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One World with Zain Asher
Benjamin Netanyahu Set To Hold A News Conference; Massive Russian Missile And Drone Attack Hit Cities Right Across Ukraine, Including Kyiv. U.S, Military Aid Bill Stuck In Congress. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired February 07, 2024 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There's no way. Israel will accept it. That's how one Israeli official is responding to Hamas' proposal for a
ceasefire. "One World' starts right now.
A proposal is on the table. Hamas delivers its three-phase plan for de- escalation. This hour we'll hear from Benjamin Netanyahu -- from him himself and his reaction for the very first time.
Also ahead, a failed impeachment, the collapse of a border deal and a presidential candidate who lost to no one. We'll take a look at the chaos
in the Republican Party.
And later, Taylor takes Tokyo. Japanese Swifties fill the streets ahead of the megastar's performance here from one fan who, get this, has quit her
job to devote her life to Taylor.
Live from New York, I'm Paula Newton. Glad you could be with us. Zain and Brianna have the day off. And we are watching "One World" at this hour from
America's top diplomat is holding crucial meetings meantime with Israeli and Palestinian officials as he pushes for humanitarian pause in Israel's
war with Hamas and discusses the response from Hamas to a proposal to release the remaining hostages it holds.
Antony Blinken is in talks with Palestinian Authority President, meantime, Mahmoud Abbas, that's in Ramallah. Now, after meeting Israel's President a
short time ago, we are now getting new details of that Hamas counter proposal. The group is outlining a three-phase plan lasting several months.
That would include the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. Already, one Israeli official, as I was saying, says the Hamas proposal is, in fact, a
non-starter. Blinken says much work lies ahead. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The hostages are foremost on our minds and in our hearts. And as you know, we now have a response from Hamas
to the proposal that was put on the table the way forward. We're looking at it intensely as is, I know, the Government of Israel and there is a lot of
work to be done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now earlier, Blinken met with Israel's Prime Minister and reiterated the U.S. support for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Benjamin Netanyahu is set to hold a news conference this hour. We will bring that to you live.
In the meantime, the diplomatic push comes amidst intense fighting in Gaza. Israel is pushing to capture Khan Younis, the main city in the south of the
enclave. Now, this drone video shows the scale of destruction in Gaza after four months of war. Aid workers are warning of dire consequences if Israel
expands its operations further south into Gaza.
CNN is tracking the story from every angle. Alex Marquardt is in Washington, D.C. but we begin now with Jeremy Diamond who is on the ground
in Tel Aviv. And Jeremy, we were just talking about Antony Blinken and the fact that he says so much more work needs to be done. Can you give us some
insight though into any common ground here that we might see, especially when we talk about the first phase of this agreement.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, there's no question that there are major, major disagreements between Israel and Hamas when you look
at this latest proposal, especially as it relates to the fact that Hamas is very much still pushing for an end of this war, a permanent ceasefire, and
trying to salvage its position in Gaza as part of these hostage negotiations.
But as you mentioned, if you look at the first phase of Hamas' counter- proposal, it is not all that dissimilar to the broad framework that Israel agreed to. You look at the people who would be released under phase one,
they would be women, children, the sick, the elderly. You would see an intensification of humanitarian aid and a temporary ceasefire, the
withdrawal of Israeli forces from population centers.
There is one major difference though in that first phase and that is that Hamas appears to be pushing for the release of all Palestinian prisoners
detained by Israel since October 7th. Presumably that would include the terrorists who committed that attack on October 7th on Israel. The Israeli
official who we spoke with rejected that notion saying that Israel will never agree to release prisoners captured on October 7th.
And of course, there are these broader disagreements about the duration of a ceasefire, what would happen in phase two as Hamas envisions that in that
second phase of hostage release, that Israeli forces would withdraw entirely from the Gaza Strip.
That is of course something that the Israeli Prime Minister has made clear time and again, including in recent days, that he will not agree to until
he achieves all of the objectives of this war, which is not only securing the release of all the hostages, but also destroying Hamas.
NEWTON: Yeah, a lot to mull there, even though this three-phase plan has now been released. Alex, to you now, and I know you've been following this
for several months, trying to figure out exactly what kind of pressure the U.S. can bring to bear.
So, given the fact that there might be some common ground, what do you think the odds are that the U.S. can pressure perhaps both Israel and Hamas
to come up with some kind of agreement, at least to get us through that first phase of this deal?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the first phase, I think, Paula, is key. And I think U.S. officials, certainly the
ones I've been speaking with, are seeing that as a way to cracking open the door and getting to objectives that they have farther down the line.
As Jeremy was just saying, when you look at the elements of the first phase of the deal, there's a lot of overlap between what Israel proposed and what
Hamas is proposing, of course, with that major sticking point over the prisoners.
But when it comes to releasing civilian hostages, when it comes to releasing lower-level prisoners, getting humanitarian aid into Gaza and
agreeing to a pause in the fighting, that is -- those are elements that both sides can agree to and should be relatively easy to get off the
So, with the sense that I am getting is that they want to get into that first phase and then start discussing the more complicated parts of phases
two, three and beyond. And that's really where the U.S. pressure is going to be brought to bear. Netanyahu certainly is facing an immense amount of
domestic pressure to get those hostages home.
But they're also -- he's also facing U.S. pressure to wind down this war. And the U.S. has been very careful to stand by Israel, not call for a
ceasefire, not call for an end to the war, support Israel at the United Nations.
And so, there are a lot of carrots that the U.S. can certainly offer and is offering Netanyahu and his government to get to this humanitarian pause to
this truce in the fighting. Of course, the U.S. still sending massive amounts of military aid.
So far, there's no -- there are no conditions on that military aid, though some Democrats in Congress are pushing for that. Another major prize for
Netanyahu could be normalization with Saudi Arabia. That for now is not off the table. That's something certainly that the U.S. is pushing.
But really, the sense here in Washington, Paula, is that the U.S. wants to get to this pause in the fighting, not just so that hostages can be
released and humanitarian aid can get in, which would immediately benefit Palestinians, but because it would be a key to ending this war.
As Jeremy was just saying, right now Israel does not want to end this war, but if that humanitarian pause can start, many have told me that it would
be very difficult for Israel to go back to a state of war after that. Paula.
NEWTON: Yeah, we will continue to see, especially given the fact that the Israeli Prime Minister and Antony Blinken are expected to speak both this
hour and in the coming hours. Jeremy Diamond, for us in Tel Aviv, Alex Marquardt from Washington, D.C., thank you to you both.
Now, meantime, a massive Russian missile and drone attack has hit cities right across Ukraine, including capital, Kyiv. At least four people were
killed and at least 38 others were injured and that is including a pregnant woman. That is according to local officials on the ground.
One person in the southern city of Mikhaylov was also killed. Officials there say a missile, severely damaged, dozens of homes and you can see the
scale of the destruction in some of the video we're showing you now.
We want to go straight to CNN's Jim Sciutto on this. Jim, you know, the attack on civilians, we've seen this so many times before. Just in the last
few hours. it continues to be concern, right? Because in this conflict, and we've heard this for months, on the ground it resembles a frozen conflict,
right? The front lines haven't moved that much. Everything President Zelenskyy said would be a nightmare scenario with civilians still in arms
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY ANALYST: Listen, and the deliberate target of these Russian attacks, it's not that they're caught in the
crossfire civilian areas. Cities have long been the target of Russian forces since the start of the invasion. We should say that out loud.
This is a deliberate part of the Russian war plan to strike civilian targets, but also to increase the suffering of the civilian population.
That's why Russian airstrikes, barrages, missiles are aimed at things like power plants, particularly in wintertime. They want to make it cold and
miserable for the Ukrainian people.
Again, part of the plan. And the fact that this is happening as in my own country, the U.S. continues to delay military assistance to Ukraine is
notable. I've been told by U.S. officials, Ukrainian officials that one of the first things that Ukrainians could run out of or that they've had the
shortest supply of is air defense missiles. That's key because some missiles get through, a lot gets shot down.
But the Russian barrages are designed to overwhelm those air defense systems. And when you reach a point where you're running out of air defense
missiles or coming close to it, that makes it even more dangerous.
And when you look at the front lines as well, I've been told that the shortage of ammunition there, artillery ammunition has lost or led to the
loss of lives for Ukrainian forces as well as the loss of territory. In many areas they're outgunned, outshot 10 to 1, just not sustainable for
NEWTON: Yeah, absolutely, Jim. And, you know, NATO Secretary General just saying in the last hours that U.S. aid is indeed vital. Really, when you
look at the video, you kind of understand why. Jim Sciutto for us in Washington. Thanks so much.
Now, a bill. Jim was just talking about this, right? A bill that would provide tens of billions of dollars in new U.S. military aid to Ukraine and
Israel is stuck in partisan infighting in Congress. We know that's a familiar story.
The foreign aid was attached to a Senate bipartisan deal to beef up U.S. border security, which has been a Republican priority for months, if not
years actually, but it now appears dead after Republicans largely rebelled against it amid Donald Trump's opposition. And in the House, a vote to
impeach Joe Biden's Homeland Security Secretary surprisingly failed on Tuesday when a handful of Republicans voted against it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE JOHNSON, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Look, it was a mess what happened here, but we're cleaning it up and Massey's one of my dear friends and
colleagues. And I don't think that this is a reflection on the leader, it's a reflection on the body itself and the place where we've come in this
country. Look, the nation is divided, we lament that, right? The difference is, the chasm between the two parties right now is wider than it's ever
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: This continues the chaos of the 118th Congress. They're trying to remove a cabinet secretary, which hasn't happened in 150 years, and in fact
failed. I mean, look, they should always believe that Democrats are going to have all of their members. This idea that, oh, they thought we were down
one so they could get it passed, that's amateur hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Amateur hour, okay. Headline after headline this week. It seems like Republicans are in total disarray and with more of the back and forth
and the finger pointing on Capitol Hill, we want to go to CNN's Annie Grayer. Can you give us some of the fallout here of what happened yesterday
given all that is weighing on these legislators this week?
ANNIE GRAYER, CNN REPORTER: Well, Paula, the way that the drama unfolded last night, it honestly could have been a movie. Republicans walked into
last night's vote series confident that they would have the votes to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas and have votes to pass more aid for Israel.
Neither of that happened.
That's because Republicans' majority is so slim. It all came down to one vote. Republicans thought that Democrats were going to have one absence
last night, which was going to give them the margins they needed to pass that legislation. But Democrats wheeled in that lawmaker from the hospital
at the last minute to cast the deciding vote and change the margins, ending both votes in a tie, which failed in the House.
And just since last night, talking to lawmakers and sources, they are furious at how this has played out. This, they know this is another bad
look for them. Even though the Speaker, as we heard, is defending what happened and saying legislation is messy, Republicans know that this raises
serious questions about their ability to govern.
NEWTON: Yeah, I mean, it's not just messy, right? It's like they can't count at this point in time and they got outmaneuvered by the Democratic
votes. Annie Grayer, thanks so much. Really appreciate that update on what is going on.
We want to take you a little bit deeper into what is going on in Capitol Hill and in American politics. I'm joined by Lulu Garcia-Navarro, a "New
York Times" journalist and a CNN contributor.
And so glad to have you here for this deep dive. So, let's get into it. What the heck is happening on Capitol Hill? And you interviewed Secretary
Mayorkas just a few days ago. He clearly, you know, doesn't have a party or a leader to negotiate on the border anyway.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, what the heck is happening indeed? I mean, I like to call it a richness of embarrassments instead of
an embarrassment of riches because what we've seen happen in the Congress has just been one blow after the other for the Republican majority in the
House and the minority in the Senate. And so, what we're seeing really is just chaos.
Part of this is really the Republicans' own fault. If we remember, this was the Republicans who wanted to marry the border bill with aid to Ukraine and
to Israel. They were the ones that demanded this.
And then they negotiated for many months in a bipartisan fashion. The Democrats took them at their word. They came out with a bill that sort of
gave them everything almost that they wanted.
And then at the last minute, because of the former President, Donald Trump's intervention, they have now been caught in this very difficult
position, frankly, to sort of walk back what they had been advocating for. And so, what we're seeing now is that we have no Ukraine aid, no Israel
aid, and no border bill. Nothing at all to show for it.
NEWTON: Lulu, is this this 100 percent a Trump problem here? Literally, his intervention, even though he hasn't been re-elected, is causing problems.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: He is an unelected leader at this point. I mean, he is the potential future standard bearer of the Republican Party. He is in that
process right now. But he has very firm control over the Republican base.
We see that in polls. We see that in the way that the Republican base is voting in the process that is unfolding now. And he has almost complete
control over the Republican Party and Congress.
And I think what is so flabbergasting for those of us that watch this is that, of course, Congress is supposed to be a check on the executive. It is
one of the branches of the American system of government. And instead, they are not acting with autonomy.
They're not acting in the best interest, some would argue, of their own constituents who do want to see something happen at the border, but they're
acting at the behest of the former President.
And so, you know, they are caught in, again, a very difficult situation where they're saying one thing that they want, they want border security,
they want to give aid to Israel.
And yet the President -- the former President, rather, is saying that he wants something else. He wants something to run on. This is purely a
political calculation. And so, they're having to just talk out of both sides of their mouth.
NEWTON: And in the meantime, there are casualties to be claimed here. We've been talking about this aid to both Ukraine and Israel. It is stuck on
Capitol Hill. Chuck Schumer says the majority leader in the Senate says he'll drop the border issue and put forward an aid bill anyway. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK SCHUMER, U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The $64,000 question now is whether or not senators can drown out the outside noise, drown out people
like Donald Trump who want chaos, and do the right thing for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So, Lulu, what do you think? Can you shame Republicans essentially into getting any of this done?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, I mean, this is a disaster for everyone. Ukraine, who needs the money, the Democrats who want to give money to Ukraine, and the
Republicans who want to get money to Israel.
And so as I've said, nothing is happening right now. Chuck Schumer is saying, all right, we're going to do what the President initially wanted to
have happen, which is a Ukraine and Israel funding bill. This was, if you recall many months ago that they were thinking of doing this, and now we've
gone through all this process and we're back to the beginning.
We'll see if he has the votes and then it goes to the House. We'll see what happens in the House. I think what was interesting is that the majority
leader of the House in a press conference just today did not say that he would kill it out of hand.
And so again, anything goes in this particular Congress. It's very difficult to know what anyone's going to do, but perhaps we will see money
to Ukraine and Israel. I mean, there is the will certainly for Israel, there is division on Ukraine, but I do think that there is an understanding
that it has to happen.
NEWTON: Yeah, and we just had that indication even from the NATO Secretary General just in the last few hours. I want to turn to Tucker Carlson. He's
the former Fox anchor who was fired for his role in a lawsuit against Fox News. He's in Moscow right now. He says he had a sit-down interview with
Vladimir Putin. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON; TV HOST: You should know as much as you can. And then, like a free citizen and not a slave, you can decide for yourself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now, allow me to take a little bit of exception of what he's saying. I lived in Russia for years, have interviewed Vladimir Putin, have
asked for a visa to go back into the country. We'll go any time. We'll interview the president any time. And there's a list of hundreds behind me
who would do the same thing.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Me, too.
NEWTON: Many of us who -- there you go, Lily, right behind me. You can go there with me. And yet, Tucker Carlson is there and claims to have this
interview. I want to ask you, how dangerous is this in terms of Tucker Carlson influencing what seems to me to already be an incredibly
isolationist Republican base?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: I think it's incredibly dangerous. Carlson is, first of all, desperately trying for relevance after being ejected from his perch at
The danger here is that he is positioning himself as a mouthpiece for a leader who has jailed Western journalists, as you know, like "The Wall
Street Journal" reporter, Evan Gershkovich, and he has crushed a free press in Russia.
The American far right, we've seen them moving towards lionizing and legitimizing death spots and dictators, and Carlson seems to be leading the
charge. And, you know, for Putin, I believe Carlson is acting like a useful idiot who allows Putin to pretend that he has support and allows him to
spread his propaganda.
So, you, we know that Putin doesn't wish the United States well, to say the least. And the role of a free press is to challenge all leaders because we
represent the people. And so, I think Carlson is doing a disservice to the journalism community and potentially a disservice to the Republican Party.
NEWTON: Yeah. And as you said, this will be amplified throughout conservative media the minute that it hits the airwaves. Nikki Haley seems
to have lost some momentum in the last few days. Lulu, Nevada has not helped. She lost to, quote, "none of these candidates".
Now, her campaign shot back saying, like, look, this is a game that, in their words, is rigged for Trump. But how are you seeing her campaign at
this hour, especially what purpose it serves in the GOP primary?
GARCIA NAVARRO: Yeah, more than double the people voted for the none of these options and for her. I mean, that is embarrassing. And while this was
not a real contest, as you noted, no delegates were at stake, it does count, I think, as a barometer of where the Republican Party sits right
now, and a barometer of her popularity within that party.
And frankly, the contest that we're seeing is to nominate the standard bearer for the Republicans. This isn't a popularity contest across the
United States. We've seen poll after poll show that in a head-to-head matchup with the sitting President Biden, she would probably win.
And so, but it's the Republicans that are deciding this. And she is not popular within the Republican Party. Her best case scenario, she has money.
And we don't know what's going to happen with the former president's legal woes. We've seen a lot of cases go against him now. And so, perhaps what
she's hoping is to play this out.
And then if something happens to Donald Trump legally, she could then step in. But the fact of the matter is that it's very hard as an observer to see
her path forward, but also who she really represents to the party that she claims to represent, which is the Republican Party.
NEWTON: Yeah, his base seems solid, and some would say is even solid, even if he is convicted of a crime. Lulu Garcia Navarro, thank you so much for
helping us out as we continue to follow what is going on in both Capitol Hill and beyond. Appreciate it.
Now coming up for us, one Red Cross official says the situation for the people of Gaza right now is beyond catastrophic. We'll speak to a former
U.N. undersecretary for humanitarian affairs. We'll have that moment in return.
NEWTON: We want to focus now on the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The United Nations says thousands of Palestinians have fled south towards Rafah
in recent days. And it describes the small city on the border with Egypt as a, quote, "pressure cooker of despair".
Now, Rafah, as you can see there from these pictures, has become a tent city. More than a million people, about half of Gaza's population, are
crammed into just such a small sliver of land, living in makeshift tents, which are cold, damp and very difficult to live in.
Another critical issue according to the U.N., significant levels of acute malnutrition among children. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza meantime
says more than 27,000 people have been killed since Israel's response to the October 7th attacks began.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOMASSO DELLA LONGA, SPOKESPERSON, INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS: I think that this is the icon of the level of violence and where the
situation has gone, where humanitarian workers have no protection, hospitals are hit, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is beyond
catastrophic and literally desperate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLODRYGA: Time now for The Exchange. For more on the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, we want to bring in Jan Egeland. He is the Secretary
General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and a former UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs. He joins us now from Oslo, Norway. Good to have you.
And I have to say, we have all run out of adjectives to actually describe this situation.
We do have a deal apparently now on the table to at least consider. But it seems we are still very far away from a true ceasefire here. How badly do
Gazans need some kind of a truce at this moment?
JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: They need it immediately. I mean, there is no more time for the civilian population in
Gaza. Never elsewhere in recent history has so many people been so crammed together in such a small space under such bombardment for so many days.
It's four months now, and these women and children who are now crammed together in Rafah in the South, it's well over a million people who fled
there. There were only 300,000 people there to start with.
These people are afraid that what will happen to them is what happened to the North, where, you know, homes are in ruins. Three hundred and fifty
thousand housing units are destroyed or badly damaged.
NEWTON: So yeah, even rebuilding at this point would be, you know, quite a feat, let alone just trying to get what you need to live on, water and food
every day. If we do get some type of a pause, a truce, even something that falls short of a full ceasefire, what's needed on the ground? How do you
scale up at this hour if you can get in there to meet the dire needs?
EGELAND: What any post would be good, but only a lasting ceasefire can be what really helps us to help across Gaza. We have such a backlog now of
eight that has not come in to Gaza. I just checked the figures today.
I mean, the U.S. Germany, United Kingdom, European Union said that they won't be able to fix humanitarian aid access to Gaza months ago. It's still
100, 150 trucks at best per day. We need more than 500 trucks.
The backlog are like 50,000 trucks loads of aid. And movement inside Gaza is nearly impossible for the civilian population and also for us as
humanitarian workers. So, only a ceasefire that ends this senseless violence can really enable us to save lives across that little strip of
NEWTON: Understood, a Band-Aid just won't work at this point in time, especially as it's been so long. I want to ask you, a top Israeli general
tells CNN that there is no plan in place yet as to how to minimize civilian deaths in Rafah if Israel chooses to expand again into that border town.
What will happen, do you believe, if Israel does decide to pursue Hamas militants in that border town?
EGELAND: If they do to Rafah what they've done to Khan Younis, and Gaza City and elsewhere, it will be a bloodbath. And among children and women,
among the innocent.
So, I cannot see that the United States that provides the arms to this -- that the other European countries that provides the arms to this
bombardment on a civilian population where truly, yes, these reckless militants have blended into the civilian population.
But that does not in any way justify indiscriminate attacks on women and children. This cannot be allowed to happen. It will be a bloodbath and it
will be a stain on the conscience, not on Israel, but on Israel's allies.
NEWTON: You know, people like you have been speaking out for months, though, and the people of Gaza still continue in this dire situation. What
do you think is going to move the needle here?
EGELAND: Well, we've been disappointed again and again and again. I mean, we've been promised all of these things, and there is still no access, --
real access, for you to donate. There's still no movement inside Gaza. There's still no escape for the civilian population.
NEWTON: Mr. Egeland, I thank you. We have to leave it there now, but you will listen in with us now as we go to Jerusalem where the Israeli Prime
Minister is speaking. Let's listen in.
(LIVE COVERAGE BEGINS)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): -- and we need to end it with complete victory. I am proud to be a soldier in the
IDF. Five days later, Amit fell. His last words -- Amit did not sign with his name. He signed with a flag of Israel, a drawing of a flag of Israel.
This is his will, his legacy, a complete victory.
Yesterday, my wife and I met the Forum of Vey Bravery and they gave me a memorial brochure. And this is the title, "In Their Death They Gave Us A
Victory". With their death, they gave us victory. This is the legacy of all our brave ones. They didn't fall for nothing.
And this evening, I came to tell you one thing. We are on the way to complete victory. The victory is achievable. It's not a matter of years or
decades. It's a matter of months.
The IDF is doing amazing things, methodically progressing and achieving the aims that we have established, shattering the Hamas, destroying them,
getting the hostages and promise that Gaza will not be a threat on Israel. I've established that this complete victory is our aim.
This is a decision I brought to the government at the beginning of the war and we will not do less than that. I remember when I was a commander in
Matkal unit, I heard a saying, you don't go back until you've done it. And today I hear from our brave soldiers and commanders, you don't go back
until you win.
Now, this is against what we've been told by all sorts of former people and so-called experts. I have to tell you, this is also against what the
international community told us before the ground maneuver. They told us that a ground maneuver will not succeed. It would be a mistake to go into
We will not be able to cleanse Hamas headquarters without killing so many people. We will not be able to end the war. We will not be able to go to
the underground tunnels because it is impossible to go in. But our brave soldiers, their brave commanders, proved the exact opposite.
Everything we were told was impossible, our fighters showed it was possible. All the aims that we have established, our soldiers have
achieved, and even more than that. IDF's achievements are unprecedented.
Within four months, IDF got rid of more than half the force of Hamas, 18 out of 24 battalions, and we're dismantling the rest of them in raids that
take place all the time. Our soldiers methodically go into the tunnels where Hamas hide. They destroy headquarters, hiding places, weapon storage,
places where Hamas thought that they were completely immune.
Our brave soldiers are fighting now in Khan Younis, the main fighting area of Hamas. IDF is preparing to fight in Rafah, too. The last places where
Hamas is. And even there, when time comes, the IDF will conduct itself according to international law and will get civilians outside of the
So, the three aims, the dismantling of Hamas and destroying the underground tunnels, will continue to the end. There is no other solution until
complete victory. When Hamas is finished in Gaza is only a question of time, and the axis of evil of Iran will have to stop only by complete
This is the only way we will bring safety to Israel, the north and in the south. And ultimately in the whole of the Middle East, and we will be able
to widen our circle of peace.
I told Antony Blinken, we are nearly there with complete victory, which will be the victory not only of Israel, but the whole free world. I want to
talk to the families of the hostages and tell them, the dear ones, your dear ones, are only in front of our eyes.
I'm looking at you in the eyes. My heart breaks. We do not think, we do not stop for one second to act for them. I tell you and them honestly what I
believe in. Continuing pressure -- military pressure is a necessary condition.
Surrendering to the Hamas' unbelievable demands will only ask for another disaster for the state of Israel -- another massacre. And about the day
after, I want to explain the day after is the day after Hamas, not part of Hamas, not half Hamas, the entire of Hamas.
I told Blinken today that after we destroy Hamas, we will secure that Gaza is a safe area forever. History has proven that only one force can achieve
this. Israel, the IDF, and our security forces. Israel will be acting in Gaza whenever necessary in order for the terror not to come back.
The civilian management of Gaza cannot be done by someone who supports terror and educates their children for terror. It means that we will also
have to replace UNRWA. And I've started this process and I've updated the State Secretary.
We are in front of historical change. We can either go towards light or towards darkness. We will not allow the dark forces to be here. And the
victory in Gaza is a condition, because the whole world is trying to see who is going to win. We are acting towards complete victory.
Our security, our future, everyone's home. We must put this in our top of priorities for all the soldiers that they have not fallen for nothing.
Quoting from the Bible about the importance of the soldiers, "Please God, together, we will fight and together we will win." Thank you. Questions?
UNKNOWN: You promised a few things -- complete victory. How can we reach complete victory when actually Israel is giving humanitarian forces to
Hamas, and then Hamas is re-establishing itself in the north of Gaza? How can we reach complete victory?
NETANYAHU (through translator): First of all, dismantling of Hamas is a process. It takes time.
You're saying Hamas is re-establishing itself? It's not true in the north of Gaza. Well, first of all, we've destroyed their battalions. It means
that there's no infrastructure. They can't move forces in a structured way. It's as if you take a glass, you smashed it with a hammer. So, they're
bits, and then you hit the bits again and again. So, this is what we're doing.
After we dismantle the battalions, we deal with them with individual raids. Go on all the time. And you need to do less and less and less. Smaller
bits. This is what the IDF is doing, and I think that they're doing fantastically. There's no substitute to the military destruction. We must
complete this and it's achievable.
And I think the armies of the world that look at us and compare it to, for example, also nine months in America, took nine months to take over 5000
terrorists. They didn't have underground tunnels, a smaller place than Gaza. I think that IDF's achievements are incredible. Absolutely. Question.
UNKNOWN (through translator): Many of the citizens of Israel. Does the state of Israel and its leader support a decision to release prisoners with
blood on their hands, even people who have murdered Israelis?
NETANYAHU (through translator): Look, we haven't committed to anything. We haven't committed to any of the crazy demands of Hamas, the numbers, and
the terrorists with blood on their hands. There isn't commitment. There has to be a negotiation, and it's a process. And at the moment, from what I see
about the Hamas, it's not happening.
Question. You've decided this week to enhance the number of lorries into Gaza, but there is a lot of opposition from Ben-Gvir to others. Isn't it
time either to stop the humanitarian aid? And even the police and ministers think that?
First of all, I haven't decided to enhance the numbers of lorries. It's not true. I don't know where it's coming from. Your fake news. It's very
difficult to fight this wave of fake news. You repeat things that are not true, and that's entirely not true.
I understand the pain of the families of hostages, of fallen soldiers, but the minimal aid that we have committed to is an important condition for the
continuation of the war. So, we can't continue the war without a minimal aid. But it is important, and I would emphasize one of the factors of
security, until 60, more than -- up to 60 percent of humanitarian aid is taken by Hamas.
Even Biden said at the time that it's important to stop it, and I did too. So, I've instructed to bring solutions that would limit this problem. And
you will receive these recommendations in the next few days.
The police is doing what it needs to do. The police is doing what it does in the various places. Excuse me, the police is what I meant, is not doing
what it needs to do in all places. Minister Eisenkot is talking about a deal at any price. Him and his people don't even come to governmental
UKNOWN: Isn't it true to change the current war cabinet.
NETANYAHU: Look, I was the first one to support and acted with a unity government, emergency government. I think it's important to continue. But
if people are talking about unity, then we have to act in unity. You can't talk about unity and then criticize and divide at every opportunity.
We require true unity, and I hope that everyone will behave that way. We need this to achieve one main thing. We are progressing one step at a time
to complete victory, and that necessitates maximal unity. He said he was coming, then he decided he's not coming, and then he has conditions. You
know very well that if it was very simple, he would have joined. Question.
UNKNOWN: After Turkey and Jordan criticized us so severely. What about the agreement with Rafah and Saudi Arabia, saying that they wouldn't take part
without a Palestinian state? How will the relationship between Israel and the Arab states look after the war?
NETANYAHU: They will look good if we win. They will look bad if we don't win. You have to understand that. Everyone is waiting. Our enemies, our
friends, the neutral ones -- everyone is watching. Who is going to win? Israel or Hamas? If you like Israel backed by the United States or the axis
of evil of Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, who is going to win?
This test is focused in Gaza. That's why everyone is coming with their statements, but the real test, who is winning? And I am pushing with all my
might to bring this victory, and this victory necessitates. These things, dismantling all the battalions. It has one battalion, six battalions.
No, it's got to be destruction of all of them, continuing to cleanse the area, dealing with the shards, as I said earlier, and also underground
cleansing. And this is what we're doing.
And all the statements, you know, I've coped with various statements. It's not via public statements. In the end, these things are done in private
rooms, and the public then gets to know if there's an agreement. If we win over Hamas, the circle of peace will enhance.
Yesterday, Gantz was talking about security rather than -- military rather than civil control in Gaza. How long can we continue until people in the
cabinet will agree? Who said that they don't agree? I think it's possible and unlike what people say, there were two discussions.
I think there is an agreement about two principles and two principles are enough. No need to go beyond. There are two principles that you can talk
about in real terms and the vast majority of the public agrees.
First, you need to dismantle Hamas. It will happen. The second, you have to agree on a safe area, and that can only be done by the IDF and army forces
in Gaza. And a third thing, you can bring civil administration by organizations that are not Hamas or terror supporters.
The argument is not what will happen the day after. Do you agree with me? Well, I tell you, most of the public agrees with that. It makes sense.
Otherwise, you can't act.
What they talk about? Yeah, what about now? Bring various organizations now, even before we finish with Hamas? Look. I just wonder, I'm trying to
recruit various states in the country that would help before we've completed. Maybe there are local organizations.
And you're asking me? We are trying. It's possible to try. Is it going to succeed significantly? As long as people think that we are not committed to
what we say, destruction of the Hamas, there could be a situation that they're too afraid to come and they will be destroyed. And if the Hamas
will stay there, we won't be able to do it.
So, the claim that you must destroy the civil administration before you destroy the military regime, you can't. If you destroy the military regime,
you do get rid of the administration. So, we need to progress as quickly as possible, but also carefully and with responsibility to get rid of the
military aspect of Hamas.
This is the instruction I gave, that the cabinet gave. We are progressing towards it, and everyone needs to understand that it will happen. Question.
UNKNOWN (through translator): Mobilization dates was supposed to start, a new law was supposed to start in October. What's happening with that?
NETANYAHU (through translator): We are discussing it.
UNKNOWN (through translator): Blinken was going to meet the Chief of Staff in an unusual way. When you see the American pressure growing and our needs
vis-a-vis the pressure, what can you say about that?
NETANYAHU (through translator): I think that the right way to conduct things is with meetings with the policy-makers like today. The heads, the
Chief of Staff, the heads of security forces, Mossad, they said what they needed to say, important things. I don't see any use of private meetings.
When I go to Washington, I don't meet privately with different security organizations. Sometimes there are unusual cases, but this is how it needs
to be done. And I insist that we deliver things like a proper country.
UNKNOWN (through translator): The residents of the North are outside their homes for months now. Isn't it time to move to military action vis-a-vis
Hezbollah in the North?
NETANYAHU (through translator): I need to tell you one simple thing. We cannot leave a situation in which we have nearly a hundred thousand
refugees in Israel. This is becoming clear even to our enemies, and they need to understand it's going to be solved either in a political or
But we need to bring back security, not just the feeling of security, but true security to the north and its citizens. And we will not stop until we
achieve it. How are we going to do it? I suggest that what I say is sufficient, about our seriousness and our force. People know about it. I
hope nobody tests us on this. Nobody's talking about it.
UNKNOWN (through translator): Ben Gvir wants to go to Jerusalem, to the holy places in Jerusalem this month. What about the pressure from America?
NETANYAHU (through translator): We are going to deal with arrangements towards Ramadan in the next few days, and we will test to see what's right
to do in all areas -- on the relevant.
Look, about the sanctions, this order is a very severe thing. I'm saying it clearly. It's a very serious, inappropriate, it hurts a whole public.
Settlers who are law-abiding, their sons fight and many fall in the battle against Hamas. They are brave people.
I think this order, if it was really used in an equal way, you would have to take hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and put sanctions against
them. I think there's a big problem here. And I have to tell you that I also told this to, I said that to Blinken in my conversation with him.
UNKNOWN (through translator): After many hours of discussions, people are still refusing to take the outline about revival. Is there any public
NETANYAHU (through translator): First of all, I acted, together with my colleagues, to bring an outline and financial way to allow people to go
back and not under pressure, considering the families, the children, all the problems. I think they've received it.
I'm going to meet with the security minister and give the security organizations an authorized reply about the level of risk. To say that
there's zero risk, I don't know of any zero risk, but the risk level has gone down.
(LIVE COVERAGE ENDS)
NEWTON: You are listening to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he made a statement and then did take questions from journalists at issue
here as there is a three-phase proposal on the table. We heard quite a familiar posture from him on that.
He did indicate again that it is military pressure he says that is needed before they can come to any kind of condition with Hamas. He looked
directly at hostage families and said, look, I am telling you, we need to continue to pursue Hamas in a military way in order for us to get the
desired release of hostages. He also did not rule out going into Rafah saying that the Israeli forces need to pursue Hamas wherever they are.
Crucially here, he did say, as well, that he underscored to Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, who's in the region, who's there in Israel
today, that in fact they were close to defeating Hamas and that it was not a matter of years but a matter of months.
I want to bring in our Jeremy Diamond, who's been standing by for us in Tel Aviv, listening to all this. Jeremy, really curious to hear what stood out
to you because in terms of listening to it, this is a very familiar posture from Benjamin Netanyahu, certainly nothing categorical about that proposal
that's on the table right now.
DIAMOND: No doubt about it and it was a very defiant tone from the Israeli Prime Minister who received Hamas' counter-proposal in just the last 24
hours and he made it abundantly clear that this proposal as it currently stands is unacceptable to him and he chose to go in a different direction
which is to vow that he will continue to carry out this war effort in Gaza, pressing forward he said until an absolute victory.
And he also said that that's what he told the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken telling him we are nearly there with complete victory and
urging him to effectively back off the pressure and allow him to continue forward with this military offensive. And so, that is the posture of the
Israeli Prime Minister.
What's sometimes unclear with Bibi Netanyahu is to what extent is this kind of fire and brimstone rhetoric and to what extent is it actual negotiating
strategy or the actual position that Israel will take at the negotiating table.
I think it's clear that he views the military pressure -- the rhetoric about the military pressure as conducive to pushing Hamas to accept
something that would be closer to the terms that he has laid out, the position that the Israeli government has laid out.
But to what extent is this a total rejection of this Hamas proposal remains to be seen? It's important to keep in mind, as we talked about earlier in
this hour, that phase one of this proposal that Hamas put on the table is very similar to the phase one proposal that Israel offered less than 10
And so, now the question is, will there be able to be some kind of agreement on that phase one proposal while they move forward with
negotiating the rest of the phases, that remains to be seen. But the Israeli Prime Minister with a lot of very strong rhetoric tonight talking
about Hamas' demands defining them as crazy demands and saying that he will not release those, quote, "with blood on their hands".
And he also made clear that the numbers of Palestinian prisoners that Hamas is seeking to have pulled out of Israeli prisons is also a red line here.
But again, keep it in the context of a negotiating strategy, of a domestic political audience that the Israeli Prime Minister is also trying to appeal
to. And then behind the scenes, in the back rooms, that is where that deal will be made.
We will see whether or not it indeed can be.
NEWTON: Yeah. And to note, Jeremy, he himself said that these deals are negotiated not with public statements but in private rooms. So, we will
take the Prime Minister at his word there. Jeremy Diamond for us in Tel Aviv. Thank you. I'm Paula Newton in New York. Stay with CNN. Amanpour
starts right now.