Amanpour Says Hamas to Blame for War...Why Was That on CNN, But Edited Out from PBS?

October 12th, 2023 8:57 AM

After the despicable terrorist attack launched from the Gaza Strip by Hamas against Israeli civilians across the border, Christiane Amanpour, a lefty journalist whose reporting betrays no sympathy for Israel’s precarious position in the Middle East, led the latest Amanpour & Co. broadcast with interviews of survivors and family members of kidnapped Israelis on the Monday edition of her eponymous show, which airs on CNN International and tax-funded PBS. But why did PBS delete Amanpour suggesting that Hamas was responsible for bringing death and destruction to Gaza?

Perhaps this is grading on a curve, given the awfulness of much of the media’s coverage of the attacks. But give Amanpour some credit for not using the weasel word “militant” to describe the terrorists (she actually used the word “terrorist” once). She even clarified to a pro-Palestinian guest that Hamas had in fact committed “war crimes” against Israeli citizens.

Amanpour introduced the show, wholly devoted to the attacks in Israel, by calling the invasion “a devastating and unprecedented slaughter by Hamas.” She set the awful scene then talked to Alexandra Ariev, whose sister, who was serving on an IDF base that was overrun, was taken hostage by Hamas.

Alexandra Ariev: I'm devastated. My parents are crying all day long. I'm the one who is taking action, trying to do something. I am trying to reach the press, like you, I'm trying to talk about it. I am trying to reach governments, other countries. I want everyone to know the story….

The host brought her surprisingly belligerent tendencies (revealed in her coverage of Ukraine) to her questioning of Israeli Defense Force spokesman Jonathan Conricus, sounding resolved to the fact that Israel may intend to destroy Hamas utterly.

Amanpour: ….For the first time in your many, many years of war with Hamas, in your -- this is now your fifth, and this is the worst, you are planning to decapitate Hamas in every which way, not going to leave them in, not going to have a truce, not going to do what you've done in the previous instances?

Which is a tacit admission that Israel has been restrained in the past in its retaliation in Gaza and the West Bank, though no one in the liberal media would dare credit Israel for that restraint.

Amanpour also talked to Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council, who was clearly on the side of the celebrating Palestinians.

Egeland: I think it's a horrific situation, it's going to be much, much worse in the coming days. Yes, it started with terror. There's no other way to describe men going into Israel and killing civilians in the hundreds, as they did. But now, a siege on an entire population? There are 2.4 million people in Gaza, it's like no other place on earth they are crammed together in a small area….It's going to amount to war crimes if children are going to starve and die in hospitals because of lack of electricity, for example.

Amanpour actually pushed back:

Amanpour: As you know, war crimes have been committed by Hamas against civilians inside Israel with the slaughter of innocents there.

Egeland: Absolutely. Absolutely.

She concluded the show by blaming Hamas, not Israel, for the plight of the people of Gaza.

Amanpour: ….And of course, you heard Tzipi Livni and many people saying that the death and destruction of Palestinian people inside Gaza is fully on the shoulders of Hamas.

But that bolded phrase above was for some reason clipped out of the PBS version. It can still be found on the official CNN transcript and in audio form on CNN’s podcast version of the Amanpour show. PBS played a similar deletion trick in January, again without any editor’s note regarding the deletion. What’s up, PBS?

A transcript is available, click “Expand.”

Amanpour & Co.


11:31:42 pm (ET)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to address the nation this hour as his country lays wartime seized to Gaza after a devastating and unprecedented slaughter by Hamas inside Israel. And the number of Israelis confirmed killed in the attack continues to rise. As fears grow for the people taken hostage, my conversation with a woman who says her 19- year-old sister was kidnapped by Hamas. And we speak to a survivor of the massacre of that music festival in Southern Israel. Also, ahead, how this attack unfolded and what happens next. I speak to an IDF of spokesperson to veteran politician, Tzipi Livni, and to a former head of Mossad. Then, Palestinian deaths mount inside Gaza. That story, as the Israeli strikes continue in the territory. Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London. The United States and its allies have declared unwavering support for Israel after what the state calls its 9/11, it's Pearl Harbor moment. Today, Israel declared a "complete siege of Gaza." The defense minister saying no water, no food, no electricity, no fuel will be allowed in. As he says we are fighting barbaric terrorist. This comes on the third day of anger, agony and despair spare in the country after Hamas launched a surprise assault from Gaza on Saturday, that's killed more than 700 people, taken dozens hostage, and left thousands more injured, and these numbers are all expected to rise. Gaza is being hit with near continuous air strikes as Israel has declared war. So far, more than 550 Palestinians have been killed, with thousands more injured according to the Palestinian health minister inside Gaza. And there are concerns of a broader conflict as the Israeli Defense Forces reveal it is also striking within Lebanese territory. The scale of the attack, the worst single day of death since Israel was founded in 1948 means everyone knows someone who's been impacted. Many of them directly. Like Alexandra Ariev who says her sister was snatched and taken hostage by Hamas on Saturday. 19-year-old Karina was serving at an IDF base when it was overrun early Saturday morning. And I started by asking Alexandra how she and her family are managing.

ALEXANDRA ARIEV, SISTER KIDNAPPED NEAR GAZA: I'm devastated. My parents are crying all day long. I'm the one who is taking action, trying to do something. I am trying to reach the press, like you, I'm trying to talk about it. I am trying to reach governments. Other countries. I want everyone to know the story. I want the girls that are kidnapped, that are missing, if they can see us, we don't know, but if they can see us. So, we want to tell them that we are strong for them and that we will do anything so they will be returned safe and sound.

AMANPOUR: So, tell me exactly what happened. Your sister Karina, what is the last you heard her? We have some really disturbing video which shows several women, we blurred some of their faces, but your sister is the one with a bloodied face, and there's unpleasant sound in there, including your dogs. Tell me what you know.

ARIEV: I know only that my family saw this video on Telegram yesterday. I think yesterday we lost track of time. We saw that on Telegram. My mother was the first one to identify my sister. My father and I, we just, you know, swiped the video, but then we concentrated about it and we identified her also. We went to anyone that we could, if it's the police or the army, and we waited a lot of time, nearly 24 hours or more. Until some senior officers of the army came to our house and they told us that it is confirmed by some means, I don't know exactly which ones, that she is held by a terror organization, and we don't know which one or --

AMANPOUR: But what you thinking now is that she has been taken into Gaza and she is a hostage?

ARIEV: Yes. We believe that in almost 100 percent because we didn't got any match with the DNA from the corpses found on the base she were serving at.

AMANPOUR: OK. This is just -- it's so awful. So, you're telling me that she's a soldier, I think we know that. That tell us about what happened on the base. It's an all-woman base, right? How many people were there? How many people survive? How many people do you know, if you do, were taken along with her?

ARIEV: So, the base, her duty is mainly a female duty. So, there are no men practically on the base. Sometimes there are combat soldiers that are there on the base doing their staff, they're changing every few months. The girls do not have any armory with them, only the male one, ones who come there. And then, the bases on the border with Gaza.I know that there were at least 20 girls on Saturday, at the base. The last call my sister made was on the 7th of October, Saturday. 6:30 a.m., she called me, then my parents. And she basically called to say, goodbye. That she loved us. And she told us that they're in a bomb shelter because of the missiles and the bombing. And then, after the bombing, there was a raid on the base. They heard the terrorists that they're going through the base near them and that they heard shooting. We guess that the terrorists shot all the male or female who did -- that were able to get a weapon. And they hurt the other girls. And two of them, they abducted them. At the video -- in the video, we can see -- I know you blurred the other faces, but clearly, we can see three girls, maybe there are more and we know that they are identified by their families.

AMANPOUR: Alexandra, one of the other things that we've translated, the two men who were speaking in the background of this video, one of them says, this is nothing. We are just starting. What is your government or your military doing to help you? Do you think there are there any negotiations? What can you tell us about any efforts now that they've told you about to try to get your sister and other hostages back?

ARIEV: It's really awful what I'm going to say, but nothing. They didn't tell us anything. There are no negotiations currently going on. Not ones that we're aware of as families of the abducted. We don't have any more new information and we really what the Red Cross humanitarian organization to get in there and to get confirmation of who are the abducted ones, civilians, citizens and soldiers. The same and together status. Are they alive? Are they wounded? Is there any humanitarian and human needs that they are supplied with? Water, food, blankets? We want these organizations, we want the governments to hear us, to raise awareness for that, that we need to know if they're alive. They are so many people that do not know where are the children. Citizens or soldiers, as I said, they do not know anything. The army or the government, they don't contact them their. They are sitting. It's about 60 hours. I opened some WhatsApp groups of parents and people. I'm in some of them. And they just don't know anything.

AMANPOUR: Alexandr Ariev, thank you very much for joining us. And you are getting your message out through us. So, thank you very much.

ARIEV: Thank you very much, Christiane. I appreciate it and I send a big hug for everyone.

AMANPOUR: A devastating slaughter that's drawn the world's condemnation was at the music festival in Southern Israel early Saturday morning. Nada Bashir has this report on the horror that unfolded and the anguish of the families.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voiceover): This was Israel's Nova music festival in the early hours of Saturday morning. But in the distance, rockets seemingly intercepted in dawn sky. The festival then brought to an abrupt, terrifying end as Hamas gunmen launched a deadly rampage, killing hundreds and taking dozens hostage.

RICARDA LOUK, MOTHER OF SHANI LOUK: And they were just shooting at them and taking them by force. They were waiting. My daughter tried to get to her car, then they had military people standing by their cars and was shooting. So, people couldn't reach their cars, even to go away. And that is when they took her.

BASHIR (voiceover): 21-year-old Adi Meizel was also among those targeted in the ambush. Her mother hope she could still be alive, held captive in Gaza. But fears time is quickly running out.

AHUVA MEIZEL, MOTHER OF ADI MEIZEL: I'm a mother who has been looking for her daughter. She is missing. I believe she is hurt. She's bleeding somewhere. And like me, there are more hundreds of families that are looking for their beloved. I'm a mother. I want to protect my kid. That's all I want to do and I'm sure that all mothers in the other side, in Gaza, and everywhere, that they are not to mean, are thinking the same thing.

BASHIR (voiceover): Dashcam footage geolocated by CNN shows Hamas gunman at the site, shooting and killing people at point blank range. The site of Saturday's massacre now stands eerily quiet. Charred cars line nearby streets. Hamas claims it has captured more than 100 Israeli citizens. Though no exact figure yet from the Israeli Defense Forces. The result, dozens of families left in anguish, all hoping against hope for a miracle.

MIRAV LESHEM, MOTHER OF MISSING DAUGHTER (through translator): She called and said, mom, they're shooting at us. The car is hit. We are all wounded. I don't know how you feel, but the nightmare of a parent sitting and hearing her child saying, mom, come and help me, and we cannot do a thing. Nothing. Only to be with her on the phone and say to her, Romy, I love. Romy, hide.

BASHIR (voiceover): But as their anxious wait continues, questions are also beginning to mount as to how an attack of this scale was allowed to take place.

URI DAVID, FATHER OF MISSING DAUGHTERS (through translator): What is happening is unbelievable, simply unbelievable. I joined -- we join in the grieving of all the families. We demand answers. Not all the answers will be happy ones.

AMANPOUR: So, that was Nada Bashir reporting. Joining me now was somebody who was at the music festival when it was attacked and who managed to escape. Amit Ganish, thank you so much for joining us. I mean, you must still be in a state of trauma. How are you today?

AMIT GANISH, SURVIVED ATTACK AT ISRAELI FESTIVAL: Yes. Today I'm good, but I am sad for my friends that no one knows where they are.


AMANPOUR: Amit, walk us through what happened. When did you first understand that the festival was being stormed and you were under attack?

GANISH: OK. At six and a half in the morning, we heard rockets and we saw them in the sky. And after 30 minutes, approximately, we hear the terrorists. They shout Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar and yallah, yallah. And they were running to us with their guns, with a lot of shooting, like -- and me and my best friends, we're all together. And they start to run to the other side. And fortunately, there was a car that took us. The driver said to us, get into the car right now. And my best friend's boyfriend didn't get into the car and I don't know either what about him, until now. The driver took to the right side and we saw a big unit of terrorist shoot at us with their guns. And he turned to the other side. And on the other side was another big unit of terrorist, they shoot to us. So, the driver was the biggest fighter that I've ever seen in my life. He stopped the car, and everybody in the car, we were nine people in little car. We started to run, to hide. Ran into the forest. And my friend who was with me ran after me.

AMANPOUR: Wow. Amit, when you got to the forest, and we're looking now at this -- I mean, the carcasses of the cars that have been blown out and destroyed, so you couldn't even escape many people in vehicles. When you got to the forest, were you safe there or did they chase you into the forest?

GANISH: OK. When we got to the forest, first, we ran from the terrorist because they were shooting after us. They -- we understood that we want -- they want to kill me, to kill my friends, to kill everyone they see. So, we hid in a little tree. We didn't make any sound for nine hours. We stayed in the tree, and that's how we saved our lives.

AMANPOUR: Wow. You had to be completely quiet as a mouse to survive. And my very last question, how long did it take? Was there any official help that came, the military, police, I don't know?

GANISH: OK. I think you know what happened, what happened there. I called to everyone I know, to my mother, to my father, to everyone in my family. I don't -- I didn't have a lot of battery but with little left battery that I have, I called the police a lot of times, but there were a lot of terrorists so they didn't succeed to get us. About -- just about nine hours, the news and a biggest man, biggest angel, Ramy (ph), found us in the forest. He rescued us.

AMANPOUR: Wow. Amit, thank you. Thank god you had a guardian angel.

GANISH: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: And now, we are hearing now from Israeli military radio that the death toll inside Israel has risen to at least 900. So, let's get reaction to that from the IDF spokesman, Jonathan Conricus. And he's joining me from Tel Aviv. Welcome to the program. Can you confirm, first of all, that number?


AMANPOUR: That is -- welcome. What is 200 more than we have been reporting most of this day.

CONRICUS: Yes. Since these are unprecedented times in the history of our nation, then things are moving very quickly. The numbers of Israeli casualties, the death toll of this heinous attack are rising. And I can only assume that the sharp spike in the number of Israeli casualties, by the way, the overwhelming majority of them are civilians, not military, I can only assume that the big jump in the numbers is because we have been clear in Southern Israel and have started to process and name and identify the countless corpse that we have found -- in various corpses that we have found in various locations in Southern Israel, the massacre at the music festival, but also in each and every Israeli community around the Gaza Strip. There are horrific scenes, horrific scenes of mass executions by terrorists, taking Israeli civilians and just executing them at point blank. Things that we have never seen and witness before at this magnitude.

AMANPOUR: Jonathan, we were showing some live pictures. Israel continues in its state of war and the blitz on Gaza. So, we're seeing live pictures there. I want to know from you, whether you can tell us, definitively, whether Israel has full control back of its own territory, whether around the fence, whether in the kibbutz, in the villages, in the bases, all of those that were infiltrated on Saturday, or are they still Hamas terrorists inside Israel?

CONRICUS: As far as I know, and this is based on very recent information, yes, we have established -- reestablish control of the Southern Israel and we have confirmed that there are no active areas where there are terrorists fighting or trying to kill Israeli civilians. That doesn't mean that there is not -- that there are not skirmishes along the border, and attempts, additional attempts by Hamas and the Islamic jihad to infiltrate into Israel along the border, those attempts continue. But I just -- I can confirm that at this stage that we have finally, after 48 extremely long and painful hours, been able to declare, together with the other security forces, police, et cetera, that Southern Israel is now back under the sovereign control of Israel. And from here on, we will continue to defend along the border and mitigate any attempts to attack and infiltrate. And we will focus our efforts on bringing the fight to Hamas.

AMANPOUR: So, first, I want to ask you about that fight. Everybody assumes that there's going to be a ground invasion, a ground intervention to continue that fight. But I want you to talk about the hostages. We spoke to, at the beginning of this program, the sister of one of those hostages. She was 19 -- she is 19 years old. She's been taken and is a hostage, as far as her family knows, as far she was told, inside Gaza. Hamas and Islamic jihad say they've got about 130. Do you know yet how many Israelis or any other nationalities have been snatched from your territory and taken into Gaza?

CONRICUS: Yes. We are aware of dozens of Israelis, civilians. And when I say civilians, I say women, children, infants, elderly, and even disabled persons that have been taken brutally by Hamas, paraded on the streets of Gaza to be ridiculed and harassed and attacked and manhandled. And unfortunately, already, also reports of people that have been killed. The situation is unprecedented in its severity. And this is -- it creates, of course, a consideration for Israeli decision-makers how to proceed. On one hand, needing to extract an extremely heavy price from Hamas. We have been ordered by the cabinet to make sure that at the end of this war, take it how long as it needs to take. At the end of this war, Hamas will no longer have the military capability to inflict any damage on Israeli civilians. And we have also been tasked to make sure that they cannot continue to govern the Gaza Strip. These are the two tasks that the government has decided on. That is what the IDF is preparing. We have already called up more than 300,000 reserve troops, which is unprecedented in speed and scope. Never before in our history have we called up so many in such a short time. Those troops are now preparing, equipping, learning their tasks, and getting ready to execute the missions. At this stage, of course, it wouldn't be wise to advertise on CNN what we're going to do, and what we're not going to do. But I can only say these are our tasks and we will implement them.

AMANPOUR: So, it's pretty obvious, from what you say, what's planned and what is coming. I just want to sure that I understand. For the first time in your many, many years of war with Hamas, in your -- this is now your fifth, and this is the worst, you are planning to decapitate Hamas in every which way, not going to leave them in, not going to have a truce, not going to do what you've done in previous instances?

CONRICUS: According to the directives given to us by the government, we are going to deny Hamas any and every military capability in the future. You must understand, and I think that you understand this very well, but the viewers may not understand it, we are not in another round of escalation with a terror organization. We are at war. The amount of Israeli casualties that have been inflicted by murderous jihadi beasts that have come across our borders to kill our women and children is unprecedented. Never before in our history has this happened. And as such, our response will be unprecedented.

AMANPOUR: Jonathan, you know, I know what a siege is, like I know what it's like to be bombarded in a siege at war. And I want to know from you, how do you think this will unfold for the civilians inside Gaza The defense minister, your boss, has said today that there is a total closure of Gaza. No food, no fuel, no water, no electricity. What do you think is going to happen on a civilian and humanitarian level? And are you prepared for that?


AMANPOUR: Now, joining me now is Tzipi Livni. She's a longtime Israeli politician, a former foreign minister. She was actually the negotiator for peace talks with the Palestinian authority as justice minister in a previous Netanyahu government. And now, we welcome you from Tel Aviv. Tzipi Livni, the bloodiest day in Israel's history, we don't still know the final tally, 900 dead is what we have lately just heard. Could you ever, ever imagine this happening?

TZIPI LIVNI, FORMER ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: No. This is a nightmare that turned into our reality. And just listening, looking at the pictures, it is heartbreaking. And I cannot take those pictures out of my brain and heart. And this is something that happened to us. And the day after, now, the focus is how can we fight against Hamas and change the realities on the ground in the south part of Israel. But I think that it would take us time to absorb the magnitude of the whole.

AMANPOUR: Tzipi Livni, you've been around a long time, in many different government positions and through previous conflicts. As you heard, this is not a previous conflict, there's nothing similar, according to the Israeli government and military, this is a different page. How did one of the world's most sophisticated militaries, most powerful armies in the world, most sophisticated intelligence agents, as far as we all now, how did this happen? And the reason I'm asking is how is the same military and intelligence going to do what you say has to happen now, and that is end this story?

LIVNI: First, Hamas defined that this is a new page. I mean, we had rounds of -- they targeted Israelis and they acted in terror. But what we saw now is -- was a massacre. Entering into houses, shooting babies, families. Abducting families, babies, children, elderly people. This is something that we cannot act like we used to do in the past, in different rounds against terror. And therefore, this was their decision to do so and we have no other alternative.


AMANPOUR: Now, as we said, the Gaza Strip is being pounded hard, as we heard earlier. It is one of the most densely populated places on earth. And residents, civilians fear there is nowhere to hide. Ben Wedeman now has this report.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Moments after an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza's Jabalia refugee camp, desperate calls for help. The dead, the dying and the injured covered in dust and blood. Israel's wrath is now unleashed upon Gaza. The Israeli say, Ahmed Shamala (ph), hit the building without warning. They didn't ask us to evacuate. They didn't say anything. Suddenly, we heard the air strike and we ran to the building and found it had been completely collapsed. Around 7,500 people in Gaza have already been displaced, according to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency which deals with Palestinian refugees. In this cramped strip of land along the Mediterranean, 2 million Palestinians are now in the crosshairs of an enemy bent on revenge for Hamas' surprise attack, which left hundreds of Israelis dead and thousands wounded and dozens now in Hamas captivity. By mid-afternoon, the death toll in Gaza was approaching 600, with almost 3,000 wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Gaza and Israel have gone to war many times before since Hamas took control. This will not be yet another brief outbreak of attack and counterattack before it return to the status quo. Israel is massing troops in armor on the outskirts of Gaza, preparing in all likelihood for a ground invasion on scale not seen before. And now, Israel's defense minister, Yoav Gallant, has ordered what he called a complete siege of Gaza, cutting off all food, fuel, and electricity. That in a place where according to the World Food Programme, 63 percent of the population was food insecure before this war began. So much has happened since Saturday morning in Israel and Gaza, and it's only the beginning.

AMANPOUR: It's only the beginning indeed. And the Gaza health officials say that some more than 500, nearly 600 Palestinians have been killed so far. Of course that was Ben Wedeman reporting. And what's shaken Israelis to the core and Israel's allies is, as we've been talking about, the total intelligence failure on Saturday. So, we turn now to Efraim Halevy, the former director of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad. Mr. Halevy, welcome back to our program. Look, you've described this as a total surprise. There was no early warning of any kind. I mean, given your decades of experience, can you explain how that can happen?

EFRAIM HALEVY, FORMER MOSSAD DIRECTOR: It could happen if those who are planning whatever they have in mind cloaked all their activities in such a way that nobody is able to monitor what they are doing.

AMANPOUR: So, that's what you think it is basically? That they were training and planning in a non-electronic kind of manner. There was no mobile phones or some others have alluded to?

HALEVY: No. I believe also that some of the equipment that are being used are no regular basis to monitor what has happening in Gaza somehow failed at a certain point in time. Without those who are operating it realizing that they were no longer receiving a full picture of what was going on.

AMANPOUR: I see. I don't know how much of this is true, so I'm going to -- or accurate, I'm going to ask the question. Are you aware of information on how Hamas planned for this? How these plans were kept secret? We've talked a little about that, but how long? Reuters, for instance, site source close to Hamas saying that the organization misled Israel by "giving a public impression that it was not willing to get into a fight or confrontation anymore with Israel while preparing for this massive operation." Do you think that that's accurate analysis? And do you think that Israel kind of thought it had Hamas in a box, that it was more concerned about -- you know, Hamas was more concerned about, you know, economic survival and getting visas and passes for workers into Israel while simultaneously planning?

HALEVY: That's exactly what happened in actual fact. It was not only the fact that every day many, many thousands were leaving Gaza to work in Israel. It is also a fact that Israel opened its hospitals for treatment of people in Gaza. In many cases, giving the best treatment that can be given, whether it's in the operating room or elsewhere. And I think that in this, Israel more or less was extending a hand to Hamas without saying it in as many words. And they, at the same time -- and at the same time, as receiving all of this, they were planning something totally different and they were able to keep it secret.

AMANPOUR: You know, nobody really wants to go to the political and intelligence yet. As we've heard, the unified message from your government is that we will ask those important questions later. We will do an after an action review later. Now, the mission is war and total elimination of Hamas capabilities in all areas. But my question to you is, as the former head of Mossad, what went through your mind? Why do you think -- I mean, we've talked about, you know, the ideas around the intelligence failure. But also, it took so long for officials, as I spoke to, to get to the scene of the crimes. What's going on in your country right now, do you think? And do you believe -- are you confident that your system can take the war in the way that we're being told -- for the goal that we're being told?


AMANPOUR: So, for more on all of this, I'm joined by the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland. He's in Oslo, Norway. He's been speaking to his team who are on the grounds in Gaza. Jan Egeland, welcome back. I mean, you are a veteran, I'm sorry to say, of so many of these horrendous situations. In terms of humanitarian, how do you foresee a state that is declaring war on a murderous attack able to protect civilians? How -- what do you think is going to unfold?

JAN EGELAND, SECRETARY GENERAL, NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL: I think it's a horrific situation, it's going to be much, much worse in the coming days. Yes, it started with terror. There's no other way to describe men going into Israel and killing civilians in the hundreds, as they did. But now, a siege on an entire population? There are 2.4 million people in Gaza, it's like no other place on earth they are crammed together in a small area, which is smaller than the municipality of Oslo. Where I'm sitting 1 million of the 2.4 million are children. And then, they declare now, the Israeli side that they will cut food, water, electricity, fuel? It's going to amount to war crimes if children are going to starve and die in hospitals because of lack of electricity, for example.

AMANPOUR: As you know, war crimes have been committed by Hamas against civilians inside Israel with the slaughter of innocence there.

EGELAND: Absolutely. Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: What are you hearing from your actual teams on the ground?

EGELAND: What I'm hearing on the ground of our 52 courageous aid workers inside Gaza is that they desperately want to start relief work for – with those -- with children who have lost their apartments because of the intense bombardment. But we cannot under this indiscriminate bombardment plan and execute relief work. We need some calm, that's why I support the call for humanitarian corridors. They should come both from Israel, which has declared that they don't want to kill children, they don't want to starve children. So, let's have humanitarian corridors. Secondly, we need safe zones where there will be no bombardments. Even the UNRWA schools have had bombardment very close to them. My colleagues, several of them, have had apartments now damaged. They had to flee. Relief workers had to flee. Five, this morning, where in -- an entire neighborhoods that were declared as targets of attack, the whole entire neighborhoods. And they also had to flee. It's beyond belief, really, what's happening.

AMANPOUR: Jan Egeland, I mean, put on a diplomatic hat for a moment. Is there anywhere, you think, that there can be any "de-escalation" or is it just obvious that Israel is going to have to take this war finally to finish off Hamas in Gaza, and you think that that's possible?

EGELAND: Well, number one, the violence can end tomorrow. There can be talks that would lead to all of the hostages from Israel being released. The latest outrageous statement by Hamas is that they will start to kill hostages if there are more bombardment. The U.S., Egypt, and the Gulf countries have to mediate something that gives security guarantees for Israel, but also a lifting of the siege, some hope, some future, some possibilities for the youth of Gaza that have no hope.


EGELAND: They fuel bitterness in the neighborhood with the policies they've had now for many years. In 2014, 2,000 civilian Palestinians were killed in the bombardment from Israel at that time. There's been too much blood and violence for too many years between the two peoples.

AMANPOUR: Jan Egeland, thank you so much. And of course, you heard Tzipi Livni and many people saying that the death and destruction of Palestinian people inside Gaza is fully on the shoulders of Hamas.