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Quest Means Business
Freed Hostage Speaks About Kidnapping And Captivity; Hostage Released By Hamas Said, "I Went Through Hell"; Relentless Strikes On Gaza Overnight; Inside Gaza: Civilians Caught In Aftermath Of Strikes; UNRWA Says Lack Of Fuel Jeopardizing Relief Efforts; Efforts Underway To Release More Hostages; Israel Drops Leaflets Asking For Info On Remaining Hostages; Netanyahu Adviser: Israel Will Not Allow Fuel Into Gaza; Israel: Preparing For "Multilateral Operation" Against Hamas; Mike Johnson Elected New U.S. House Speaker; Trump Fined $10K For Violating Gag Order; U.N. Says Gaza Out Of Fuel Soon; Interview With Noam Alon, Boyfriend Of Woman Abducted From Music Festival; U.N. Chief "Shocked" At "Misinterpretations"; Israeli City Rishon Lezion Hit By Rocket Attack; Israel-Hamas War Likely To Hit Regional Economies. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 25, 2023 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And 85-year-old grandmother recounts her harrowing experience as a hostage, and a major human agency
says it will have to give up working in Gaza if no fuel is allowed in by Wednesday night.
Hello, I'm Julia Chatterley in New York, and welcome to our continuing coverage of the war in Israel.
Tonight, one of the hostages freed by Hamas is offering a dramatic account of her time in captivity. Yocheved Lifshitz, pictured here on the left,
spoke Tuesday in Tel Aviv, less than 24 hours after she and Nurit Cooper were released.
Lifshitz described her violent kidnapping on October 7th. She was taken to Gaza and forced into underground network of tunnels. She said her guards
made sure that she was fed, however, and she received medical care.
Now during the news conference, she also criticized the Israeli government for failing to protect her community.
Bianca Nobilo has more.
LIFSHITZ (through translator): "It was a hell I could not have known."
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): An 85- year-old grandmother, one of the two Israeli hostages released by Hamas Monday night, expressed anger towards her government for not taking the
Hamas threat seriously in the weeks leading up to the horror of October the 7th.
LIFSHITZ (through translator): "The lack of awareness by Shin Bet and IDF hurt us a lot. They were warned three weeks beforehand. They burnt fields.
They sent fire balloons, and the IDF did not treat it seriously."
NOBILO (voice over): Safely reunited with her daughter, Yocheved Lifshitz detailed the horror that unfolded in her home in southern Israel.
LIFSHITZ (through translator): All of a sudden on Saturday morning, everything was very quiet. There was a hard pounding on the settlement.
I was kidnapped on a motorbike on my side while they were driving towards Gaza in the field.
NOBILO (voice over): The ensuing two weeks, she was held hostage in Hamas' secretive network of underground tunnels. Upon her release, her testimony
of the traumatic ordeal extraordinary, from horror to displays of humanity from her captors.
LIFSHITZ (through translator): When we got there, they told us they believed in the Quran and would not harm us, and that they would give us
the same conditions that they had inside the tunnels.
For each of us, there was a guard. They took care of every detail. There were a lot of women and they knew about feminine hygiene, and they took
care of everything there.
NOBILO (voice over): She was released alongside her female neighbor, but her husband remains held in Gaza. Her freedom, a relief from Yocheved's
daughter and a glimmer of hope for the families whose loved ones who remain as hostages under Hamas.
Her experience now a potentially critical insight into a Hamas' spiderweb of tunnels and their behaviors, planning, and objectives of a group, which
shocked the world with their capabilities, preparedness, and brutality on October the 7th.
Bianca Nobilo, CNN London.
CHATTERLEY: Sara Sidner has injuries (inaudible) for us tonight, too, and she'll be with us throughout this hour.
Sara, great to have you with us. It is further proof that the diplomacy is working. Another couple of hostages released.
It's also seemingly continuing to provide a delay in that incursion into Gaza by Israeli forces as well. We're continuing to watch the humanitarian
aid, of course. But the challenges is that those raids are still continuing and people are still dying.
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR AND SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There are such enormous challenges that can't even be overstated at this fort, not just
the getting aid into Gaza, but once it gets there, getting it to the people who needed the most.
We have been talking to aid groups, we have been talking to doctors who are there, who are saying that they are so close to running out of fuel. And if
that happens, basically, the hospitals are going to be turned into morgues.
They will not be able to do their work. They will not be able to save babies who are in incubators, but it is this issue of trying to get the
humanitarian aid where it needs to go and as quickly as it needs to get there.
In the meantime, there is still an airstrike campaign going on by Israel which has still in the midst, and still in the midst, of it's official war,
really, really difficult situation for all of the civilians in Gaza at the moment.
More than 700 people have actually been killed in Gaza over just a 24-hour period, ending Tuesday. That is according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
That would be the highest deadly death toll so far this month since the campaign by Israel began. Israel says the latest rounds of strikes killed
dozens of Hamas gunmen and several of its commanders.
Civilians are also paying an extremely heavy price as CNN's Salma Abdelaziz shows us in her report.
And we want to warn you, the images you are going to see are extremely disturbing.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Moments after an overnight strike in Gaza, stunned survivors stumble out. People
nearby rush to help.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): "There's no ambulance. We have to get people out," a man shouts.
Men dig with bare hands. It is dark, dusty.
The screams are jarring.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): "Look at the children, look at the children," he says. It is sheer chaos, and carnage.
This is the aftermath of just one of the hundreds of bombings a day that batter the Gaza Strip. The scene captured by a journalist.
Israel says it is targeting Hamas and aims to wipe out the group. But Palestinians and aid agencies say it is civilians that are dying by the
Drone footage shows entire neighborhoods already leveled by the near constant bombardment. Nothing is spared. Schools, mosque, shelters, medical
centers all struck, according to the United Nations.
Gaza is all too familiar with war, but has never seen it on this scale.
And for survivors, there is little life left here. Baby Sanad Al Halabi is now an orphan, but he's far too young to understand that.
(UNIDENTIFIED MALE speaking in foreign language.)
ABDELAZIZ (voice over): "What did this little boy do? An airstrike hit his house while he was sleeping," his uncle says. "His whole family is killed.
"He's the only survivor. Stop this. Stop the suffering."
There are calls for Israel to pause hostilities, but the IDF is only ramping up its attacks and preparing for what's expected to be a full on-
ground invasion of the enclave. But Gazans say they can endure no more.
Amar Al Batah says nearly 50 members of his extended family were killed after they followed Israel's evacuation instructions.
(AMAR AL BATAH speaking in foreign language.)
ABDELAZIZ (voice over) "We were hosting our family from the north, 50 to 70 people, because it was supposed to be safe," he says. "But at dawn, our
home was bombed. We don't know what to do. We've lost our minds."
Gaza is praying for relief. But the cries of anguish here are so far unheard. The bloodshed won't stop.
SIDNER: Horrible scenes there in Gaza that just keep coming. UNRWA, the UN agency in charge of providing aid to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, said it
will have to halt operations in Gaza if fuel is not delivered by Wednesday night. That is tomorrow night here in this time zone.
Dominic Allen is the UN Population Fund Representative for the state of the Palestinian state. He joins me now. Thank you so much.
DOMINIC ALLEN, UN POPULATION FUND REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE STATE OF THE PALESTINIAN STATE: Thank you.
SIDNER: Dominic, can you tell us first what exactly you can describe? We have seen some of the pictures. We have heard from some of the doctors that
is happening in hospitals, that is happening in areas where civilians are gathered in very large numbers.
ALLEN: Yes, thank you. I mean, it's simply, in a word, horrific.
This crisis, which is unfolding, is catastrophic. Our concern from the UN Population Fund is for the over one million women and girls in Gaza.
And specifically, I think your pictures demonstrate this. Our concern is for the 50,000 pregnant women. And there are over 150 Gazan women giving
birth every single day that can't access basic maternal health services.
So these pictures of the hospitals and the primary health care facilities that have been destroyed are overwhelmed. Over two-thirds of the health
care centers are not working right now in Gaza.
These pregnant women are facing a double nightmare. And we're seeing this health system, which was already majorly crippled from a 16-year blockade,
and it's now on the brink of absolute collapse.
So for us, my concern is that pregnant women have nowhere to go and are really facing unthinkable challenges.
SIDNER: You know, you're talking about something that is an everyday occurrence across the world, women having babies.
But now in this situation where the war is underway and there are airstrikes from above, there's also a blockade below, can you give us some
sense also of the babies themselves? Because we have been hearing that the issue and hospitals is also about the incubators for premature babies who
What are you hearing and learning about what is happening on that front?
ALLEN: Yes, and let me be clear. The UN is calling for humanitarian ceasefire and further to this, the urgent need for water, food, medical
supplies, and fuel for electricity.
Exactly to this point, hospitals are hours away of running out of electricity, which provide life-sustaining systems for newborns and for
health care emergencies to be performed.
Now, what are we hearing on the ground? We're hearing -- we've heard testimonies from pregnant women in Gaza. Let me share one with you.
A pregnant woman who was displaced four times from her home and the very shelters in which she was walking between, every step she is taking as
moving between these places with vast insecurity, she is saying, quote, "Each step felt like a race against death."
Now when she -- when we've heard from another testimony of another pregnant woman who managed to make those dreadful journeys and managed to find her
way to Al-Shifa Medical Hospital, which features on a number of these reports, the biggest health care facility in Gaza.
And what she described was after being able to get there and be able to summon that strength to get to Al-Shifa Medical Hospital, after three hours
after giving birth, she had to be discharged and had to make way for another pregnant women who had to come in, as well as the huge amounts of
So the challenges that not only the pregnant women, but the Gazan population are facing is huge, including the medical staff because we also
hear from medical staff, midwives that Al-Shifa Hospital as well describing the dire, dire conditions.
And this comes back to your earlier point. You asked about fuel and how important fuel is to be able to sustain these life-sustaining systems.
But it's not only about water, pregnant women need more water than a regular person. And the conditions there are deeply, deeply worrying.
Usually, on a regular day, it's recommended 15 liters of water for hygiene and consumption purposes. Usually, about three liters per day that a human
Pregnant women needs more, needs another 300 milliliters.
Lactating women, so one of these pregnant women who gives birth, has to sustain the life of her child through breastfeeding, requires even more.
And so the challenges right now are ensuring a safe and steady flow of aid can come in with food, water, medical products, and fuel being a key issue
at the moment.
SIDNER: The last -- a couple of days ago I spoke with the Palestinian Red Crescent director general. And he described something to me about those
people who are caretakers, the nurses, the doctors, the women who are taking care of the pregnant population, but also the doctors taking care of
the injured as well, and said that there wasn't even enough food for them at some point in time.
Can you give us any update of how the medical teams are doing and how they are operating under such enormously dire conditions?
ALLEN: Yes, and I think that this is a really important point that you are coming to hear, which is these are the carers who are meant to take care
for the vulnerable. They are becoming vulnerable themselves.
They have been -- from the UN side, our colleagues, I salute our colleagues in UNRWA, who you referenced in the -- as a runup to this report. They've
lost 35 colleagues, and we can only salute their work over the bombardments in Gaza over the last two weeks.
The health care workers, there is over -- I understand over 10 health care workers who have died whilst in service. And they themselves need to be
Their protection of civilians is critical and paramount at any armed conflict, including right now, and health -- protection of health care
facilities and health care personnel.
Underneath that, as you said, those health care workers are also in need of water, food, as well as fuel.
They're also caring about their family. They're away from their families. The midwives that we've spoken to as well, they're performing these -- what
should be a very life-affirming process with helping these women give birth, whilst they themselves are really worried about their own situation
and their own families back home.
And also, not having enough water to drink and enough food to eat. So it's critical that this humanitarian bridge opens so that the civilian
population can be completely supported, but also right now, those health care workers, those UN people on the ground who are helping sustain those
SIDNER: Dominic Allen, thank you for going over that. I know it is terribly troubling even to talk about it and to think about it, but it is necessary
for the world to know what exactly is going on there. I appreciate you and your colleagues' work. And we'll be right back.
Coming up, diplomatic efforts are underway to free a larger group of hostages. There have been furious phone calls back and forth as they're
trying to make this happen.
We'll speak to a former hostage negotiator next.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Welcome back. Israel is asking Palestinians in Gaza for information about the remaining hostages following the release
of two Israeli women on Monday. The IDF says it dropped leaflets in Gaza offering protection and compensation in exchange for information.
Meanwhile, a number of countries are still working to get a larger number of hostages released. Talks are ongoing between the United States, Israel,
Qatar, Egypt, and Hamas. Still major obstacles remain, of course.
Nic Robertson is in Sderot and joins us now. Nic, it does however ratchet up the pressure on Israel to provide more time to allow these negotiations
to take place. Someone has to presume that's exactly as Hamas intended.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It does seem to be that is playing out exactly how Israel expected Hamas to play out the hostage
situation to use that as a deterrent against a ground incursion that Hamas would have naturally expected to follow on from their attacks on October
We seem to be getting to quite a sort of tipping point, if you will, within the negotiation about those hostages because it does seem to come down to
the humanitarian access and specifically, the fuel issue, the fuel that's required to run generators and hospitals, the fuel that's required for the
UN agencies in Gaza to be able to deliver the humanitarian supplies when they come into Gaza.
And at the moment, the principal UN agency says that it's on the verge of shutting down tomorrow, that it won't be able to deliver any other
humanitarian supplies that come in. And we know that according to health officials in Gaza, several hospitals have already been forced to shut
because there's a lack of fuel.
What the IDF is saying here is that Hamas wants to use the fuel for its military aims, that Hamas actually has fuel available at the moment. And
while we were hearing late last night from Prime Minister Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev saying, "We are not going to allow any fuel to go into
Gaza," there appears to have been a slight softening in nuance and tone from the head of the IDF, General Halevi.
And he said that, "Look, we're not going to allow any civilians to go without treatment for -- because of a lack of fuel," which seems to
indicate that they are willing to let some fuel in.
The modalities of that, you know, is that part of the negotiations? How is it progressing? We just don't know.
But if fuel is one of the central issues, and it's on the verge of running out, then it does seem to be a moment where a crisis point in the
negotiations is coming. One side is -- or the other is going to have to blink.
But I think that we've already seen Israel try to sort of reject the drip by drip hostage release that Hamas has been offering. They refused to
engage over the weekend when Hamas said, "We have two Israeli hostages to release," the two elderly ladies who were released late last night.
They didn't want to engage. And when these -- and they said because they felt this was propaganda by Hamas, and when the two elderly Israeli
hostages were released, it was across the border into Egypt, not as it would seem across the border into Israel when the two American hostages --
the mother and daughter -- were released on Friday night.
So we can already see the tensions in the hostage situation playing out in that way. So this is a really down-to-the-wire negotiation, and we have no
idea which way it's going to go.
And Israel does seem intent on that ground incursion still, although there's a huge growing amount of international pressure to have more detail
on it, to have more visibility, to have Israel explain exactly what it wants to achieve.
But for the moment, the impasse does seem to be around the hostages and possibly fuel at the crux of it on the other side of the equation.
BURNETT: Brilliant insight. Thank you, Nic, is always. Nic Robertson there.
Let's talk more about a number of these points. Scott Walker is a former hostage negotiator, and he joins us now.
Scott, great to have you with us. Let's just start with the hostages themselves.
Does the release of the four hostages that we've had so far in the manner upon which they've been released change the calculus for the negotiators
here over the prospect of getting more out and perhaps in larger size?
SCOTT WALKER, FORMER HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR AND UN COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISOR: I think what it does demonstrate is that the channels that are in place,
those open channels of communication are working. That is clear to see. And so this is a significant development.
Let's just hope that we can build on that, and the Qataris and the Egyptians and others can utilize those relationships they have with Hamas
leadership and keep those lines of dialogue open to get more hostages out.
BURNETT: It's been reported, and Nic was alluding to this, that Hamas is saying, "Look, give us fuel in Gaza," perhaps an exchange for the hostages,
the Israelis, up to now. But as Nic was saying, that's perhaps soft and slightly no.
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, an IDF spokesperson, told CNN yesterday, look, Hamas does have fuel. He twitted here, look, Hamas has one
million liters of fuel in Gaza.
In your mind, Scott, is this the right negotiating point? Is this the right leverage if Hamas has fuel and if indeed that the Israelis are right,
they're choosing not to give it up, they're choosing to take more instead?
WALKER: Well, I don't think that it's really my place, let's say, comment on -- about the fuel issue per se. But what I can comment on in a
negotiation, it doesn't mean that you necessarily have to agree to the demands of the other side.
And we've seen that in a lot of the conflicts around the world and here in the UK and Northern Ireland, for example, where, you know, you don't have
to agree or condone or acquiesce to what the other side is demanding. But at some point, you do need to find something that you can agree on that can
then be implemented without any further drama.
BURNETT: Once hostages are released?
WALKER: Well, as part of the negotiation to get them out, that is for sure.
BURNETT: If the intention .
WALKER: It can be like a phased implementation.
BURNETT: I understand. If the intention is to delay some form of ground offensive in response to what happened to October 7th, what incentive do
Hamas have to release more hostages in size, indeed release all of the hostages if that's the leverage that they hold to prevent or definitely
delay that ground offensive? How do you negotiate that with someone like Hamas?
WALKER: I think necessarily the pressure from some of Hamas' allies or supporters around the world to perhaps release some of the babies, the
elderly, women, for example. And I can certainly see they'll be releasing more of those over the coming days and weeks.
As for perhaps the military hostages, that is a separate challenge. And as we've seen in the past, that could even take months or years. But Israel
have got a track record of looking to bring back all of their hostages wherever possible.
BURNETT: Yes, so you release the ones that perhaps are more difficult to handle then provide ammunition to negotiate with and you keep the
remaining, which I think makes unfortunate sense in this case.
Can I ask about the hostages' recovery? It was a Hamas video that was released, admittedly, but it did show one of the Israeli hostages shaking
hands, it seemed, with her captors.
And she said actually they were given medical care. They were -- I think the quote was "gentle treatment." How and to what degree can you take what
hostages in these situations say at face value given that we know in her circumstance they're still holding her husband?
WALKER: Usually, hostages are pretty well treated because it is in the hostage takers' interest to look after them as much as possible, to feed
and water them, to give the medical treatment if required.
And I think that what we saw today and yesterday rather is just the resilience in the character of the hostages when they came out. They were
able to almost thank their captors for looking after them whilst they were held.
BURNETT: Yes, I think some people would call it grace and dignity in the face of .
WALKER: I agree.
BURNETT: . awful, awful situation.
Scott, good to get your insights. Thank you. Scott Walker, former hostage negotiator there. So thank you.
Okay. When we come back, House Republicans have picked Congressman Tom Emmer as their latest candidate for Speaker. Lawmakers say, "He does not
and will not have the votes to win the gavel on the House floor." So what next we'll discuss.
CHATTERLEY (voice-over): Says he'd taken magic mushrooms two days before the incident, according to prosecutors. The pilot said he thought he was
dreaming when he tried to activate the plane's fire extinguishers.
He's now facing numerous charges, including 83 counts of attempted murder.
CHATTERLEY: OK, let's return now to our top story in the United States. Mike Johnson says he's ready to get back to the House in get back to
business after being elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. He was voted in with unanimous Republican support, breaking a three-week
deadlock. Johnson was the fourth candidate Republicans nominated after Kevin McCarthy was ousted earlier this month.
It comes as the House stares down a quickly expiring budget and growing pressure to respond to the war in Israel. He spoke about the House's
urgency, while speaking today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE JOHNSON (R-LA), INCOMING HOUSE SPEAKER: We're going to dispense with all the usual ceremonies and celebrations that traditionally follow a
new speakership because we have no time for either one. The American people's business is too urgent in this moment.
The hour is late, the crisis is great. And America, we hear you. And we are reporting again, as I said in, there to our duty stations. That will begin
in just a few moments. This entire group is going to go back to the House floor and we are going to pass our resolution in support of the nation of
Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Former president Donald Trump has been fined $10,000 for violating his gag order. The judge in his civil fraud case said Trump's
argument that he had not breached the order "was not credible," quote.
Trump had claimed he was referring to his former attorney Michael Cohen and not the law clerk sitting next to the judge when he made the following
Quote, "This judge is a very partisan judge, with a person who is very partisan sitting alongside him, perhaps even much more partisan than he
Brynn Gingras is outside the New York City courtroom where this is all taking place.
President Trump, former president Trump, making clear what he thought of both the judge in this case and others.
Does this stop him, a $10,000 fine?
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's, right Julia, it's been a very dramatic last hour of this civil trial, I can tell you all about it.
Let's start with that fine. The $10,000, as you mentioned, after the former president went to the microphones in the hallways and made that exact quote
that you just said.
It's very important to paint a picture for you and your viewers about what this courtroom looks like. The judge is seated at his normal position. To
his right is his court clerk and to his left is the witness stand.
When Trump made that comment, he says he was talking about Michael Cohen, the witness at the time. The judge actually made him go and testify to that
Well, the moment that the former president left the witness box, the judge said this.
"As the trier of fact, I find that the witness is not credible and that he was referring to my law clerk."
This did not make Trump's defense team very happy. They objected to the fact that a $10,000 fine was handed down, a second fine since that gag
order was put in place against the president.
If you remember, that gag order says that the former president cannot speak ill of anybody that works on the staff of this judge. They said that it's
unusual that this judge's clerk sits directly next to him. And they tried to make their case that this trial really is unfair to the former
Well, the judge did say that the $10,000 fine is going to stand and there's going to be even more stricter sanctions if he does not continue to abide
by the rules of this gag order.
So that was just the beginning of the last hour that I just said to you was full of drama. The second part was when testimony of Michael Cohen, Trump's
former friend and personal attorney, was on the stand.
He was being cross-examined by the defense team. They essentially caught him flip-flopping from testimony he gave to Congress, basically, the reason
this whole civil trial came about, according to the New York attorney general's office.
That testimony back in 2019, he said one thing about preparing Trump's financial statements and then he sort of said something different on the
stand in the civil trial. Well, Trump's attorneys tried to tell the judge that he's lying, it's right there, you can see it and this should no longer
be a trial.
The judge disagreed. That made Trump put up his hands, get angry and leave the courtroom, essentially saying they won this trial. And he was very
agitated, the fact that the judge has not yet agreed with him.
So listen, it is still going on, this cross examination of Michael Cohen, as they continue to catch him or try to catch him in a lie. But a lot of
tense moments, including that fine, and the former president leaving the courtroom while that cross-examination was happening.
CHATTERLEY: I know. I think I just got caught on camera there laughing. And there's actually nothing funny about this. But it's completely bonkers.
TAUSCHE: No, it's not.
CHATTERLEY: It's -- I know. Glad you reporting on it, not me, quite frankly, because, thank you for getting all the facts straight. I'm sure it
will get even livelier, yes. Thank you, Brynn. Good to have you.
OK. Coming up, shocked by misinterpretations, the U.N. chief responding to Israel's anger over his comments. All the details on that, next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back.
It's around 10:37 pm in Gaza. The main U.N. agency there warning it will be forced to halt its operations soon, due to fuel shortages. The UNRWA
operates shelters and hospitals across Gaza. The Israeli military claims Hamas has more than 500,000 liters of fuel stored in Gaza.
Meanwhile, Hamas-controlled health authorities in Gaza say more than 6,400 people have now died since the Israeli airstrikes began, in retaliation for
the Hamas terror attack on Israel on October 7th.
Just to be clear, we have no way of verifying that information, of course.
Qatar's prime minister says he's hopeful for a breakthrough on hostage talks with Hamas. He said the negotiations are ongoing and the breakthrough
could come soon. Qatar has been a key mediator since the war began, helping secure the release of four hostages so far.
Israel estimates that 135 hostages are holding foreign passports from 25 different nations. Overall, more than 200 hostages are believed to be still
being held in Gaza. One of them, 27 year old artist Inbar Haiman, she was abducted from the music festival. Joining us now is her boyfriend, Noam
Good to have you on the show. Our hearts are with you for what you suffered over the past couple of weeks.
When you hear news that there's hopes of some kind of breakthrough, when you see that four hostages have been released, what runs through your mind?
Does it keep the hope alive?
NOAM ALON, INBAR HAIMAN'S BOYFRIEND: It does keep the hope alive. When we see the photos and the testimonial of the woman that already got free, so
it gives us some hope.
But yet, we cannot really be calm these days. We cannot really sleep. We cannot eat. We are so worried for Inbar and all the other hostages. They're
in Gaza now and they are not safe there.
ALON: And we cannot really know what that is their condition. And we need to do everything now to bring them back home, get all the governments' and
the permission to do everything to bring them back to us.
CHATTERLEY: As you said, it's tough to eat, it's tough to sleep.
Can I ask about her family, too?
Obviously, she's your girlfriend.
But how are her family doing at this moment?
ALON: It's very hard for everyone, for her parents, for the brother. Everybody is so worried and traumatized. And we are just praying and hoping
that she is OK there.
We are trying to do everything we can from here to bring her back, to speak for her, to put pressure on the politicians and to make sure that she and
all the other hostages will be released as soon as possible to bring Inbar, to bring all the others back home.
This is our mission now. And we should take care that, for the Israeli government, bringing back the hostages will be the top priority.
CHATTERLEY: And actually, we've heard the foreign minister say that in the last two days, that the hostages are now the priority.
I want to talk to you about what the community is doing because Inbar is a pretty well-known street and graffiti artist. She makes these incredible
murals. I know her tag is pink and there are lots of artists out there that are trying to raise awareness, calling for her release.
Just talk to me about how the artist community has come together to support you and her family and call for her release.
ALON: Yes, as you mentioned, since the October 7th, lots of graffiti artists and street artists are trying to help and to give more attention to
Inbar's story by making huge murals and graffiti pieces all over Israel and the world.
And everybody is trying to help. We created a huge murals with the message, bring them home now. And bring Inbar back. And we are continuing to do
everything that we can.
And we got lots of support. I mean, these days, everything is helping us to survive on these horrible hours. And we just want her. Back we just want
all the hostages to be returned. We are really horrified for what might happen to them. And we just want to know that they're OK.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I think nothing at this moment makes the waiting easier.
Can I ask what you would say to her if you could?
And a tougher question, what you would say to her captors at this moment if you could?
ALON: So I would say for Inbar that I'm hoping that she's OK, that everybody here in Israel and at home are trying to do their best to bring
her back to us. And that I'm hoping and praying that she's staying strong and she's like trying to be as much as positive as possible.
For the captors, I can only beg and to hope that they are treating her OK. I'm expecting them to treat her as a human being, to take her for medicine
and for water and for food. This is only the basic thing that every human being must have to survive.
So I'm not asking for too much, just to keep her safe, until there will be a deal and all the hostages will be returned to Israel. This is the only
thing that I'm really asking for.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, obviously, what we've seen from some of the hostages released, they were treated and they were given medical care. We pray that
she's getting that, too. I know it's difficult.
But would you like to see some kind of cease-fire, to buy more time for the negotiations, even given what Israel's been through?
Would you like to see a cease-fire?
ALON: I just want all the hostages to return. I'm not a politician and I'm not a military man. I just want my girlfriend to be returned, to be safe.
And of course, I don't want any ground invasion will happen because it will risk her life and all the others' lives.
So I really hope that there will be a negotiation and there will be a deal. And all the hostages will be returned safe. This is the most important
thing now for the Israelis and for the Israeli government to take care. And I really, as I mentioned, I'm not a politician, I just want her to be safe
and to be back with us.
CHATTERLEY: We understand and our thoughts are with you. And I think everybody prays that they will return home very soon. Noam, thank you for
OK, meanwhile, U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres rejecting accusations that his statement on Tuesday has justified attacks by Hamas on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL: I am shocked by the misrepresentations by some of my statements yesterday in the Security
Council as if I was justifying acts of terror by Hamas. This is false. It was the opposite.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Among his remarks, Guterres said the Hamas attacks, quote, "did not happen in a vacuum."
In response, Israel's ambassador to the U.N. said his country would block visas now for U.N. officials. Sam Kiley joins us now.
Sam, one could argue that the phrase, "this didn't happen in a vacuum" perhaps was poorly chosen, given the heightened emotion of the occasion but
-- the situation. But others could argue, to some degree, he provided context on past conflicts and challenges.
But he did also mention the context of those results, those comments, that October 7th was a pivot point and Israel is justified, to some degree, in a
What do you make of what's happening now?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, first of all, it illustrates just how painful this episode has been for Israel and
the history of Israeli nation.
And I think that the Israeli nation -- or at least a large chunks of, it certainly the government -- is not prepared to be, if you like, in their
view, would be lectured about how to respond to the Hamas attacks.
That said, the United Nations has a long record of criticism of Israel, particularly the General Assembly, which of course is not the Security
Council. Remember, of course, you know that. It is the much wider membership, if you like. They regularly have had resolutions that have been
critical of Israel.
And lately, United Nations officials have said or indicated, that, in their view, it was possible that the Israeli response to these attacks of terror
inside their territory in Gaza and the resulting high levels of civilian casualties could potentially amount to a war crime.
Now that is the view of elements within, the senior elements within the United Nations. So that gives the context to how the Israelis responded,
when the secretary general attempted, he said, when he was trying to clarify things today, to put the Hamas attacks in the broader historical
Then, of course, he did use this phrase, as you rightly point out, they didn't happen in a vacuum, toward the end of what he said. And that, for
people whose country has suffered that kind of an attack, would have obviously be -- felt to be highly provocative.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, your context as always, greatly received. Sam Kiley, good to chat to you. Thank you.
We'll be back after this. Stay with CNN.
CHATTERLEY: Just in to CNN, the Israeli city of Rishon Lezion was hit by a rocket attack. The city is around 10 miles south of Tel Aviv. Authorities
said four civilians were lightly injured. Footage from Israeli emergency services shows damage to a building and responders, as you can see there on
When we get any further details on, that we will bring them to you.
For now, the IMF says the war in Israel could hurt Middle Eastern economies. The fund's managing director says tourism and investment could
suffer and the cost of doing business will rise, as insurers demand higher premiums.
Kristalina Georgieva spoke to Richard Quest at the FII summit in Saudi Arabia and Richard joins us from there now.
Richard, great to have you with us. As we were discussing yesterday, there's bound to be a chilling effect in the regional nations. There's also
perhaps the bigger question of the uncertainty that it creates for things like oil prices going forward. And that has an impact on inflation. There
are many angles here to consider.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Yes, completely. And that is the point. You see, the reality is, whilst the fighting and the awfulness of the humanitarian
crisis continues, the further you get away, in a sense, from the locals, the more people are starting to discuss the wider implications, especially
if there was an escalation.
Here at the FII, obviously that is to do with the economics of the situation. It's not just dollars and cents or reals or dirhams or whatever
you want. It's about the way in which people will live their lives in these other countries, the industries that will suffer and the problems they will
I spoke to Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the IMF, and this is her concern.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRISTALINA GEORGIEVA, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IMF: What we see is more jitters in what has already been an anxious world. And on a horizon that had plenty
of clouds, one more. And it can get deeper.
Why we are concerned, we are concerned first and foremost for the epicenter of this war, the tragic loss of lives but also destruction and reduction of
economic activity. Long term consequences: kids not going to school today mean they won't have the skills for tomorrow.
You expand the circle and you look at the neighboring countries -- Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan -- there, the channels of impact are already visible. You
have tourism dependent countries. Uncertainty is a cure for tourists inflows. Investors are going to be shy to go to that place.
Costs of insurance, if you want to move goods, they go up. The risks of even more refugees in countries that are already accepting more. And then
you expand the circle to the world, Richard. What we see is incredibly resilient world economy but jittery and more so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: It's that resilience being tested that concerns people. When you talk about the bankers, they are not counting dollars and cents. But they
are concerned about what they have to do to maintain a stable ship in very volatile times.
Bill Winters of Standard Chartered, the CEO, is clear that the humanitarian issue is first but he has to have a wider view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL WINTERS, CEO, STANDARD CHARTERED: The geopolitical situation is dreadful. And there are arenas in the world which are just horrific. What's
going on in Ukraine is horrific. What's going on in Israel and Gaza is horrific.
But there's many other wars as well. They don't get as much attention. Millions of people displaced across the Sahel and in Nigeria.
WINTERS: Libya; the ongoing tensions in Korea. So the world is actually quite resilient to these exogenous shocks as long as it doesn't spill over
to outright economic activity.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So Julia, this is the precipice that the economies of these regions or this region, is on. It doesn't matter where you are, there is great
concern, initially, to stop the fighting and to sort something out on that front.
Then thereafter, how much external -- exogenous, if you, will damage has to be repaired.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and Richard, you make a great point. It doesn't, in any way, take the spotlight off the humanitarian crisis and the loss of life.
But we do need to have a broader understanding of what the implications are, because that also has an impact on consumers and individuals,
particularly in lower income economies, all around the world. So thank you for your perspective.
QUEST: Who are the very countries who are going to be most affected.
CHATTERLEY: Absolutely. Absolutely.
OK, we promised more drama in this earlier on the show, just in to CNN. Former president Donald Trump storming out of his civil fraud trial in New
York. Trump left the courtroom after a back and forth with his former attorney, Michael Cohen over whether the former president ever directly
instructed him to inflate financial statements.
It comes moments after the former president was fined $10,000 for violating his gag order. We'll be back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to a reminder of our top stories this hour. After numerous attempts, the U.S. finally has a new House Speaker.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The honorable Mike Johnson of the state of Louisiana, having received a majority of the votes cast, is duly elected Speaker of
the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: Republican Mike Johnson said the nomination happened suddenly but promised that, quote, "the people's house is back in business." Just to
be clear, it's been 22 days since the former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the role.
The first order of business is a vote on the House floor on a resolution in support of Israel.
The U.N.'s main humanitarian group in Gaza says it may soon need to shut down. UNRWA says it's running out of fuel that could put food, drinking
water and medical care in jeopardy. Several countries are working to get more aid in. The U.S. has put forward a U.N. resolution calling for a
humanitarian pause in the fighting.
U.S. officials have not called for a cease-fire.
That's it for this hour, I'm Julia Chatterley in New York, our coverage of Israel's war on Hamas continues "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right