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Quest Means Business
Israel Admits Airstrikes On Ambulance That Witnesses Say Killed And Wounded Dozens; Blinken: We Need To Do More To Protect Civilians; Hezbollah Leader: Possibility Of Escalation Is Realistic; Officials: Dozens Of Drones Launched At Ukraine Overnight; Storm Ciaran Batters Tuscany, Killing Six. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 03, 2023 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The US Secretary of State has just left Israel. He said more must be done to protect Palestinian civilians. I'm
Zain Asher in New York and this is CNN's continuing coverage of the Israel- Hamas war.
Tonight, dozens of people killed and injured after an Israeli airstrike near Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital. I want to warn you. The video we are about
to show you is indeed graphic and certainly disturbing.
This video shows the aftermath, just in terms of what happened, other videos show bodies across the ground near an ambulance, a nearby car
appears to be damaged as well.
Palestinian health authorities say that at least 15 people were killed and 50 injured in this attack. It said the cars hit were a medical convoy
heading toward the Rafah Crossing. Israel says it killed a number of Hamas operatives in this strike. They have taken responsibility for this
particular attack and that Hamas is using ambulances to transport its weapons and personnel.
Salma Abdelaziz joins us live now from London.
Salma, at this point, what more do we know about what's happening on the ground there?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I just want to start with the IDF statement there that you just mentioned, they have provided no evidence of
these claims that Hamas terrorists were inside these ambulances or were using them to move weapons, that is the IDF statement. But again, no
evidence provided to us.
I want, as I speak through this episode to play some social media videos because these are videos that have been geolocated and verified by CNN that
begin to illustrate to you what we understand took place, beginning, of course, with those ambulances that you see damaged, some of them splattered
with blood there, we understand from one of the doctors in Al-Shifa Hospital that they had organized a convoy of ambulances to drive south to
the Rafah crossing, that's of course with the Egyptian border, where there has been a trickle of wounded people going into Egypt.
The health authorities there say that the goal was or that they also informed rather the international committee, the ICRC as well. The ICRC
acknowledges that they received that request to accompany the convoy. The result of that strike, you can see on our screens right now. Absolute havoc
right outside the doors of Al-Shifa Hospital.
And what is clear is that innocent blood was spilled. You played that video as well where you can see a child being carried away, where you can see
bodies strewn around, bloodied in front of this ambulance. We do understand, according to health authorities in Gaza, that at least a dozen
people have been killed. You can see again, those images of those victims on the ground as people scramble to get them into that hospital, Al-Shifa
Hospital, which again, is an overwhelmed medical facility.
This is a medical facility that has said, it is running out of fuel. It operates under partial blackouts at nighttime. It is also home to tens of
thousands of displaced people, people who are absolutely on edge now after this strike.
Why are families camping out in the hospital? Well, quite simply, there are no safe places in Gaza and their plight becomes ever more concerning as we
hear today that the IDF has completely encircled Gaza City. The ground offensive continues to intensify.
Airstrikes continue to rain down. Some three hundred to four hundred thousand civilians still trapped in Gaza City in that hellscape. Al-Shifa
Hospital is very much for them, a nerve center; again, a place for displaced people, a place where journalists camp out because maybe they can
charge their cameras.
So this is going to send shockwaves through Gaza City and again, we have those claims and counterclaims, but the victims in this, the innocents in
these, you can see them on that social media video.
ASHER: So Salma, you point out something very clear, and that is Al-Shifa Hospital is not just a hospital, it is a place for displaced people to camp
out, it is a place where journalists camp out as well.
Given the sheer number of airstrikes we're seeing in Gaza, the one thing -- the one thing this enclave needs is hospitals and the hospitals that are
functioning are certainly overwhelmed.
Just give us the lay of the land just in terms of the state -- the state right now, in Gaza's hospitals.
ABDELAZIZ: Well, in particular when you're speaking about Gaza City so you've seen this tiny trickle of aid come across the Rafah border, right,
from Egypt. That aid is not going to make it to Gaza City all the way in the north.
Remember, Israeli troops have encircled the city, that area is very much in the battle zone. I'm going to speak of two hospitals now. Al-Shifa
Hospital, which is the one we have been talking about, again, tens of thousands of people camped out there. Doctors tell us that they've run out
of fuel essentially, that they describe this hospital is essentially going to be a scene of carnage if they don't get help soon.
Doctors have told us they have operated without proper equipment, without painkillers, that they don't have enough hospital beds and you have to
remember the wounded keep coming in.
This is not a static situation, by any stretch of the imagination. And now, you have this strike just outside the hospital gates on an ambulance. This
is going to bring a hospital that was already at breaking point absolutely to the edge.
There is one other hospital, I'm just going to mention quickly here. Al- Quds Hospital as well, which is in Gaza City. It has also received or been near in the proximity of Israeli strikes and says it has had several people
wounded, its building rattled and damaged. It also houses and homes thousands of displaced people.
I think it's just an indication that you see all these families hiding out in hospitals, despite the proximity of strikes to those hospitals, an
indication yet again, of how there is no safe place.
ASHER: All right, Salma Abdelaziz live for us there, thank you so much.
All right, the US Secretary of State says that more needs to be done to protect Palestinian civilians. Antony Blinken is now in Jordan after
spending about 10 hours or so in Israel. Earlier, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as President Isaac Herzog, too. He
continues to support Israel's right to defend itself. He also warned that civilians should not suffer for Hamas' brutality.
Speaking earlier, he said perceived mistreatment of Palestinians would in fact, play into Hamas' hands. Take a listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE: We've been clear that as Israel conducts his campaign to defeat Hamas, how it does so matters. It matters
because it is the right and lawful thing to do. It matters because failure to do so plays into the hands of Hamas and other terror groups.
There will be no partners for peace if they are consumed by humanitarian catastrophe and alienated by any perceived indifference to their plight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Ed Lavandera joins us live now from Tel Aviv.
Ed, so we just had Secretary Blinken speaking there, really reiterating his main point in his speech today, and that is Israel has to do its part to
spare as many Palestinian civilians as possible in this war.
How does it do that? Because obviously, Israel has said that its main goal here is to defeat and completely destroy Hamas and at the same time, how
does it limit or minimize the number of civilian deaths? Is it possible to do both?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's hard to believe that that's possible at this point. Clearly, the secretary of State walking this
tightrope between trying to communicate the concern for the civilian population in Gaza, while at the same time trying to say to Israel that
they have the right to defend themselves in this situation.
But clearly, the pictures that we have been reporting just even here in the hours after Antony Blinken left Israel and this strike there in Gaza, near
a hospital in Gaza City, and the dramatic pictures really speaks to the warnings that the US officials are delivering to Israeli politicians and
the military itself as well, that those kinds of images are eroding the confidence in Israel's operation in Gaza, and essentially, and in any kind
of goodwill that Israel has.
So that is the real concern that US officials clearly trying to communicate to Israeli officials. But even before Antony Blinken left Israel, Benjamin
Netanyahu was saying that they are opposed to any kind of ceasefire until all of the hostages are released.
So Israeli official is not backing down from this idea that they will continue to attack Hamas and they are saying that their goal and their
strategy here is to dismantle the Hamas military operation that is working from those tunnel systems underneath Gaza and that clearly comes with the
possibility of great civilian casualties there in Gaza.
ASHER: All right, Ed Lavandera live for us there. thank you so much.
All right, the head of Hezbollah distanced himself from the attacks of October 7th as he warned Israel against escalation on the Lebanese border.
Hassan Nasrallah said the attacks were 100 percent the work of Palestinian groups. He had been silent for weeks leading up to the address. Other
players have been wondering whether or not Hezbollah intended to get more involved in the conflict.
The group is better armed, and certainly better trained than Hamas fighters in Gaza. Nasrallah warned that a wider conflict is possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN NASRALLAH, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF HEZBOLLAH (through translator): The worry is that the possibility of this front actually escalating or going
into a fully-fledged war or becoming a wider war is a realistic one, it can happen and the enemy has to make every provision for this and I'm sure they
do make every provision for this and I'm sure they do think about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Jim Sciutto is in northern Israel for us near the border with Lebanon, he joins us live now.
So Hassan Nasrallah there didn't specifically call for Hezbollah to participate in another front in this war, but just give us more specifics
in terms of what the purpose of this speech actually was by Nasrallah. What did he hope to achieve by addressing the Arab world today?
JIM SCIUTTO CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hard to say what he hoped to achieve. He certainly wants to speak to
his base, his base in Lebanon, those who support him there, but also those in the Arab world who look to him for leadership, and he is a leader that
is admired by some, and there have been some demands for him to state his position, not just on the October 7th attacks, but on the possibility of
joining the war against Israel.
And there had been an enormous amount of anticipation here in northern Israel, but also elsewhere in the region, and also in the US, that he would
announce that in definitive terms, say that Hezbollah is joining this war against Israel, open up in effect a second front to Israel's north, but he
didn't say that.
He said it's possible. He seemed to say in his comments, that just the nature of the threat, just having that threat keeps Israel occupied to some
degree, as they as a glance north with a wary eye, but he did not throw his lot in with Hamas here in this war, and that's notable because there was a
fair amount of fear leading up to his comments that he would do exactly, exactly that, and that's one reason why you have some 70,000 Israeli
soldiers now stationed in the north to defend against and head off such an attack.
What he did say was praise, he did share praise for the October 7th attacks and for Hamas, in very strong terms, have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NASRALLAH (through translator): It was an action that was heroic, brave, innovative, and it was very well executed. It was great. It was a huge
earthquake in the region.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCIUTTO: "Heroic, innovative," those words notable enough given the depravity of those attacks, as we witnessed on October 7th, but he also did
put himself, put some distance between Hezbollah and Hamas on the October 7th attacks.
He, as you noted, he called it a 100 percent Palestinian operation, in effect, saying no, Hezbollah was not involved in it. He even took care to
note that Hezbollah didn't know in advance of these attacks. He said, that was necessary for the element of surprise and said that he and his fellow
Hezbollah leaders were not bothered by that fact, that seemed deliberate to say that, while he praised the October 7th attacks, Hezbollah was not
involved in those attacks.
And there are a number of folks I speak to here in Israel who think that the presence of US forces in the Eastern Mediterranean, two US carrier
groups, in fact, as a deterrent, helped send a message to the Hezbollah leader that if you were to choose to get involved, to a more aggressive
degree, that there would be a price to pay and that holds at least for now, although, of course, it could change at any time.
He could order his troops in more forcefully and I'll tell you, just yesterday, the pace of rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into northern
Israel accelerated, that could of course happen anytime.
SCIUTTO: Jim Sciutto live for us there, thank you so much.
And let's bring Lina Khatib who is the director of the SOAS Middle East Institute. She joins us live now from Manchester.
Lina, thank you so much for being with us.
You just heard our Jim Sciutto speaking there and he was saying that in anticipation of Nasrallah's speech today, there was some degree of fear,
right, some degree of fear that he might call on Hezbollah to participate more directly in this war, and Nasrallah did not do that. Why do you think
that was? Why do you think Nasrallah chose to hold back today?
LINA KHATIB, DIRECTOR, SOAS MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: Because first, you have the US deterrence that we just heard about. This is very powerful. Because
if Hezbollah were to intervene, then the US would have to intervene as well and that means directly attacking Iran and that's the last thing that Iran
wants, so that's one reason.
Another reason is, there is no popular support for Lebanon, for Hezbollah's intervention and Hezbollah knows that very well, and Hezbollah doesn't need
to intervene, because as far as Iran is concerned, and Hezbollah and Hamas are concerned, Hamas seem to be doing well, militarily. It is achieving its
objectives, according to them, so there is no need for Hezbollah support.
And in fact, Hezbollah support would show that Hamas is a bit weak. So in a way, letting Hamas claim all the so-called glory in the eyes of Hezbollah
also helps bolster Hamas' disposition while at the same time giving Hezbollah a very useful get out clause.
ASHER: That's interesting. That's an interesting take. But how do you think Hamas would have reacted to that speech by Nasrallah? Because Hamas had
been sort of trying to call on Hezbollah to participate or join in, especially given that the perception is that this is Israel's weakest
moment? How do you think Hamas would have reacted to natural speech?
KHATIB: Hamas will have been informed about Nasrallah's speech, I mean, Nasrallah, of course, does not always tell the truth. To claim that
Hezbollah did not know about the attack by Hamas, for example, or that this was a hundred percent Hamas operation serves to distance Hezbollah from
American fire, basically, in this conflict.
And so you know, the public statements are one thing and what happens behind closed doors is another thing. Hamas, of course, has been escalating
its rhetoric and Hezbollah has been escalating its rhetoric as well. But we have to look for what's happening operationally to really get the real
ASHER: Okay. So Hezbollah holding back for now. Could that change? I mean, if Nasrallah sees that, as a result of the ground operation in Gaza, that
Hamas appears to be severely weakened, could that change his calculation in terms of when and how Hezbollah enters this war?
KHATIB: Yes. I mean, everyone involved in this war on the Hamas side, meaning Hamas and its allies are waiting to see what degree of intervention
may be necessary. So if it seems that Hamas can handle things militarily on its on its own, well, of course, all the infrastructure that Hezbollah and
Iran had already given Hamas in the first place.
If things were to change and Hamas is feeling squeezed, then this might change the calculations, but we have to still remember the price is very
high. And for Iran, Hezbollah matters more than Hamas. Iran will not want to sacrifice Hezbollah for a Hamas military victory.
ASHER: So in terms of the main deterrent here, I mean, what is the calculation that Nasrallah is making? I mean, is it about the message that
the US carriers that were sent to the region is sending? Is it about the fear of the US, perhaps joining in this war? What was the main deterrent do
you think that made Nasrallah think, maybe it's not a good idea for Hezbollah to enter at least just yet.
KHATIB: I mean, personally, I don't think Hezbollah was ever meant to intervene. I think the operation by Hamas will have been based on
anticipating Israel's reaction, as well as American reaction. But seeing the aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean does send the right
message to Hezbollah that if Israel finds itself fighting on two fronts, then the US is not going to just let that happen and sit there watching
silently. And I think the US has succeeded in sending that deterrence message to Iran and Hezbollah.
ASHER: All right, Lina Khatib, director of the SOAS Middle East Institute, thank you so much for being with us.
All right, Greece is warning that the Israel-Hamas war could spark an influx of migrants to Europe. When we come back, I'll have the Greek
Migration minister, we'll be talking about what he's been seeing, that's next.
ASHER: As Israel's offensive in Gaza continues, Greece is bracing for a surge in migrants. Greece has long been a gateway to Europe for migrants
and increasingly so for Palestinians.
According to the UN, they have made up more than 18 percent of migrants arriving to Greece by sea this year. It only comes second to Syria, but is
higher than both Afghanistan and Somalia.
The Greek Migration minister says the situation could become really dangerous if the instability spreads in the Middle East.
Dimitris Kairidis is the Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum. He joins us live now from Athens.
Thank you so much for being with us.
There have been about 17,000 migrants traveling to Greece so far this year and that is because it is a prime destination for migrants traveling from
the Middle East, from North Africa, primarily because of its location.
If this war between Israel and Gaza spreads out of control, if it becomes part of a regional conflict, what does that mean for regular migration to
Greece and to other European states as well?
DIMITRIS KAIRIDIS, GREEK MINISTER OF MIGRATION AND ASYLUM: Yes, there are two worries first, there is a worry about Palestinians leaving Gaza. Gaza
was already a difficult place to live in before the war, it might turn into an unlivable place after the conflict, the hostilities cease.
But more broadly, we are concerned about the wider region. And it's not only Lebanon, obviously, Egypt. Egypt is a very big country, 110 million
people hosting millions of refugees, and having played already from Sub Saharan Africa, and having played the stabilizing role for Greece and for
all of Europe in that regard. If the conflict spread, if political destabilization spreads to neighboring Arab countries, then the situation
will be very dire.
ASHER: Right, so the goal at this point is to stop the conflict from spreading, for it to stop it from becoming part of a more broad sort of
How do you do that? Because at this point, a ceasefire is not on the table. I mean, Israel has reiterated there is not going to be a ceasefire on the
table, because they have to completely obliterate, destroy, and defeat Hamas, so that's not going to happen anytime soon.
So what is the solution here to prevent this particular conflict from spreading out of control?
KAIRIDIS: There must be a massive humanitarian effort in southern Gaza in support of the civilian population there, and there must be a political
plan as well for after the war.
Obviously, there is a need to have Hamas defeated, but to defeat it militarily is one thing, to defeat it politically, you need a political
There seems to be a distribution of roles with America playing the more geostrategic hard role and Europe in support economically of the region.
There is a mission of the European Commission going to Egypt in support of the Egyptian economy in this very dire situation.
ASHER: And in terms of Greek citizens that are stuck and trapped in Gaza right now, what can you tell us about how many have been let through,
through the Rafah crossing? How many are still to be let through? And how many are still obviously stuck in Gaza right now?
KAIRIDIS: We have 16 Greek citizens who were evacuated yesterday through the Rafah crossing into Egypt; 11, of which of them came to Athens this
morning, the other five are still in Egypt on their way to Greece.
There are a few more Greek citizens left inside Gaza, including in a Greek Orthodox monastery.
ASHER: And just in terms of where you stand, in terms of a humanitarian pause, I mean, the US, Antony Blinken talked about this and there needs to
be some kind of humanitarian pause, not necessarily a ceasefire at this point in time, but at least a pause.
Israel is saying, look, there's not even going to be a humanitarian pause until the release of hostages is on the table, and God knows if that's
going to happen.
So just give us your take on whether or not Israel should be at least allowing a humanitarian pause in the fighting right now.
KAIRIDIS: Greece was very clear from the start. It has recognized the right of Israel to self-defense, but it has warned against a humanitarian
catastrophe that will do Israel and nobody else any good.
So we have to be careful and in that sense, there is a need for some humanitarian action in Gaza right now. However, there is also a need to
have Hamas defeated, so there is a fine balance right now, which Europe and America is stressing to our Israeli -- to the Israeli government, to our
ASHER: Antony Blinken is saying look, Israel does have the right to defend itself, but how it does that, how it defends itself really does matter in
Dimitris Kairidis live for us there, thank you.
ASHER: All right, Israel admit that they attacked an ambulance near the Al- Shifa Hospital and that they say, it was justified.
We'll bring you the latest, next.
ASHER: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher. Our coverage of the Israel-Hamas war continues in a moment when we'll have a report from Israel where the
IDF has just taken responsibility for a strike outside a Gaza hospital. And this hour, President Biden is in the U.S. state of Maine meeting the
families whose loved ones were killed in last month's mass shooting. Before that, though these are the headlines at this hour.
All right. Ukrainian officials say Russia launched about 40 drones overnight targeting infrastructure and military facilities spanning 10
regions. The Air Force says Ukrainian air defenses brought down more than half of the drones as well as a guided missile.
Storm Ciaran continues to last Europe Thursday night. Torrential rain and strong winds swept through northern and central Italy. Report say six
people have died in Tuscany with several others missing. The 40,000 Tuscan residents still without power. The region's president has called a state of
Eric Trump calling the ongoing New York civil fraud trial a witch-hunt for political purposes after two days of testimony. Prosecutors pressed him
about his involvement with inflated financial statements in a $250 million lawsuit. Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to take the witness
stand on Monday.
And a former Trump appointee was sentenced to 70 months in prison on Friday for his whose role in the January 6 riot. Federico Klein was convicted in
July of assaulting Capitol police during that riot. He was the first member of the Trump administration charged in connection with the attack.
An Apollo astronauts Thomas Mattingly II has died at the age of 87. NASA announced today Mattingly was best known for helping guide the crew of
Apollo 13 back to Earth after a catastrophic ship malfunction. We lost one of our country's heroes, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said.
All right. Israel has taken responsibility for a blast near Gaza Al Shifa Hospital today that cause dozens of casualties. You want to caution that
the video you're about to see is indeed graphic. Video shows bodies across the ground and blood on the street as well. The IDF is saying it struck an
ambulance being used to transfer weapons and Hamas members. It comes as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says that more needs to be done to
protect Palestinian civilians.
Earlier he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Israeli President Isaac Herzog. Blinken continued to support Israel's right
to defend itself but warned that perceived mistreatment of Palestinians would play into Hamas' hands. Nic Robertson is Sderot in southern Israel
for us. Nic, just walk us through what you're seeing where you are, because a few hours ago, I was speaking to Jeremy Diamond on the ground there who
talked about a rocket fired from Gaza that struck a kindergarten in Sderot.
Now it's important to remember that much of Sderot has of course been evacuated, but it is still a reminder of just how close this area is to the
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. It looks like it was a mortar that landed near that particular school, the children's school
for kindergarten. And perhaps one of the reasons that it was falling there, targeted there is because that's where there are a large number of
journalists who are filming the -- what's going on in Gaza. So, a lot of lights, a lot of people and it's not the first time that a mortar round has
landed there. It is an indication as you said just how dangerous the situation can still be.
What we've seen here in the last few minutes, four rockets take off from Gaza from this direction which would be towards Gaza City, perhaps the area
between Gaza City and Beit Hanoun. Hard to be precise from here, but those four rockets were headed towards Central Israel which is where the warning
sirens went off. There are still heavy detonations, we're hearing heavy detonations coming from the direction of Gaza City also towards the coast
more directly behind us over further distance than Beit Hanoun.
So, there really is still, you know, you can hear the airstrikes and artillery, not a huge tempo, not hearing small arms fire and certainly not
seeing the scale of activity that we saw yesterday.
ASHER: And Nic, just in terms of what we're hearing happened at the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, I mean, the fact is that the longer this war drags
on for, the more likely it is that public perception and public opinion will shift against Israel. How does that play into Israel's strategy here?
ROBERTSON: It's always been a thing that they knew would happen because it happens every time they go through a conflict with Hamas and United States,
their staunchest ally, that it started off by standing by Israel and saying, we respect your right to strike back for defense of the nation and
are still saying that but back then had quietly been saying behind the scenes, you need to have a plan, you need to have a game plan of how you're
going to defeat Hamas.
Now it's becoming much, much, much more public and that's part of Secretary Blinken's trip here is to -- is to make stronger the message to Israel that
more has to be done to protect the civilians. Just this week, you've had two situations and you've probably seen some more activity on the horizon
there behind me. The two situations, Jabalia camp one day, Jabalia camp the next day. In those instances, the IDF saying that they're targeting Hamas.
But we know huge numbers of civilians have been killed in those strikes alone. More than 9000 civilians killed, more than 22,000 injured so far,
according to the Hamas-led Palestinian health officials inside of Gaza. So today, for this incident there -- again, the IDF has said it for them, it
was a legitimate strike because they believed that there were Hamas operatives and weapons on board those ambulances.
They frame this as a legitimate strike. What we understand from the hospital is there's a high number of casualties. What we understand from
the hospital and the International Committee for the Red Cross is this convoy of ambulances was a humanitarian convoy lining up to take the worst
of the injured and wounded to the south of Israel, where -- to the south of Gaza, rather, where Israel has said that people should go.
There's a humanitarian safe space there. We know so many people in Gaza have said, look, we don't know how to get to these safe places. We don't
think it's safe. We're afraid to do it. We can't move. Israel has said you're -- there -- you're now in a battlefield. So, to the point of
Secretary Blinken issuing that statement again and to the point that the increasing pressure is coming on Israel. Yes. I think there's a very real
perception that the window for Israel to continue its military activities in Gaza at the tempo, they've had them out so far.
That window is closing. But to a degree, it's always been closing. But after incidents like today in the Jabalia two strikes this week, the window
closes faster. It's not clear how Israel can realize its goal to completely take out all of Hamas before that window shuts.
ASHER: All right. Nic Robertson live for us there. Thank you so much. Our Christiane Amanpour spoke exclusively with Egypt's Prime Minister about the
conflict. He described the personal toll that the Israel-Hamas war has taken on him and about the challenges that the world now faces. Here's a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: As a human being, how do you feel about what's unfolded October 7th and subsequently? And what
should Americans and the rest of the world understand?
SAMEH SHOUKRY, FOREIGN MINISTER OF EGYPT: This has been a very emotional, impactful, painful experience all around the images since October the 7th
and subsequently have been quite painful to me on a personal level.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And you can watch Christiane's exclusive interview on "THE AMANPOUR HOUR. That debuts this Saturday. And it's 11:00 in the morning if you're
watching in New York. 3:00 in the afternoon if you are watching from London.
All right. Still to get me here. Wall Street welcoming a new sign of the slowing U.S. economy. How today's jobs report could impact the Feds.
Interest rate decision next.
ASHER: U.S. employers added only 150,000 jobs last month. That is the smallest gains since June signaling the economy is slowing. The numbers
were also depressed by the auto workers strike which caused 33,000 fewer workers on payroll. U.S. stocks jumped as investors are hoping the weak
jobs report could bring the Feds rate hikes to an end. The market is now heading for the best week of the year with the NASDAQ up more than five
Joining me live now is Nela Richardson. Chief economist of ADP. So, Nela, thank you so much for being with us. The Fed looks at these numbers. This
jobs report and they think what? We did it?
NELA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ADP: They say exhale.
RICHARDSON: We finally have an opportunity to be patient because what we've seen over the last year is not only high job gains, but supersize wage
increases. And that's really what the Feds worried about. They're afraid of this wage price spiral that pushes up inflation. We're not seeing that. We
haven't seen that for quite some time. And today's jobs report shows that wages are continuing to moderate.
They're still too high for the Fed's two percent target but they are coming down.
ASHER: And then just in terms of what this means for potential polls, obviously the Fed pausing rate hikes just in the last round. But what does
that mean for rate hikes throughout the end of the year? I mean, are they done with hiking rates through the end of the year?
RICHARDSON: I think the verdicts still out about whether or not this pause is actually permanent. I think those who rush to say it's permanent are
missing some of the data. One of those data points that I'm watching is the 4.9 percent third quarter GDP growth that we saw recently that was pumped
up by consumer spending up four percent on a year-over-year basis. Very much higher than what we saw in the second quarter.
If consumers continue to spend at this clip, and I think that they might because the labor market is still solid, that does pose some inflationary
pressure that the Fed will have to watch.
So, the inflationary pressures are not just coming from the jobs market, they're also coming from consumer spending. And so, this one report is not
a clear case of the federal pause in December.
ASHER: Right. Because it's only just one data point. I mean, as you point out, I mean, that stellar that a quarter GDP number 4.9 percent plus
consumer spending obviously fueling that, but consumer spending more broadly, being much more resilient. And I think even the Fed would have
anticipated. This is just one data point. When do we start to get a real sort of clear picture in terms of whether or not the Fed's monetary policy
here is actually working?
RICHARDSON: Well, I think it's working. The question is, how quickly is it working? We're still far from the two percent target. But its inflation has
come down quite a bit. But yes, the jobs market is a good indication, if we continue to see this 150,000 range for the next one or two months. I think
that's an indication that we have this really steady, slowing decline. Remember, last month, we were over 200,000 for U.S. job.
So, it's been a big deceleration in one month. It's hard to know if it sticks or it rises again next month. But as long as we just keep going
down, the pace of wage growth keeps going down. I think the Fed is more and more likely to make the cause permanent.
And in terms of labor action, I mean, you think about now the fact that the UAW has reached a deal with the big three auto workers, obviously the
Writers Strike now, there's a deal on that front too. We see a recovery next month, just in terms of job gains next month.
RICHARDSON: Right. And remember, in terms of layoffs, they're still at historical lows. This is fresh weekly data that we get and real time is
real time of any jobs market that the government -- got jobs data that the government releases. And what they're showing is that companies are hanging
on to the workforce. So, whether in manufacturing like the auto workers or an information services like the artists and the Writers Strike, companies
are reluctant to lose their workers and they're willing to negotiate even higher salaries to keep them.
And I think that's an indication that the stock market is slowing but still solid and there's still some inflationary pressures in it.
ASHER: All right. Nela Richardson, always good to see you. Thank you so much.
RICHARDSON: Thank you.
ASHER: All right. Still to come. 110 years behind bars. That is the maximum sentencing another form of quick crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried could be now
facing. We'll have full details after the break.
ASHER: All right. President Biden has just touched down in Maine. He's about to visit Lewiston. That is the area -- that's the part of Maine that
bore witness to that horrific mass shooting in two different locations. A bowling alley and a restaurant. President Biden is going to be meeting with
the families of the victims. Just to remind our viewers a gunman killed 18 people at that bowling alley I just mentioned and a restaurant before he
was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The president is also going to be reading with first responders, nurses and others on the frontlines as well.
Omar Jimenez joins us live now. Omar, I'm sure for the people of Lewiston, Maine. I mean, that town I'm sure it's still heavy with so much grief, so
much sadness. How much does it mean to the people of Lewiston? The President is making this trip here. And what are they expecting to say
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So at least from the people we've spoken to it does seem to mean a lot that the President is here in
Lewiston. Obviously, these shootings are not ancient history. It just happened last week. People are still figuring out where -- what funeral
services are going to look like for their loved ones. There are still people in the hospital. So, it is still very much raw for this community
after the shootings that killed at least 18 people.
Now, to give you an idea of where we are, I'm going to show you just over my shoulder. This is where President Biden just arrived a few moments ago.
These people, community members from the Lewiston area and the surrounding areas were here on hand to see his motorcade come through. You see the tail
end of the motorcade here. And this is at the bowling alley, which was the first of two mass shooting sites that happened again a little bit more than
a week ago.
And President Biden just finished visiting the second mass shooting site from that night. A bar and grill that's just a few miles from here. And
across from these people. We've seen what are essentially makeshift memorials for those that were killed to offer, of course, their condolences
but also to offer strength for the community here that has gone through so much. That's why you see a lot of symbols of hearts.
The state of Maine depicted with a heart over where Lewiston is -- also signs that say simply be nice to acknowledge how difficult this situation
has been for many in this particular community. As far as what we're expecting President Biden to be doing, he's been meeting with first
responders, nurses, some of the people that were on the front lines that particular night. We're expecting some remarks from him just a few moments
from now likely to talk about the pain in this community but potentially even to talk about how this particular person, the suspect from police was
able to get access to weapons.
As we understand there were multiple warning signs mental health wise that were flagged to law enforcement in the months leading up to it. And it's
part of why the state has launched a commission to investigate that. But also, President Biden has had to make these types of speeches many, many
times in the United States after what has been an incessant amount of mass shootings over the course of this year.
After those remarks, we're expecting to meet with the families have some of those killed in these shootings, likely to offer condolences and strength
as he does before he then leaves this area altogether. But of course, like we talked about at the top, this is still very raw for many in this
community. And his presence seems to be a positive for many of the people here who are just looking for how to process what's happened.
ASHER: All right. Omar Jimenez, thank you so much.
All right. Disgraced crypto king Sam Bankman-Fried has now been convicted of stealing billions of dollars from FTX customers and investors. The U.S.
federal jury found him guilty of all seven fraud and conspiracy charges against him on Thursday. Sentencing is set for March. The 31-year-old could
face decades in prison.
Allison Morow joins us live now with more. Allison, of course this is a spectacular fall from grace for the 31-year-old. I understand that you were
in and around the courtroom at this particular moment when he was convicted. Just walk us through what that moment was like. Were you able to
see the reaction in his eyes when the verdict was read to him?
ALLISON MORROW, CNN SENIOR BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, absolutely. I along with many of the press corps were in a kind of separate press room where we had
a live feed -- a video feed where we could see Sam's face as the jury read out and it was all seven counts guilty, guilty, guilty.
And it was the first time in the month-long trial that we really saw him react. He was still fairly stoic, but he kind of sank into himself and you
can tell that he was shell shocked and, you know, struggling to process the enormity of what's about to befall him.
ASHER: And just in terms of what this means for the crypto world, what this means for trust in the crypto world, what changes going forward?
MORROW: It's interesting. You would expect this to be kind of a black guy for crypto and, you know, it's a -- it's an industry that has struggled for
legitimacy and credibility for years. But people in the industry are telling me they're actually really happy about how swift and how forceful
this punishment has come. They see Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX as a bad apple who brought a lot of unwanted scrutiny and criticism of the industry and
they don't like being associated with that brand.
And so, they're actually kind of cheering this moment and seeing it as -- a time to turn the page and enter the next phase of crypto as a more
ASHER: All right. Allisa Morrow life for us there. Thank you so much. We'll be right back after the short break.
ASHER: All right. You're looking at live pictures of Lewiston, Maine where the President has just arrived. There he is walking arm in arm with members
of the community. You have President Biden on one side, you see his wife, Dr. Jill Biden on the other both dressed in black in a state of mourning.
The president there to really pay his respect and really commiserate with the family members of those who lost loved ones in the devastating mass
shooting last month in Maine at two separate locations, both at a bowling alley, and also at a restaurant.
This community of course, still grieving, still heavy with so much grief and sadness, but many of them as our Omar Jimenez was just saying really
feel a sense of gratitude that the President has made this trip. It's not the first time the President has had to address victims of mass shootings,
but they feel grateful that the President has made this journey to Maine to visit them. It is a slight glimmer of hope.
All right. That does it for us this hour on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Zain Asher in New York. Our coverage of the Israel-Hamas war continues.