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Isa Soares Tonight
Urgent Negotiation Underway To Get A Further Extension To The Israel-Hamas Truce; Former U.S. Secretary Of State Henry Kissinger Dead At 100; U.S. Pressing Israel To Protect Civilians in Southern Gaza; Hamas' Thai Hostages Arrive In Bangkok; U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken Speaks In Tel Aviv. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired November 30, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: Hello, and a very warm welcome to the show, I'm Paula Newton in for Isa Soares. Tonight, urgent negotiations
underway this hour to get a further extension to the Israel-Hamas truce that's held now for seven days. This bolstered by the presence of U.S.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken who is pushing to extend that truce and influence the next stage of this war.
We will hear from him this hour. And a man of immense power and influence. Former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger dies at the age of 100, we
look back at his life. Now, we are in fact in the last remaining hours of an extended truce between Israel and Hamas still waiting for the promised
exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be completed.
And yes, still waiting to see if those urgent negotiations are able to hold off the resumption of war yet again. Now, two female Israeli hostages were
released earlier and are now back in Israel. And Israeli official says the hostages are being released in separate groups today because they were held
in different locations within Gaza.
Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken as we were saying, he's in the region, he is expected to continue to press for that all-important
extended truce. He met with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv in Jerusalem, then with the Palestinian Authority president in the West Bank, the U.S. is
urging Israel to protect civilian life if it now launches a ground war in southern Gaza this time where Palestinians have been told to flee.
We want to get more now from Ivan Watson who's been following all of these developments from Beirut. Good to have you on the show, Ivan. You know,
each day, the hostage-prisoner exchanges, they follow a slightly different script, today, no exception, and yet the handovers, the truce apparently
still holding. What more are you learning?
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right, I mean, as you reported, two Israelis have been released at this stage, the extension of
today's truce only came together really very much at the last minute. So we don't really know where it's going to go from here.
There have been -- there has been reporting from CNN that there were disagreements between Hamas and the Israeli government, up to the last
minute about Hamas' proposed list of ten hostages to be released that Israel rejected a proposal when Hamas came with a list coming into Thursday
of seven living hostages, and then the bodies of three of the hostages.
And Israel rejected that, saying no, our deal has been these people have to be alive. And for everyone living, hostage release, then Israel would
release three prisoners, Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. So the big question then is, can this be repeated again tomorrow? Can these
warring sides continue their negotiations?
There were a lot of positive comments from the Qatari mediators going into Thursday about the possibility of an extension of the truce. We're not
hearing that same note of hope and optimism. Though, the top U.S. diplomat, Antony Blinken, he has been touring, he's been to Ramallah, he's been
meeting with the senior Israeli leadership, with the war cabinet. And he has been saying that the truce has been a good process and he would like it
NEWTON: Yes, we know, Ivan, of course, that Antony Blinken is expected to speak in the next few minutes, at the same time, Ivan, we are less than ten
hours away now from that truce that's currently in place. What's your sense of if the resumption of hostilities continue or resume, I should say. What
will that look like given all that's transpired over the last week?
WATSON: Frankly, if the parties go back to war, I think it's very frightening because of the sheer loss of life in Gaza through the first
more-than-a-month of combat, the estimates coming from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank, that more than 14,800 people were
killed in some six and a half weeks of fighting in Gaza, that more than a million of the residents are now displaced.
The warnings from the World Health Organization, the disease is now rampant, and the alarm bells that it is ringing that more people could die
of disease from collapsed infrastructure and health care, and poor sanitation than from the actual bombardment. If the hostilities resume and
the Israeli government and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made it very clear that, as soon as the truce ends, Israel will resume its
There is, I think a very real specter and scenario of huge numbers of casualties again. The White House, we've been getting from CNN's reporting
has been trying to impart warnings to the Israeli government or urging it to try to reduce the civilian death toll. But again, it has been massive
throughout the first month of this.
And then there's the added potential factor of its spilling over into neighboring countries. For example, just today, you had some kind of a
projectile that was launched from Lebanon into Israel, it was shot down by the Israeli Iron Dome. And then there was some kind of returned fire
according to U.N. peacekeepers.
And this has been a border that until a truce, you'd have intense fighting with at least a 100 people killed on the Lebanese side of the border. Until
this slight reduction in substantial reduction in the hostilities, that could potentially erupt again as well.
NEWTON: Yes, you were right to point out that there is a lot at stake here including a widening of his conflict depending on what happens in the next
24 hours. Ivan Watson for us in Beirut, thanks so much. And now we are joined by Ilay David, his brother is being held hostage by Hamas and he
joins us now from London.
I want to thank you for giving us some time, given everything you and your family are going through at this hour. And I want to ask you, what has the
last week been like for you, your family -- you know, I'm sure you and your family have rejoiced in the fact that you see loved ones coming home, been
reunited with their families, and yet, you know that as of right now, your brother is likely not on any list.
ILAY DAVID, BROTHER BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: Thank you, Paula. Yes, the feelings are mixed, I mean we are full of joy for any hostage that is
coming home, especially the kids, and the women. But of course, my brother is a young man, and he as many others, the only crime he committed was
celebrating in a peace festival. He's not a soldier. He's just a civilian.
And we are very afraid and concerned that the world community will forget - - will forget the others. And that's what we're trying to do right now, to tell our story and keep raising awareness to the others that are still
being held hostage for 55 days now.
NEWTON: You know, arguably, your strength and the strength of other family members has already resulted in this one week truce, which is giving so
much hope to so many -- so many. I want to ask you though, one of the focal points of this has been the Red Cross. I have heard from other families of
hostages that the Red Cross was supposed to be able to go visit hostages like your brother, and at least, get proof of life, let you know how he's
What have you heard from the Red Cross if anything or Israeli authorities about that being part of any deal here.
DAVID: So, as I recall, you're right. It was part of the deal that the Red Cross will be allowed to visit our loved ones because currently, we know
nothing about their well-being. I know nothing about my brother Evyatar. Really nothing. If he's wounded, if he's been given proper care, we really
We are just hearing stories from the hostages that are coming back and they're very -- they're very different from each other. So -- and it's not
-- it's not nice for any of them. So, actually, today, we got to speak with the representatives of the Red Cross here in Britain, and they told us that
their hands are tied in front of Hamas because Hamas is a terror organization, and if he does not allow to enter, then no one can allow.
So actually, I don't blame the Red Cross, and I don't blame the Israeli government. I just think that there needs to be more pressure put on Qatar
and Egypt so they will influence Hamas to let the Red Cross in to see our loved ones.
NEWTON: And I know then that they did tell you that their hands were tied, and obviously, you know, the truce went ahead in exchange, went ahead
because it has in fact saved lives. I want to ask you, many in Israel agree with the war cabinet, right?
That Hamas needs to be destroyed. Do you believe your brother's life will be forsaken in a way if that happens? If they just resume hostilities. You
and other family members have worked so hard as I said, and now, CNN, we have at least, one report from one Knesset member, from Likud, Danny Danon
saying look, Hamas may be willing to talk about hostages like your brother been released.
What would you say to Israeli authorities, the war cabinet at this hour if you hear that Hamas may be willing to negotiate for young men like your
DAVID: I let the politicians do their job. I think -- I believe that they'll do really anything they can to bring our --my brother, and all the
other hostages back home. I do believe that they understand that destroying Hamas also means releasing all hostages, letting them back home. So, as I
see it, I would do anything to bring my brother back home.
I have never stopped this -- you know, this, to pursue this target. Also my family and Evyatar's friends. And I have to believe that the government is
doing the right choices in order to do that.
NEWTON: Ilay, we will continue to speak to you, obviously. As you've been speaking, we've been showing pictures of your lovely brother in happy
times, enjoying his family, his friends, and apparently his love of music as well. Ilay, I can't thank you enough, really appreciate it.
DAVID: Thank you, Paula.
NEWTON: Now, the World Health Organization is warning that disease could kill more people in Gaza than bombs. Overcrowding, lack of sanitation and
basic hygiene are leading to a surge in infections and making life, as you can imagine, even more difficult for more than a million people that are
still displaced in the Gaza Strip.
Now, they've reported more than 110,000 acute respiratory infections, there is scabies, skin rashes, lice, we could go on and on. Dr. Ghassan Abu-
Sittah is a British-Palestinian surgeon who you'll recall, was in Gaza for 43 days after the Israel-Hamas war began. Now, he operated in hospitals
across northern Gaza during the Israeli bombardment, working in the most unimaginable conditions.
He has since left Gaza and joined Isa in London on Tuesday. She asked him to describe what it was like, and we do want to warn you some of the
details that you're about to hear are upsetting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GHASSAN ABU-SITTAH, BRITISH-PALESTINIAN SURGEON: I'd had 30 years of experience in countless wars. And for me, the description is, they were a
flood, and what I went through this war, it was like a tsunami. The sense that every day was worse than the day before in terms of the resources and
the way they were dwindling, and the mountain number of wounded. Closer, by the end, 35,000.
And as a parent, the just -- the sheer number of children, 45 percent. There were days when half of my list was children. And so, you're having to
do more with less, day-in-day-out. Towards the end, when I was at the hospital, we were the only hospital functioning in Gaza city.
We only had two operating rooms, we had over 500 wounded. Half of the work we did, we did procedures without anesthetic because we were running out of
anesthetic procedures, and it just became just barbaric in terms of what we were having to perform, because we had to -- we had to do debridement and
cleaning of wounds because they were getting infected, because we couldn't take them to the operating room.
But we didn't have any morphine and we no longer had ketamine, which is a kind of anesthetic. And so, it just felt every day, you are sinking further
ISA SOARES, CNN: And I remember one of the -- when you and I spoke, one of the images, I think you put out on social media was a vinegar, that you
went out -- this is, you know, several weeks in, went out to actually buy vinegar. But like you said, as we spoke for the weeks, the situation
deteriorated. And it seemed from what you were telling me, the children, the most severe cases, the most -- at least, horrific cases, you told us,
was of children, what you saw.
What were the stories that stayed with you? If there's one in particular.
ABU-SITTAH: I mean, you do remember all of them, and with -- over the years, you kind of are able to detach yourself from the clinical aspect,
that your brain goes into autopilot and you'll do the work. But as you're doing the work, there are certain things that just -- it's like being
gutted, it's like being punched in the stomach.
You see the braids or the elastic hair band with the little flower, you notice the nail polish, the boys with their favorite superhero on a kind of
plastic bracelet. And that's when you kind of -- you are winded, literally. There was a boy who eventually passed away, a 13-year-old boy who had
horrendous, horrific, full thickness burns to his face, his limbs.
And after one of the surgeries, he was very thirsty, and he asked for water, and I sat next to him and I was giving him the water, and we just --
we were talking about football.
SOARES: It's incredibly hard for you. I can imagine -- well, I can't, I can't -- I lie, I can't imagine. You're a doctor, you're a surgeon, you're
also a father. And you've been to Gaza numerous times, so you know what it's been like over the years. Those images -- and I remember you saying
over the -- some of the surgeries, the screeches, the screaming that must stay with you, the trauma that almost -- also, you carry from everything,
from the 40-plus days you were in Gaza.
You gave a press conference yesterday, and you spoke about the children, the number of children, of amputations. Just tell our viewers what you saw
when it comes to children's injuries, and what -- how that's going to change so many lives?
ABU-SITTAH: So around 40 percent to 50 percent of my operating load was on kids, and these kids had horrendous injuries. Some of them had really
disfiguring facial injuries. Many had amputations. I had done six amputations on children in one single day. All of these injuries are life-
changing. They will be left with disfigurement, disability requiring multiple surgeries until they reach adult age.
And one of the most difficult things is some of these kids are the sole survivors --
SOARES: Yes --
ABU-SITTAH: Of their families. And so, they don't have anyone to look after them or have -- in addition, suffered the loss of one or two of the
parents, other siblings. Rarely do you find an -- that I find an isolated injury where the rest of the family was intact. From multiple siblings were
killed or parents, one or both, and it was just tried -- so difficult to try to kind of -- one have the energy or the time --
SOARES: Yes --
ABU-SITTAH: To provide the kind of mental support that these kids needed, because literally, you were just trying to get one patient after the
SOARES: And you said that you estimated between 700 and 900 children have had limbs amputated as a result of this. It's that high?
ABU-SITTAH: It was horrendous, because buildings would collapse onto people --
SOARES: Yes --
ABU-SITTAH: And these kids would be taken out from the rubble with crushed limbs, it was a daily occurrence. It was a daily occurrence that you'd have
to do these.
SOARES: Can I ask, would you go back?
ABU-SITTAH: In a heartbeat. Your sense of duty towards your parents, something that you develop when you become a doctor is what we call
ownership. The minute you lay a hand on a patient, they become your own.
SOARES: In that vein, then how is the guilt? Do you feel guilt for leaving? And I'm sorry to have to ask you this.
ABU-SITTAH: Absolutely. Guilt towards the patients --
SOARES: Yes --
ABU-SITTAH: Who you didn't help. The patients who you knew needed more help, and towards the colleagues that you've left behind.
SOARES: What is then, in this time that you're back home with your children. What is your purpose right now? Do you feel like -- I know you
were talking to the Met, I'm sure I can report this --
ABU-SITTAH: Yes --
SOARES: My team was saying this testimony that you're providing, what is the purpose of this?
ABU-SITTAH: So for me, I feel that I need to do two things. One is lobby within the humanitarian sector for these patients to receive the treatment
that they need. I mean, there's over 30,000 wounded, many of them still need a lot of work. The -- of the 36 hospitals in Gaza, only nine have
And then the other side is for them to get the justice that they deserve. As a parent, for us to move on from this war, which has killed around 7,000
children and sweep it under the carpet, the kind of world that we will be entering --
SOARES: Yes --
ABU-SITTAH: Where we have completely forsaken all of the achievements since the second world war, with regards to international humanitarian law,
with regards to the conduct of war. It's a frightening world where 7,000 kids can lose their lives and no one is to answer for it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Dr. Abu-Sittah there speaking with Isa Soares in an incredibly sobering interview. Still to come for us tonight, U.S. Secretary of State
Antony Blinken is expected to speak in Tel Aviv after a marathon of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. We will bring you that press
NEWTON: Authorities in Jerusalem say at least three people were killed and seven more wounded when two Hamas gunmen opened fire on civilians Thursday
morning. Now, a local police chief said the two attackers drove up to the bus stop and started shooting with a rifle and a handgun. Hamas says the
shooters were brothers that were members of the group's military wing.
Both were pronounced dead after two soldiers and a civilian fired back. CNN's Ben Wedeman joins me now from Jerusalem. And Ben, as you have covered
for so many days, but also years, the violence outside of those parameters of the Hamas-Israeli conflict in Gaza, it continues, right? This time in
What more are you learning and is anyone surprised that this didn't really affect the truce that's in place still this hour?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it does seem surprising that given that Hamas immediately claimed responsibility for
this attack this morning in Jerusalem, that it did not affect the truce.
It appears that the Israelis do want to move ahead with this continued truce to get Israeli hostages out, and in exchange, handing over
Palestinian prisoners and detainees. But it's important to keep in mind that, in a sense, it's all one. It's all one conflict. Yesterday, for
instance, we saw four people killed in Jenin, in the northern West Bank after an Israeli incursion there, that left an eight-year-old Palestinian
boy dead and a 14-year-old Palestinian boy dead.
So this conflict predates the October 7th attacks by Hamas on Israel, and what we've seen is it's intensified certainly in the West Bank with well
over 240 Palestinians killed in encounters with Israeli soldiers and civilians and settlers. And so, this was of course, the first of its kind,
this attack in Jerusalem since the 7th of October. Certainly, security has been heightened throughout Jerusalem and in the West Bank, where we've seen
in many areas, there have been extended closures of Palestinian towns and villages, new checkpoints setup.
But these attackers this morning came from occupied east Jerusalem itself, from the neighborhood of Sur Baher, so they could get into Jerusalem and
conduct this attack. But as far as we can tell, it didn't actually have any impact on the negotiations with Qatar, which of course, have been -- with -
- which are being mediated by Qatar with Hamas. Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, as you said, of note and of interest that the truce continues to hold in the hours after that attack. Ben Wedeman for us in Jerusalem,
appreciate it. And as we are just speaking, we want to remind you that still to come tonight, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Israel
pushing for that extended pause in fighting. He is expected to speak from Tel Aviv shortly.
And later, he was one of the most influential figures in U.S. politics. We'll take a look at the life and legacy of Henry Kissinger.
NEWTON: So the truce between Israel and Hamas is holding, after the latest extension. We are waiting on U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken to
speak in Tel Aviv.
Earlier he met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Blinken said the hostage release agreement is working and he hopes it will
Netanyahu repeated his promise to, quote, "eliminate Hamas" and said he told Blinken that, quote, "Hamas is trying to murder us everywhere."
Former State Department Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller joins us now.
And it's good to have you on board with us as we await for this press conference. I want to ask you at this point in time what your assessment is
of this last week, this truce continues to hold.
Do you think this is a big win for the United States and Secretary Blinken?
And how ambitious do you think he can be in the days to come right now?
AARON DAVID MILLER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Great questions and thanks for having me.
I think there is no doubt about it, without the intercession of the Biden administration, you would not be seeing these hostage releases in any sort
of structured way. I think it really took the administration to intercede.
And I think it's important that the president has the obvious impact also of creating some space and time for humanitarian pauses and perhaps to
provide a pathway for more extended humanitarian corridors.
I don't think we're talking about a cease-fire; I think that would be a tremendous victory for Hamas and a defeat for Israel and for the United
States. So I think it is possible, since it's in the interest of both Hamas and the Israelis for now, to keep this hostage for prisoner channel alive.
How long it can go is unclear. There are 160 hostages that Hamas still has, 30-40 IDF troops, adult civilians and women and children, I still believe,
remain to be returned. So you could have another day, two or three of this. But at some point we're heading I think for the resumption of an Israeli
ground campaign in the north and in the south.
NEWTON: When we get to that resumption, do you believe that Blinken or the Biden administration is going to get any further in convincing Israel that
quote-unquote "surgical strikes" are the way to go and not what we've seen so far in northern Gaza?
MILLER: You know, it's -- I don't know at what point friendly advice and friendly persuasion turns into a more strong warning.
But I think the public messaging on the part of the administration, from the president on down, is that if the Israelis are going to continue this
campaign, certainly for any significant duration, they're going to have to deal with two realities.
Number one, you're going to have to not attack locations where there are densely populated civilians.
And number two, you're going to have to allow for the continued surging of humanitarian assistance for the roughly half to two-thirds of Gazans who
are now displaced from their homes, many of whom are now in the location where the Israelis intend to operate.
So I think it's very fraught but I think it's important the administration had the Israelis' back for the last 54 days. It seems to me that the
Israelis would be well advised to take that advice and give it serious consideration.
NEWTON: We'll see if they do. Anyone that we speak to normally at the IDF or anyone else continues to say that it's an impossible task. But as you
said, we'll wait to see what happens on the ground.
I want to ask you about the fact that we have not had any significant escalation. We have had some escalation in the region.
Has that surprised you?
And do you think that even this truce, however long it lasts, does make the odds, does lower the odds that we're going to see that regional escalation?
MILLER: Not really. I think the chances that the Israelis would be persuaded to cease from a campaign are slim to none.
I think the fact that you had three Israelis killed today in Jerusalem, a couple Palestinians yesterday, is built in to the reality that both Hamas
and Israel want to continue this channel.
And I think it will continue, because it's in the interest of both sides and they'll do their best, I think, to control and/or contain any serious
escalation that might undermine it. The fact that Hamas claimed responsibility for the shootings in Jerusalem is extremely worrisome. How
much patience the Israelis would have in the face of that is unclear.
NEWTON: Yes, surprising that the truce held even as that was ongoing.
I also do want to ask you just about the issue of whether or not the ground invasion itself is what led to this pause. That is continually what the
Israeli officials tell us.
Do you believe that?
Because they continually say, if we go back in hard, in Gaza and try and root out Hamas militants, that it will again lead to a better negotiated
truce down the road and will, in fact, save lives.
MILLER: I'm not sure that's accurate. I think pressure did result in the initial exchanges. The problem is, right now, once Hamas returns all the
women and children that they control, you are now into the prospects of returning Israeli soldiers.
It seemed to me that the price for doing that is going to be exorbitant as far as the Israelis are concerned. Hamas is going to demand a certain kind
of Palestinian prisoner, prisoners probably with blood on their hands.
And they're going to demand an asymmetrical exchange. It won't be 3:1; it could be 10:1. And even if Hamas agrees to participate in returning some of
the hostages, they are not going to return them all.
They continue to be an insurance policy, in an effort to constrain, in fact delay in the hopes that, the longer they keep hostages, the more pressure
the Netanyahu government will be under from the families of those hostages that are not returned.
And there will also be pressure from the United States, that I think is seeking some sort of de-escalation. So, no, I think this cruel game Hamas
is playing is going to continue.
NEWTON: Sobering words there as well.
Before I let you go, I want to ask you, we've had the passing of Henry Kissinger, at the age of 100. Many say he's the one who invented shuttle
And given his influence in the Middle East, when you look at what Antony Blinken continues to carry out at this hour in the Middle East, what do you
think is his lasting legacy, Henry Kissinger?
MILLER: Well, Kissinger's legacy is extraordinary. I interviewed him for one of my books. And it's critically important.
He turned a trauma -- the 1973 war, 2,800 Israelis dead, thousands of Egyptians and Syrian soldiers -- he turned that trauma through deft
diplomacy and through persistence into a series of disengagement agreements between Israel and Egypt -- and one between Israel and Syria.
He also holds the record, by the way, for the longest time spent abroad in diplomatic work, 33 days, to negotiate that Israeli-Syrian accord.
But the Tunis engagement agreements, the embrace of Sadat literally led to creating the foundation that -- what would become the Egyptian-Israeli
peace treaty. So a lot of credit and certainly in the Middle East, for Kissinger's diplomacy.
He was persistent, he was smart, he was devious and he took advantage of trauma to turn it into hope. I would hope against all hope that this parade
of horrors we've witnessed over the last 55 days, particularly in the wake of October 7th, would lead to the same result. I'm just not as persuaded.
NEWTON: Yes, unfortunately, many parallels between those two epochs of crisis in the Middle East. Aaron David Miller, as always, thank you very
much, we really appreciate it.
MILLER: Thanks for having me.
NEWTON: Now we remind you that we do await Antony Blinken, who is supposed to be speaking at any moment. You see the podium. We will bring you that
press conference live.
In the meantime, the first group of Thai hostages released by Hamas is now back home; 17 former hostages arrived in Bangkok Thursday, greeted with
relief as you can imagine, by their relatives. CNN's Paula Hancocks has more.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: None of the 17 Thai nationals could have imagined a homecoming like this. They have spent some seven weeks in
Hamas captivity in Gaza.
They have been released over recent days and have now arrived back in their home country. They were welcomed via videolink at Bangkok's international
airport by their prime minister, Srettha Thavisin.
The prime minister said that he wanted to thank all the countries that were involved in making this happen. Egypt is being named as a key negotiator
and really the one that brokered this release.
When asked about the whereabouts of nine more Thai nationals, who are believed to be held captive still in Gaza, the answer was that they simply
don't know where they are at this point.
One of the ex hostages did speak and wanted to pay tribute to the more than 3 dozen Thai nationals who actually were killed on October 7th in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Firstly I'd like to express my deepest condolences to our Thai colleagues, who tragically lost their
lives, over 39 individuals. I extend my heartfelt condolences and I ask everyone to take a moment to mourn for our Thai colleagues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: One spoke briefly of the conditions of their captivity, saying that they were well treated and fed but did not feel comfortable in the
custody of Hamas.
This was a separate agreement to the ongoing agreements of prisoner hostage swaps, brokered as I say, by Egypt.
But what we've been hearing consistently from Thai officials is that many of those who were caught up in this violence were there simply because they
were trying to earn money to send back to their families in Thailand, pointing out that many of them are from poor farming communities.
These are migrant workers, officials say, who aren't in Israel for ideological or religious reasons. They are there simply to be able to
provide for their family, also pointing out they have nothing to do with this conflict -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
NEWTON: Still to come for us, the deal that has been decades in the making finally gets to the finish line. We'll have the latest on day one of COP28
NEWTON: We are awaiting U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken, you see the podium there. He is due to hold a press conference in Tel Aviv.
NEWTON: And a reminder, he has been meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders today. We will bring you that press conference as soon
as it begins.
In the meantime, a hotly debated deal a long time in the making. The COP28 climate talks kicked off today in Dubai. First on the agenda, formally
adopting a damage fund, which will see money made available to countries on the front line of this climate crisis.
The agreement follows years of wrangling over should pay for the impacts of climate change and the escalating threat from drought, floods and rising
seas. Countries have already started pledging money to the fund.
But experts warn there are still a lot of the details to be worked out there. The conference also has had already its share of controversy, with
the summit's newly appointed president, Sultan Al Jaber, retaining his job as leader of one of the world's largest oil companies.
In his opening remarks, he promised full transparency navigating his dual roles. Ahead of this year's climate conference, a stark warning from U.N.
chief Antonio Guterres, that, in his words, "We are living through a climate collapse in real-time."
CNN's David McKenzie breaks down what's at stake.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If there was ever any doubt, the future is now. A year of disasters spanning
the globe, made so much worse by the climate crisis.
GUTERRES: The air is unbreatheable, the heat is unbearable and the level of fossil fuel profits and climate inaction is unacceptable. Leaders must
MCKENZIE (voice-over): These critical climate meetings led by a major fossil fuel producer were controversial before they even began. Leaks were
released this week by the Senate for Climate Reporting.
They show what appeared to be briefing papers for COP president Sultan Al Jaber, who is head of the state oil company, allegedly pitching fossil fuel
deals for the UAE on the side.
The COP president calls the allegations false and incorrect.
JABER: Sometimes I'm told that you need to engage with governments of oil and gas companies to put pressure. And sometimes I'm told that you can't do
that. So we are damned if we do, we're damned if we don't.
MCKENZIE: The UAE is saying that they are here because all countries, including oil producers, need to come up with solutions to the climate
ANN HARRISON, CLIMATE ADVISER, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Yes, they need to be part of the negotiations. But what you can't have is somebody who is
putting fossil fuel companies' interests ahead of the negotiations and the outcomes that we need.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The outcome that the U.N. and many others hope, for a concrete plan for a fossil fuel phaseout. A recent U.N. report shows that
the globe is wildly off track to meet emissions targets.
ANI DASGUPTA, CEO, WORLD RESOURCE INSTITUTE: It's critical for countries to come together and agree to a systematic reduction and a timely
reduction. This is a true moment for leadership.
It's not about technology or technical things. It's about leadership, that this is something we need to, do we need to come together. Rich countries
have to help poor countries.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): The harsh reality, countries that have the least responsibility for climate change will feel the most catastrophic impact.
KAISA KOSONEN, HEAD OF DELEGATION, GREENPEACE: At this COP, they need to have guarantees that there will be a fund with sufficient money in it to
deal with the loss and damages. So the impacts, they can no longer avoid and they just have to cope with.
MCKENZIE: If that doesn't happen what's the consequence of that?
KOSONEN: The consequence is lost lives, livelihoods, futures.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): And the consequence for all of us if bold steps aren't taken now are too terrible to contemplate -- David McKenzie, CNN,
NEWTON: Still to come for us, he was one of the most influential and controversial figures in American politics. We'll look back on the life and
legacy of Henry Kissinger.
NEWTON: A reminder that, at any moment now, you will see Antony Blinken at that podium. He will bring us right up to date on the state of play in
negotiations in the Middle East.
But we speak now about a man that he knew well and that was a controversial figure and a pivotal figure for more than 60 years. And now former U.S.
secretary of state Henry Kissinger has died at the age of 100. Here is CNN's Richard Roth, with a look back at his life and legacy.
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know all of you will want to hear from the new secretary of state.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Henry Kissinger never really needed an introduction on the world stage again. Kissinger,
the most famous statesman of the last half of the 20th century, celebrated and controversial.
As Richard Nixon's national security adviser and secretary of state, the diplomat wielded enormous power and influence. So trusted that it was
Kissinger who went to China on a secret mission to explore an historic opening of U.S. relations with Communist China.
HENRY KISSINGER, SECRETARY OF STATE, NIXON ADMINISTRATION: Whoever went would be alone in Beijing, with no communication. And therefore if he
didn't know Nixon's mind, he might do foolish things.
ROTH (voice-over): Initially there were fears the U.S- China ping-pong exchange match would affect the high stakes political gambit.
KISSINGER: Every once in a while, something happens in diplomacy, which transcends the drafting of cables.
ROTH (voice-over): Vietnam: casualties mounted as the Vietnamese gained territory. Nixon and an undiplomatic Kissinger thought more bombing of the
North would help.
KISSINGER: I would then recommend that we start bombing the bejeezus out of them within 48 hours.
ROTH (voice-over): Kissinger approved secret bombings of North Vietnamese units in Cambodia without congressional approval.
He would say, "Sometimes statesmen have to choose among evils, moral compromises and messy conflicts."
Kissinger and his Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their role --
NEWTON: And we take you now to Antony Blinken at a press conference in Tel Aviv, let's listen in.