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American teen recounts savage beating by Israeli police that helped spark crisis

July 22nd, 2014
02:48 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

A Palestinian-American teenager whose savage beating by Israeli police helped set off the current crisis described his shocking ordeal in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“They kicked me in the face. They kneed me in the face. They punched me in the face,” Tariq Khdeir said. “They were beating me like they had no – they didn’t know what they were doing. Why would they be beating me like that?”

Amateur video of Khdeir’s beating went viral and caused widespread outrage; Israeli authorities say they have suspended one of the police officers involved in the case.

Khdeir was born and grew up in the United States; he was in the West Bank visiting family when three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and found dead in the West Bank.

Khdeir’s cousin, Mohammed Abu Khedair, was murdered in what was largely seen as a retaliatory attack for the Israelis’ death.

“I asked if he needed anything from the bakery,” he told Amanpour. “And he said sure, and I went to the bakery and I bought him some things.”

“And I came back and I found the cop car there. And then the cops told me … ‘You can’t get closer to the scene.’ And Mohammed wasn’t there.”

Israel finds Hamas are no longer amateur fighters


Israel shelling of Gaza hospitals ‘needs to be questioned,’ says Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni

July 21st, 2014
02:55 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Israel’s shelling of hospitals in Gaza “needs to be questioned,” Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“So we are questioning this and we will make all the facts found public,” she said.

The Shuhada Al-Aqsa hospital in central Gaza was hit by shelling, leaving five people dead - one patient and four relatives, the Gaza Health Ministry said.

“We are not trying and we are not punishing the Palestinian people for what Hamas is doing,” Livni said. “We are trying to target these tunnels, the places in which they hide weapons and missiles.”


Ex-Israel Intelligence chief Efraim Halevy calls for talks with Hamas: ‘There are worse options than Hamas’

July 15th, 2014
03:15 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The former Israeli Intelligence Minister called for negotiations with Hamas in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“Hamas is a very bad option, undoubtedly. But there are worse options than Hamas,” Efraim Halevy, former Mossad chief, said.

“And we already know what some of them might be, especially one of them: the ISIS – which is operating now in the northern Iraq and central Iraq – has its tentacles in the Gaza Strip too.”

Halevy said that just as in Europe, ISIS is recruiting in Gaza.

An Israeli cease-fire on Tuesday lasted six short hours; the Hamas rocket fire never stopped, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that attacks on Gaza be intensified.

It is “inconvenient politically,” Halevy said, for both Israel and Hamas to admit that they negotiate. But the truth, he said, is that they have already been doing it for years.


The grim reality in Gaza

July 10th, 2014
06:25 AM ET

As the shooting war between Israel and Hamas intensifies, what of the Gaza residents who aren't firing rockets, those who don't command or control Hamas fighters and aren't interested in the politics?

Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, spoke with CNN’s Michael Holmes about the reality for the people on the ground.

Click above to watch.

Filed under:  Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Israel warns of possible Gaza ground operation as Hamas vows to defend itself

July 8th, 2014
02:59 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

An Israeli ground operation into Gaza “might become necessary,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told CNN’s Michael Holmes, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Tuesday.

On the same day, Hamas Foreign Policy Spokesman Osama Hamdan vowed that Palestinians would defend themselves against any “attacks.”

“If the Israelis continue their attacks, the Palestinian people will defend themselves. Not only Hamas – all the Palestinians,” Hamdan told Holmes.


Filed under:  Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Shavit: Israel/Hamas escalation may be imminent

July 7th, 2014
03:45 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The latest airstrikes Monday night between Hamas and Israel may presage a serious escalation in violence between the two sides, Ari Shavit, senior correspondent for Ha'aretz, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.

“This is a very dramatic evening. I do not want to over-dramatize, but the last few hours may have been, God forbid, the tipping point.”

Tensions have already been high, with tit-for-tat violence; a 16-year-old Palestinian was kidnapped and burned alive, itself a possible act of retaliation for the deaths of three Israeli teenagers.

“For the last few days we’ve seen extraordinary attempts to stop the escalation. We’ve seen remarkable restraint on the behalf of the Israeli government – quite surprisingly for many, a right-wing, conservative government led by Benjamin Netanyahu did everything possible not to get into another war or cycle of violence. The same applies to President Abbas.”

“But Hamas – that kept on saying it wants to stop escalation – fired dozens of rockets into Israel in the last few hours, and Israel will not be able to be restrained anymore.”


The courage to imagine the other

April 15th, 2014
10:45 AM ET

By Lucky Gold and Christiane Amanpour, CNN

The showdown between Russia and Ukraine demonstrates how hard it is understand the story of “the other.”

The struggle over narratives dates back at least to the time of the Passover – which began on Monday – when Pharoah kept the people of Moses in bondage.

Now imagine a world where imagining the other could mean deliverance for warring sides such as Israelis and Palestinians.

In what may be a first, Mohammed Dajani, a Palestinian professor at al-Quds University in east Jerusalem, recently took 27 of his students to Auschwitz, the notorious concentration camp in Poland.

The idea was to promote greater understanding between peoples.

And yet Professor Dajani was branded by many of his own people as a traitor.


‘Era of these negotiations is over’ says Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett as Palestinian Mustafa Barghouti says Israel reneged on deal

April 9th, 2014
03:45 PM ET

Israel minister says negotations at 'end'

CNN's Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, speaks with Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett about the peace process.


Palestinian: Israel reneged on deal

CNN's Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, speaks with Palestinian leader Mustafa Barghouti about the peace process.

By Mick Krever, CNN

“The era of these negotiations is over,” right-wing Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Wednesday.

“The approach that we’ve been trying for twenty years now clearly has reached its end,” Bennett, who is chairman of the Jewish Home party, said.

“Everyone understands it’s going nowhere. Everyone in the world gets it. So why are we bashing our heads again and again?”


Filed under:  Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Israel would preserve ‘Jewish, democratic’ values with Palestinian deal, Tzipi Livni tells Amanpour

March 4th, 2014
03:49 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

A peace deal with the Palestinians would allow Israel to keep its “values as a Jewish, democratic state,” chief Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“The best choice is to divide the land and to keep the state of Israel – maybe smaller – but with our values as a Jewish, democratic state living in harmony – a secured state,” Livni said from Washington.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travelled to Washington to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama and discuss, among other things, America’s renewed push for Middle East peace.

Secretary of State John Kerry is spearheading an effort to have Israel and the Palestinians reach a framework agreement – a foundation upon which a permanent deal could be negotiated.

“I’m sure that [neither] us [nor] the Palestinians are going to be in love with it,” Livni said. “But I hope that both of us can live with it, move forward, and this is something that can create trust and basis for negotiations.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Iran • Israel • Latest Episode • Palestinian territories

Israel boycotters making a ‘mistake,’ sending bad message to Palestinians, says Israel ambassador

February 7th, 2014
08:50 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Proponents of a boycott on Israeli goods are making a “mistake” and sending a “problematic” message to Palestinian negotiators, Israeli Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“If they genuinely want to advance peace, what they're really doing is they're sending a double message, which is very problematic,” Taub said. “They're sending a message to the Palestinians … that you don't need to be sitting at the negotiating table.”

The “suggestion that they can go off to other places to try and get political gains, I think, would be very, very damaging,” he said.

The campaign to divest from Israel and boycott its goods – not unlike the campaign to pull out of Apartheid South Africa more than two decades ago – has been gaining increasingly mainstream traction.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Israel • Latest Episode
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