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One World with Zain Asher

CNN Continues Its Breaking News Coverage On Israel At War; Israel Orders Civilians In Gaza To Evacuate, Head South. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired October 13, 2023 - 12:00   ET



ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S SECRETARY OF STATE: Israel's thinking as well as our own and the thinking of many other countries in the region because one

thing is for sure, we can't go back to the status quo that allowed this to happen in the first place.

So, that has to be part of the thinking and it is. But the immediate focus again is on making sure that Israelis are protected, defended, and that

again this can't be allowed to be repeated.

With regard to a second front, if you put it, yes, this is something that we're very focused on. We have been from day one. We want to make sure that

no other country or entity try to take advantage of the situation.

The President's been very, very clear about that. He said very starkly that any state or non-state actor considering that should not. Don't do it. He's

backed that up in a number of ways, including, as I mentioned the other day and is known, deploying our largest aircraft carrier battle group to the

Eastern Mediterranean. So, that's clearly designed to help ensure that anyone contemplating getting engaged doesn't do it.

But beyond that, a big part of my own conversation is here throughout this trip, including today, following up the next couple of days, is working

with other countries to make sure that they're using their own contacts, their own influence, their own relationships to make that case that no one

else should be taking this moment to choose to create more trouble in some other place.

I should mention as well that earlier today, I had a very good conversation with President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. And among other things,

the Palestinian Authority is acting effectively to try to ensure that there is security and stability in the West Bank, something that is very much


And they are working as they've done in the past with Israel to that effect. So, in each of these areas, yes, this is a focus. And it's very

important that this not expand other places.

MOHAMMED BIN ABDULRAHMAN AL THANI, QATARI PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN MINISTER: Regarding your question about the progress on the hostages,

actually, it's very early to judge with the intensity of the war right now, how hopeful we are. But we have to be always hopeful in order to get those

hostages back.

I think that the progress will be determined in the next few days, hopefully. And we will see if there will be a positive prospect for that.

But you know, we are doing our best, our partners are doing their best in order to get them released safely.

On our views on the Israeli response in Gaza, we have seen the amount of devastation that's hit Gaza, which almost now half of it's been disrupted,

and the number of people who've been killed throughout this operation is significant.

And we believe that human being are human being everywhere, whether they are on Israel or Palestinians. They have the same value and this is deeply

painful for all of us.

And we would like to see international law applied here on also the same standards that we apply to any war being applied in that we are trying our

best in keeping the communication open in order to ensure that the humanitarian suffering doesn't continue.

And moving ahead with the humanitarian passages for the aid to be provided to them. We cannot deprive the people in Gaza from electricity, water and

medicine and all the means of life. We believe that the situation is very dangerous.

On the future prospect of this, the entire situation is very worrying for the entire region. And we believe in the absence of any political horizon

and hope for the Palestinians, this issue will keep on going, unfortunately.

So, that's why we need to focus on how the day after will be dealt with and how we can create a political horizon and hope for the Palestinian people.

UNKNOWN: Thank you.



ZAIN ASHER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you've just been watching a live press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking alongside

the Qatari Foreign Minister as Israel readies itself for what they're calling pretty much the next phase of this war, a possible ground

incursion, ground assault into Gaza.

One thing that I found interesting in terms of what the Secretary just said there, is that what Israel is doing -- these are the Secretary's words --

"What Israel is doing is not retaliation. It is simply defending itself.

He also warned Hezbollah not to take advantage of the situation. He also touched on the fact that he really does appreciate Qatar's efforts in terms

of mediating a possible hostage release here.

BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, so much on their agenda, not only focusing on releasing these hostages, but also on de-escalating the

situation as a whole. Secretary of State Blinken said that their focus with the Israelis is helping to establish some safe zones within Gaza, as you

are seeing millions impacted there, where it seems an incursion by the Israeli side is imminent.

ASHER: Yeah, the humanitarian crisis in all of this is obviously the main focus, as Israel has just ordered civilians in Gaza to head south 24 hours

at this point to move a million people. Is that even possible? Where on earth would they go? But that is exactly what Israel has told residents of

northern Gaza to do. They're telling them to move south now.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. Hello, everyone. We should introduce ourselves. I'm Bianna Golodryga on this busy hour of "One World" along with Zain Asher.

The evacuation notice comes as Israel appears to be readying for a ground invasion of Gaza. Now, CNN has seen Israeli tanks and troops on the move

heading toward the Pact enclave. I

ASHER: In the meantime, Israel continues to pummel Gaza with rockets, with bombs. All of this made it that much more complex and complicated by the

scores of hostages, as you were just mentioning, taken by Hamas from Israel over the border into Gaza this weekend. Now, Hamas also claiming, this is

important to note too, that 13 of those hostages have been killed in the Israeli airstrikes.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, we have no confirmation on that number, though. Meanwhile, the International Community is trying to head off the

humanitarian crisis that would come from an invasion. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is racing around the region, as you just saw him there

in Doha meeting with leaders in not only Qatar, but Jordan and Saudi Arabia today.

Well, for more on the situation in Israel and Gaza, let's now bring in Becky Anderson, who's joining us live from Jerusalem. Becky, a very busy

Friday here, a lot of moving parts. Israel is urging mass evacuations, Hamas telling residents to stay in place. Things are very chaotic, as an

incursion does appear imminent. What are you hearing?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Yeah, for days the skies over Gaza have been filled with airstrikes, bombs, rockets outgoing. But for a brief moment

today, the Israeli army instead rained paper down upon the people of Gaza pamphlets with a dire warning evacuate northern Gaza in the next 24 hours.

Well, the U.N. and aid agency say it is simply impossible to move over a million people from northern to southern Gaza in just 24 hours. Think about

the sheer logistics of these streets filled with rubble, many cars out of fuel.

How do you move people who are in the hospitals, the handicapped, the elderly? Where do they go? It is not like southern Gaza has room for a

million refugees.

Meanwhile, Hamas telling people in Gaza don't move an inch. It says Israel is engaging in, I quote them here, "psychological warfare on the people of



ANDERSON: In the meantime, these are the scenes from outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem earlier today. And it is in Jerusalem where

you join me today. Israeli forces charging at those gathered for Friday prayers. This is one of the most contentious sites in Jerusalem and really

at the heart of this conflict. I was there this afternoon where on a normal Friday, the area would be full of Muslims gathering for Friday prayers.

Take a watch at this.


ANDERSON: This is a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Many of the young men in this area have not been allowed into the Al Aqsa Mosque today to pray at

midday prayers. They'd normally go in if there wasn't a selective process. But clearly today, the Israelis have selected them by age -- men and women

by age.

So many of the youngsters here haven't had an opportunity to get to the Al Aqsa Mosque. So, they have been praying on these streets here, look.


If I describe this as a sort of tense calm today, I think that's how -- that would be fair. I've been in this area before and it's been very

chaotic and very violent.

So, I've spoken to some of the older ladies and gentlemen who did get an opportunity today to get into the Al Aqsa Mosque and they described it as

really concerning and very worrying. They prayed, they came back and they're now back in their homes.

But what's happening here now is the Israeli security forces just pushing people back. They're trying to avoid something kicking off here. Apologies

for the camera as they move us back. I don't know if you saw in the shot earlier on a very big black truck. That is what's known as a skunk truck.

And it's used by the Israeli forces to sort of clear demonstrators.

It's a bit like perhaps our viewers will have seen in the past water cannons shot from big trucks. You can smell the acrid nature of what is

chemical having been dispersed from that truck.

We've heard stun grenades going off this morning. Not a lot. Again. You know, there is a, as I say, a sort of you know, uneasy sense of calm on

what is this day of protest that is being called by Hamas today.


ANDERSON (on-camera): Well, as I mentioned in that report, I did speak with some of those who did manage to get into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Women

over the age of 50, men over the age of 60 today. One woman described it as frightening. Take a listen.


UM TAMER, 57-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN (through translator): The environment was very tense. We struggled to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque. High alert, a lot of

fear and tension from the Israeli side. We are going to our Aqsa Mosque to pray. What's the worshipper going to do? They're coming to pray and leave.

That's it. We're not coming here to fight. They're the ones who are scared and nervous.


ANDERSON: Well, let's get straight to what can be done next. For the residents of Gaza that have no place to go. A senior Jordanian official

tells CNN that Jordan and Israel are applying diplomatic pressure on Israel -- sorry -- Jordan and the U.S. applying diplomatic pressure on Israel to

allow aid through the Rafah crossing.

And that is the southernmost tip of Gaza, of course, the crossing with Egypt. And that is the only way in or out by land. The rest of the Gaza

Strip, of course, is surrounded by Israel and under a total blockade.

Well, Jordan's Foreign Minister, Iman Safadi, joining me now from Amman. Thank you for joining us. We just saw the U.S. Secretary of State with the

Qatar Prime Minister. That was after, Sir, he met with King Abdullah earlier. And you were in that meeting. What was discussed? And frankly, you

know, what was the atmosphere of the meeting? What is realistic at this point?

AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN PRIME MINISTER: Good evening, Becky. As you said, Secretary Blinken was here. I met with His Majesty. I met with

him, as well. Obviously, the focus is how do we get out of this nightmare that has engulfed Gaza and the whole region?

How do we de-escalate? How do we ensure that humanitarian supplies get to the hundreds of thousands of people in Gaza who have no access to food,

water, shelter? And pretty much, how do we get out from this very dangerous cycle of violence that time has proved once and again will only make things


We have to think of how do we end this dangerous escalation, but we also -- how do we make sure that we get to a point where we can avoid this from

happening again?


SAFADI: That has been our effort for years and now it's clear for everybody that violence will only get more violence. War is not the answer


ANDERSON: Yeah. Right.

SAFADI: And let's deal with it now, stop this catastrophe and again, think of the day after.

ANDERSON: And I have to say, you know, Foreign Minister, you and I speak on a regular basis and you have been warned. You've been -- you've been

warning of you know, this worrying escalation in violence over the last months, over the last years.

And you've warned that we could be facing some sort of catastrophe. And it feels like we are on the brink of that. I want to talk about the escalation

around the regional potential escalation momentarily.

Let's start though, specifically with Gaza and what happens next. The State Department has said that Anthony Blinken is putting pressure on Israel to

establish safe zones for civilians.


What do you understand is being done to prevent harm to civilians should this ground incursion and further air attacks really start to put

significant pressure -- more significant pressure on the civilians of Gaza?

SAFADI: Becky, as you said, not only did we warn of such a terrible moment engulfing the region, but as you know, His Majesty has been working around

the clock to avoid this at this moment. Unfortunately, our efforts did not get us to the point where we were willing to get, and we are where we are.

And let me start, first of all, by reconfirming, reaffirming the longstanding Jordanian position that we condemn the killing of civilians by

both sides, that every life matters, whether Palestinian or Israeli. And that the more lives we lose, the more difficult it will be to get away from

this, again, a best which we've been pushed.

Again, the priority now are 2.3 million people in Gaza, innocent people, women, children, kids are -- we cannot victimize them again. They're

already victims of circumstances to which they've been pushed again. So, the priority now, get immediate humanitarian supplies.


SAFADI: And when it comes to save zone, we have to be very careful, as well. It has to be within Gaza. We cannot have a population displacement.

We cannot have population transfer and we need to make sure that now, stop the escalation, get humanitarian supplies, work on humanitarian corridor

for supplies to come in, stop the fighting and then start working for our big move as peace advocates and our big move as peace advocates to counter.


SAFADI: The move that has been forced on us is to create the rise of --

ANDERSON: Foreign Minister, so let's talk about these two issues. Yeah, let's talk about these two issues. Getting humanitarian aid in and

evacuating Gazan citizens. Now, they are being told to evacuate to the south of Gaza at present. What you are saying is that Jordan does not want

to see the evacuation of citizens out of Gaza, correct?

SAFADI: Absolutely. And again, Becky, 1.2 million people in North Gaza. Where are you going to evacuate them to? Where will they go? Again, Egypt,

Jordan, Russia, Syria.

ANDERSON: Okay, let's talk about aid. Yeah, let me, I understand that. How are you going to get aid in and who's going to provide that aid?

SAFADI: We're all working to provide aid. We're talking to Egypt. Israel has to allow aid to come in. We've already sent a shipment to Egypt just in

case to be ready when the borders are open. We're also working on getting Jordan also a hub to get aid through the West Bank and into the Gaza when

the right moment arrives and when the fighting stops. That is imperative.

We're also looking at UNRWA and please allow me to emphasize the important role UNRWA is playing. UNRWA has already lost 12 lives in the conflict of

Gaza as they were trying to provide food and water to over 200,000 people who flooded its schools and shelters.

We joined yesterday as the government to donate to UNRWA for Gaza. We offered $4.5 million. We need everybody else to come in and help UNRWA

because nobody can do what UNRWA is doing there.

ANDERSON: Let me just -- before we talk about the concern about escalation around the region, and you've seen protests in Jordan today and over the

past days, and I want to talk about just how worried you are about what you see around the region.

Before we do that, I just want to be absolutely clear about this. You know, King Abdullah, His Majesty, met with Antony Blinken today. And what you are

telling me is that there is no concrete detail as of yet on the evacuation of Gazan citizens. But Jordan wants to see those accommodated within Gaza,

not leaving Gaza. And you are saying there is a need for, but not yet an established humanitarian aid corridor into Gaza, correct?

SAFADI: Correct.

ANDERSON: Right. Let's talk about what's going on around the region. We really are seeing -- witnessing an outpouring of anger across a lot of the

Arab world, including in your own country, Sir. How concerned are you about, about violence spreading at this point?

SAFADI: I mean, again, we're extremely concerned about this conflict spreading. Of top priority for us is the West Bank. Then we have Lebanon.

Because if the conflict, if the level of violence and war we see there spread into those territories, then the whole region is going to be



Popular reaction is going to be more aggressive. Again, civilians are civilians from both sides, but now the images that are coming out of Gaza

not only are breaking the hearts of everybody as did the previous images, but again are pushing towards anger, which is going to manifest itself


We're trying to make sure that people have the right to express themselves, but also working around the clock to make sure that we find a breakthrough

in deescalating and preventing this terrible situation from spilling over into the West Bank and Lebanon, as well.

ANDERSON: Ayman Safadi, how would you describe in a word the conversations, the discussions that Jordan's King Abdullah had with the

U.S. Secretary of State today? How would you describe the atmosphere?

SAFADI: Very detailed, very frank, focused on the priorities of ending the -- how do we end the conflict. How do we protect civilians? How do we not

allow a massacre, a humanitarian catastrophe? And how do we prevent spill- over?

And how do we find a vision that, again, quoting Secretary Blinken yesterday, that would offer an alternative vision to the vision of death

and violence that, unfortunately, have been the story of this region.


SAFADI: We must get out of this cycle. We must understand that only if we are able to convince people on both sides that they have a future of peace

and hope, we'll be able to eliminate the influence of the extremist narrative and the path to that is all of us coming together, making sure

that we do have a plan --


SAFADI: towards say that is two states for the Palestinians and Israelis so that both Israelis and Palestinians live in.

ANDERSON: Foreign Minister --

SAFADI: And allow me just one word. If I may, Becky. This is all the people who are falling, all the children, all the women from Israel, from

Palestine, that is just too many lives being lost and we cannot continue being forced into this space of violence. We have to create the space for

peace, the space for respecting life and moving forward.

ANDERSON: Understood. Ayman Al Safadi, I very much appreciate your time today. I know it is extremely busy for you. The diplomacy behind the scenes

is absolutely crucial at this point. The Foreign Minister of Jordan giving us his time on CNN today. And thank you very much indeed, Sir.

And as I've been speaking to the Foreign Minister, I'm just getting word from my colleagues that according to the IDF troops, Israeli troops have

carried out local raids in the Gaza Strip. So, that is according to the IDF, troops have carried out local raids on the Gaza Strip.

We know to date that we have been witnessing the saturation of that Israeli border with Gaza, with some 300,000 troops mobilized around there. And

we've seen artillery fire coming from those positions. But ultimately, the bulk of what we've seen has been airstrikes by the IDF -- from fighter jets

above Gaza and obviously, the anticipation is for a massive ground assault of some sort.

Now, I call it a massive ground assault. We don't really know how big this is going to be, when it's going to happen nor what its real scope is going

to be. But I think it's important just to point out that while we are not seeing the beginning of that, that is not what the IDF is announcing -- it

is announcing that its troops have made small moves into the Gaza Strip. They have been on the ground.

All right, well I'm going to be back a little later this hour with more from Jerusalem right now. We're going to take a very short break. Back

after this.




ASHER: Welcome back. I'm Zain Asher.

GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. We want to bring you the latest on what we're hearing about what appear to be IDF special forces going into

Gaza and small teams. Raids have begun there.

And the reporting that we are getting, thus far, is that these are very specified raids to go after, quote, unquote, "terrorists that have

kidnapped some of these hostages". And these operations thus far are more about finding out more information as to where these hostages are.

Let's get some more information from CNN's Nic Robertson, who is near the Gaza border in the Israeli city of Zerot. And Nic, what are you hearing?

Nic, can you hear us? It's Bianna and Zain in New York.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Okay, yes, I can hear you now. I'm sorry, I think we had a breaking communications there.

So, where these small local raids took place, these limited incursions, quite literally out of my left shoulder, I mean, it's dark now, obviously,

so you can't really see, but it was right in the northwestern corner of the Gaza Strip, close to the sea there.

And what we understand from the IDF -- that they're saying that this was over the past day, these limited raids, "IDF soldiers searched and

collected evidence that would assist in the effort to locate hostages. In addition, IDF soldiers thwarted terrorist cells and infrastructure located

in the area, including a Hamas cell that fired anti-tank missiles towards Israeli territory."

So, that perhaps gives you some idea of what initiated this small raid inside of Gaza. In addition, the -- in addition, they continue to strike

the Hamas terror targets. Israeli Air Force continue to strike at Hamas terror targets, which over the past 24 hours, we've certainly heard that

from here -- it's certainly been focused on the inside, the northern end of the Gaza Strip.

So, this is the first time now since last weekend that Israeli defense forces have been able to go inside Gaza, small, localized missions, but to

try to get information about the hostages. And that information, of course, is so critical in moving forward with a bigger incursion because the last

thing the IDF wants to do is to put those hostages in harm's way.

So, any information they can gather is important. There are obviously some details in this from the IDF, but we don't have -- we don't we're unlikely

to have all the details. What was recovered? Was there any information that they recovered about where the hostages might be?

Was it a Hamas or another operative that they were able to snatch, would that person be able to give useful intelligence and information? All of

these details we are blind to right now and are unlikely to be told by the IDF at this stage.


But I think this does tell us that the IDF is getting to that position where it can put in bigger and deeper incursions. This one, because a

rocket-fired anti-tank rocket was fired from that area in the very northwestern tip of Gaza, which, by the way, has been an area that seems to

have been used for staging, for infiltration over the past six days or so, a number of sea infiltrations have happened on that part of the coast at

the very northwestern tip of Gaza there.

ASHER: All right, Nic Robertson, live for us there. Thank you so much. Once again, the IDF carrying out local raids within Gaza, involving

infantry and armored forces, as well. All right, Nic Robertson, thank you.

Okay, a prominent Arab Israeli news anchor's emotional message of unity and defiance within the country after Saturday's terror attack by Hamas has

gone viral.


LUCY AHARISH, ISRAELI-ARAB TV REPORTER AND ANCHOR, CHANNEL 13: I'm sorry that I'm using my microphone to send a message to the world. As a

journalist, this is my only weapon. Since Saturday morning, the state of Israel is under attack.

Our beloved country is under attack. We are under an attack of a brutal, barbaric, inhumane terror organization. Not an entity, not a government,

not a leadership, but a terror organization.

Don't be mistaken. We experience difficulties, disagreements, and major disputes, like any other country on this globe. But it does not mean that

we will not protect ourselves and our children, our homeland.


GOLODRYGA: While Israel is broadly referred to as a Jewish homeland, Arabs make up about one-fifth of the population. The wider Israeli-Palestinian

conflict has complicated their sense of identity in the past, and there is a lot of concern about what this current war means for that dynamic.

Lucy Aharish who you just saw there in that powerful message, was the first Muslim Arab news presenter on mainstream Israeli television and joins us


Lucy, it is so good to see you. I know we were trying to get you on with us earlier in this week. But I actually think finishing out this horrific week

with you and your message is very timely.

You know, you went on in your message to say that Israel, you speak for all, not just Jews, not just Muslims, not just for Jews, not just

Christians, but all of Israel when you are sharing that message. And this is a very personal one for you, as well. You yourself were the victim of a

terror attack as a young child. Can you talk to us about why you decided to say these words this week?

AHARISH: You know, first of all, thank you for giving me the stage to speak about it and to talk about it in English, because in the last few

days, we're talking and covering the atrocities that are happening in the south of Israel. This war, I promised myself that I'm not going to be

emotional because it's hard not to be emotional. For me, it's personal.

In the last few days, since everything happened on Saturday morning. Everything that I went through was when I was five years old, on a Saturday

morning, we went to the Gaza Strip when back then, 1987 when Israelis had the ability to get into the Gaza Strip, I went through, me and my family, a

terror attack.

Two Molotov cocktails were smashed into our car. In two minutes just before that happened, I saw the terrorist. I saw the terrorist when he got close

to the car. I saw something in his hand and I didn't recognize what it is, but I immediately felt fear. So, I started scrolling down my seat and I

continued watching and looking at him. And in one second, he looked me directly into my eyes and he saw that in that car, there were two young

children and two families.


And he just smashed these two cocktail Molotov into the car. And my father was brave enough and was clear enough to be able to save us. My cousin was

burning in front of my eyes and thank God that he was saved.

But the evil that I saw in the eyes of that terrorist, I never forgot that. So, when people are telling me and when I hear that people are saying that

what is happening in Israel is a lie, I cannot stay silent. It's not a lie. It's not a lie.

AHARISH: What is happening in Israel is truth. An awful truth. A barbaric truth. A catastrophic truth. Never in my life I thought that I live to

experience and listen to these kinds of testimony. It's unbelievable.

And you know, you probably saw the image that was put today in "The Daily Telegraph" of a baby, an innocent baby, and babies were burned. You know

what? I'm saying even if it was one baby. How can you -- how can you rape women and just -- out their bodies? How can you do that? How can you burn

an entire family, a mother, a father, two young daughters, and a baby? How can you do that? This is a genocide.

You know, Bianna and Zain, I did a documentary on the Syrian refugees. A few years ago, I heard their horrible stories the last time that I played

the word that I gave an English message from an Israeli TV channel.

It was for the Syrian people that were massacred and murdered. I never thought that me, my family, my friends will go through this. It's a

genocide. And I'm so sorry because you know, I'm a journalist and I'm supposed to be --

ASHER: Don't be sorry. Lucy, do not be sorry. I mean, I don't even know. I don't even understand what you're experiencing right now. A lot of people

are saying that people on the ground in Israel will never be the same.

Many people that I've spoken to feel that they will never be the same. The country will never be the same after what happened on Saturday. I mean,

it's awful. It is uniquely horrific, uniquely horrific in terms of the barbarity that your country experienced on Saturday, and we are so sorry.

GOLODRYGA: Lucy, thank you for taking the time. I know this is painful. It continues to be painful. And thank you for saying so strong and continuing

to do what you do and telling these stories every day as a journalist.

I know you're also a mother, a wife, a human being, and you're just conveying the humanity and the lack of humanity in all of these atrocities.

Thank you for joining us, Lucy.

ASHER: Thank you.

AHARISH: I just want to ask you one thing. This is a war. This is a war of democracies, and democracies need to understand that there is a limit to

freedom of speech. And social media, the heads of social media platforms, need to join this fight.

They need to join this fight because what is happening and the propaganda and the lies that people are spreading out there, this is another crime.


So, I'm asking you as my colleagues to stop the lies because we cannot stand aside. This is another world as a Muslim. This is not Islam. As a

Muslim, as Arab, this is not Islam.

What Hamas is doing in the name of religion, this is not being a Muslim. This is being a monster. And this is what people need to understand,

because God doesn't want that. If you believe in God, He doesn't want that.

ASHER: We know that Hamas absolutely does not represent the Palestinian people, Lucy. But --Lucy, unfortunately, we do have to run, but thank you

so much.

AHARISH: Thank you so much.

ASHER: Thank you so much for bearing your soul, for bringing your story to us. We are eternally grateful for you in terms of opening us -- up to us

and trusting us with your message. Thank you so much, Lucy.

AHARISH: Thank you so much. And take care of you and your families.

GOLODRYGA: You, too.

ASHER: Yes, yes. We'll be right back with more.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. I'm Becky Anderson live for you in Jerusalem today. More on that breaking news into CNN. The Israeli defense forces say

they have carried out some raids in the Gaza Strip.

They say that they are searching for hostages. I want to bring in Matthew Chance, who is across this story, following the developments reporting

today from Tel Aviv. Matthew, what do we know?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, look, I mean, we're all bracing, of course, for the -- I'm getting it

coming back in my ear here. We're all bracing for the possibility of a large-scale Israeli invasion by land into the Gaza Strip.

But, of course, we have to remember that complicating that military operation is the fact that there are between 100 and 150 Israeli hostages

that have been hidden by Hamas militants after they were seized inside Israel all across that territory.

And I think what we're seeing now according to the IDF -- small limited incursions into the Gaza Strip with the express purpose of you know, first

of all, trying to neutralize terrorist locations is the first thing to say, but also to try and locate the whereabouts of some of those hostages.

In fact, the newly appointed hostage affairs coordinator here in Israel gave me a statement earlier saying that they were doing everything they

could on every level to try and search every area of ground to try and find where these people are, where the people are located.


And so, I think this is a part of it, but to be clear, it is not, we don't think, the beginning of the large-scale land invasion that everybody's

braced for. But again, to reiterate, you know, when that happens, the presence of those captives in the Gaza Strip is something that the military

planners are going to have to take into account already.

Hamas militants say that as a result of the ferocious airstrikes that have been pounding areas of the Gaza Strip for the past several days, at least

13 of the hostages they took have been killed. That's not been corroborated by the Israelis or by the United States, but it does underline what a

precarious situation that the military planners are and we all are currently involved in. Becky.

ANDERSON: Yeah, and diplomatic sources had told me earlier in the week and confirmed now by the prime minister of Qatar speaking alongside the U.S.

Secretary of State today, saying that there are efforts that they are mediating between Israel and Hamas to try and effort the release of those


Earlier on in the week, we were told that, you know, the efforts were around an exchange of hostages, women and children, Israeli women and

children, in Gaza for women and youth in prisons in Israel.

So, we know that is ongoing. We also know that the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, who's been in Jordan and is now in the Gulf doing the

rounds, trying to ensure that there is some sort of humanitarian corridor set up for and some sort of safe zones set up for these gardens.

We just spoke to the Jordanian Foreign Minister who said, you know, that Gazans need to stay within the country as far as Jordan is concerned,

within the enclave as far as Jordan is concerned. They don't want to see the spillage of Gazans outside of the enclave.

But clearly, you know, as they are told by the IDF to move from northern Gaza, one assumes, you know, because there is this imminent assault by

ground and air forthcoming, the IDF trying to ensure that Gazans are evacuated out of the way. Hamas, of course, telling Gazans to stay in


There is an awful lot going on. The Secretary of State not only looking at the humanitarian corridors and the hostage issue, also speaking to the

Israelis and the region about how to de-escalate what is going on both in the short term, in the hours to come, and trying to ensure that this

conflict, what is going on here now in Israel and in Gaza does not spill outside of these borders.

You're watching CNN. I'm Becky Anderson. Coming up. Leaving no stone unturned, the U.S. calls on its regional allies to step in and de-escalate

this conflict. We'll look at what progress, if any, he has made so far.




ASHER: All right, as we mentioned earlier in the show, the U.S. has deployed its top defense and diplomatic officials around the region as it

tries to both show solidarity with Israel and also at the same time de- escalate the conflict that is brewing between Israel and Hamas.

GOLODRYGA: Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrapped up a meeting with Qatari leaders last hour. He is criss crossing the region calling on

Washington's Arab allies to use their influence with Hamas.

Meantime, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Friday. Really extraordinary to

have two top officials from the U.S. administration meeting with the Israelis shows you how crucial and serious the situation is. His message to

Israel coming out of that meeting was unequivocal. "The United States has your back."

For more on this, let's bring in Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. Michael, it is good to see you. So,

let's follow up on these latest headlines that we're getting, that the IDF has now gone in small teams with raids focused on what appears to be terror

cells in an effort to get more information on the hostages that are in Gaza right now.

Walk us through what that tactically looks like. And from the Israeli standpoint, the last time they were inside Gaza was nine years ago. How

well-versed are they today in where some of these cells may be?

MICHAEL O'HANLON, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH IN FOREIGN POLICY, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Greetings. Well, first of all, of course, you're correct to

point out Israel has got in before. So limited recursions are not new, but it's been a while. Of course, over that period of time, Israel has been

doing a lot of surveillance from very close by.

And so, certainly, anything that's visible from a drone or from a helicopter is something that Israel is not going to be surprised by the

locations of streets, the locations of buildings, et cetera. But in terms of the locations of people or even hidden command headquarters, I think

Israel's going to have to work very hard to figure that out, and hostages naturally could be just anywhere.

So, trying to create some kind of human intelligence picture, even though the sourcing is going to be hard because presumably most Palestinians won't

be happy to be talking to Israeli soldiers, it's a little bit of a search for a needle in a haystack under the best of circumstances. And so, they're

going to try, but I'm skeptical. They'll learn much about the locations of most of the hostages with this approach.

ASHER: And Michael, Zain here. Just in terms of what happens next, I mean, obviously, the IDF's goal at this point in time is, of course, to root out

and kill as many Hamas fighters as they possibly can. You can kill a Hamas fighter, but you cannot kill the ideology that led to what happened on


It's a very sort of complex dynamic. Just explain to us, from that perspective, once you get rid of Hamas, even if you can get rid of Hamas, I

don't even know if you can, what replaces it?

O'HANLON: Right, well, I think you're correct to point out you can't really exterminate Hamas, even if you got every single commander, you're

not going to get every fighter, and even if you got every fighter, you're not going to get rid of the idea. So, that is too much to expect.

But what you could do potentially is try to overthrow Hamas as the government of Gaza. And in fact, I expect that will be the Israeli goal,

and it may even be the unconditional or irreducible goal.

They may effectively insist on that, even if at some point they're prepared to not root out each and every possible weapons, cache or command site, or

commander or fighter.

And so, I think Israel is going to try very hard to think about what an alternative political arrangement could be within Gaza. And of course, its

leverage there is limited. It's not seen as a friendly party, to say the least. But perhaps there could be a U.N. trusteeship, the kind of thing we

sometimes discussed for Haiti, for example.

You're going to have to have some kind of a security force that makes sure that the residual elements of Hamas and any other extremists don't fire at

Israel under this new kind of understanding. Of course, we're getting way ahead of ourselves because this is the kind of conversation that may begin

now but can't possibly really reach its natural culmination.


Fire at Israel under this new kind of understanding. Of course, we're getting way ahead of ourselves because this is the kind of conversation

that may begin now but can't possibly really reach its natural culmination until we see where the siege goes and how well it achieves its immediate

tactical goals.

But I think some kind of a U.N. trusteeship may wind up being the first step, some kind of a handoff to various Palestinian non-militant groups may

be the second step.

And at some point, of course, Israel is going to have to pull back its own forces. But that may not be for quite a while and I don't think they'll do

what they did in 2007 and sort of pull out first and worry about the politics later. I think it'll be the other way around this time.

ASHER: All right, Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institute. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. And just to

quickly recap the breaking news for you, that the IDF has initiated small raids, small raids inside Gaza as they desperately try to find the


The IDF has initiated small raids within Gaza as they desperately try to find hostages. We'll have much more on this breaking news throughout the

day here on CNN. Thank you so much for watching. "AMANPOUR" with my colleague Bianna Golodryga is up next. You're watching CNN.