tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 18, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PDT
and that's why we've indicated, although we support military efforts by the storisraelis to sure rockets are not fired in their territory, we also have said that our understanding is the current military ground operations are designed to deal with the tunnels, and we are hopeful that israel will continue to approach this process in a way that minimizes civilian casualties and that all of us are working hard to return to the cease-fire that was reached in november of 2012. secretary kerry is working to support egypt's initiative to pursue that outcome. i told prime minister netanyahu that john is prepared to travel to the region following additional consultations. let me close by making one additional comment. on board malaysian airlines flight mh-17 there were apparently nearly 100
researchers and advocates traveling to an international conference in australia dedicated to combating aids/hiv. these were men and women who had dedicated their own lives to saving the lives of others, and they were taken from us in a senseless act of violence. in this world today, we shouldn't forget then in the midst of conflict and killing, there are people like these. people who are focused on what can be built, rather than what can be destroyed. people who are focused on how they can help people that they've never met. people define themselves not by what makes them different from other people but by the humanity that we hold in common. it's important for us to lift them up and to affirm their lives. and it's time for us to heed their example. the united states of america is going to continue to stand for the basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose, the nations have the right to determine their own
destiny and that when terrible events like this occur, the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of truth. so with that, let me take just a couple of questions. >> thank you, mr. president. just on a technical matter, does the u.s. believe this passenger jet was targeted or that those people who shot it down had been going -- thought they went after a military aircraft? and more broadly, this incident seems to escalate the pressure in ukraine to a level we haven't seen before. does that change your calculus in terms of what the u.s. and perhaps europe should be doing as a response? >> i think it's too early for us to be able to guess what the intentions of those who might have launched the surface to air missile might have had. the investigation is going to be ongoing. i think what we'll see is additional information surfacing over the next 24 hours, 72 hours. the next week.
the next month. what we know right now, what we have confidence in saying right now is that a surface to air missile was fired and that's what brought the jet down. we know -- we have confidence in saying that shot was taken within a territory that's controlled by the russian separatists. but i think it's very important for us to make sure that we don't get out ahead of the facts. and at this point, in terms of identifying specifically what individual or group of individual individuals or personnel ordered the strike, how it came about, those are things i think are still going to be subject to additional information that we're going to be gathering. and we're working with the entire international community to make sure the focus is on getting to the bottom of this thing and being truthful. and my concern is, obviously, that there's been a lot of
misinformation generated in eastern ukraine generally. this should snap everybody's heads to attention and make sure that we don't have time for propaga propaganda. we don't have time for games. we need to know exactly what happened. and everybody needs to make sure that we're holding accountable those who committed this outrage. with respect to the second question, as you are aware, before this terrible incident happened, we had already ratcheted up sanctions against russia, and i think the concern not just of russian officials but of the markets about the impact this could have on the russian economy is there for all to see. i made clear to president putin that our preferred path is to resolve this diplomatically. but that mine means that he an
russian government have to make a decision. are they going to support violent separatists whose intent is to undermine the government of ukraine, or are they prepared to work with the government of ukraine to arrive at cease-fire and a peace that takes into account the interests of all ukrainians. there has been some improved language at times over the last month coming from the kremlin and coming from president putin. what we have not seen is an actual transition and different actions that would give us confidence that that's the direction they want to take. and, you know, we will continue to make clear that as russia engages in efforts that are supporting the separatists, that we have the capacity to increase
the cost we impose on them. and we will do so. not because we're interested in hurting russia for the sake of hurting russia, but because we believe in standing up for the basic principle that a country's sovereignty and territorial integrity has to be respected, and it is not the united states or russia or germany or any other country that should be deciding what happens in that country. >> at this point, do you see any u.s. military role that could be affected? >> we don't see u.s. military role beyond what we've already been doing in working with our nato partners and some of the baltic states, giving them reassurances that we are prepared to do whatever is required to meet our obligations. >> how much blame for this do you put on president putin, and will you use this incident to push the europeans for stronger action? >> we don't know exactly what happened yet, and i don't want
to -- as i said before -- get out ahead of the facts. but what i do know is that we have seen a ticking up of violence in eastern, crane that, despite the efforts of the ukrainian government to abide by a cease-fire and to reach out and agree to negotiations, including with the separatists, that has been rebuffed by these separatists. we know that they are heavily armed and that they are trained. and we know that that's not an accident. that is happening because of russian support. so it is not possible for these separatists to function the way they're functioning, to have the equipment that they have, set aside what's happened with respect to the malaysian airlines. a group of separatists can't
shoot down military transport planes, or they claim shoot down fighter jets, without sophisticated equipment and sophisticated training. and that is coming from russia. so we don't yet know exactly what happened with respect to the malaysian airlines, although, obviously, we're beginning to draw some conclusions given the nature of the shot that was fired. there are only certain types of anti-aircraft missiles that can reach up 30,000 feet and shoot down passenger jet. we have increasing confidence that it came from areas controlled by the separatists. but without having a definitive judgment on those issues yet, what we do know is that the violence that's taken place there is facilitated in part in
large part because of russian support. and they have the ability to move those separatists in a different direction. if mr. putin makes a decision that we are not going to allow heavy armaments and the flow of fighters into ukraine, across the ukrainian/russian border, then it will stop. and if it stops, then the separatists will still have the capacity to enter into negotiations and try to arrive at the sort of political accommodations that mr. putin himself says he wants to see. he has the most control over that situation. and so far at least he has not exercised it. >> so the sanctions in europe will be -- >> i think that this certainly will be a wake-up call for europe and the world that there
are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern ukraine. that it is not going to be localized. it is not going to be contained. what we've seen here is just in one country alone, our great allies, the dutch, 150 or more of their citizens being killed. and that, i think, sadly, brings home the degree to which the stakes are high for europe. not simply for the ukrainian people. and that we have to be firm in our resolve and making sure that we are supporting ukraine to bring about a just cease-fire and that we can move toward a political solution to this. i'm going to make this the last question. lisa? >> do we know yet about americans on board? and how do you prevent stricter
restrictions from shocking the global economy -- >> we have been pretty methodical over the last 24 hours in working through the flight manifest. and identifying which passengers might have had a u.s. passport. at this point, the individual that i mentioned is the sole person that we can definitively say was a u.s. or dual citizen. because events are moving so quickly, i don't want to say with absolute certainty that there might not be additional americans, but at this stage, having worked through the list, been in contact with the malaysian government which processed the passports, you
know, as folks were boarding, this is our best assessment of the number of americans that were killed. obviously, that does nothing to lessen our outrage about all those families, regardless of nationality. it is a heartbreaking event. with respect to the effect of sanctions on the economy, we have consistently tried to tailor these sanctions in ways that would have an impact on russia, on their economy, on their institutions or individuals that are aiding and abetting in the activities that are taking place in eastern ukraine, while minimizing the impacts on not only the u.s. economy but the global economy. it is a relevant consideration that we have to keep in mind. the world economy is integrated. russia is a large economy. there's a lot of financial flows
between russia and the rest of the world. but we feel confident that at this point the sanctions we put in place are imposing a cost on russia that their overall impact on the global economy is minimal. it is something we have to obviously pay close attention to, but i think treasury in consultation with our european partners have done a good job so far on that issue. thank you very much. >> and as we can see, the president taking a couple of questions, saying that so far there is one american victim. he identified that person as quinn lucas schansman. this is one american victim so far after checking passports, talking to authorities in both manila and in the netherlands. he expressed his grief and sympathy to all of the international victims and especially to our allies, the
dutch. he also spoke out about the hiv/aids researchers and supporters who were heading to that conference in melbourne. nearly 100 of the victims at least were members of that community as well. he said he had spoken to prime minister netanyahu expressing support for israel's right to defend itself, but also expressing international growing international concern about the number of victims, principally on the palestinian side now that this is a ground war as well as an air war. and he recapped his conversation with vladimir putin saying that he told vladimir putin that he had no alternative but to impose those sanctions, that putin was not at all happy about it but that he told putin that putin and russia have a role forward if they de-escalate as they had long promised. >> joining me, first of all, jim miklaszewski at the pentagon as well as deborah hersman, former
head of the ntsb and our friend bob hager. our longtime transportation expert. mik, first to you. today already at the united nations we heard samantha powers saying categorically this was a sam missile coming from russian supported separatisseparatists, ukraine. that is basically what u.s. intelligence has been telling you. they still do not know exactly who fired it but it's very clear there are russian fingerprints all over this weaponry. >> that's right, andrea. we were told early this morning by u.s. officials that there is hard evidence that this missile was fired inside ukraine just inside the russian border. but they still, as of today, don't know exactly who pulled the trigger. now they -- what the intelligence has told them over the past several weerks as the russians have poured heavy artillery, tanks and some of these s.a.m. missile launchers
into ukraine, they obviously need some russian advisers and trainers to teach these separatists how to eause these weapons. we're told in many cases there are russian military forces embedded with this separatist for force. if you know it's coming from ukraine why can't you tell if it was russians or if it was the separatists at the controls. and they can't because there's this crossover between the separatists and the russian train e trainers. there's deep suspicion, but no proof yet, that it could have been a russian at those controls who pulled the trigger that shot down the plane. >> i wanted to play a brief excerpt of the ambassador, samantha power. this was one of the iconic moments where she made the case of the cover-up by the russian
supporters. >> on july 14th, separatists claimed credit for the downing of a ukrainian military cargo plane. and they claimed credit for the downing of a ukrainian fighter jet. if, indeed, russian-backed separatists were behind this attack an a civilian airliner, they and their backers would have good reason to cover up evidence of their crime. >> chuck todd, the president had not come out, except for just a brief moment in between his other events yesterday. this was a much more striking appearance by the president trying to get ahead of what has been a devastating series of crises on their plate. >> it was. but i'm glad you played that clip from samantha power, our united states ambassador to the u.n. because what i found striking is that she in some ways used even stronger language pointing the finger at the russians than even the president did. the president seemed to use similar language but offer more
caveats on sort of responsibility for this catastrophe that took place there. and i think to read between the lines in there, and i think you know this well, it's clear. i think the united states doesn't yet know what is the next response going to be to hold putin accountable. obviously, when he says for europe this should be a wake-up call, it's about getting the european allies more involved here in some form that makes it so that putin feels the consequence because nothing has worked so far other than changing the tone of his language. not his actions. >> and it could be as well that the president, while not knowing what policy choices they have, also wants to preserve the relationship so that they can continue to communicate with moscow. go ahead. >> looking for -- they seem to be trying to see if they can hand him -- it felt like a good
cop/bad cop routine where power was tough at the u.n. and the president, you know, pulled a little of hoos a few of his punches saying to putin, you've got one last chance here to do the right thing. >> michael leiter, the intelligence is quickly there. they don't know who fired the trigger, as it were, but they know the kind of missile this was. they know as much as they need to know in terms of a ground location. and as jim miklaszewski had been pointing out all day, there are russian advisers and trainers embedded with those separatists. >> there are still unknowns here, but i don't think those unknowns are all that dispositive about what the next step will be. exactly how deeply involved the russians were, sure, that's meaningful. ultimately, the russians provided a weapon system to their allies in the ukraine and out of that area, a civilian airliner shot down 23and 200-pl killed.
it's simply going to be on the edges. >> what samantha power also said at the u.n. today was that while kiev has that kind of s.a.m. system, they have not used it. the separatists have. joining us now as well deborah hersman via skype, the former head of the ntsb. investigators are heading to the region. we know the osce, the organization for security and cooperation in europe, are the first responders, but the fbi and ntsb is also heading to ukraine. but how safe is it? this is an area where separatists have kidnapped osce observers and monitors in the past. >> i can tell you one of my first priorities if i was sitting in the chair would to be make sure if you are sending your people into harm's way that they have guarantees for protection. and so i think it will be important to understand what's happening on the ground and make sure that those sites are secured. but the world is watching now,
and i think that helps them. >> although as we can see from this six-mile wide or six-mile square debris field, it's already been contaminated. there are people. there are separatists. there are people who unintentionally or not may have contaminated this. there's a question as to where the black boxes are. how important would the black boxes be because they would tell you altitude and speed but we should know the track of the plane. we just don't know who fired that missile. >> that's right. i think there are going to be different parts of this investigation that are going to be important. i would say the black boxes and the cockpit voice recorders are always important. if nothing else to rule things out, as well as ruling things in. and so you've got have all of the information on the table to really accurately identify what happened here. and i think we're still in the early phases where a lot of conflicting information is out there and so we've got to give
them time to put the pieces together. >> and we have two of our own best aviation experts with us as well. tom costello and bob hager. first to you, tom. you've been tracking what investigators know so far about this case. >> i think she makes a very good point and that is that you always want to go through a pro forma list of tactics and procedures when you are investigate anything sort of aviation incident. therefore, listen to the black boxes, get them, look at the data on board. the flight data recorder. see whether there was any conversation between the pilots immediately before or after the plane was hit by a missile. but the truth of the matter is they know what brought this plane down. it was a missile. the issue is going to be determining who fired it. and that is going to be coming from the intelligence community and also, of course, from the pentagon. yes, today the president echoed the sentiments that we've heard from many different heads of state over the past 12 hours or so.
australia, from the uk and the netherlands and the list goes on of countries demanding access, an independent investigative body to get access to the crash site to keep it as pristine as possible and keep the black boxes there on location. we've had this conflicting information about whether already the black boxes have been removed from the site. we independently don't know that. but the mere fact that we have seen these pictures of civilians walking through and on top of the wreckage would send any ntsb investigator into fits. this is not the way that you keep any sort of an investigative scene pristine. on the other hand you also want to recover the bodies as quickly as you can for obvious reasons. you don't want them nout the elements. we've now had 24 hours since this plane has gone down. it's in a war zone. and so far, the ukrainian government says it is not gaining access to the crash site because it's in rebel-held territory. so this is a very difficult investigative process. by the way, the americans are
not in charge of this. and only three individuals from the u.s. are right now headed towards kiev. they'll be a single ntsb investigator and two fbi agents to assist. but this is going to be a ukrainian operation and then an international -- hopefully international investigative body. >> and bob hager, our old friend and long time colleague, so far today germany and other countries have restricted their airlines from going into war zones, which includes now afghanistan, syria and the like. should ukraine have closed its air space long before now? >> i think so. and i think the international community bears some responsibility. there's this u.n. organization that supervises international aviation. its headquartered in montreal, the international civil aviation organization. seems to me they should have said long ago nobody should be flying over this air space. i'm baffled why. the only reason would be economic to save fuel,
straightest line between points a and b is the way to spend the least fuel getting from amsterdam to kuala lumpur. but it's not worth that risk. even before this terrible tragedy occurred. >> and michael leiter, the russian u.n. ambassador said in his statement at the u.n. security council today, let's not jump to conclusions. and he then blamed kiev for not closing its air space unilaterally. obviously, that and what vladimir putin said last night putting the blame on kiev for the escalation, rather than on the russian armaments we've been tracking. we know what's been crossing that border. and it was the pred cicate for e president's imposition of sanctions two days ago. >> there were limitations of flights through crimea by many nations, including the u.s. and also limitations of how low the planes could play. the change was these more
advanced weapons that moved into ukraine coming from russia. and certainly, i think the international community was behind and slow. now they are moving methodically to build the case for the international when it's appropriate. i guarantee you in the white house situation room there are deep discussions about what is next. if putin doesn't take an off ramp and de-escalate, how do we escalate? how does the escalate? that's the next big conversation. >> michael leiter, chuck todd, tom costello. we'll continue to bring you the latest on this developing story throughout the hour and throughout the day here an msnbc. first, an update an what we know so far about some of the victims who perished in the crash. one american was on malaysia flight 17. also on the plane, a group of the world's leading scientific researchers en route to a major aids conference. the annual conference held this
year in melbourne, australia. including former international aid society president professor joep lange, a huge blow to the medical community. and an unbelievable double tragedy for this family in australia. the associated press reporting that kayleen man lost her brother in the disappearance of malaysia airlines flight 370. she learned today her stepdaughter was on the plane shot down over ukraine. also an indiana university doctoral student from the netherlands is reportedly dead in the crash. she was a member of the varsity rowing team. and a young couple who owned a flower shop in amsterdam were on mh-17 on way to their vacation. >> 30-year-old and it's a young family couple. always laughing and always together. hard work. and now they are gone. (daughter) i'm really tired. (vo) the transfers.
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now to our other major story of the day. another foreign policy crises. israel's ground invasion which has claimed the lives of 25 palestinians and 1 israeli soldier. israel's aim to destroy the rocket-launching sites and the underground tunnels that hamas has used to launch attacks. president netanyahu used it to prepare for the possibility of widening significantly the operation. for the latest from the ground, richard engel joining me now from gaza. richard, what about the pace of rocket fire in both directions? >> today mostly we've been seeing israeli strikes coming into the gaza strip. they have been primarily focused around the edges of the gaza strip. not in the densely populated urban centers. we've seen a few israeli strikes here in gaza city. but we've heard many, many, what sound like artillery impacts around the border area between gaza and israel.
and that would be consistent with israel's stated objective of destroying the tunnels hamas uses to burrow under the ground to go under the israel/gaza border. there are casualties. we were at the hospital earlier today. quite a few of the casualties are women and children, and these are people that we spoke to who live in that border area. israel is trying it seems to avoid some civilian casualties telling palestinians to leave the conflict areas. the problem is, gaza city and all of the gaza strip are sealed areas. there's not very many places where palestinians can go. so in a certain sense, they are shooting at a captive population. that said, there have still been some rockets fired from here toward israel. we've been watching several launches over the course of the afternoon and hamas is threatening to do more of these kind of attacks. so no talk at this stage of finding any kind of negotiated settlement.
but we are settling in to a pattern of this conflict where israel is carrying out these artillery strikes, air strikes mostly around the perimeters of gaza with occasional strikes in the urban areas like gaza city. question, what did netanyahu mean with that statement earlier today? will there be a significant expansion? does that mean israeli troops will come into the city? that is something a lot of people here are wondering. >> maybe we can get some answers to that for you and the people there as well. richard engel, thank you so very much because here i'm joined by ron durmer, israel's ambassador to the united states. what did the prime minister mean, ambassador, by a possible significant widening or expansion? >> this specific operation has to deal with taking out the tunnels right on the border. we avoided a catastrophe yesterday. you may have those videos where about 13 hamas commandos came out of the ground. they were going towards the -- they could have slaughtered
dozens of people and were trying to kidnap some of them and take them sbook gaza. fortunately that didn't happen but he ordered the operation to deal with these tunnels, and there are many of them, that are designed by hamas to strike at israel, to go and kill our civilian population and then go back. that's what the limited operation is now. what the prime minister is saying is he doesn't know if he'll have to expand that operation. that's not our goal. we don't have a goal rev conquering gaza. sustain peace for the people of israel. we agreed to a cease-fire three days ago. no reason for us to even go in with a ground separation. hamas said no to that cease-fire, and we are where we are. >> do you now have good enough intelligence about the tunnels? or do you have to keep going farther and go into the more populated areas? >> obviously by their very nature, tunnels will be closer to the border. we have some intelligence but i'm sure we'll find tunnels we didn't know about. now that our military is there
and we're in that bordering area, that's why as your reporter said, most of the targets are close to the border. our military is going in, getting to these tunnels, making sure they won't be a threat to israel and that's what our operation is designed to do right now. >> we've been showing that, the video of those tunnels and of the bombing mission as well. ambassador, the world is watching, and we know this reiterated support from the president today. he spoke to prime minister netanyahu. said that israel has the right to defend itself. there was also a statement from john kerry last night saying there is concern that kerry spoke to netanyahu yesterday and expressed concern about the escalating casualties, especially on the palestinian side. >> i don't think there's a concern that the administration has that we ourselves don't have. we didn't want an escalation. we didn't want to be in this operation to begin with. ten days ago the prime minister said, quiet will be met with quiet. hamas continued the rockets. we agreed to a cease-fire.
hamas said no to the cease-fire. we didn't seek any escalation, but we have to take action to defend our population. we have about three-quarters of our population under the threat of rocket attacks. it's the equivalent to over 200 million americans. and we just were very, very fortunate to catch this attack from this tunnel around gaza. so we're doing everything we can to surgically strike at the terrorists in gaza. unfortunately, there are civilians. it's important to remember civilians who come into harm's way. we're doing everything to keep them out of harm's way. hamas is doing everything to push them out of harm's way. we've had over 2,000 strikes in gaza. 2,000 strikes. even if we're right 99% of the time, that means 20 strikes go wrong and where there's an accident, when there's civilian loss of life, we regret it. but the people who don't care about the civilians in gaza is hamas. they don't care about them. they celebrate when these attacks happen because they think those pictures will lead to more pressure on israel. instead it should be more pressure on hamas. >> i don't know who is doing the
celebrating because we've seen grieving parents and grieving families. >> hamas is celebrate, not the parents. and we regret the loss of life. any innocent loss of life. we are not targeting. 1.5 million people in gaza. if israel were targeting it with 2,000 air strikes, how many civilians do you think would be killed? this happens in war, even when you are doing your best to avoid civilian casualties. we didn't want to be in this position. hamas continues to fire rockets at israel and strike at the israeli population. >> understanding that context, what was the reason for the strike along the beach that killed those four boys the other day? >> that specific incident will be investigated. we have actually a general who is investigating the incident. apparently there was an area there being used for rocket taexs. i don't know in this specific case if this was an intelligence failure, an operational failure, an accident. but i guarantee you one thing. we did not target children. we never target children. we stop operations time and again when we think civilians are going to come into harm's
way. we'll continue to fight upholding the highest values. >> would israel accept diplomatic intervention by qatar or turkey since egypt seems to be a nonstarter as far as hamas is concerned, for understandable reasons from their perspective? >> we thing egyptian cease-fire proposal is the right proposal. it's the right way to go. we hope the international community will back it. you heard the president saying he was encouraged by the egyptian proposal. secretary kerry in his statement also mentioned juptian proposal. i think that's the only show in town. hopefully enough pressure will be brought to bear on hamas, to cease it. and so you don't have to go to a more escalating situation. >> thaunk you very much. much more ahead. the u.s. accuses russian-backed separatists of bringing down malaysia airlines flight 17. >> this war can be ended. russia can end this war. russia must end this war.
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if mr. putin makes a decision that we are not going to allow heavy armaments and the flow of fighters into ukraine across the ukrainian russian border, then it will stop. >> we just heard from president obama within the hour. and earlier today, ambassador samantha power sending a strong message to vladimir putin. but what will it take to change putin'sical clause? jim maceda is in moscow with the latest. we're seeing a lot of defensiveness at least coming from the russians at the u.n. what is putin saying today? i saw a picture an his twitter feed early are of him surrounded by greek orthodox church officials. so he was with the clergy today. >> right. is that surprising, andrea, to see him with the clergy? this is not the putin the warmonger that we have just
heard, suggested by president obama. this is putin the peacemaker who called today on both sides to cease their fire and come to the negotiating table for talks. now some kremlin watchers do think the fallout from the airline disaster is putting putin under strong international pressure. we're hearing more and more of this theory, including sanctions in their third wave. and that he's going to cave in eventually and begin de-escalating the conflict. i don't know. others still think he is simply continuing to play his very clever game of casting himself as a peacemaker while at the same time doing what he's always done, which is destabilize ukraine from the wings if you will. keep it unattractive to the eu. keep it inn attractive to nato through this low grade insurgency which is now getting more and more lethal.
but, what really worries some analysts, andrea is that putin will try to lead any investigation now into the crash. control the black boxes, for instance, and there are growing reports and conflicting reports now about those plaque bblack b. >> jim maceda in moscow. kelly ayotte joins me from the hill. thank you for being with us. was the president tough enough today with vladimir putin, or does he have to preserve lines of communication to moscow, or what should we be doing with putin given the evidence we have of the russian separatists who apparently fired this missile? >> well, i think it's very clear that the evidence is pointing at moscow. the russian separatists are being funded by moscow. the equipment comes from moscow. and essentially this investigation at the end of the day will have, i think, the fingerprints are really on moscow. and to see the -- really the
serve. i'm never ceased to be amazed by the nerve of vladimir putin to actually blame the ukrainians in terms of closing the air space is astounding, especially when there's been a pattern of conduct here leading up to it because you've had a cargo plane. ukrainian cargo plane taken down in this area on monday. the day before this murder -- this is really a murder of over 290 innocent people. there was another military jet that was taken down by the separatists and so i think the president really has to, i think, impose tough ir economic sanctions. i appreciate what we did the day before this airliner came down but there are much tougher sanctions that can be put in place and europe has to step up and really put in place and join us in punishing putin for what he has done in eastern ukraine that has precip staitated this situation. >> is there anything militarily that we can or should be doing? any supplying of the ukrainians
or support to the ukrainians? they aren't nato members. so we're not drawing lines here. but what can we help kiev do? >> we can help. in fact, i went to oversee their elections. i've been there twice. i've been long calling for additional military support for the ukrainian military in the way of equipment that they've asked for. more sophisticated equipment that would allow them to protect their air space, would allow them anti-tank measures against the russian tanks the separatists have been given. and additional arms that they could use to defend themselves. they've been willing to step up to secure their own borders, and i think there's additional assistance we could give them to do that on their own behalf. >> and senator, finally, is there anything we can do to encourage europe to stand up? angela merkel and david cameron have made statements but our own reporting has been that
president hollande and the prime minister from italy were reluctant to take stronger actions in the european meetings two days ago. >> well, if this turns out what we think it's going to be, given the strong circumstantial evidence of the russian-backed separatists bringing down this plane, europeans were murdered in this. this is an international outrage. and the europeans, if they aren't willing to do the right thing in light of this commercial plane going down and the innocent people that have been murdered, i think it's up to the united states to really put on the pressure to shame them into stepping up their economic sanctions and really working with us to ensure that putin backs off on eastern ukraine and allows the people of ukraine to determine their own sovereignty. >> senator kelly ayotte, thaunk you very much for being with us today. on a day of twin crises around the world. and back to the middle east. i'm joined now by martin indyk, former u.s. ambassador to israel
and until recently the special envoy for israeli-palestinian peace talks. now returning to brookings as vice president of foreign policy there. ambassador, thank you very much. you could see the president today trying to deal with so many balls in the air if you will. the backdrop for what happened between israel and the palestinians, the hamas branch of the palestinians was completely predictable given your long months of nonstop negotiations. >> well, certainly secretary kerry warned repeatedly that the alternative to making peace was a slide back into war. and i think that what we're seeing unfolding here is a horror show whose dimensions are growing. that that should remind everybody that there is an alternative out there. it's painful and it's difficult but it's much better than the
rocketing of tel aviv and the bombing of gaza. >> one of the players who has been noticeably absent, he was in cairo, but we haven't heard him speaking out, is mahmoud abbas, abu mazen with whom you were negotiating for so long. could he play a bigger role now, and was this doomed once he merged with hamas? >> i think that first of all, the reconciliation between fatah and hamas is essentially on hold. and it's no longer operational as far as i can tell. abu mazen has been active. he was in cairo yesterday. he's in turkey today. he's calling in the same way the egyptians are for an immediate cease-fire and then a return to the cease-fire agreement that
was struck back in 2012. i think as this crisis goes on, israel is going to become more important, but especially if a cease-fire can be established, the reconstruction of gaza needs to be done under his auspices. starting with taking control of the passages, something the egyptians want him to do, and i think in that way, slowly, but surely, the restoration of order in gaza needs to be done through the palestinian authority under abu mazen's leadership. >> a few moments ago, i was interviewing the ambassador from israel and he said that egypt is the only diplomatic game. that turkey and qatar and others who have tried to intercede are not viable interlocketers. obviously, that's egypt's position. egypt is a nonstarter from hamas' perspective, or is there
an egyptian role? >> hamas has to respect egypt because egypt, in a sense, has its hands on hamas' throat. egypt cut off the tunnels. egypt shut the passages from gaza to egypt. it can reopen the passage. and so egypt does have influence. but i don't think one should dismiss anybody that has influence in this situation. the challenge is to get hamas to stop its firing of rockets. i believe the israelis will stop their operations once hamas agrees to stop firing their rockets. they're already prepared to agree to ceasefires. if the qataris can help, if the turks can help, i dont see any reason we shouldn't be using them as well. >> is there anything that can be saved out of this wreckage with all the death, particularly on the palestinian side, do you see
any way that actual negotiations between israel and the palestinians could resume? >> it seems far off at the moment but as i've said at the top of the interview, the alternative to war is to negotia negotiate. and i hope that out of this will come a recognition on both sides that just a continuation of chronic conflict with horrendous eruptions like the one we're living through at the moment, it serve s neither the israelis no the palestinians. and the best way to deal with this situation is not to return to the status quo and wait until it erupts again but to resolve the conflict. and so we have to find a way, once the dust settles. once we've taken care of the immense humanitarian problem
that has been generated here that we can then get back to negotiations. and the united states, president, secretary of state, have made absolutely clear that they are ready. when the parties are ready, they will be ready to try once more to resolve this conflict. >> martin indyk, thank you so much for your service. thanks again. and one more note, a terribly sad note about the one american the president announced who had died on malaysia flight 17. this is the young man. quinn schansman. these appear to be quinn from his facebook page. condolence messages are beginning to pour in and we add our own sad wishes for his family. once there was a girl who put her own personal style into everything.
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this certainly will be a wake-up call for europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern ukraine. >> that was president obama just moments ago at the white house. i am krystal ball filling in for ronan today. >> two major international stories. the downing of malaysian airlines flight 17, as well as israel's ground force offensive into the gaza strip. >> all 298 people aboard that boeing 777 were killed. >> the deadliest aviation incident since 9/11. some of the accounts for the crash scene are really, really disturbing. >> eyewitnesses say many of the bodies found were still in their seats wearing their seat belts. >> it was