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Quest Means Business
Biden Warns Israel Not To Be Consumed By Rage; Jordanian Foreign Minister: We Need To End This War; IDF: Islamic Jihad Behind Hospital Blast Is A Failed Rocket Launch; Republican Jim Jordan Loses Support In Second Vote; Humanitarian Crisis Grows After Gaza Hospital Blast; Protests Across Islamic World After Gaza Hospital Blast. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 18, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: President Biden is headed back to Washington. His high stakes visit cut short after a deadly strike on a Gaza
hospital caused shockwaves throughout the region.
Hello, I'm Isa Soares coming to you from London, and welcome to our continuing coverage of the war in Israel.
And a very good evening.
The US president telling Israel you are not alone and warning the country not to be consumed by rage. Joe Biden was welcomed to Tel Aviv with a hug
from Benjamin Netanyahu.
During this historic visit, he also met with members of the prime minister's war cabinet. The second leg of his trip, a Summit with Arab
leaders in Jordan was abruptly canceled. That meeting was to include the presence of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. Jordan called it off after
Tuesday's hospital blast.
In Tel Aviv, President Biden said he understood Israel's pain after the attack by Hamas and he told Israelis they faced tough choices ahead. Have a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Justice must be done, but I caution this while you feel that rage, don't be consumed by it.
After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. While we saw justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.
The vast majority of Palestinians are not Hamas. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's get more of the latest. Our Becky Anderson is with us in Tel Aviv, and Becky, I think it's fair to say and I heard president in full, he
had a very personal and impassioned speech by the president where he threw his full unwavering support behind Israel. What we didn't hear and what
stood out to me were -- there were no calls for restraint, and there were no calls for a ceasefire.
How have his comments been received by leaders in the region, that really some of them canceling their meetings following that horrific blast?
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Right. Well, just let me tell you as you join me, I can hear sirens going off, just down the coast from where
I am, and my cameraman has just given me the nod that there may be some activity behind us here and this happens and has happened every night, top
and bottom of the hour, I have to say. You know, the sirens going off, then we hear huge explosions as the Iron Dome intercepts incoming fire from
Gaza, so forgive me if it's a little noisy as we speak.
You're right, we didn't hear any calls for restraint, de-escalation, any calls to calm things down and there was a recommitment on the part of Joe
Biden, the US president, that America has a steadfast commitment to Israel and stands shoulder to shoulder and America will supply whatever support
Look, I spoke to Jordan's Foreign minister earlier, that's the bang as the Iron Dome intercepts a rocket behind me.
I spoke to Jordan's Foreign minister earlier on about the role that he believes the US must play in managing this conflict. Ayman Safadi told me
the decision was taken to cancel the Summit. That was a Summit being held in Jordan. Joe Biden was going to be at that Summit alongside the
Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas and the Egyptian President Sisi, that was cancelled.
Jordan hopes that there will be a better environment they said, to hold that in and a better environment to have a discussion about ending this
I asked him about the blast at that hospital in Gaza last night, around about 7:00 PM local time. What time is it here now? Around about 10 now.
So, it is about 24 hours or so ago.
I asked him about that explosion, that blast, and the statements from Israel and the US, this intelligence that suggests that Israel was not
responsible. Have a listen to what he told me.
AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: This strike is as you said, it's a heinous crime. It's a crime of war. Everybody here believes that Israel
is responsible for it. The Israeli army is saying it's not, but to be honest, try and find anybody who is going to believe it in this part of the
People are used to this kind of denying things and then admitting them. We all remember the case of Shireen Abu Akleh where the first Israeli response
was it was Palestinians who killed her and then they ended up admitting that was an Israeli soldier.
I think nobody is going to buy that story.
People are outraged that you just reported I think Israel willing to have an independent international investigation into the crime. Until it does
so, nobody in the region would believe that it was not Israel.
ANDERSON: You and I spoke a couple of days ago, and you said, effectively, Jordan has a red line when it comes to any Palestinians looking for an exit
through Rafah, into either Egypt and Jordan.
I mean, the there's always this fear in Jordan that the United States and indeed Israel might try to make Jordan the alternative homeland for the
Palestinian people known as Watan Al-Badil in Arabic, rather than to allow an actual Palestinian state to form. In light of what we are seeing with
the displacement of Palestinians right now, and the pressure that has been exerted on you to accept Palestinians through that rougher border crossing,
is that a concern for Jordan at this point?
SAFADI: Becky, this is an old narrative that keeps emerging and our position is firm on that, we will never allow another population transfer,
which by the way, is by international law, a war crime by the Geneva Convention and its protocol of 1977, a war crime.
So that's something that just, we will not accept, we will not allow Israel to transfer the crisis to Jordan. If there is any real attempt to do that,
Palestinians don't want it, Jordanians don't want it. So what it will do is, let me be honest, it would be just another war in the region, it will
be expanding the area of conflict, it will not bring peace.
So again, make no mistake, when it comes to that, our position is unwavering. We will never allow population transfer from Palestine into
Jordan and that will just take the conflict into a whole new dimension that will be dangerous and disastrous for the whole area. So no, that will not
Palestinian homeland is on their national soil. The two-state solution is the only way to go forward. Israel has to understand that. The world has to
understand that. It is enough.
And let me warn of something here, Becky, and we say it as a country that, you know, has tremendous good relations with all our western friends and
The growing perception on the street, as they see this unequivocal ironclad support for Israel for Israel in this war, it is a growing perception that
this is a Western-Arab Muslim War. That's a place we don't want to get to. That's a place that we should all work to prevent getting into and that's
why the guns must go silent, commonsense must come back, reason, rationalism must come back and we figure out a way out of this darkness.
We took a clear stand in condemning the killing of civilians, the world needs to do so, otherwise, it is risking being equated with the crimes that
are being committed.
We do that because we care about peace, because we have all worked about peace. That is His Majesty's mission. That is nonstop. We keep trying to
work for peace.
It's time we listen, trying to shift the conflict will just make it worse. The risk of this war expanding into the West Bank, into other parts of the
region are real. We've got to stop that before it's too late for all of us.
ANDERSON: Jordan's Foreign minister speaking to me in just the past couple of hours.
Danny Danon is a member of Israel's Knesset. He used to be the Israel representative to the United Nations and he joins me now.
Danny, thank you for joining us, and you know, sincere condolences for any friends, family, anyone, you know, who is involved in all of this, because,
of course, October the 7th was, you know, a horrifying attack on Israel.
On the back of that, sir, you've just heard the Jordanian Foreign minister warning that there is a growing perception on the street around the Arab
world. This is a Western-Arab Muslim War. This is the West against the rest, and that he said has been underscored by this sort of -- by Joe
Biden's visit here today and the steadfast support that he recommitted to Israel. I wonder what you make of that.
DANNY DANON, MEMBER OF ISRAEL'S KNESSET: I'm in shock, Becky, to hear the Minister of Foreign affairs, to the secretary-general of the UN and I ask
myself, maybe they don't see what we are seeing, maybe they forgot the horrible footage that we saw coming from the communities in the south or
the atrocity that were happening because of Hamas terrorist organization, and even yesterday, you know, the terrible attack on the hospital. Nobody
can argue about the fact that it was done by Islamic Jihad. You cannot hide the facts.
So it took us some time to show the facts, but even today, they do not apologize. They keep blaming Israel, keep inciting against Israel. It's
unfortunate because those radicals, by the way, will go after the Kingdom of Jordan one day, and after other moderate regimes in the region.
They should support us when we fight evil and when we fight those radicals.
ANDERSON: Danny Danon, the problem is this and I think you're referring to what the Foreign minister said. And he said, and I quote: "I mean, to be
honest, you know, you can't -- you won't find anyone who believes Israel's intelligence," and his point being that there have been incidents in the
past and we are well aware of those in the Shireen in Jenine, you know, the death of the Al Jazeera journalist, which, you know, Israel took no
responsibility for in the first instance.
And I think, you know, if you ask the Foreign minister, he would probably, you know, list those instances where Israel hasn't been responsible for
something, hasn't taken responsibility for it, or its intelligence wasn't good.
DANON: Maybe yesterday, it took us two hours to look into the incident and it was a lot of time because people used that time, our enemies, to spread
those lies and to incite and we saw demonstrations all over the Middle East. But today, you cannot find anyone that will show you a different
I hope that you at CNN, you show the footage. By the way, even Al Jazeera which are not so friendly with Israel, they show their own footage about
what happened the rocket barrage, that one of them fell on the hospital.
So you cannot argue with facts, you know, we will better the life of every innocent Palestinian in Gaza, but the blame is on Hamas. Period. We didn't
start with war, it was an unprovoked attack against us, and now, we are fighting, fighting for our life, and there will be not easy scenes in the
future, unfortunately, but the blame is on Hamas, not on us.
ANDERSON: What were Joe Biden's objectives in coming here today? And what to your mind did he achieve?
DANON: Well, I think the main objective was to show solidarity with Israel and we are grateful for that. We don't expect the US to fight our wars, we
are capable of defending ourselves. We have a very strong military.
We haven't shown our might yet, but it will be shown in the next few days, and then we will come after those terrorists who committed those horrible
So I think that was the main goal of the visit of President Biden, but also to signal to other parties, mainly Iran, to take into consideration that if
they are trying to make it a global war against Western civilization, that the US is watching what's happening.
ANDERSON: Right, you say that you, I mean, to which you mean Israel will show its might in the next few days. You are signaling, one assumes, that
Israel will start the next phase of this campaign. It promised the world and Hamas that would be a land, sea, and air incursion.
So is that what you expect in the next couple of days, despite the fact that there are calls around this region, sir, with respect to de-escalate,
to calm things down, to ensure that there is not the forceful forced displacement of people which we are seeing at present. You believe we will
see this next phase, you say in the next couple of days?
DANON: Becky, 1,400 Israelis were massacred. Families were executed. Babies were burned alive. Young girls were raped in front of the families and then
abducted into Gaza.
We have 200 kidnapped Israelis in the hands of Hamas. What do you expect? That we would sit idly by and wait for the UN to send the condemnation? We
We will go and we will face and we will hunt down those terrorists and we will make sure that they will pay the price. The days when Jews are
massacred, and no one reacted are over. We have the possibility and the capability to defend ourselves and we intend to do it.
ANDERSON: Never mind what price is paid in terms of civilian life, Danny?
DANON: I didn't say that. You know, unlike the Hamas, we try to minimize the casualties among civilians. They're doing exactly the opposite. They
target civilians and they hide behind civilians.
So we will try to encourage the population to move south, to move to other areas before we attack the Hamas headquarters, and I encourage the
population, with all due respect to the discomfort not to stay around Hamas headquarters. It will not be pleasant on those areas.
ANDERSON: Danny Danon is the former Israeli UN representative and Chair of World Likud. Sir, we thank you very much indeed for joining us in what is a
fairly noisy Tel Aviv for tonight.
When we come back, the IDF says an errant Islamic Jihad rocket caused the hospital blasting Gaza. We will talk to a Defense correspondent for
Israel's Channel 13, that's after this.
SOARES: And this just in to CNN from Washington. I want to show you some images because Jewish protesters are being arrested on Capitol Hill as you
can see there, as they call for a ceasefire in Israel. And you can see the t-shirt there that lady is wearing "Not in Our Name." These pictures coming
in just moments ago.
Gabe Cohen is watching it all on Capitol Hill. Gabe, what can you tell us?
GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, Isa, I want to give you a look at what's happening right now inside of this building on Capitol Hill. This is the
Cannon House Office Building. And you can see these protesters occupying the rotunda of this building, chanting, singing, and you can see many of
them now getting arrested.
We have watched as the US Capitol Police have been leading them out. These are organizers from a couple different Jewish-American organizations who
are fighting here, who are here organizing, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying that Israel needs to stop bombing Gaza.
This obviously, the sentiment, being discussed here and at a rally that was just unfolding on the National Mall just about a half mile from where I'm
It's not a sentiment shared by a lot of American-Jews right now, but obviously, this organization -- these organizations have brought in a lot
of demonstrators because there are a lot of people who really believe in this message right now and believe that this will make a difference here on
Capitol Hill, that it will be hard for lawmakers to ignore this.
Lawmakers who, they believe are going to decide whether or not Israel has American -- the US funding for this war and whether it has US blessing from
President Joe Biden.
So again, we are watching this protest unfold. We have watched as at least a dozen likely far more than that protesters have been zip tied and led out
of the building here.
And yet you see it, it continues and look, these organizers, these are the same ones who were outside of the White House on Monday, more than 30
people arrested there as protesters were blocking entrances to the White House.
Now, it is here on Capitol Hill, and they say this is really just the beginning.
SOARES: And Gabe, I wonder if you can get your cameraman to just film the top -- the first level of the rotunda, because I did see people clapping
there, but I couldn't tell if they were part of the protests or the other people involved. Can give us a sense of the scale of this as well, because
I saw there are others more on that first floor. Is that correct, Gabe?
COHEN: Yes. Yes. And you can see as my photographer is panning up, you can see the people on the upper level of the rotunda. Those were actually some
of the people who were arrested the quickest by law enforcement here, because some of them were hanging banners, right, as this got underway.
We watched as officers ripped those banners out of their hands, some of those people zip tied and led away.
And look, even, Isa 15 minutes ago, 20 minutes ago, there was an even larger crowd here in the rotunda, but they are getting pulled out one by
one and arrested.
And look, I was standing just a few minutes ago, just about 10 feet closer to the protesters they are and I was told by police if I stayed there, I
would be arrested, that this was now a secure area.
And so the people who are still there now they are most likely going to be arrested if they continue to stay.
SOARES: And I can hear them, Gabe, I can hear them, I think humming or singing. It looks very peaceful right now. And I mean, the question then
becomes you brought it up, can they make a difference? Will this impact lawmakers there?
COHEN: Well, look and that is what they're hoping, that this will get the attention of lawmakers here on Capitol Hill. And look, we heard a couple of
those lawmakers. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, speaking at the rally that happened on the National Mall a little while ago.
So certainly this movement and this message has gotten the attention of at least some lawmakers, but it is unclear given how polarized this issue had,
polarizing this issue has become, Isa, what impact a protest like this will have here at the Capitol.
SOARES: Gabe, I really appreciate it. Gabe Cohen there for us on Capitol Hill with the very latest.
Well, the White House says it does not believe Israel caused the Gaza hospital explosion, the Palestinian officials say killed hundreds of
people. It says that verdict was based on analyzing overhead imagery, intercepted communications, and open source information.
Israel says a failed rocket launch by Islamic Jihad was to blame. On the other side, Palestinian officials maintain the hospital was hit by an
Israeli airstrike. IDF spokesman, Doron Spielman told CNN that was absolutely not the case. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DORON SPIELMAN, IDF SPOKESMAN: We're not pointing fingers at Hamas. We've provided evidence that clearly shows and is corroborated by Pentagon
officials as well, that Hamas Palestinian Islamic Jihad shot that rocket that killed their own civilians.
We have to understand that rocket was intended to kill Israeli civilians. In this case, we see it misfired and it killed Gazan civilians.
And so public perception, while it's very, very important, needs to adhere to the facts. And here unfortunately, there was something that took place,
which I think is the responsibility of the media.
When this happened, and this was reported, within seconds, Hamas issued a response, blaming Israel. Now there is no way when an explosion happens
that somebody can understand exactly what happened. To my enormous sorrow, the international media community immediately ran the reports, as if Hamas
is a reliable source.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's get more on this, Alon Ben-David is a military analyst for Israel's Channel 13. Alon, great to have you on the show, very important
perspective to have tonight.
As we laid out there, Alon, the IDF today providing images -- overhead imagery, I should say, intercepted audio communications to make their case
they were not behind the hospital blast, that it was a failed rocket launch from Islamic Jihad.
Just talk to the evidence that was -- that has been presented. Just in your view, how compelling is it?
ALON BEN-DAVID, MILITARY ANALYST FOR ISRAEL'S CHANNEL 13: Well, they're very compelling and conclusive. I mean, we've shown -- we've seen a list of
evidence that persuaded the American president to say that this is Hamas' responsibility, and Islamic Jihad.
We had the surveillance camera footage from around the Gaza Strip, actually filming the rocket launch and failure and fall on the hospital. We have an
analysis of all the multiple sensors surrounding the Gaza Strip that clearly analyze the trajectory of the missiles showing that was launched
from Gaza and fell on the hospital.
We have intercepted a phone call, a phone conversation between two Hamas operatives saying that this was a work of the Islamic Jihad and this is the
failure by them and the injuries of the people inside the hospital are nothing like the injuries from Israeli munitions.
They carry shrapnel, which is customary for Hamas rockets. So all the indications are clear and you don't see the crater. You know, when you drop
a bomb from an aircraft, usually on the ground, usually you get a big crater from the impact. There's no crater there.
So clearly, this was an Islamic Jihad rocket that failed, and unfortunately, in the post truth and post fact era, we need to prove it
SOARES: Yes, and for those who might not have made up their mind, who are still looking, trying to find out more evidence or wanting more evidence
here. The fact there is no crater, is that the strongest evidence you believe that has been presented here, Alon?
BEN-DAVID: No, I think that the surveillance camera footage is very conclusive. You actually see the launch of the rocket directed at Central
Israel, landing inside Gaza. I was surprised at how quickly most of the international media embraced the lie that Hamas has spread, and
unfortunately, many people across the Middle East still believe in that lie and we still need to refute that.
I think that the list of evidence is very conclusive, and it is very hard to challenge those evidence and forensic findings that we have from this
So clearly, this was an Islamic Jihad rocket, and by the way, not the first time. We've seen it in every Gaza operation, that most of the Islamic Jihad
rockets, which are less -- which the quality is less good than Hamas rockets, we see many failures that cause eventually the -- and claim the
lives of innocent Palestinians.
SOARES: And you were right when you said many in the region don't believe it, because there seems -- they seem to be from what we've heard so far,
and they seem not to trust that evidence, we've seen the rage on the streets, as you would have seen as well, Alon, from Amman in Jordan, to
Tunis in Tunisia.
And it's not just civilians, it is also regional leaders, too. I want you to have a listen to what the Jordanian Foreign minister has told our Becky
Anderson. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAFADI: This strike is, as you said, it's a heinous crime. It's a crime of war. Everybody here believes that Israel is responsible for it. The Israeli
Army is saying it's not. But to be honest, try and find anybody who's going to believe it in this part of the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: So I mean, going back to your question, is there anything that the IDF can provide, could provide, could put out to convince regional leaders
that they were not behind this?
BEN-DAVID: I think it was all presented. I was very surprised by their Jordanian response, which because we know, you know, the Jordanian Royal
Court is quite a responsible leadership. But in this case, they hurried to cancel the Summit that was planned with the American president, insulting
the American president with no reason to do that.
So I was surprised by their response. I don't think we need to prove it once and again, really the evidence, that conclusively was enough for the
president of the United States, saying that it is also supported by information that he got from the Department of Defense in the US that
clearly this was an Islamic Jihad rocket.
Now talking about war crimes, at the end of the day, we have Hamas and Islamic Jihad firing from behind civilians, which is a war crime on
civilians in Israel, firing on my kids, on my elder mom, and trying to kill them. So I don't think there's a question who is the war criminal here.
Israel does not target civilians deliberately. Yes, in war, there is collateral damage, but Israel has proved once and again that it is going
out of its way to minimize collateral damage, knowing the fact that Hamas is operating from a civilian surrounding, so it's very hard, but in no case
and no matter how angry and how sad Israelis are, after what we've been through, there is no way that you will see these the Israeli Air Force
deliberately targeting Palestinians.
And you know what? I think the people of Gaza know that. I think the people of Gaza know that the Israeli Air Force will not target them and will not
try to hurt them -- harm them in intention.
Yes, some people will be hurt if they stay around Hamas, and that's why Israel is asking most of the population in Gaza City to evacuate south so
they won't get hurt.
We don't want to hurt civilians. We don't want to punish the Palestinians. We are going to eliminate Hamas and that's what we are about to do in the
SOARES: Alon Ben-David, appreciate it. Thank you very much, Alon.
And still to come right here on the show, another setback for hardline US Republican Jim Jordan as he loses a second vote for speaker of the House.
We will have the very latest from Washington, that is next.
SOARES: Well, a second day of chaos, as well as drama on the U.S. House Floor today as the chamber is still, that's right, still without a speaker.
Republican hardliner Jim Jordan's effort to take up the gavel is actually moving backwards at this point after he got fewer votes this afternoon than
he had at his first attempt on Tuesday, if you remember, and it's not clear where he goes from here.
Though he told reporters he would have more talks with the 22 Republican lawmakers who vote -- who opposed him in today's vote. CNN's Melanie Zanona
joins us live from Washington. So he clearly doesn't have enough votes. So what happens next, he's going to continue trying Melanie?
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, House Republicans are stuck in a familiar holding pattern right now. Now, Jim Jordan's team is
insistent that they will have another vote that they will go to a third ballot. He wants more time to try to win over these holdouts. It's unclear
when that other vote would happen. But the holdouts that I've talked to said they are not budging in their opposition.
In fact, I am told that there could be more supporters who come out and vote against Jim Jordan on a third ballot, and then he's likely going to
bleed support if this thing keeps going. So we'll see if and when a vote happens.
In the meantime, though, House Republicans are starting to seriously talk about a backup plan. A way to reopen the government, especially with such
critical issues, like aid to Israel, aid to Ukraine, government funding, all hanging in the balance, and one idea that is gaining steam in the GOP
right now is this idea of trying to empower Patrick McHenry.
He is the interim speaker. Right now he only has the authority to oversee speaker votes on the House floor. But there's this push right now to try to
potentially force a floor vote on a resolution that would give him temporary more power so they could reopen the house and get back to
Now there is some Judo division in the GOP about supporting that move, Jim Jordan and his allies are against it. They are actively encouraging their
supporters to vote against that resolution. But other Republicans are starting to say it is time to move on to that step, that it is time to get
past the Jim Jordan speaker race and look at other alternatives.
But this would require Democratic support. And as of right now, Democrats themselves are also divided. I've talked to some Democrats who say they
would vote for a resolution like that, others have said they need to see the text of the resolution. They potentially want something in return if
they're going to offer up those votes. So as of right now, everything is very fluid, very influx. But the big picture here House Republicans are
just desperate to end the chaos that has engulfed the House GOP for weeks now.
SOARES: Yes, 15 days to be exactly. We shall see. Thanks very much, Melanie.
And still to come after this very short break, Israel says it won't blockade from getting into Gaza through Egypt. However, getting supplies to
those who still need it is a major challenge. We'll have more on that, next.
ANDERSON: Welcome back, Israel is now saying it will not block aid going into Gaza through Egypt. The prime minister's office says that decision was
made by the Israeli war cabinet in light of President Biden's demand. While aids are backed up in Egypt Sinai desert waiting to get through into Gaza,
Israel says its decision only applies to food, water and medicine. And none of it, it says, can go to Hamas.
It also says no aid, no aid will end up from Israel until Hamas releases its hostages. We are aware that Hamas holds as many as 199 Israeli and
foreign nationals at present. Well despite today's apparent breakthrough, the situation in Gaza remains dire. And efforts to get aid supplies into
the enclave have still not borne fruit.
ANDERSON (voice-over): This is where international aid should be flowing into Gaza. But it's been eerily quiet, vital life sustaining humanitarian
aid has been piling up, stuck in no man's land on the wrong side of the border, while agencies sound the alarm on an accelerating humanitarian
Now there are signs of a breakthrough. On Wednesday, hours after a deadly blast at a hospital in Gaza, U.S. President Joe Biden landed on his wartime
visit to Israel. Hours later he delivered these remarks.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I ask the Israeli cabinet who I met with for some time this morning to agree to the delivery of lifesaving
humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, based on an understanding that there will be inspections, that the aid should go to civilians not
Hamas. Israel agreed humanitarian assistance can begin to move from Egypt to Gaza.
ANDERSON (voice-over): But in a statement Wednesday, Israel said it will not allow any aid into Gaza from its own territory until all hostages held
by Hamas are released. Following the announcement, I asked the Jordanian Foreign Minister for his reaction.
AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We're all working for a ceasefire that would allow the delivery of humanitarian supplies to Gaza. So talk of
ceasefire is continuing, talk of allowing supplies is continuing, talk of a decision to endorse continuing. So we're all working towards that and any
step in that direction is definitely a welcome step.
ANDERSON (voice-over): President Biden now says he is working with the U.N. to get aid trucks moving as quickly as possible. But even when that flow of
aid can begin, its route has been badly damaged by Israeli airstrikes.
SAMEH SHOUKRY, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Well, currently, there's a long miles long convoy of humanitarian assistance between our region Rafah with
trucks on the side of the road awaiting the possibility of entering Gaza. The Rafah crossing over the last days has been bombed four times.
DR. TOM POTOKAR, CHIEF SURGEON, INTL. COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS: There's a lot of infrastructure that has been destroyed. Obviously the lack of fuel,
the lack of water, the lack of food is going to compound the situation. The difficulties with moving around due to security but also just to blockages
from rubble, et cetera, and unexploded munitions.
ANDERSON (voice-over): For Gaza citizens, the deadly waiting game means lifelines are fast running out. The Palestinian Health Ministry says
hospitals are collapsing without fuel. And the World Food Program warns that shops in Gaza will run out of food in mere days.
YAD KHALIL, GAZA RESIDENT (through translator): There is no water. There is no water at all. Medicines for children, food drinking, there are no
supplies at all in the Gaza Strip. It's not just me. All of the Gaza Strip is suffering. All of the families in Gaza are suffering.
ANDERSON: Well, a doctor with Medecins Sans Frontieres was inside the Al- Ahli Baptist Hospital on Tuesday night and he says, more than half of the victims from that deadly blast were children. Witnesses have described the
horrific scenes there. And while Israeli and Palestinian officials blame one another, there are innocent civilians caught in the middle of growing
Jason Lee is the country director of Save the Children, Palestine and joins us now in Ramallah. Tell us what do you know specifically, Jason, about
what happened at the hospital with regards. You know, men, women, children, you know, how they were affected.
JASON LEE, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, SAVE THE CHILDREN PALESTINE: Look, it's essential that critical civilian infrastructure such as schools and
hospitals are never targeted. These are protected under international law. They provide much needed shelter for civilians that are fleeing, and also
seeking critical medical care for injuries and deaths. There have been thousands of civilians that have injured.
Today, we estimate 11,000 civilians have been injured, one out of three of them being a child. Now what we do know is that they're still counting
still trying to confirm the numbers of injuries. Deaths are approximately 500, at least 300 people injured. What we estimate is that 70 percent of
those were the elderly, were women and children against civilians and children have to be protected.
ANDERSON: How, at this point?
LEE: The most urgent thing is a ceasefire. It is critical that all sides agree to a ceasefire, agree to stop the conflict, the fighting and allow
civilians to one, be safe. And it's also critical that the corridors or open, the humanitarian assistance get into Gaza. They are running out of
supplies, water supplies are dangerously low. There is only about four or five days left of food supplies on the shelves. Without this the civilian
population will have no access to water, and food.
The infrastructure is all but collapsed in Gaza, health systems, health facilities are not working. Hospitals don't have fuel to run generators to
have electricity. Vaccines can be kept cold, treatment can be given to hospital -- to patients. Patients are critical in intensive care units and
critical care, premature babies. All of those require machines that require electricity to keep functioning. All of that is at the brink of collapse.
ANDERSON: Jason, the U.S. President Joe Biden had come with a ceasefire, you know, as one of his objectives today, it doesn't seem as if we've got
it. He certainly did get the Israelis to concede to opening humanitarian corridor or at least passage of aid through southern Gaza. I mean, how
important is that at this stage?
LEE: That's critical that but that's only the first step, we have to stop the cycle of violence, which is why thousands of civilians have been killed
and injured. We are now at a point where one child is killed every 15 minutes. Now, the supply of critical lifesaving assistance is necessary.
But it's also about ensuring that people can receive that assistance, which means one, having the ceasefire, having pauses, having humanitarian
corridors to enable humanitarians to deliver this assistance.
It is also imperative that humanitarians can enter because we need to access the civilian population. We need to make sure we identify children
most at risk. We need to keep them protected and keep them alive. It is also critical that the fighting does stop. It is impossible to deliver
assistance when there is airstrikes and shelling. And it's also impossible for the civilians deserve to have safety when there is constant airstrikes
So wonderful, it's amazing that the goods are coming in. But the fighting has to stop. There must be a ceasefire. There must be centrality of
protection of civilians. All sides have to prioritize the protection of civilians.
ANDERSON: On the Israelis who said no ceasefire until Hamas released those hostages. We know that the categories, according to diplomatic sources are
still trying to effort the release of those hostages with an open track to Hamas, the U.S. and Israel. But at this stage, we know that Hamas has also
said no release of hostages until there is a ceasefire.
So we are in a, you know, a position where it seems neither side are willing to budge at this point, you say it's absolutely imperative. And at
every 15 minutes, a child is dying at this point. How concerned are you, sir, at this stage without a ceasefire in place, and with the promise of
the next phase of this Israeli incursion, whatever that looks like to come, just how worried are you?
LEE: Incredibly worried. I mean, we are in a situation now where we're having one child that's been killed every 15 minutes. The longer that this
is protracted, that rate will most surely increase. It is impossible to keep civilians safe and alive, especially children when there's ongoing
fighting, when there are no supplies in Gaza, supplies running low, when there is no safety for civilians to move around, when there's no
humanitarians to deliver these assistance.
Again, I cannot stress the urgency of the situation. We do not have time. The civilian population do not have time. Children in Gaza do not have
time. The assistance has to get in. The fighting has to stop. There must be safety and protection of all civilians. There must be adherence to
international law, from all sides, all duty bearers are accountable.
These are not things that people can choose when to do or what they would like to do when it's convenient. These are obligations that all duty
bearers have to uphold, and those that do not have to be held to account.
ANDERSON: Jason Lee, you must be a very, very busy man at this point. But we very much appreciate you just taking time out to talk to us and make it
absolutely clear that we are at a very, very critical stage at this point. Thank you.
And I do think it's important that we continue to address what Jason has just talked about there, cycle of violence, and the concerns around this
region about that escalation. The Saudi Foreign Minister tweeting just in the past few minutes, quote, it is critical that we address the root causes
of the Palestinian Israeli conflict to end the cycle of violence and we reach a sustainable peace. That is achieved, he said via the creation of an
independent Palestinian state.
It's important when you consider that Saudi was reportedly just months away from normalizing relations with Israel, seen by Washington, of course is
the pillar of U.S.-Middle East policy going forward, the Kingdom now absolutely underscoring that the plight of the Palestinian people cannot be
And just in to CNN, the U.N. has said, it has no update on if and when that Rafah crossing will open despite Israel saying it will allow aid into Gaza
from Egypt. So our guest has just said the humanitarian situation is growing ever more dire. The Egyptian president has blamed Israel and
Israeli shelling for preventing the crossing from reopening.
Well, coming up, how heartbreaking scenes at the shattered Hospital in Gaza are fueling anger across the Middle East. Details and that are up next.
ANDERSON: Despite Israel's denial, angry protests erupting in many countries across the Middle East following the deadly hospital blast in
Gaza. In Turkey, protesters clashed with police outside the Israeli embassy. On Tuesday night, Israel has advised its citizens to leave Turkey
immediately, citing an escalating threat of terrorism.
While the U.S. has temporarily rarely closed its consulate in southern Turkey. In Lebanon, police use water cannon and tear gas to disperse
demonstrators earlier on Wednesday. Some protests tried to break through security barriers near the U.S. Embassy. And this was the scene today in
the Jordanian capital, Amman, a major protest close to the Israeli embassy. Nada Bashir is in Amman and you've been down, you know, amongst protesters.
What was the atmosphere and what were they telling you?
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, Becky, we've been here for hours. Now these protesters have been here for hours. Now there are hundreds of
people down the road behind me closer towards the Israeli embassy. Many are here to express their solidarity with the Palestinian people, but they are
angry, they are outraged by the situation in Gaza by the ongoing Israeli airstrikes in the besieged Gaza Strip.
And we have seen this outpouring of condemnation and anger, many here calling are for Palestinian rights and freedoms to be upheld. And of
course, as you mentioned that this has really been ignited by what we saw the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza on Tuesday, many people here are horrified to
see the situation that the mounting civilian deaths.
And we've been speaking to some of the protesters down in -- down this road closer towards the Israeli embassy which has been the focus of today's
demonstration and many told us that they felt they have a duty to be here and to voice their support for Palestinian people. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HADI BAYDIS, PRO-PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATOR: The least thing we could all do is just to stand here and be the voice of the people. It's pretty
emotional. I mean, the whole thing has been running for like, nearly like a lot of years, nearly 100 years it's been going on. And I think it's about
time that, you know, people know the truth. And what's exactly going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR: And Becky, as you well know, the Palestinian cause, the Palestinian crisis that we are seeing in Gaza, these ongoing attacks on the Gaza Strip,
is something which really resonates across the Arab world, but particularly here in Jordan, where almost half of the population are either Palestinian
or of Palestinian descent.
And this has really resonated across the population. And it's not just on the popular front we have heard words of condemnation, strong messages and
statements as you saw earlier today, from the Jordanian government. And protests are only going to continue growing and intensifying across the
Middle East as Israel's aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip continues. Becky?
ANDERSON: Absolutely, Nada Bashir, good to have you. Stay safe. Thank you very much indeed. We'll be back after this short break.
SOARES: And it's coming up to almost 11:00 p.m. in Israel, the end of what has been an historic day. Joe Biden has left the country after making the
first wartime visit to Israel by U.S. president. He met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reaffirmed U.S. support and appealed to Israelis not
to give into rage, saying their response must follow the rules of war.
The President said he was outraged by the Gaza hospital blast that officials say left hundreds of people dead and he said the U.S. has
preliminary findings supported Israel's claim that a misfiring Islamic Jihad rocket caused the explosion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Today ask Israeli cabinet, I met with for some time this morning to agree to the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance to civilians in
Gaza based on an understanding that there will be inspections that the aid should go to civilians not to Hamas. Israel agreed humanitarian assistance
can begin to move from Egypt to Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: U.S. President Joe Biden had also planned to meet today with Arab leaders that summit was to include the King of Jordan and the presidents of
Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. Jordan scrapped that meeting after that hotel blast. Well, that event has triggered protests across the Arab
world. That blast, Palestinian supporters blame Israel. The IDF has presented evidence that it says points to a misfired rocket from Islamic
Well, you're watching CNN is it for this hour. I'm Becky Anderson in Tel Aviv.
SOARES: And I'm Isa Soares in London. Do stay out here for CNN's continued coverage of Israel's war on Hamas next with Jake Tapper.