Return to Transcripts main page
One World with Zain Asher
Israel Expands Its Ground Operation In Southern Gaza; More Than 80 Percent Of Gaza Population Displaced; Maritime Security Company Warns Ships Sailing The Red Sea To Use Extreme Caution After A Series Of Attacks; White House Says Funding For Ukraine Is Running Out; Man Confesses To His Family He Robbed A Bank In The '60s. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired December 04, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Israel expands its ground operation in southern Gaza. What does this mean for the millions of
civilians ordered to evacuate?
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: "One World" starts right now. No safe place in Gaza. The ground incursion in the south of the country is
officially underway, as I speak. Israel says it will not stop, it will not stop until Hamas is fully destroyed.
GOLODRYGA: Also ahead, a warning from the WHO, the one thing that could do even more harm than airstrikes.
ASHER: And later, loving husband, doting father, decades long fugitive. The stunning death bed confession that left a family reeling. All right,
welcome everyone. So good to be with you. Coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher.
GOLODRYGA: And I'm Bianna Golodryga. This is "One World". Gaza is coming under what may be one of the heaviest bombardments since the war began, as
Israel expands its ground operation to every part of the enclave. And desperate Palestinians are forced to flee once again from places they
thought were safe.
ASHER: That's right. That includes southern Gaza, especially an area where civilians were initially told to take shelter. Israel says that it hits
some 200 targets overnight, but the IDF says that it's Hamas that is putting civilians in danger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESPERSON: We have entered a new phase in our war against Hamas. Hamas broke the humanitarian pause when it violated the
hostage release agreement by refusing to release women, children, and babies, as agreed. Hamas also fired rockets at Israeli homes. It should be
clear to everyone by now. Hamas chooses war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: This was the scene at the Khan Younis in southern Gaza after renewed Israeli strikes. Homes reduced to rubble, smoke still coming out of
collapsed buildings. Israel sent flyers with QR codes warning civilians to evacuate areas within the enclave, and the White House believes Israel is
making an effort to minimize civilian deaths. But it is unclear if people even got the warnings, given the limited access to power and internet.
ASHER: And take a look at this video, as well. This is Rafah where it appears an overnight bomb tore a large crater essentially out of the earth.
Most of Gaza's 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes. They have been now displaced -- that's according to the U.N. and the Hamas-run
Ministry of Health says that nearly 16,000 --16,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7th. An anguished resident says that nowhere,
pretty much nowhere at this point, is safe in the enclave.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SALAH AL-ARJA, GAZA RESIDENT AND OWNER OF HOUSE HIT (through translator): We were asleep and safe. They told us it was a safe area, Rafah and all.
But at 20 past 10, they struck it with barrels, destroying all the block. There were children, women and martyrs. There is no safe area, neither
Rafah nor Khan Younis nor Gaza nor Deir. They are all liars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Jerusalem for us. So, Ben, can you give us more details about these warnings from the IDF about where civilians
should go and what that process looks like?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Well, initially, Bianna, over the weekend, the Israeli military dropped leaflets
to the east and to the north of Khan Younis, warning people to move away, to move south to Rafah.
But these leaflets, among other things, have these QR codes that have divided Gaza into hundreds of numbered blocks. But the only way you can
access to know what -- where is safe and where isn't is if you actually have internet connectivity. And it appears that many people do not.
So, really, the situation is one of chaos and fear. People don't know where to go. And also, even where there might be shelter, the schools that have
been turned into shelters are already crammed well beyond capacity.
We've heard from a UNICEF spokesman that in some instances there are more than 400 people per individual toilet if there's an individual toilet
actually functioning. So, really, the people of Gaza, particularly in the south but also in the North, are in a desperate situation and there really
doesn't seem any way out of it.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Look around. This is Gaza City's Ahli Baptist Hospital where the wounded are treated in the open on wooden pallets. The
emergency ward is already jammed. The courtyard is full of body bags. Dozens were killed in a series of Israeli strikes Saturday. Many more are
still under the rubble.
Israel claims one of those strikes killed a senior Hamas commander who helped plan these seven October attacks. He was, perhaps, one dead among
many, many others. This woman lost her daughter and grandchildren and names them all. Aya, Ghanim, Musab, Musmaeen, Juri, Ayush, Adam, Mohammed, Hasb.
And may God judge those watching us die, she cries. Hasb.
It's a similar scene in Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza, more wounded. Many of them children. Dead. Many of them children.They bombed an
entire street, says Saad. He pulled his brother Mohammed from under the rubble.
But his brother Mohammed was dead, says Saad. Let me say goodbye to him. My father's been killed cries this boy after a strike on the Jabalia refugee
camp Sunday. The seven-day truce seems like the distant past.
WEDEMAN (on-camera): Now, one of the options being considered for the people in the south, considered by the United States and the Israelis, is
for all of those who fled to the south to move to the north as Israel conducts its military operations in the south. Now, given that much of
northern Gaza has been turned into a lunar landscape of concrete, dust and rubble, I think I can stick my neck out here and describe this plan as
wildly absurd. Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: And we're talking about upwards of one million plus people moving back and forth as well. Ben Wedeman, thank you.
ASHER: Yeah, they literally have pretty much nothing to go back to. Ben Wedeman, you know, what he was saying just in terms of people being forced
now to move to the north. I want to talk about aid, though, because the number of aid trucks entering Gaza every single day has fallen
significantly since fighting resumed on Friday.
In fact, the Palestine Red Crescent Society is saying that a hundred aid trucks passed through the Rafah crossing on Sunday. That is less than half
-- less than half the number that crossed the border during last week's truce. All of this raising a lot of fears about what it means for those
people who are struggling to survive.
I want to bring in CNN's Larry Madowo in Cairo for us, following these developments. Larry, I want to put this into context for people, because
prior to the war starting on October 7th, roughly around 500 aid trucks entered into Gaza every single day --500. And now we're talking about a
fifth of that. What does that mean for people on the ground? What does that even look like in terms of people who are just scrambling for everyday
essentials, including food?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And then that 500 trucks coming in before October 7 was before 1.8 million people were displaced in Gaza. So, you
have this situation of mass displacement and aid down to a drip, drip. I was at the Rafah border crossing in Egypt just hours before this truce
finally expired after seven days, and I saw hundreds of trucks waiting to get in. Most of them are still there. Not enough is coming in.
On the first day of the return to fighting, the Israelis prohibited any aid coming. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, it took the intervention
of U.S. officials to have them allow these 100 trucks to come in. So, 100 trucks of aid come in -- got into Gaza on Saturday, another 100 yesterday.
We're waiting to see how many got in today. They're bringing in badly needed food and medicine and water and winter weather gear.
But this will not even cross the surface when you look at the needs across the Gaza Strip. And for a lot of people, this is not just the aid problems.
It's like nowhere is safe for them to even be in a place where they're in their resettlement center or a place where they can get aid. I want you to
listen to this distraught father whose two-month-old baby was hurt in an airstrike.
UNKNOWN, FATHER IN KHAN YOUNIS (through translator): They told us to leave Gaza. There's a war in Gaza, so we left the north and came here to the
south, just like they asked. But this is what we found in the south. What can we do? This is my son. He was born on the second day of the war and we
haven't been able to register his birth yet at the civil registry.
MADOWO (on-camera): That little boy was born just two days after October 7th and his dad said I hope he'd have a different life. We die a million
deaths every day. We spoke to one person who has been lucky to be evacuated into Egypt to receive treatment here.
He and his two brothers were all injured in another airstrike and we asked him where are you from and he almost coughed at the question like what do
you mean where am I from there's no more Gaza. Everywhere is destroyed and we've lost so many people who are still under the rubble.
So, this aid coming in that the U.N. and other aid organizations say they need just to maintain this infrastructure around the humanitarian response
for hospitals, for water distribution centers, for aid, and just the bare necessities where people are squeezing into schools and hospitals and
whatever they can find. Zain.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, I'm still just thinking about that two-month old baby. I mean, what sort of childhood -- what childhood is that baby going to have
just given that everything in Gaza, at least in the north at this point in time, God knows it's going to happen to the south, but at least in the
north at this point in time has been utterly destroyed. What sort of a future is he going to have? Larry Madowo, live for us there. Thank you so
GOLODRYGA: Well, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says more than 80 percent of Gaza's population, that's about 1.9 million people, have been
displaced since the beginning of the war. And the director of UNRWA affairs in Gaza warns another wave of displacement is taking place as the
humanitarian situation deteriorates.
Thomas White joins us now. So, Thomas, as we noted, 80 percent of the population has been displaced. That means that the majority of people there
are relying strictly on humanitarian aid for food, for supplies. What is UNRWA doing at this point to make sure as many of those civilians get
whatever aid they can right now?
THOMAS WHITE, DIRECTOR, UNRWA AFFAIRS GAZA: We are trying to support people who have been displaced. The reality is that where we can provide shelter
has been totally overwhelmed. In shelters that were supposed to design to support about 1500 people, they now have an average of over 6000 people and
we cannot provide adequate sanitation. The supply of food means that people are getting a very meager ration, one or two rounds of bread a day.
And of course, children with UNRWA should mean that you are safe. But the reality is UNRWA schools continue to suffer damage and be hit during the
conflict. This -- in the last hour or so here in Rafah in the south, there have been dozens and dozens of airstrikes into the city where there are
hundreds of thousands of people seeking shelter.
ASHER: I mean, you think about, Thomas, what people are worried about right now in Gaza. They're worried about their own safety. They're worried about
the safety of their children and of their extended family members. They're worried about what they're going to eat. They're worried about water.
They're worried about whether or not the next airstrike is going to hit a building next to them.
I mean, just in terms of getting aid into the enclave right now, you know, we were just talking about this idea that it's less than half, 100 trucks a
day entering roughly. This was on Sunday. Less than half of what we were seeing last week. What is the greatest need for people in Gaza right now?
WHITE: The greatest need for people right now is safety. Right now, the Israeli operation that is coming in around Khan Younis -- over 625,000
people live in areas that have been ordered to move from these areas. This is really the areas around the eastern outskirts of Khan Younis. A large
proportion of those people are already displaced from the North and we have started to see a lot of people, tens of thousands of people, starting to
move into Rafah.
So, the first thing people need is somewhere safe. The second thing they need is somewhere to shelter. Just in the neighborhood where I am right now
-- I'm in one of the UNRWA health clinics. Outside my window, people are building temporary shelters in the open, finding pieces of wood, pieces of
plastic. Just on the outskirts of the area that I'm in, near the UNRWA logistics space, it's turned into a shantytown as tens of thousands of
people cannot find shelter in an UNRWA school, cannot find shelter in other public buildings.
And our building makeshift sort of camps on the outskirts of the city. So, people need safety and they need shelter. Then the big issue is if you look
at Rafah, it used to have a population of 280,000 people. We know that there are over 700,000 people in the city now and more people are coming.
And so in Rafah, we were struggling to provide two liters of drinking water per person every day. That issue is just going to be compounded beyond the
issues of providing basic sanitation to people.
GOLODRYGA: Thomas, Israel is citing security concerns with regards to the number of trucks that are going into Gaza. And on Saturday, the IDF said
that it found dozens of rockets hidden under boxes marked with UNRWA's insignia in northern Gaza.
Another issue I'd like to raise with you is an Israeli reporter over the weekend from Channel 13 cited one of the abductees who had returned back to
Israel and said that he was held by an UNRWA teacher, a father of 10.
This teacher locked the victim away, barely provided food and neglected medical needs. UNRWA responded to this post and said, quote, "Making
serious allegations in the public domain unsupported by any evidence or verifiable facts and support thereof may amount to misinformation."
That reporter then responded and said, that's not an allegation. That's survivor's testimony. How is UNRWA investigating or responding to these two
quite damning allegations?
WHITE: So, what I can speak to is our aid. Essentially, the aid that UNRWA is bringing in goes directly into the hands of the refugee. So, on any
given day here, we are distributing over 50,000 bags of flour to families so that they can provide for themselves.
GOLODRYGA: But does it bother you then? Does it bother you then at all that some of these trucks may be bringing secretly smuggling in rockets or that
UNRWA teachers are hiding abductees allegedly?
WHITE: Look. Our trucks are not bringing in rockets. Our trucks are bringing in wheat flour. They're bringing in supplies that help families
eke out a very basic existence. We have a very clear system of accountability. Every bag of flour that is provided is cross-reference
against people's national identity number.
And so, you know, there are now hundreds of thousands of bags, you know, literally wheat bags -- wheat flour bags, in Gaza with the UNRWA logo on
them. And they have all gone to families so that they can feed themselves.
ASHER: All right, Dr. Thomas White, live for us there. Thank you so much. We appreciate it. I want to turn now to a potentially deadly threat to
international commerce. The Maritime Security Company is warning ships sailing the Red Sea to use extreme caution after a series of attacks.
GOLODRYGA: The U.S. military says an American warship shot down two drones launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in the southern Red Sea on Sunday.
The USS Carney was responding to distress calls from commercial vessels at the time.
The U.S. says in total four attacks were launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen against ships tied to several different nations. Let's get more from the
Pentagon and our National Security Correspondent Natasha Bertrand. So, Natasha, the U.S. said that it was sending these ships weeks ago as a
deterrent. We've seen attacks in the region on U.S. forces for weeks now. What does that suggest about the U.S. strategy and what change we may see
as a result?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, look, Bianna. The Pentagon has insisted that their strategy is working. Interestingly, they
say that they continue to deny any claims that this war between Israel and Hamas has expanded beyond Israel and Hamas and asked repeatedly, you know,
how the U.S. is going to shift its position in order to respond to this increasing series of attacks by these Iran-backed groups.
The Pentagon simply has said that they will respond at a time and place of their choosing. And notably, the Pentagon has responded. The U.S. military
has conducted multiple strikes in Syria and Iraq in recent months targeting Iran and its proxy groups and the facilities they are using to carry out
attacks. But that has not deterred these Iran-backed actors from launching these strikes against the U.S. and its allies.
Now, the Houthi rebels who are operating out of Yemen, they are a slightly different story here. They operate a little bit more independently of Iran
than other groups. But still, the U.S. believes that Iran is fully enabling them.
So, the question now of course is how is the U.S. going to respond to this latest series of provocations by the Iran-backed Houthis which saw several
missiles targeting three commercial vessels in the southern Red Sea yesterday including at least one ballistic missile forcing the USS Carney
destroyer to respond and ultimately shoot down three drones that the Houthis had also navigated towards the USS Carney.
The Pentagon at this point not saying of course how it's going to react to this but in a statement, U.S. central command did say they are weighing all
of their options here for a potential response and they made very clear that the U.S. continues to hold Iran responsible for their proxy groups.
However, the U.S. has communicated directly with the Iranians it says in recent weeks, the Pentagon hasn't told them they hold them responsible for
the actions of these proxy militants. But clearly, you know, that message has not been received or it is not being heeded. Bianna.
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, things continue to escalate with regard to these attacks. Natasha Bertrand at the Pentagon. Thank you.
ASHER: All right, still to to come here on "One World", like nothing I've ever seen before, a British-Palestinian doctor describes the harrowing
conditions he worked in Gaza hospitals.
GOLODRYGA: Plus, disturbing new reports of sexual violence committed by Hamas are coming to light, people asking why there has not been more
condemnation until now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERYL SANDBERG, FOUNDER OF LEANIN: The silence on this from too many is deafening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: The Hamas controlled Ministry of Health says nearly 16,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7th and there is
growing concern that number could skyrocket. The World Health Organization warns that the spread of disease could be even deadlier than bombs and
missiles unless the health system in Gaza is restored immediately.
ASHER: The health system has really suffered during this conflict. In fact, a British-Palestinian surgeon who returned to the U.K. last week after
spending 43 days in Gaza told CNN about his harrowing experience as a doctor there. I want you to listen to what he told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GHASSAN ABU-SITTAH, DOCTOR, SPENT WEEKS WORKING IN GAZA HOSPITALS: I'd never ever experienced something of this magnitude. The idea that you would
be operating for 43 days and 50 percent of those that you were operating on were children.
The sheer number, the magnitude of all of the injury and all of the killing was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Every day felt worse than the day
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: CNN's Jacqueline Howard joins us live now. Really chilling words. I mean, it really puts it in perspective just what people in Gaza are going
through and the fact that the health system there is pretty much on the brink of collapse. When it comes to what patients in Gaza are worried
about, it's yes, it's obviously getting treatment for injuries, but it's also the threat of disease, as well. What can you tell us about that,
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Absolutely, Zain. And we already are seeing high numbers of disease area related to the conditions there,
related to lack of water and food, related to many people being displaced and ending up in overcrowded shelters.
And on Friday, we heard from the United Nations, the United Nations reported that there has been a Hepatitis A outbreak in one shelter in the
area. So, that's one example of how we are seeing these health impacts -- indirect health impacts of the conflict.
And also last week, World Health Organization Director General, Dr. Tedros, he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that we know about 1.3 million
people are currently living in shelters. Overcrowding and lack of food, water, sanitation and basic hygiene, waste management, access to
medications, all has resulted in a high number of acute respiratory infections.
At least 100,000 infections, around 12,000 cases of scabies, 11,000 cases of lice, around 75,000 cases of diarrhea-related illness with about half of
those in young children. You see the list of illnesses that have been reported here.
And these illnesses are one example of how there is concern about the spread of disease due to the conditions specifically in the area. And
that's why many health officials, Zain, are very concerned about what we could see in the days to come when it comes to the public health of the
GOLODRYGA: Jacqueline --
GOLODRYGA: I was just wondering if there was one specific aspect of war or cause driving this risk of disease. I mean, you're talking to global health
experts. What are they telling you?
HOWARD: Yeah, Bianna, they're saying that it's really a layer of factors. It's really all related to over crowded areas, displacement from your home,
lack of sanitation, overburdened health infrastructure. And one spokesperson for the World Health Organization, Margaret Harris, she had
this to say just last week. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARGARET HARRIS, SPOKESPERSON, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Eventually, we will see more people dying from disease than we're even seeing from the
bombardment, if we are not able to put back this health system and provide the basics of life, food, water, medicines, and of course, fuel to operate
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD: And, Bianna, that seems to be the general consensus among health officials right now and health experts. And, you know, when we see times of
conflict and war, we often see the direct health effects of that, you know, injuries and, sadly, lives lost due to bombings or due to airstrikes.
But we often don't tend to see the indirect health effects immediately. And those include, like you see on the street -- on your screen, malnutrition
related to lack of water and food, infectious disease spread, the progression of chronic diseases if people can't access basic medications
they may need.
We also see impacts on the most vulnerable -- maternal and infant health. And we tend to see impacts on the community's mental health, which sadly
can lead to increases or cases of suicide, substance abuse, PTSD, and depression. So, these indirect health effects are something that's really
concerning right now. And we're already seeing some reports of this happening right now in Gaza.
ASHER: I'm so glad, Jacqueline, that you brought up chronic disease progression.
ASHER: Because obviously, before October 7th, there were a lot of people in Gaza, just like anywhere in the world who had other illnesses that they
were dealing with and the fact that many of them are not getting the treatment they so clearly need at this point in time is really concerning.
Jacqueline Howard, we have to leave it there. Thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Well, at this hour, nearly two months since the October 7th attack, Israel's delegation to the United Nations is holding a special
session focusing on sexual violence committed by Hamas.
ASHER: And this follows a new report published by "The Sunday Times", survivors of the October 7th assault sharing details of rape and other
really horrific, I mean, it's so difficult to read through some of the detail, really horrific gender-based horrors that they witnessed with the
We want to warn you that the testimony I'm about to read you is really disturbing.
I'm going to try to get through it. It is really heavy stuff, though. One witness said this, quote, "I saw this beautiful woman with the face of an
angel and eight or 10 of the fighters beating and raping her. She was screaming, stop it already. I'm going to die anyway from what you're doing.
Just kill me. When they finished, they were laughing. And then the last one shot her in the head."
Well, today's U.N. session comes just days after I spoke with the deputy U.N. Women Executive Director on why the condemnation against these
atrocities hasn't been heard.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: There are reasons, though, Sarah, that you can't specifically call out Hamas and the mounting evidence now over seven weeks that Israeli
investigators have collected that we've shown our viewers about the atrocities they committed specifically on October 7th.
SARAH HENDRIKS, DEPUTY U.N. WOMEN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Indeed. U.N. Women always supports impartial, independent investigations into any serious
allegations of gender-based or sexual violence. And within the U.N. family, these investigations are led by the Office of the High Commissioner of
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Meantime on Sunday, in a tense exchange on CNN's State of the Union, our Dana Bash pressed a Democratic U.S. Congresswoman on why she and others
have not been more vocal about the use of sexual assault as a weapon of war. I want you to listen to the exchange.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PRAMILA JAYAPAL, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: I've condemned what Hamas has done. I've condemned all of the actions. Absolutely, the rape, the -- of course.
But I think we have to remember that Israel is a democracy. That is why they are a strong ally of ours. And if they do not comply with
international humanitarian law, they are bringing themselves to a place that makes it much more difficult strategically for them to be able to
build the kinds of allies.
DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: With respect, I was just asking about the women and you turned it back to Israel. I'm asking you about Hamas, in fact.
JAYAPAL: I already answered your question, Dana. I said it's horrific and I think that rape is horrific. Sexual assault is horrific. I think that it
happens in war situations, terrorist organizations like Hamas, obviously are using these as tools. However, I think we have to be balanced about
bringing in the outrages against Palestinians.
JAYAPAL: Fifteen thousand Palestinians have been killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Actually, Leanln founder, Sheryl Sandberg, is among those also slamming the failure to quickly condemn the use of sexual assault as a
weapon of war. She released this video on Instagram.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDBERG: The silence on this from too many is deafening. We have come so far in believing survivors of rape and assault in so many situations. How
can we ignore how these women spent the very last moments of their lives?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Powerful. Sandberg is actually one of the speakers at today's U.N. special session.
GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up, more on the war as Israel renews air strikes and expands ground operations in Gaza. We'll speak to an IDF spokesman
after the break.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back to "One World". I'm Bianna Golodryga. And I'm Zain Asher. The head of Israel's security agency is vowing to eliminate Hamas
all around the world, even if it takes years. This as Israel is expanding ground operations to pretty much all of Gaza right now. And that includes
the south, the south, which is supposed to be the place of safety, where a lot of civilians have moved to at the request of the IDF. Israel is ramping
up airstrikes, hitting some 200 targets in Gaza overnight.
GOLODRYGA: And this was the scene in Khan Younis. Gaza has been turned into dust and rubble. People are being urged to evacuate, but there is virtually
nowhere really safe to go. The number of dead in Gaza is edging toward 16,000, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. The U.S. is urging
Israel to protect civilians.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: You see, in this kind of a fight, the center of gravity is the civilian population. And if you drive them into
the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat. So, I have repeatedly made clear to Israel's leaders that
protecting Palestinian civilians in Gaza is both a moral responsibility and a strategic imperative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right, time now for The Exchange. Joining us live now is IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner. Peter, thank you so much for
being with us. You heard the defense secretary there basically saying that protecting as many civilians as possible in Gaza is a moral responsibility
for Israel. And I'm sure you would agree with that. The biggest fear right now for people in Gaza is where on earth do they go?
Obviously, a lot of people were told that the south was safe. And now clearly that is not the case. Just explain to us. I mean, for people on the
ground there who have no idea where to go, where is safe right now, where they should pack up and leave to, where is safe now for ordinary civilians
PETER LERNER, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, IDF SPOKESPERSON: Thank you. Yeah, I was just listening to both of the last two segments about the situation, both
the sexual assault reports that you covered extensively, and also the devastating effects of this war that is having on the people of Gaza and
the health situation.
Of course, we have to ask ourselves, how did we get here, and what is the reason we are currently at war? And there is one reason for that, and it is
Hamas opening a lethal, brutal massacre on Israel on the 7th of October.
From our perspective, we are operating in order to alleviate civilian casualties. We are operating in accordance to international humanitarian
law, the laws of armed conflict. What we are doing is trying to get people out of harm's way.
We are very attentive to what the administration and our military to military counterparts are telling us. We are taking it into consideration.
I go even a step further and say we are listening to the lessons learned by the U.S. military in their operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and in Syria
There is a reality here on the ground. And I think that there is one core understanding that both the U.S. administration have reflected and Israel
understands Hamas have to go. Hamas, the end goal of this has to be --
ASHER: But Peter, can you just explain to us, I mean, obviously, I'm sure you would agree that there are civilians caught in the middle of this who
have absolutely nothing to do with this war. Innocent civilians whose lives are at stake right now.
For those people who are trapped in the south, who don't know if they're going to live another day, who don't know if the building next to them is
going to be bombed, who know that places like Rafah might appear to be safe on the surface, but they're not safe. There's nowhere right now in safe --
that is safe right now in Gaza. For those civilians that are concerned for their safety, where do they go?
LERNER: So, again, we have to ask ourselves why we are at war. And indeed, the people, and I would say every civilian casualty in Gaza weighs
extremely heavily on us. We are not fighting the people of Gaza. The people of Gaza are not the enemy of Israel. And it is Hamas that is the enemy of
Israel. And indeed, when we are telling people to evacuate from specific locations, those are specific locations, our centers of gravity of Hamas'
And it's what we are doing over the last three or four days now since we've resumed our operations is a more specific plan of action for individuals,
so that they know where to go, whether it's leaflets or websites or announcements or radio announcements, all these different types of methods
that we have in order to get people out of harm's way.
And indeed, of course, there is going to be challenges. And as you rightly pointed out, since the dawn of war, civilians have been caught up in it. It
is a tragedy, and we have to do everything in our power to limit those casualties, to limit the civilian effect. I can assure you that is
precisely how -- that is the guiding principle of the IDF, to distinguish between the civilians, to distinguish between the non-combatants and the
We are facing a merciless enemy that has embedded itself in schools, in hospitals, CNN has covered it extensively -- mosques, kindergartens --
LERNER: - scout clubhouse. This is the type of enemy we are facing. And so when we are engaging the enemy, we have to operate in a way which
distinguishes between the civilians and the terrorists.
GOLODRYGA: And whose leadership continues to say that October 7th was just the beginning and that they will plan similar attacks in the future. Peter,
how much IDF strategic planning now in this next phase, specifically in southern Gaza -- it comes from any information that you've been able to get
from these hostages who have come home, as well as the Hamas terrorists who have been captured and have been interrogated?
LERNER: Well, of course, we're gathering a lot of information and intelligence, not only from the hostages -- the 100 or so hostages that
have been released by Hamas in the seven-day pause of operations, but also as the operation is developing, we're gathering intelligence, both
widespread and in depth, in order to reveal Hamas where they're operating from, how they're conducting their operations. You know, just as we were
coming out, there's an interesting component.
We killed a squad of rocket-propelled grenade, RPG launchers that were conducting an attack against one of our forces in the north. They come out
of a hole in the ground, a tunnel. They try and conduct an attack. We took them out. They are wearing jeans and sandals. So, if somebody picks them
up, they're counting civilians. They're not counting terrorists.
So, I would say the intelligence gathering is extensive. It is widespread. And it serves the operational goal of defeating and destroying Hamas, which
is a, I would say, a guiding principle or a guiding directive of what we are conducting as we speak today, but also to bring back the hostages that
remain -- the 137 hostages with women and children that Hamas refused to release, and therefore we are today back in battle.
ASHER: All right, we have to leave it there. IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, appreciate you being with us. Thank you so much.
GOLODRYGA: Thank you, Peter.
ASHER: All right, still to come, a shocking answer to a bank heist that was unsolved for more than 50 years. How a daughter uncovered her dad's outlaw
past. Coming up on "One World".
GOLODRYGA: Well, this week we will be looking at three different uses of technology in Africa --green, finance and health. We caught up with an
entrepreneur in Ethiopia who's climbing up the global climate ladder by turning plastic waste into building materials.
ASHER: That's right. Kidus Asfaw was recently named as one of the 100 global climate leaders by "Time" magazine. He shares his vision for a
prosperous Ethiopia in today's Inside Africa.
VOICE-OVER: Like many major cities around the world, Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, has a problem with plastic. Every year, thousands of tons of
plastic are left on the street, a major problem seeking an urgent solution. That's where this man fits in. Kidus Asfaw co-founded Kubik in 2021. It's a
business that turns hard to dispose of plastic into low-cost building materials.
KIDUS ASFAW, KUBIK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER: My personal journey at Cubic meant a lot because I'm a father of three, three very beautiful, wonderful,
smart Ethiopian kids who've lived abroad for a very long time. And I wanted to make sure that I can participate in creating a city and a country that
they can be proud to come back to and work and live the same way that I have.
And it's never an easy topic to hear on the news about the perception of countries like mine when it comes to poverty, when it comes to difficulties
of life. And instead of sitting back and watching, I felt that I had a conviction like many others to participate in changing that narrative by
working here and really changing what a city like Addis Ababa could look like in the next 20 to 50 years.
VOICE- OVER: To help make his vision of creating a new look city, Kubik has invested in a state of the art factory.
ASFAW (voice-over): So, today we're at the Adama Industrial Park. We are at Kubik's factory facility where we're going to be converting over 45,000
kilos of plastic waste every single day into our building materials. Today's a very exciting and a very emotional day. It's been two years in
the making with a lot of ups and downs in making it work.
So just even seeing a container open and seeing the stuff that we've been talking about for over a year has just put a lot of tears into our eyes.
The team is really excited. We're very uplifted. And we really want to see now this working not only in the factory but all over the country.
ASFAW: Success for me is a happy customer. In our case, a happy customer is that person that never had the opportunity and choice to live in a clean,
beautiful house, being able to do that.
And I always started with the mentality that if I've been able to do that for one family, this has been a worthwhile endeavor. But I feel do that
we've created a team that can do this for millions of families all over the world. So, if there's one thing that I would want to see is turn on the
news and see all of those happy customers, affording, living in a very green, prosperous and lovely place.
VOICE-OVER: Inside Africa in association with Zenith Bank.
ASHER: All right, the White House has issued a stark warning into Congress that the U.S. will quote, "kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield if funding is
GOLODRYGA: Yeah, this is a big development. In October, the Biden administration requested more than $61 billion in aid for the war-torn
country. Well, Monday's letter marks an intensified urgency, as the White House says funding is running out. Republican lawmakers say their support
for Ukraine funding is contingent on tightening immigration at the U.S.- Mexico border. We'll continue to follow that story.
ASHER: Yeah. I want to turn now to a really fascinating piece of news. A father on his deathbed told his daughter a dark secret that he's been
carrying around for decades, that he robbed a bank back in the 1960s. Authorities say that this man, Theodore Conrad, pictured here with his
young daughter, committed one of the largest and most mysterious bank heists in Ohio history under his real name.
GOLODRYGA: Could you imagine this? Investigators say that in July of 1969, Conrad ended his shift at a bank and walked out with 215 grand in a paper
bag and vanished. It's about the equivalent of $1.7 million today. His daughter tells CNN this morning how all of this came to light.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHLEY RANDELE, FATHER REVEALED ON HIS DEATH BED HE ROBBED A BANK: My mom, dad and I were sitting in the living room watching NCIS and he looked over
at us and really calmly said, ladies, just in case anything ever comes up, I had to change my name when I moved here. The authorities are probably
still looking for me. I don't want to talk about it, but just so you know, in case it ever comes up, you're not blindsided. And then we went back to
NCIS. He finally said that he would tell me as long as I promised not to look into it.
And that night at about 2:30 in the morning, alone in my childhood bedroom, I looked up Ted Conrad and then put in the word missing, figuring it's been
50 years somebody might be looking for him. And that's when I saw the headline, like "Vault Teller Heist". And I was absolutely floored. Like
could not have been more shocked. I think I said out loud just to the room, oh my gosh, my life is a lifetime movie.
UNKNOWN: Do we have any idea where the money went?
RANDELE: I wish. Wouldn't it be great if there were just a big bag of money? I do not have one. I wish I did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Gosh. Just when you think you know someone, right? Ashley went on to say that she doesn't think the money lasted long and she knows that her dad
lived in a luxury apartment in Boston for a period of time.
GOLODRYGA: The line that gets me is that he said that we went back to NCIS, like just watching a show after he revealed something like that.
ASHER: But definitely a lifetime movie there.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, for sure. Well, that does it for this hour of "One World". I'm Bianna Golodryga.
ASHER: And I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. Amanpour is up next.