investors. And so, having

that -- having a good headline for this meeting that there was a commitment to having stable ties that Xi himself has seen as a stabilizing force in

the relationship, I think would be something he's desiring and then ensuring that the credit roundtable folks come away with the impression

that China is, you know, not looking to provoke a crisis with the United States anytime in the near times. So, therefore, please bring back your

investment or keep your earnings in China --

SOARES: Yes --

COTTLE: That would be a key focus areas for Xi.

SOARES: And I expect the fake expectations are low as we are hearing, maybe as a sort of when might not be so hard to attain here from both sides. But

I want to get your thoughts on what we heard from President Biden because President Biden told donors at a campaign fundraiser the day before this

meeting that China has got real problems, his words.

Biden, as we know, has used off-camera fundraiser to knock Xi and China. But who is this message for here? And what do you think this does, Colleen?

COTTLE: And I think he's probably -- you know, there's a domestic blow on political audience to this for Biden. I think as he's heading into an

election year, where he's going to be facing a lot of questions on China for the foreign policy, you know, issue that's going to be front and

center. So making sure that he's not appearing too soft on Xi Jinping and on China, and leaving room for Republicans to attack that approach as we

head into a very contentious election season.

SOARES: So for -- we've talked about in terms of what Xi may see as a potential win or what he may want to be able to -- the headlines might be

in Beijing, let's say tomorrow. What about for President Biden? What would be a win here?

COTTLE: I think being able to have those agreements in the headlines, particularly when it comes to the agreement on fentanyl would be a key win.

I think just being able to show that he came away from this meeting with something concrete from Xi in terms of cooperation and a kind of a gift

that the Chinese gave, that was a previous criticism of some of the past visits from high-level U.S. officials this Summer.

Secretary Blinken as well as Secretary Yellen, they came away from China and engaged in this dialogue and didn't get anything in return for that.

So, for Biden having something very comfy to tell out of these exchange would be, political, when I think.

SOARES: Colleen, do stay with us, we are hoping to hear from the -- from both leaders and it will spray -- you're looking -- we're looking right now

at live pictures. I want to go though for the moment to our senior White House correspondent MJ Lee, who is not far from where the meeting is taking

place at Woodside, California, it's just eight minutes past 11:00.

And MJ, as I was speaking to Colleen there, we were talking about the task at hand. If we leave the topics that may be discussed today, let's talk

about this visit, Xi's visit, it's the first time he's visiting the U.S. since 2017. Now, we've already heard how incredibly well choreographed this

is. Just set the scene for us.

MIN JUNG LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are actually at the historic estate in Woodside, California, where the summit is about to take place in

just a few moments. We should see that handshake take place between President Biden and President Xi. And this is, as you said, the first time

that the two leaders are meeting face-to-face in a year.

And you think back on what has transpired over the last year, and really the environment that U.S. officials are walking into.


We have of course had tension over the Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down. There have been fraught, sort of disagreements between the

two countries over former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to visit Taiwan. We also saw the severance of military-to-military communications

between the two countries.

And when you talk to U.S. officials heading into this summit that is about to take place, they say, in the big picture, what they would like to get

out of this meeting is sort of a re-establishment of the U.S.-China sort of normal relations. Diplomatic channels, diplomatic communications that U.S.

officials say are critical to making sure that there are not misunderstandings and unnecessary misunderstandings between the two


Now, in terms of any tangible accomplishments or goals to come out of this summit, the military-to-military communications being re-established, that

is one that U.S. officials have very much been emphatic about. They also think that there could perhaps be an announcement on the two countries to

cut back on and curtail the chemical substances that are used to make fentanyl.

Now, I should note, there are obviously also going to be a lot of tough conversations that happen behind the scenes on a number of issues where the

two countries have historically not seen eye-to-eye or where there have been a lot of tension on issues like Taiwan on election interference, on

human rights issues that U.S. officials have spoken out about in China.

So, it is going to be sort of a marathon afternoon of meetings here at the estate where we are, between the two leaders, but again, U.S. officials say

that they will be happy if they walk out of this meeting at the end of the day feeling like they were able to make some progress on re-establishing

diplomacy between the two countries.

SOARES: Yes, indeed. Thanks very much MJ. We are looking at these live pictures there from Woodside, we're waiting of course, for President Biden

and Xi Jinping to meet, important meeting, of course, for both these leaders of two of the biggest economies in the world. Colleen was talking

to me in the last few minutes, as we wait for leaders to meet.

And as you heard there, how much really there is for them to discuss after not meeting, and relationship being a bit soured for several years. But

tensions over, of course, as we were hearing over the surveillance balloon, disagreements over Taiwan. We've got -- and obviously, the military

communications. But what we have heard from officials from the U.S. side at least is that restoring the channels of communication, that's the most


Colleen, you're back with us. Before we talk about what they're likely to discuss, give our viewers a sense of what these two leaders are like,

because they both know each other well.

COTTLE: In fact, yes, I think they -- for them both, there's a preference for this personal diplomacy, really to sit down one-on-one with a

counterpart and be able to really kind of bond over personal -- you know, personal stories and being able to really at a very personal level, you

know, kind of share their foreign policy perspectives.

And so, for Biden, I think this meeting, you know, offers him that opportunity to really be able to inject directly into the senior most

decision maker in China. What he is -- you know, he is looking for in terms of the bilateral relationship, and the same would be said for Xi. For the

last year, any of the high-level communications have been filtered up through cabinet-level officials on both sides. And so, this is the chance

for this to be a very direct conversation between the two.

SOARES: And how do you see this, Colleen, playing out in China? I am keen to get a sense of what newspapers, editorials would want to come out of


COTTLE: I think that's an interesting question because there has been a little bit of a shift in the last recent days as the meeting has gotten

firmed up, and I think, you know, it was a very late confirmation that the meeting was happening as often as the case. So, the Chinese government

likes to withhold that confirmation of a meeting until the last minute sometimes.

But you've seen a little bit of a softening in the state media on the bilateral relationship, a particular emphasis on the importance of people-

to-people exchanges, sharing some kind of personal connections between U.S. and Chinese citizens in ways that would help kind of cultivate those ties

between the two.


And I think that's really giving essentially Xi a little bit of a propaganda top cover to have those honest conversations with President

Biden, and be able to really have, you know, one or two of those kind of concrete deliverables come out, and the propaganda has sort of paved the

way for this --

SOARES: Yes --

COTTLE: A little bit of a softening stance. Whether it's genuine, I think I would be very skeptical of that, but at least, it's a tactical shift in the


SOARES: Yes, and like you said, I mean, optics matter, and I think in the last 12 months, I think it's fair to say, Colleen, there have been some

bumps in the road for Xi Jinping, not least of course, the economy. I think it's fair to say it has been stalling, correct me if I'm wrong, we've seen

record-high youth unemployment, housing crisis, tech sector layoffs. So this would potentially be able to be seen as a strongman, strong leader,

back in the front pages.

COTTLE: Exactly, and showing that he is this responsible leader managing this relationship with a very important counterpart. Really being -- you

know, he wants to be seen as in the driver seat of that relationship. Now, you can argue that's -- whether that's the case or not, but for him, it is

about showing that, like you said, that strong man, the statesman approach that he likes to have to bolster his domestic standing.

SOARES: And sticking with the economics of this, if we have a slowing Chinese economy here, Colleen, does that benefit the U.S. or does that

hinder it?

COTTLE: I think it probably cuts both ways and would depend on the industry for sure. But we certainly have benefited from the -- a lot of the foreign

investment shifts that we've seen in the past several months --

SOARES: And Colleen, let me just interrupt --

COTTLE: Foreign investors into --

SOARES: Colleen? I'm sorry to interrupt. I just want our viewers to have a look at this moment to listen here. I'm going to pause for us to listen.

You were looking at live pictures there from Woodside, California, with a really high stakes meeting there between the leaders of the world's two

biggest economies. You saw President Biden there giving Xi Jinping a warm handshake with smiles from both sides. Two handshakes at the entrance -- at

the entrance of that door, and as he came out of the car.

And there's plenty for them to discuss. The first time they're meeting in person, for the second time in three years, and there's plenty of them --

plenty for them to discuss. We know the meeting is happening behind closed doors, and it's happening as you saw there at the historic estate, south of

San Francisco. You were talking to me just before I had to interrupt, and apologies for that, Colleen, about who would benefit. There's -- whether

the U.S. would benefit or does it hinder having a slower China? Finish your thoughts, apologies.

COTTLE: No problem. I think that it would -- you know, there are some benefits in terms of more investment coming back towards United States that

was no longer a lot of the earnings from foreign companies have been sent back into the United States. And so, I think there is an opportunity for us

to continue to invest in our manufacturing capacity and be bringing some of that funding home.

On the flip side, I think the -- China remains an important export market for U.S. businesses and really countries around the world. And so it's

following economy there, certainly has impact on U.S. companies that produce for the Chinese consumer, you know, as well as a lot of the -- you

know, where countries around the world that are large producers of energy and other raw materials. I think that they'll be hit by a slowing Chinese


SOARES: And this meeting obviously coming just before U.S. elections next year. How will this play politically in the United States. Just explain

that for our international audiences.


COTTLE: Yes, I think Biden does have to be careful about, you know, how -- ensuring that there are these tangible outcomes that you can point to, even

if they're smaller, you know, and being able to tout progress towards those outcomes in the after-months of this meeting with the fentanyl being kind

of one key example.

I think he is going to need to ensure that there is at least something to show for maintaining this high level communications with China so that he's

not opening up himself to criticism from the Republicans, that he's, you know, having dialogue with no meaningful progress. I think another area we

haven't mentioned yet, that's an area to watch potentially on the A.I. --

SOARES: Yes --

COTTLE: Issue, whether there is room for, you know, some sort of dialogue when it comes to norms and standards for the use of A.I., that's an area

that I think there is bipartisan support for the U.S. to be taking a leadership role in A.I., and that might be one area where Biden can also

tout for a domestic audience this way of ensuring China adhering to the rules and norms that we would like to see in that space.

SOARES: And one thing I didn't ask, and we were running out of time, and apologies. It's -- I wonder whether President Biden will be asking for any

sort of support vis-a-vis Ukraine, given of course, the ties that we have seen, the closer ties I should say that we have seen between Xi Jinping and

President Putin. What are we likely -- do you think he's likely to go there?

COTTLE: I think that will be part of the closed-door discussion, and I think probably not just Ukraine, but I would imagine that President Biden

will also face the war in the Middle East --

SOARES: Yes --

COTTLE: In China's role. And both situations of this, clean neutrality, but really such as in the case of Ukraine, continued support, you know, and

toeing the line of what's permissible and not permissible from a sanctions perspective on Russia. And similarly, I think Biden will be asking for Xi

to the extent that's possible, prevent Iran from interfering further in that crisis as well as looking at ways to potentially cooperate on

humanitarian aid into the Gaza region.

SOARES: Colleen Cottle, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us and breaking it all down for us on what we can expect. Thanks very much,


COTTLE: Thank you so much for having me.

SOARES: Pleasure, and we are likely to hear from both leaders, well, of course, when that happens, we will bring it to you. In the meantime,

Israeli forces are now in control of Gaza's largest hospital, conducting an operation Israel says is aimed at rooting out Hamas. It's chaos at Al-Shifa

Hospital where conditions are dire and supplies are dwindling.

Israel is describing the hospital raid as precise as well as targeted. Israel claims it has uncovered, quote, "concrete evidence" of what it calls

a terror headquarters run by Hamas underneath the hospital, saying it would produce this evidence later. It's a charge Hamas and hospital officials

deny. CNN cannot independently verify any of the claims by the Israeli forces, Hamas or hospital officials.

We were not able to reach the hospital for confirmation. The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote next hour on a resolution, calling for

humanitarian pauses in Gaza. Let's get more on all of this, our Nada Bashir joins me now from Jerusalem.

And Nada, there have been huge concerns, and you and I have spoken about this for the patients, for those newborn babies, and health officials who

are inside Al-Shifa Hospital as this Israeli operation seems to be continuing. What is the IDF saying about this operation and what are you

hearing, if you're able to hear from anyone on the ground, because we have been able -- we haven't been able to collect -- connect to doctors either.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: It has been hugely difficult to get up-to-date information from the ground, particularly from Al-Shifa Hospital. Of

course, we have been trying to reach doctors on the ground, we have had some messages from medical staff within Al-Shifa Hospital who have

described the situation, particularly the situation in the early hours of this morning.

As that raid was ongoing, some doctors describing hearing a gunfire and fierce fighting on the vicinity of the hospital. We have heard from a

Palestinian journalist who was inside Al-Shifa working, reporting, they're describing the building as shaking from the weight of the ongoing shelling

on the complex of the Al-Shifa Hospital.

There is as you said, a huge amount of concern for the safety and security of patients inside the Al-Shifa Hospital. As we know, the situation has

been getting worse and worse with each passing day, not least because of the humanitarian situation and the shortage in the central suppliers, but

also as a result of the ongoing bombardment and on-the-ground fighting edging closer and closer to the Al-Shifa Hospital, and to many other

hospitals in northern Gaza.

But as we have seen today, as a result of that raid, the IDF says it is targeting Hamas. The situations seems to have become one of catastrophic

proportions according to doctors on the ground. Take a look.




BASHIR (voice-over): Weeks of bombardment had already left Gaza's largest hospital in what has been described as a catastrophic situation. Doctors at

Al-Shifa working under impossible circumstances, caring for hundreds of patients as Israel's military incursion moves inside the hospital.

MOHAMMAD ZAQOUT, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF HOSPITALS IN GAZA: The occupation soldiers are still on the ground floor. They are searching employees,

civilians, even the injured and patients. Some were stripped and placed in dehumanizing and miserable conditions.

BASHIR: Israel's raid on Al-Shifa has been described as precise and targeted, focused, they say, on claims of a Hamas command center beneath

the hospital. But it is civilians, including medical staff and patients that have been caught in the center of this unrelenting battle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): We can't look through the windows or doors, we didn't know what was happening. We kept -- tanks moving within

the hospital. We can hear continuous shooting -- we can hear it now. But again, it's totally a scary situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are these sounds, doctor, I'm hearing sounds?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's continuous shooting from the tanks.

BASHIR: Israeli defense officials say soldiers found concrete evidence that Hamas used Al-Shifa Hospital as what they have described as a terror

headquarters. The no further details were provided on the nature of this evidence. Both Hamas and healthcare officials have long denied a military

presence within Al-Shifa. CNN cannot verify either side's claims.

With over a 1,000 patients and medical staff still inside the hospital, many have expressed alarm over the civilian impact of the Israeli

military's operation.

MARTIN GRIFFITHS, EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR, UNITED NATIONS: Our concern on the humanitarian side is for the welfare of the patients of that

hospital, which is of course in great peril at the moment. We have no fuel to run it, the babies have no incubators, newly-born, some are dead

already, we can't move them out, it's too dangerous.

BASHIR: On Wednesday, the Israeli military said their troops had delivered incubators and medical supplies to the Al-Shifa Hospital. CNN cannot

independently verify this claim, and has not been able to reach the hospital for confirmation. However, the director-general of Gaza's

hospitals has warned that babies at Al-Shifa are in severe danger, as conditions in the hospital deteriorate further.

Adding that there is no place to move dozens of incubators outside of a hospital under current circumstances But even as Israel tightens its grip

on Al-Shifa, now said to be under the complete control of the Israeli military, according to Hamas, doctors say they will continue to do whatever

they can to save the lives of those wounded in this devastating war.


SOARES: And our thanks to Nada Bashir for that report. I want to -- I want to take you straight to California, where U.S. President Joe Biden is

meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, as we showed you live pictures in the last few minutes. Let's listen in.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And to host you in the United States, it's a great honor and a pleasure, particularly as it relates to

our summit today. And for the APEC leaders meeting this week, look, this time of year, about a year and a day ago, we met in Bali on the sidelines

of the G20. Since then, key members of our teams have had important discussions on issues mattering to both our nations and to the world.

But as always, there's no substitute to face-to-face discussions. I've always found our discussions straightforward and frank, and I've always

appreciated them. Mr. President, we've known each other for a long time. We haven't always agreed, which has not surprised anyone. But our meetings

have always been candid, straightforward and useful.

I never doubted what you've told me in terms of your candid nature in which you speak. I value our conversation because I think it's paramount that you

and I understand each other clearly, leader to leader with no misconceptions or miscommunication. We have to ensure that competition does

not veer into conflict, and we also have to manage it responsibly, that competition.

That's what the United States wants and what we intend to do. We also -- I also believe that's what the world wants from both of us, candid exchange.

We also have a responsibility to our people and the work -- and the world to work together when we see -- to do so. And a critical global challenge

that we face from climate change to counter-narcotics to first of all, intelligence demand, our joint efforts.


So I look forward to beginning this discussion and I welcome you. And the floor is yours, Mr. President. And again, welcome back.

XI JINPING, PRESIDENT OF CHINA (through translator): Mr. President, good morning. Coming here, I thought of -- I think of your trip to China, when I

was the vice president of China. We had a meeting. It was 12 years ago.

I still remember our interactions very vividly. And it always gives me a lot of thoughts. Last time we met in Bali, you said it was a year and a day

ago. A lot has happened since then.

The world has emerged from the COVID pandemic but is still under its tremendous impacts. The global economy is recovering but its momentum

remains sluggish. Industrial and supply chains are still under the threat of interruption and protectionism is rising. All these are grave problems.

The China-U.S. relationship, which is the most important bilateral relationship in the world, should be perceived and envisioned in a broad

context of the accelerating global transformations unseen in a century.

It should develop in a way that benefits our two peoples and fulfills our responsibility for human progress. The China-U.S. relationship has never

been smooth sailing over the past 50 years or more and it always faces problems of one kind or another. Yet it has kept moving forward amidst

twists and turns.

For two large countries like China and the United States, turning their back on each other is not an option. It's unrealistic for one side to

remodel the other and conflicts and confrontation has unbearable consequences for both sides.

I'm still of the view that a major (INAUDIBLE) competition is not a pervading trend of current times and cannot solve the problems facing China

and the United States or the world at large.

Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed. And one country's success is an opportunity for the other. It is an objective fact

that China and the United States are different in history, culture, social system and development path.

However, as long as they respect each other, co-exist in peace and pursue winding (ph) cooperation, they will be fully capable of rising above

differences and find the right way for the two major countries to get along with each other.

I firmly believe in a promising future of the bilateral relationship. Mr. President, you and I, we are at the helm of China-U.S. relations. We

shoulder heavy responsibilities for the two people of the world and for history.

I look forward to having an indepth exchange of views and reach new -- reaching new understandings with you on strategic and overarching issues

critical to the direction of China and U.S. relations and on major issues affecting world peace and development.

I wish to thank you for your thoughtful arrangements for our meeting today and for our participation at the APEC meeting. Thank you.

SOARES: That is a little snippet there from both leaders as the leaders of the two biggest economies. Need to give you a little sense of what they


First it was President Biden from what you heard there saying it was a great honor and pleasure. It is a year in a day ago they said they met in

Bali. President Biden said even -- said welcome back to president Xi. He said that there is no substitute for face to face discussions.

Said today he always has found that discussions with president Xi Jinping candid, straightforward, as well as useful.

His words, "We have to ensure that competition does not lead to conflict."

This is what we heard from President Biden and focus on working together on artificial intelligence as well as climate. From what we heard, from the

snippets we heard from president Xi Jinping, he said a year in a day since their meeting in Bali, a lot has happened.


SOARES: He said there have been grave problems. He talked about the global economy, saying that the momentum remains sluggish. He talked about rising

protectionism and then he went on to say that China-U.S. relationship has never been full slate, saying that planet Earth is big enough for the two

countries to succeed.

As we get more details, of course, from these meetings, closer meetings, now we, of course, will bring it to you.

Some major news coming from a letter sent by the Israeli first lady tour to her U.S. counterpart. According to the Israeli prime minister's office,

Sarah Netanyahu wrote to Jill Biden that an Israeli hostage has apparently given birth in Hamas captivity.

In the letter, Netanyahu writes, quote, "You can only imagine, as I do, what must be going through that young mother's mind, as she's being held

with her newborn by these murderers."

This is as Mr. Netanyahu comes under intense criticism by some families for not doing more to secure the hostages released. A large group of people are

marching from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The families of hostages are holding signs and placards of the missing.

The five-day march is expected to end on Saturday at prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence. Evyatar David is among the hostages that

Hamas is holding in Gaza.

His brother, Ilay David, joins us now. He's part of a group marching from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem over five days, as we said, and they are demanding

that Israel do more, really, to get the hostages released.

Ilay, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us.

First of, all what do you want to see and hear from prime minister Netanyahu?

ILAY DAVID, HAMAS HOSTAGE EVYATAR'S BROTHER: Firstly, thank you for the opportunity.

Second, the most important thing that we want to do right now is actually make our voice heard and our cry heard. It has been 40 days without any

information about our loved ones. We know nothing about the deals that maybe are going to be or maybe not. We are being fed from the news and so I

don't think that, as a family, we deserve that.

SOARES: And Ilay, what we have heard from the Netanyahu government -- and I'm sure that you know this better than any of us -- they have said time

and time again that they are prioritizing the hostages, the 239 hostages.

Are they prioritizing the hostages in your view?

DAVID: It is a tough question. I really believe so. I mean, I really have to believe that they are doing anything that they can in order to bring

them back as soon as possible and as safe as possible.

But again, the facts are different. We were surprised 40 days ago and our loved ones were kidnapped and, again, for 40 days, I mean, any minute that

passes, it is a crime that they are not here already. Yes. So yes, again, I really hope that they do anything they can but I'm sure that they can be --

that they can do even more.

SOARES: And we have been hearing, Ilay, and I'm sure that you have, from President Biden that it is looking positive, there's optimism, I think it's

fair to say, that a hostage deal will be done.

What do you -- what are you hearing?

You must be so incredibly frustrated.

How are your parents doing?

DAVID: So my parents are devastated from day one. Of course, we saw our brother being led by terrorists. We saw it on propaganda videos. We saw him

frightened and humiliated and tied up. Of course that devastated, of course, that I am sad and furious but right now we are trying to be as one

big family. All of that -- weird family that by chance that become the families of 240 almost kidnapped.

So we really hope and that is the main goal of our march, that, together, as one big family, they will look at us differently. They will not make a

deal that will make us separate again. We want everyone back and we won't stop until the last one of them will come back home.

SOARES: Ilay, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. I really do hope that your brother comes back home.


SOARES: We are wishing you and your family all the very best, as we are for the rest of the 239 families. Thank you very much, Ilay.

DAVID: Thank, you thank you so much.

SOARES: And new just in to CNN, Jordan's foreign minister says their mobile hospital in Gaza has been hit. I want to bring in Jordan's foreign

minister, Ayman Safadi, who is on the phone.

Foreign minister, just give us a sense of what exactly has happened.

What can you tell us?

AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, basically, late afternoon, our field hospital staff rushed to the emergency section as they saw a

number of Palestinians carrying wounded persons. And as our staff got to the emergency room, they got hit again.

And about seven of our medical staff there were wounded. Many other Palestinians were unfortunately killed and injured. So the attack happened

as they were trying to provide help to warn the people that other Palestinians brought to them.

SOARES: Well, we seem to have lost --

Foreign minister, I wanted to check that you're still with us. The connection seems to be quite weak --

SAFADI: Yes, I'm with you.

SOARES: All right, you go ahead, go ahead. You're saying what time the attack happened and you were talking about the patients.

SAFADI: Yes. Around 5:30, Gaza time, our medical staff members rushed to the emergency triage in response to Palestinians bringing wounded people.

As our people reached the emergency entrance, they were hit and seven of our people were killed. Ten others, tens of others, Palestinians, were

injured and killed.

The attack obviously was part of the overall war that we see continuing to unfold in Gaza. And again, it is just incomprehensible that people trying

to offer medical help to wounded people get hit as well.

SOARES: Can you give us a sense, Minister, how many people have been killed, how many injured, if you have a sense of that from your team?

SAFADI: Yes, our people, as I said, seven injured, tens of Palestinians -- I mean, last time I spoke, or people were treating about 200 Palestinians

as well. So it is an evolving situation. But we got the information from our people on the team.

As you know, this hospital is probably one of the only remaining hospitals in northern Gaza. It has been in Gaza since 2009. The services it is

providing is vital. And obviously we are demanding an investigation into what happened so that we can see what legal action will be taken.

But the issue now is to make sure that the hospital continues to operate, continues to offer help to people in need. That is why we are continuing

with airdrops that are providing them with supplies on a week to week basis.

And so that is the enormity of the challenge they are having. We will keep that hospital there, because, as I said, it is a last resort for thousands

of Palestinians in that area that the Israeli war had rendered into any other medical facilities.

SOARES: And I'm getting many families, many young children too.

SAFADI: Absolutely. Women, children -- again, when our team responded, it was just to tens of wounded people being brought, including women and

children. So how they were attacked, why -- and you know, at the end of the day, as occupying power, Israel has a legal obligation to make sure that

hospitals are safe, that the vicinity of hospitals are safe and that normal military operations that could jeopardize hospitals are conducted.

So again, we are looking into the facts and we try to establish them as the investigation continues. But meanwhile, I just want to reaffirm the vital

role this hospital is playing given that it is probably one of the only, if not only hospitals that are functioning that are providing urgent medical

services to innocent Palestinians, who have no other recourse for treatment.

SOARES: Yes. And as you well know, foreign minister, what we have heard and the scenes, the chaotic scenes that we have heard, that we have seen in Al-

Shifa Hospital, we know that where conditions are dire, supplies are dwindling.

We have heard from the IDF. Israel has described the raid that is happening there as precise and targeted. And we're looking at some of the footage

there. They even said that they have uncovered, quote, "concrete evidence" of what it calls "terror headquarters" --


SOARES: -- run by Hamas underneath the hospital. They've not provided any evidence but they said that it would provide evidence later.

What do you say to these claims?

SAFADI: Well, first of all, nothing, again, nothing could justify the vicious attack that we saw on Al-Shifa Hospital. Hundreds of people denied

their basic right to treatment. You saw babies taken off incubators because there is no power to keep them functioning.

Again, we have thoughts and we have claims. The fact is that there are people that the whole world can see being denied the right to proper

medical treatment with no medicine, no water, no electricity, nothing.

And we have Israeli claims that, as you said, have yet to be proven. The only thing that would prove such claims is an international investigation,

something which Israel has refused to do thus far.

And so again, I think what we need to focus on, I think the whole world saw the horrific images of babies off incubators, of mothers screaming for an

aspirin to the ease the pain of their kids.

Why this is happening?

Because Israel is denying them medicine and Israel has attacked the hospital. So again, there is international law. There are obligations that

Israel needs to uphold. And I think it's imperative for the Security Council to act.

It has been almost 34 days and the Security Council has not yet taken one decision urging the humanitarian pause. So nothing can justify the images

that we see in Al-Shifa Hospital. This war has got to stop; 11,000 Palestinians, 67 percent of them are children and women have been killed.

When is enough enough?

How many people have to die before the whole world realizes the absurdity and the brutality of this war?

And the fact that it will not bring security to Israel or peace to the region. This war has to stop and all of us need to come together and figure

out why we got to where we are and what is the only path to making sure that nobody has to live this horror again.

And we believe in Jordan and we've been working for years for Jordan for the two state solution, which would guarantee the safety and security of

Palestinians and Israelis. Meanwhile, Israel is obligated, the whole world is obligated to make sure that Palestinian patients do get the treatment

that they deserve as hospitals are under attack.

That babies have incubators to keep them alive. And hospitals like our hospital have provided the protection it needs for it to be able to

continue to keep it alive (INAUDIBLE).

SOARES: And as you call it an absurdity. I wonder what conversations, what pressures, diplomatic pressures are happening behind the scenes between

yourself, the United States, other allies and Israel?

Is that moving the needle at all?

SAFADI: I think that the whole international opinion is pointing toward the need to end this war. We know that a lot of our friends in the U.S. and

Europe (INAUDIBLE) urging Israel to stop this war. Unfortunately, it is not moving the needle.

Israel is saying that it will continue with its war to achieve a purpose that nobody can explain what that purpose is.

Wiping Hamas out, how are they going to do? that

At what cost, those wiping Hamas out means?

I think the only thing that we all know for certain is that this war has already killed 11,000 innocent people, displaced 1.6 million people,

destroyed the health infrastructure, denied people food and water.

Since October 21st, by the way, even though Israel said it would allow humanitarian aid, only about 985 trucks have entered Gaza. The daily

average before the war was 500 trucks. So you can imagine the dire humanitarian issues that we see unfolding and continuing to unfold in Gaza.

SOARES: And this is something that I've been hearing daily on my show from doctors in Gaza City, in the south from NGOs. Foreign minister, really

appreciate you taking the time. We will try to reconnect.

One of the doctors, of course, in the hospital, in the mobile hospital, to try and get more details as well. But we appreciate you calling us and

taking the time to speak to us. Thank you, sir.

SAFADI: Thank you so much. Appreciate. It

SOARES: Very concerning indeed. We will take a short break but we will be back after this.





SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

In Spain, overnight protests have continued for nearly two weeks amid anger over acting prime minister Pedro Sanchez's proposed amnesty law for Catalan



SOARES (voice-over): Mr. Sanchez's party reached a coalition deal last month, if you remember, after coming in second in July's elections. To make

that coalition work, they have sought the support of Catalan separatists, who in return want clemency for hundreds of activists facing legal action

over the failed 2017 Catalan independence bid.

But protesters in Madrid say that this exchange for amnesty is unconstitutional. Mr. Sanchez, who's been in power since 2018, is seeking a

new four year term as prime minister. He says it is time to move on. Have a listen.

PEDRO SANCHEZ, SPANISH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We have opted for the path of dialogue. We have opted for the path of forgiveness. We

have opted for the path of understanding.

Even though it is very difficult, because the positions are very different, we have put negotiation before imposition. We have put reunion before

revenge. In short, unity before fracture.


SOARES: And the vote is expected on Thursday. Mr. Sanchez needs 176 votes to form a government.

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 heads to the

country's western coast and finds something rather unexpected as well as beautiful. Have a look at this.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tottori is the least populated prefecture in Japan, home to only about 0.44 percent

of Japan's 124 million people.

Stretching 10 miles along its coast, something you may not expect: desert. Sand dunes formed more than 100,000 years ago, reaching heights of 150


What better way to take it all in than from above?

RIPLEY: If you would've told me a month ago that I was going to be paragliding over sand dunes in Japan, my first thought would've been, huh?

There are sand dunes in Japan?

How did I live here for four years and not know that?

And my second thought would be, hell, yes, let's do it.


RIPLEY: I love, you mom.



RIPLEY (voice-over): The feeling is surreal, sailing over this vast, rugged expanse of sand. The sad truth is, it is shrinking. The dunes, just 12

percent of the size that they were 100 years ago.

A tree planting project launched in the 1940s to prevent sandstorm damage. Our local guide, Noriko Fujimoto, says it has been so successful that many

dunes have disappeared. Here, the greenery is actually threatening what is left.

NORIKO FUJIMOTO, LOCAL GUIDE (through translator): Do you see the weeds?

When the sand is covered with grass, you can no longer see these beautiful patterns. In order to protect the scenery, citizens are volunteering to do

the weeding. So everyone is trying to protect the dunes and their beautiful scenery.

RIPLEY: What is your favorite thing about this place?

FUJIMOTO (through translator): I think it is the wind ripple contrement (ph). I like the combination of the quiet sound of the waves and the

pattern of the waves.

RIPLEY (voice-over): A fittingly spectacular sunset rounds off our time in Tottori, further proof to me if you travel just a bit further than your

average tourist, you can get a front row seat to some of the world's most enticing (ph) and unspoiled (INAUDIBLE) -- Will Ripley, CNN, Tottori

Prefecture, Japan.

SOARES: Very beautiful.

That does it for us. Thank you very much your company, do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with our own Richard Quest is up next.