Syrian officials speak exclusively to CNN's Fred Pleitgen
May 6th, 2013
11:59 AM ET

Syrian officials speak exclusively to CNN's Fred Pleitgen

CNN correspondent Fred Pleitgen (@fpleitgencnn) continues to report from Damascus on heightened tensions surrounding alleged Israeli airstrikes and reports on the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

In an exclusive interview with CNN Sunday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad said the attacks on the nation's military research facility amount to a "declaration of war" by Israel. Watch that interview here. 

Last week, Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told CNN exclusively  that his government had not, and "would never use" chemical munitions - "if we had them." Watch that interview here. 


Topics: CNN • Frederik Pleitgen • Israel • Syria
November 21st, 2012
04:40 PM ET

Hamas political leader to Amanpour on Israel's right to exist: "I need recognition, not the Israelis"

Khaled Meshaal , the political leader of the Palestinian organization Hamas,  spoke exclusively with Christiane Amanpour from Cairo, Egypt for the Wednesday, Nov. 21st edition of Amanpour.   Amanpour pressed him on whether his organization was responsible for the bombing of a civilian passenger bus in Tel Aviv, whether Hamas would agree to a ceasefire with Israel, and under what conditions Hamas would agree to recognize the State of Israel.

The following is an excerpt from the interview:

AMANPOUR:  You say you would prefer the route that did not cause so much violence, so much death.  And yet, you say that you would accept a two-state solution, but that you will not recognize Israel's right to exist.  Is that still the case?

MESHAAL (through translator):  First of all, the offer must come from the attacker, from Israel, which has the arsenal, not from the victim.  Second, I say to you from 20 years ago and more, the Palestinians and Arabs are offering peace.  But peace is destroying peace through aggression and war and killing.

This idea (ph), this touch failed experiences, we have two options.  No other.  Either there's an international will, led by the U.S. and Europe and the international community and force Israel to go through the way of peace and a Palestinian state, according to the border of 1967 with the right to return.  And this is something we have agreed upon as Palestinians, as a common program.

But if Israel can continue to refuse this, either the - either we force them or resist to - resort to resistance.  I accept a state of the 1967.  How can I accept Israel?  They have occupied my land.  I need recognition, not the Israelis.  This is a reversed question.

The full transcript of this program may be found here.  This edition of Amanpour aired on Wednesday, Nov. 21 on CNN International at 3:00pmET in the North America.   In Europe, Amanpour airs on CNN International at 21:00 CET.

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Topics: Amanpour • Breaking News • Christiane Amanpour • CNN International • Gaza • Israel
November 21st, 2012
09:41 AM ET

Israel Amb.: Hamas is about killing civilians; Israel ground troops ready to defend country

Israel Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren responds to bus bombing in Tel Aviv this morning and talks about long term goals of ending the conflict. Oren says that ground troops are on the table if attacks continue.

Oren says, “We think that the bus explosion in Tel Aviv is the essence of what this whole conflict is about. It’s about Hamas terrorists. And there are a number of other terrorists groups, not just Hamas, in Gaza that want to maximize the number of Israelis they can kill… They’re about killing civilians.”

He continues, “De-escalation is not going to be possible, if Hamas doesn’t stop shooting at us.”


Topics: Breaking News • Gaza • Israel
November 21st, 2012
09:17 AM ET

Tel Aviv Police: Alert heightened after bus bomb; at least one person fled the scene

Tel Aviv Chief Inspector Micky Rosenfeld updates latest on investigation in bus bomb that left at least 22 injured. Rosenfeld says they are looking for suspect who left a bomb on the bus.

Rosenfeld says, “What we know is that at least one person fled the scene, fled the area. We’re looking into the possibility if they left by foot or possibly if they arrived here by vehicle.”


Topics: Breaking News • Gaza • Israel
November 21st, 2012
08:52 AM ET

VIDEO: At least 10 injured in explosion on bus in Tel Aviv – Fred Pleitgen reports

CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports on early details after an explosion injures at least 10 on a bus in Tel Aviv, Israel.


Topics: Breaking News • CNN • Gaza • Israel
November 20th, 2012
03:35 PM ET

CNN's Fred Pleitgen meets creator of Color Red app

CNN's Fred Pleitgen (@fpleitgencnn) meets Liron Be'er, the 13-year-old boy behind a new app called Color Red, which gives users in southern Israel an alert when a rocket alarm goes off. The app has already been downloaded more than 130,000 times since the conflict began.


Topics: Breaking News • Frederik Pleitgen • Gaza • Israel
November 20th, 2012
06:55 AM ET

Qatari PM: "both sides would like to have a ceasefire"

In a special edition of Amanpour from Jerusalem on Monday, November 19, Christiane Amanpour interviewed the Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani about his nation's role in the ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Gaza.

In the wide-ranging interview, Prime Minister Al Thani discussed his views on the current ceasefire negotiations between Hamas and Israel, and the longer term issue of peace negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians and what it would take for his nation to recognize the State of Israel.

The full transcript of this program may be found here.  This edition of Amanpour aired on Monday, Nov. 19 on CNN International at 3:00pmET in the North America.   In Europe, Amanpour airs on CNN International at 21:00 CET.

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Topics: Amanpour • Breaking News • Christiane Amanpour • CNN International • Gaza • Israel
November 16th, 2012
10:11 AM ET

CNN's coverage of Israel-Gaza conflict

CNN continues to cover the deadly attacks in Israel and Gaza with reporters positioned all around the Middle East.

  • Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) in Jerusalem
  • Arwa Damon (@arwacnn) in Gaza
  • Ben Wedeman (@bencnn) in Gaza
  • Sara Sidner (@sarasidnercnn) in Tel Aviv
  • Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) in Jerusalem
  • Fred Pleitgen (@fpleitgencnn) in southern Israel
  • Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) in Cairo
  • Reza Sayah (@sayahcnn) in Cairo
  • Ian Lee in Cairo
  • Jose Levy (@joselevycnn) in Jerusalem

Recent Videos

Reza Sayah reports from the Rafah border crossing in Egypt, where Egyptian demonstrators are beginning to enter Gaza.

Christiane Amanpour discusses the international community's response to Israel-Gaza conflict.

Fred Pleitgen reports live when a rocket hits Ashkelon, Israel.

Behind the scenes at CNN's International Desk during the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Ben Wedeman reports on the Israeli Defense Force calling up 16,000 reservists for active duty.

Fred Pleitgen reports on a rocket hitting the outskirts of Tel Aviv.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria tells Piers Morgan Israel is justified in responding to rocket attacks.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks to CNN about the "incredibly difficult and tense" situation between Israel and Hamas.

CNNI anchor/correspondent Hala Gorani's Q&A on the Gaza strikes.

November 16th, 2012
08:22 AM ET

Israel rep.: One or two days before ground troops move into Gaza

Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon tells CNN’s Soledad O’Brien that Gaza may have a day or two before ground troops move in.

Ayalon says, “We are kind of reluctant warriors. We don’t want to get into Gaza if we don’t have to. But if they keep firing at us… a ground operation is still in the cards…. We have very simple, specific goals.”

When O’Brien asks what would trigger a ground operation, Ayalon responds, “If we will see in the next 24 to 36 hours more rockets launched at us, I think that would be the trigger.”

Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien airs weekday mornings from 7-9a ET on CNN.

November 15th, 2012
07:30 PM ET

Egyptian cabinet chief al-Tahtawi on whether the Egypt-Israel peace is in jeopardy: No, not at all...

On the Nov. 15 edition of Amanpour, guest host and contributor Hala Gorani interviewed Mohamed Refa'a al-Tahtawi, chief of the Egyptian presidential cabinet, about Egypt's potential involvement in brokering a peace between Israel and Gaza.  Gorani also asked al-Tahtawi about whether his nation would continue to honor the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, in the face of continuing violence in the region.

The following is an excerpt from that interview:

Hala Gorani, CNN host, Amanpour contributor:  Dr. Refa'a al-Tahtawi joins me now on the phone.  He's head of Mohammed Morsi's presidential advising committee.  He was also Egypt's ambassador to Iran and Libya.  He is traveling to Gaza tomorrow with Prime Minister Kandil of Egypt.

So this is a question that people have, first of all, thanks for joining us, Dr. Tahtawi.  Are these treaties that Egypt signed with Israel, these - all these decades ago, are they in jeopardy today?

MOHAMED REFA'A AL-TAHTAWI, CHIEF OF THE EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL CABINET:  No, not at all.  Not at all, because we have declared several times and repeatedly that we abide by our international commitments (ph).  But respecting the peace treaty does not mean they're idle or indifferent to what is going on along our borders and  what is touching our brothers.    And we cannot be indifferent to human sufferings.  So we are abiding by our legal obligations, but we are active to help establishing real peace in the area.

The full transcript of this program may be found here.  This edition of Amanpour aired on Thursday, Nov. 15 on CNN International at 3:00pmET in the North America.   In Europe, Amanpour airs on CNN International at 21:00 CET.

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Topics: Amanpour • Christiane Amanpour • CNN International • Egypt • Israel
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