tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN July 31, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
gaza city coming up on 6:00 a.m. the ceasefire some two hours away. it's not been a silent night. we've seen rockets launched, small arms fired, flares dropped, explosions felt. five more israeli troops have died. not a silent night, not the end to this far from subtle conflict. don lemon picks it up. see you tomorrow. this is a special edition of "cnn tonight." i'm don lemon. breaking news. we're just hours away from a temporary ceasefire in the middle east. both sides are on board. but how long will it last? we have reporters all across the mid east. two americans infected with the deadly ebola virus are about to be airlifted out of liberia
and brought back to the u.s. as always, we want to know what you think about all these stories. make sure you tweet us using the #askdon. we're going the begin tonight with breaking news in the war between israel and gaza. a ceasefire set to take effect just two hours from now. it is a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire to allow aid to reach civilians in gaza caught up in the fighting. israelis and palestinians will head to cairo to try and reach a more lasting deal. this current agreement also shows how fragile this piece will be with the united states, that ground forces will remain in place. we have all the angles covered for you tonight. martin savidge in jerusalem. john vause is in gaza city. michelle kosinski has late reaction from the white house this evening. and elise labott has the latest, all the details from the state department for us. we'll begin with john vause in gaza. john, we're still seeing explosions throughout the night in gaza after the agreement was announced. now the ceasefire just two hours away. how do things look at the moment?
>> well, don, we have heard that constant barrage of artillery coming, mostly from the eastern part of gaza city. there has also been the sound of automatic weapons fire. and we've also seen the flares in the sky. sometimes that means there could been an air strike on the way. that hasn't happened. sometimes those flares are used to light up the battlefield. so that could have been why those flares had been in the sky just a few hours ago. obviously the sun is out now. so they're not needed anymore. now shortly after the ceasefire deal had been announced, hamas fired a number of rockets into israel. but in the last couple of hours, it seems hamas has pretty much held its fire. but we have been told here by palestinian officials that in the town of khan yunis, at least eight people were killed in one air strike by israel. and then four others were killed just east of there. so since this deal was announced, but not going into effect, palestinians say at least 12 people have been killed here in gaza.
don? >> how likely is it that this will hold 72 hours and possibly longer, john? >> well, this time it does seem different. and the difference here is it seems hamas has accepted the israeli demand that troops can stay here and continue to search for those tunnels, continue to search those tunnels. at least on the territory, on the ground that it's holding right now. hamas could be making a calculation here. because we did hear from an israeli general a day or two ago saying they found most of the tunnels already. they're going to rack up this operation in about two days. so if that really is the case, if there are no more tunnels to be found, and israel simply walked away, well, hamas may not have anything to show for the past 25 days. so they may be thinking let's head into negotiations. maybe we can get something out of this. maybe we can get something to show for more than 1400 dead palestinians, thousands of homes destroyed. and also, don, it's a pretty grim humanitarian situation here right now.
about a quarter of the gaza strip have been -- the people who live here rather, a quarter of the population, they've been displaced from their homes. 200,000 now living in u.n. shelters. another 250,000 living with relatives or friends. maybe on the street or particular, there is no electricity here and supplies are running low. maybe that's part of the calculation by hamas, maybe not. don? >> thus the need, as you said, for this ceasefire. so that they can get humanitarian aid in there. thank you very much, john vause, stand by. we'll get back to you if there is breaking newsy you are. we'll get to where cnn's martin savidge is. we heard pretty quickly from hamas that they had signed on to the agreement. it took the israelis a bit more time to come out and publicly come out and accept this deal. why the delay? >> probably because israel was wanting to see if hamas was going to go forward and sign on to the deal. i think that the israelis would maintain that they have been down this road about five or six times previously with talk of a ceasefire.
and that each time the israelis say it is hamas has not agreed to it or hamas has violated the agreement. hamas would of course see things differently. i'm sure that the delay was in part. they just want to make sure hamas was going to sign on this time. and also israel probably wanted to go through and mike sure that its criteria were met, number one, that its troops could remain in gaza, and number two, that it could continue to destroy the hamas tunnels that have been discovered so far, don. >> so the question, will this ceasefire do anything to stop israel's stated goal here of destroying hamas' tunnels into israel? it won't. that's what they want. that's the end game for them, correct? >> correct, yeah. israel has maintained that ceasefire or not, they will go ahead and destroy those tunnels they know. now defensively, under the terms apparently, israel could destroy the tunnels it has found. i think the question for many in the israeli population might be, well have, you found all the tunnels? because these tunnels really have been a surprise as far as
the number of them and the size of them and the construction of them. and it now has sort of trumped the concern over rockets coming out of gaza. so i think many israelis want to be certain that after this operation is completed, whether it's stopped by a ceasefire or stopped by something else, that the tunnels are done away with. that's priority number one. >> martin savidge watching the story for news jerusalem tonight, thank you very much, martin. here at home, new reaction from the white house tonight. michelle kosinski standing by. it took the white house a few hours to issue a statement on this. why did it take so long? >> hi, don. right, it seems at first they wanted to let secretary of state john kerry have the floor on this, let him announce the news, alongside the u.n. secretary general. let that stand for a while. especially since there has been some criticism of kerry's leadership within israel. but of course this is such a delicate situation. i mean, the prior ceasefires either haven't been accepted by both sides or didn't last very
long. it seemed pretty clear that the white house wanted to give it a minute, let it sink, in and then carefully craft a very diplomatic statement. so what they ended up saying was the u.s. strongly supports this ceasefire. they see a permanent ceasefire as the only sustainable way forward. they urge both sides to start negotiations in cairo. and said that the u.s. stands ready to support a successful outcome. also, a senior administration official told us that the president has been involved in this, that he has been advising kerry, as well as talking to the israeli prime minister throughout this process, don. >> so, michelle, it's interesting that the white house statement, unless i'm wrong, includes no mention of hamas, one of the two key parties here. but also a group of the u.s. has designated a terror organization. why no mention? >> well, you might look at this as a very sort of clean, crisp statement. and some of the criticism of kerry within israel that came out in the press and among some officials was that he was being
too accommodating of hamas. so how clear it is that this is a sensitive situation. the negotiations have been very difficult. so the white house didn't want to stoke any fires. it wanted to put out this just very simple statement. what they are saying, though, earlier, they didn't mince words earlier in the day. it was the press secretary who first criticized israel in the strongest words we've heard since this conflict, calling it totally unacceptable and totally indefensible that they had ended up shelling a u.n. school. but they also had words for hamas, saying that unlike israel, they do not take pains to protect civilians. don? >> michelle kosinski, we'll be watching this for us this evening at the white house. thank you, michelle. joining me now, peter beinart the author of the crisis of zionism and thank you, gentlemen, for joining us. peter, the question as i mentioned to michelle, they never mentioned hamas in the white house statement.
u.s. and israel have deemed them a terrorist organization. the two sides won't talk to each other. can anything be accomplish heard? will the negotiations work? >> it seems like it's going to be difficult. hamas, and not just hamas, but almost all palestinians want some relief from the blockade that has destroyed the economy in gaza and produced a tremendous amount of suffering. israel wants the demilitarization of gaza because they want to make sure there are no more rockets and tunnels. maybe between the two goals there some kind of deal. but the question is who would carry out the demilitarization? i think the only answer can be a palestinian unity government that brings mahmoud abbas back into gaza and allows for elections that are legitimate among all the palestinians, including in gaza. >> what do you say to that, alan dershowitz? >> well, elections are wonderful if they produce the right results. but the last time there was a palestinian wide election, hamas won. and then pulled off a coup d'etat and killed the other palestinians.
i want to congratulate john kerry pulling off this deal, even if it's temporary. and i think it also vindicates israel's turning down the initial qatari deal because israel got a better deal now. they can continue to destroy the tunnels which pose enormous threats to israel. i agree with peter about one thing. i do think this would be a very good time for israel to sit down with the palestinian authority and try to renew negotiations about a two-state solution. they have weakened hamas. they have, i think abbas has strengthened himself by playing a role here. this may be a good time to move to a two-state solution. >> alan? >> if we can end the blockade that brings in food, but maintain a blockade that prevents rockets and cement from coming in, it's a win-win. kirks i ask you quickly, does this effectively mean negotiating with terrorists, though? is it a necessary evil? >> well, i think it may be a necessary evil. israel should not negotiate nor should the united states negotiate. in fact, it's against the law to
negotiate with a designated terrorist group. but we can negotiate with the palestinian government that has in it some that may help us move toward piece. >> okay. peter? >> what this really shows is a desperate need for a union representing all the palestinians which precisely what the israeli government has been militantly opposed to since the deal was created at the beginning of june, even though that palestinian unity government backed by hamas accepted israel's right to exist. if you want to have a legitimate palestinian partner to negotiate with, who controls both west bank and gaza, that palestinian leader has to have the democratic legitimacy of his people, just like an israeli government does. i know alan is concerned that the party that israel wants to win may not win. but in fact once you have -- you have to take the risk of having
elections so you can have a legitimate palestinian leadership. you can certainly respond if people attack you. but israel needs to try to help create a legitimate palestinian leadership. >> can i jump in here? one of our reporters on the ground is saying that hamas is painting this as a war to win all wars. the final showdown with israel. so can a ceasefire truly hold? can anything be accomplished if one side is painting it that way, a war to end all cars? >> i think ultimately this is bigger than just hamas. the question is can there be the emergence of a legitimate palestinian leadership that can talk to all the palestinian people and that israel can negotiate a serious deal with? with hamas, no. but with most palestinians still want a two-state solution. and i believe that a democratic electoral process among the palestinians stands a better chance of producing a leadership that can make a deal and stick with it than what we have now which is a fragmentation. >> speaking of chances, alan, do you think that there is a chance
that this can hold, or it is just giving each side time to refresh before republicaning the fighting again? >> no, i think there is a chance it can hold. if israel can destroy all the tunnels and can degrade the ability to send rockets, it can hold. where i disagree with peter is he has a simplistic view of democracy. democracy is not just voting one day and oppressing your opponents the next day, which is what happened in egypt. it's what happened in gaza. a real democracy requires that the election be won by people who are prepared to afford rights to those on both sides of the election. and peter trusts hamas. i do not. the united states government does not. we made a mistake having an election last time. egypt made a mistake. and i think that it's very important that israel negotiate with the palestinian authority if they want to -- >> let him get in here, alan. >> okay. >> egypt did not make a mistake
in having that election. the mistake was of us not being tougher on the coup. in fact, when the coup that was launched against in gaza was launched at america's behest against the hamas after hamas won an election. an election that could have led to a just the kind of national unity government that we have today, a government that empowers mahmoud abbas to negotiate on behalf of the palestinian people. and then the palestinians have a referendum afterwards on that deal. >> quickly. >> that's what israel will do and that's what the palestinians should be able to do. >> i'm up against the break, guys. that's going to have to be the last word now. i appreciate it. we're standing by because we're just hours away from a temporary ceasefire in the middle east. we have new information about the terms of the agreement yet. plus, israel's complicated relationship with the united states. is the u.n. taking sides in this conflict? and two americans with ebola headed back to the u.s. tonight. we have an update on their condition. we'll be right back. [ man ] cortana, when my wife calls
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breaking news. a temporary ceasefire in the middle east in less than two hours, israel and hamas will -- will they lay down their arms and stop firing rockets for the next 72 hours, giving people in gaza time to get more food and water? we'll see and care for the injured and bury the dead. so we're checking on that, and we're watching that for you very closely. meantime, i need to tell you that secretary of state john kerry is calling this a lull of opportunity to address ways to find a sustainable ceasefire.
listen. >> while we are grateful that the violence and the bloodshed has the opportunity to stop for more than 24 hours, it is up to the parties, all of them, to take advantage of this moment. there are no guarantees. this is a difficult, complicated issue, years and years in the building. and i think everyone knows it has not been easy to get to this point. >> the question is will the truce be productive? our global affairs correspondent is elise labott, and she joins us now. elise, i understand you have some new information about this these negotiations and how they will proceed. >> don, as you know, in the next 48 hours or so, the palestinian and israeli delegations will be coming to cairo for longer negotiations on a more durable ceasefire. those negotiations on the palestinian side will not led by
hamas. hamas will be part of the delegation. but that delegation will be led by a group of palestinian officials appointed by president abbas. and that's really important because the israelis and palestinians will not be sitting -- hamas will not be sitting at the table with israelis. and this is, as peter was saying, kind of an effort to empower president abbas in terms of hopefully eventually taking over security control in gaza. and egyptian officials are telling me, don, is that egypt is not going to guarantee this ceasefire as they did in 2012. they really want to put the responsibility on the parties to come and show their commitment to trying to find some durable solution. they say that they'll facilitate. they'll offer solutions. but it's really up to the parties to show some credibility here, don. now, what i'm told is this is kind of a lot of jawboning over the last 48 hours. secretary kerry really putting a lot of pressure on prime minister netanyahu to accept this ceasefire.
and qatar also played a very key role in terms of the amir of qatar and the foreign minister putting pressure on hamas lead khaled meshaal saying listen, you do not have a choice. you need to accept the ceasefire. qatar really one of the only friends of hamas right now. >> i want to bring back peter beinart, the author of the crisis of zionism and alan dershowitz, the case for israel. he joins me by skype. there has been a lot of criticism of the secretary of state, john kerry. you and i talked about this earlier. u.s. secretary of state john kerry ruined everything. very senior officials in jerusalem describe the proposal that kerry put on the table as a strategic terrorist attack. flow is this joint agreement between ban ki-moon and secretary kerry. has he redeemed himself? >> i don't think he had anything to redeem himself from. the truth is that actually the difference between the first ceasefire israel agreed to and hamas didn't, and then the one that kerry was floating was actually not ultimately very significant. john kerry deserves a lot of
credit for trying to negotiate a two-state solution earlier this year, which is the only long-term solution to this problem. unfortunately, y have a weakened fractured palestinian leadership and you have a strong israeli prime minister who has been very unwilling to talk seriously about a palestinian state near the 67 lines. that kerry couldn't do anything than. >> alan, you complimented the secretary of state earlier. has he redeemed himself? did he need to be redeemed? >> i think he needed to be redeemed. i think the qatarian offer was much different than this one. the israelis agreed it was much different than this one. this one permits the tunnels to continue to be destroyed. look, hamas really has a choice. everybody wants to see hamas get humanitarian achlid. everyone wants to see hamas flourish the way israel wanted to see it flourish in 2005. but israt can have a choice. it can have the rockets and
tunnels, or the blockade. it can't end the blockade and still continue to import rockets and still use the concrete it's going get from the end of the blockade to build more tunnels. that just will not be allowed to happen. it makes all the sense in the world for the blockade to end and for hamas to be disarmed from rockets in their tunnels. >> and elise, as our global affairs correspondent in washington and beyond, was there a feeling that the secretary of state may have botched this initially? is this redemption? >> well, i think that if you talk to administration officials, don, they are really kind of outraged at the criticism of secretary kerry. i mean, occasionally he may be accused of not being the most artful diplomat from time to time. but certainly he has been working his tail off for the last year or so, trying to get a deal between israelis and palestinians. and i think the suggestion by some israeli officials in the media that secretary kerry did not have israel's best interests at heart, that secretary kerry
was a terrorist, that he was a friend of hamas, i think they felt that look, israel doesn't have a loft friends in world. the united states and john kerry in particular is really one of the only friends that they have left. and why bite the hand that feeds you. and what secretary is hoping right now is that this small ceasefire that he helped negotiate can be extended for another 72 hours, for another 72 hours, as these negotiations start, as the parties start to build some trust, as there is some reconstruction in gaza and the humanitarian situation ease as little bit. they're hoping down the line. obviously can't do it right now, but that those negotiations on a more durable ceasefire and a lasting peace can continue. >> alan, a quick response. i want to ask about something else. go ahead. >> we all have hope for that. i think there is a real possibility it can happen. look, the criticism of john kerry, israel is a democracy. and newspapers say what they want to say. the prime minister, the ambassador, all praised john
kerry. i have praised john kerry. i've known him for years. he is trying like heck to do this. everybody can make a mistake. but america supports israel. americans support israel. and john kerry supports israel. >> quickly, elise. >> alan, it is true that israel obviously is a democracy and has a free press. but these were leaks that were coming from israeli officials. and the administration felt that this was a message that was put out by the israeli government that the united states did not have israel's best interests at heart. and given all the support that the u.s. has given israel over the years, i think they just took a lot of offense to that. >> peter, the secretary has said that he is trying to build some momentum, some good will on each side. but the israelis have insisted that they want complete demilitarization of gaza. is this a non-starter for gaza, a non-starter for palestinians? >> i would be thrilled to see gaza demilitarized. the question is who is going to do it? israel is not going to go house
to house throughout the gaza strip and demilitarize it. is the u.n. going to do it? you cannot ultimately separate the military problem, which is these weapons, from the political problem. the political problem is palestinians need to be able to choose their leaders and if you want to have mahmoud abbas come in to be in charge of the gaza strip, which would be great, you need to give him and fatah the legitimacy that comes from the will of the palestinian people. that you can'tstop solve without also dealing with the political problem. >> peter, alan, elise, thank you. sorry, alan. we have to move on. we'll have you back. up next, breaking news. we're just hours away from a temporary ceasefire in the middle east. will both sides actually honor it this time? we're live near the israeli-gaza border tonight. and two americans infected with ebola en route to the u.s. now. it will be the first time a person infected with ebola will be on american soil.
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it is 6:30 a.m. in the middle east, where a ceasefire between israel and hamas is now just 90 minutes away. yet tonight a constant barrage of artillery can still be heard coming from the eastern part of gaza city. the humanitarian truce is set to last 72 hours. during that time, forces on the ground will stay in place, and people in gaza will have time to get more food and water and care for the injured and to bury the dead. while the truce is under way, both parties are expected to meet in cairo to try to hammer out a more permanent ceasefire. let's go to sara sidner now live for us near the gazaly-israeli border. five more soldiers were killed today. that brings the number of israeli soldiers killed to 61. what is the situation like tonight? >> well, what we have been listening to just a few seconds ago before you came to us live is the sound of artillery fire from the navy shooting from israel into gaza.
we heard those deep baritone booms that we've been hearing time and time again there was a lull for a couple hours, don. but that sound starting up again. but it has not yet hit that bewitching hour, the time when this ceasefire is supposed to happen. there was plenty of action before the ceasefire for sure today. in gaza, another terribly deadly day. more than 80 people killed within 24 hours, officials there say. on the israeli side of the border, more than 100 rockets fired towards it. the military says this is the latest video showing gaza militants doing the firing. caught on cctv and posted on youtube, the result of a rocket landing in israel. two cars blown out. and then you'll see the damage from a grad rocket, according to police, slamming into part of this house. you can see all the shrapnel into the wall there. huge pockmarks there. we know at least one person has been injured here.
we are about 20 miles from gaza. israel announcing it's calling up an additional 16,000 troops for the war effort. israeli prime minister telling his people to prepare for a prolonged offensive. >> translator: we've neutralized dozens of terror tunnels, and we're determined to complete that mission with or without a ceasefire. >> occupation no more! >> reporter: but international criticism of israel's military action in gaza is growing ever louder. the idf says it returned fire after being fired upon from the vicinity of a u.n. school and are investigating. but the u.n. and u.s. said israel did indeed hit another school turned sanctuary. the white house calling it unacceptable and indefensible. the united nations calling it shameful. >> over 103 u.n. facilities have come under attack, including an unruh school hosting over 3,300 displaced yesterday. 19 people were killed and over
100 injured. the reality of gaza today is that no place is safe. >> reporter: the palestinian authority accusing israel of committing war crimes. israel recoiling, saying it does not target civilians, and hamas is partly to blame for storing rockets in schools. the u.n. condemning hamas too, but pointing out those schools were empty. meantime, the two sides continue to bury the dead. israel burying more soldiers. gaza faced with burying more people than the last major ground offensive in 2008. and you heard there israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu saying ceasefire or no ceasefire, that the operation would continue when it comes to the tunnels. those would still be hit. did he get his way? he did. that was agreed upon that is part of the ceasefire that actually has firing on those tunnels alone. we'll have to see how this works out.
the longest ceasefire has lasted over these three week offenses has been 12 hours. don? >> sara sidner on the israeli-gaza border. thank you, sara. appreciate it. tonight's announcement of a temporary ceasefire follows the strongest u.n. condemnation since the conflict began. saying the attacks against homes, schools and hospitals do not, quote, appear to be accidental. even the u.s. has warned israel to do more to protect civilians. but is that possible considering the types of weapons the israelis are using? joining me now is cnn military analyst colonel rick francona. you hear sara at the border saying she is hearing artillery rounds. is this even going to happen? >> i think so. i think everybody is trying to get their last licks in before the actual time. >> okay. >> they want to get the maximum damage, and then they're going go into this period of lull. >> okay. so karl penhaul is reporting that he believes that israelis are using some area weapons aimed at inflicting mass
casualties on the enemy forces. were those weapons intended for urban populations, for urban areas? >> no, but you go with the weapons you have. the israeli defense forces equipped to fight conventional war. they're not really designed to fight in this urban environment. this is a very difficult place to fight. so where as you have the aircraft, they're dropping precision weapons on a plan. they know where they're going to strike when they go up. they also have aircraft circling around for targets of opportunity directed by the drones. but they're all guided. the drones can see what they're firing at. they know what the area looks like. what we're talking about here is with the schools and the marketplace, these are israeli ground troops mixing it up with the palestinians with hamas. and as they're fired on, the rules of engagement allow them to fire back, especially when they're taking mortar rounds. they have counter battery radar. they know where the rounds are coming from. they send the rounds right back out. if they don't fire them right away, they miss the target. >> but even in dense areas? >> that's a problem.
we talked about the density of the population there. any time you fire a weapon in gaza, you're probably going to inflict civilian casualties. >> the pentagon is resupplying israel with more ammunition, right? and i'm sure they will be doing it during this temporary ceasefire. so what types of weapons should the u.s. be supplying israel so that they are not hitting urban areas and urban dense populations and shelters and schools? >> if we were going to restrict what the israelis were trying to do, we would tell them what kind of weapons they can use. and the israelis probably, one, wouldn't accept that and they produce a lot of their own, and they buy a lot of their own. so what they're asking us to replenish the stocks of what is running low. and that would be their tank rounds and some of their mortar rounds. >> can we talk about pakistan and yemen now? human rights are saying that the u.s. drone strikes in pakistan and yemen have killed dozens of civilians there. is there any weapon out there that can accurately pinpoint an enemy? >> well, you know, a weapon is only as good as the people
guiding it. and a weapon has a certain lethality to it. when you fire into a car, you're going to take out more than the car. you're going take out something like 100 meters. the united states has developed a smaller weapon that we use in urban combat. well developed this for iraq where you can drop an area weapon that destroys a house rather than a city block. i don't know if the israelis have that technology. but that's certainly something we could be using in gaza. >> so you think this is going to happen? >> i think hamas has been beaten up pretty badly, and they don't hold very many cards right now. that's the only reason they're agreeing to this. the israelis feel that they have achieved much of their objective. and the fact that the israelis are allowed to still go after these tunnels during a truce tells me that hamas is really under the gun. >> and the palestinian people need that humanitarian aid. >> oh, absolutely. >> all right. thank you. appreciate it. stand by, colonel rick francon.
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just before the ceasefire was announced, the united nations had strong words for israel, with a top official telling reporters that the attacks against homes, schools and hospitals do not, quote, appear to be accidental. here is cnn's richard roth with the complicated relationship between israel and the u.n. ♪ >> reporter: this pro israel demonstration in the shadow of the united nations where because of gaza, the distance now between israel and the u.n. has grown even wider among these frequent foes. so far in this conflict, several u.n. schools in gaza sheltering palestinians have been attacked. >> the precise location and coordinates of were conveyed on 17 occasions to the israeli
military. >> reporter: israel insists it's responding to outgoing hamas rocket launches near u.n. buildings. even the u.n.'s usually mild mannered top diplomat seems to have lost patience with israel. >> all available evidence points to israeli artillery as the cause. nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children. >> reporter: as gaza burns, each day a different u.n. agency all but accuses israel of everything from war crimes to lying. it's the latest chapter in a chilly decades-long relationship that is tested every time israel feels it must defend itself. >> many of us have seen israel treated by one standard and every other nation of the world treated by another. >> reporter: the numbers don't favor israel. a large majority of u.n. countries support the palestinians on geopolitical and religious grounds, and security council mid east meetings can feature a marathon of 50 or more speeches aimed at one side only.
>> israel's continued violation of international law -- >> israel has an obligation to respect the requirements under humanitarian law. >> reporter: there have been extremely rare moments at the u.n. when israeli and palestinian diplomats personally connected. not now. >> we heard the presidential statement right now from the security council that miraculously managed not to mention hamas or rockets or israel's right to defend its citizens. >> reporter: there is another reason why some in israel and its supporters here feel the u.n. is biased. >> the u.n. is becoming more anti-israeli, anti-semitic. >> reporter: the charge of anti-semitism is always rooted in a 1975 moment in u.n. history. a general assembly declaration that equated zionism with racism. >> no more than a piece of paper. and we shall treat it as such. >> reporter: the u.n. represents the world. a former u.s. diplomat once said when it comes to the u.n. and israel, you can't blame the institution when its members are the ones who set the tone.
richard roth, cnn, united nations. >> thank you, richard. up next, breaking news. two americans infected with the ebola virus will soon be airlifted out of liberia. they could soon be heading back to the u.s. it is the first time offer person with ebola will be on american soil. they keep us entertained. they keep us inspired. they keep us hopeful, and happy. keep them safe. the eight-passenger chevrolet traverse, with the highest possible overall vehicle score for safety.
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new unisom liquid. a stressful day deserves a restful night. more breaking news tonight. an effort is under way to bring the americans infected by the ebola virus back here to the united states. just a short while ago, this charter plane flew out of atlanta, headed to airlift the patients from liberia. two americans are fighting for their lives after traditional methods failed to help nancy writebol. she was given an experimental serum, while dr. ken brantly received a blood transfusion. at least one of the patients will be transported to emory university hospital. and joining me now is dr. charles. thank you, doctor, for joining us this evening. >> thank you, it's a pleasure. >> people are concerned. how concerned should they be about these patients copping back here to the united states? obviously for fear that they may transmit it to the larger population? >> these two patients are health
care workers who are infected patients. but the risk of secondary transmission, for them to actually infect other health care workers here in the united states or other people in the united states, the risk is very, very low. and that's primarily because our infection control measures that we have in place at really every hospital will help prevent and will likely prevent any secondary cases of transmission of ebola. >> and then when you hear ebola, people think about, you know, the movie where the ebola spreads quickly, and it goes from person to person, and no one knows it. in reality, though, what is the reality i should say? >> in reality, this is a very -- this is a very severe illness, and it is a disease for which there is no drug, there is no effective drug oravax. it does present similar to many other viral illnesses beginning with an influenza like illness, fever, headache, muscle aches. it then develops into abdominal pain. and probably the most severe manifestation is bleeding. you can see both internal and
external bleeding from the disease. that's usually the blood loss and the fluid loss results in organ failure, which is how most patients actually succumb to the disease. >> i was thinking about the movie "outbreak." i'm sure you remember that. the question is why bring them back here for treatment? >> well, i think an argument could be made that to leave them in west africa -- i think that part of the reason why they should come here is that they can really get the best supportive care. and really, the mainstay of treatment for this disease is supportive care. being able to provide fluids. being able to provide oxygenation support. being able to provide secondary antibiotics to prevent secondary infections. so really, they can get the best care. and they really would have the best chance here if they're transported back to the united states, the best chance of surviving. >> listen, do hospitals have to ramp up their facilities or prepare for this, or are they already prepared? i understand at least one of
these patients is going to go to emory university hospital in atlanta. will they be in isolation? what kind of precautions do the hospitals have to take? >> absolutely. these hospitals are taking extraordinary precautions to prevent secondary transmission or preventing these cases or these patients from infecting others. and in particular, emory hospital has a separate -- it's actually a separate wing. it's a apart from the main hospital. so there is a separate isolation room that would be able to house these patients. and all measures would be taken to prevent secondary transmission. >> okay, thank you very much, dr. charles chui. i'm sure we'll see you in the coming days. appreciate your expertise. the trip back here to the u.s. won't be easy. the patients need to be well enough to survive the trip. and precautions need to be taken to protect the crew traveling with them. our tom foreman is taking a closer look at their journey. tom, it is really possible to
move someone who is so sick all the way across an ocean for care? >> don, it is possible to transport somebody with the ebola virus. but as we learn from the experts at tulane university's university of tropical medicine, there is always big risk involved in this. this is how that might be mitigated, by using a special aircraft with special equipment to keep the contagion away from people. let's look at this in a little more detail. essentially, what you're talking about is an aircraft with a room built inside of it. and that room is completely covered and sealed in plastic. now, the air pressure is negative in here. what that means is it's higher outside than inside. so if there is any rip, the air will flow in. nothing will flow out. this is not an airborne disease. so that really shouldn't matter. but it is standard protocol in these sorts of environments. that's the first layer of protection. let's take the plastic down and talk about what is going on inside. likely you have a doctor, a nurse, maybe an anesthesiologist. maybe an infectious diseases
specialist. they're all wearing protective gear. so that's the second layer of protection. and you have the patient. and he is covered with the third layer of protection. another plastic container. in here they will monitor his pulse. they will monitor his breathing. they will monitor what is going on with his temperature. all the things you would expect on an ambulance. but here is a big difference. if they need to treat him in any way, shape or form, they have to reach in with special gloves built in here and do it just sort of remotely. they can't ilie get up on the patient that way. even if he gets into trouble and starts vomiting or bleeding very badly, which can happen with ebola, they must doh deal with it that way and contain the waste inside this chamber. this is important. because as important as it is to try to save the life of somebody who is suffering from this disease, it's also very important to keep it away from everybody else simply because it can be so, so deadly. don? >> tom foreman, thank you very much. those two patients obviously on their way back here to the
united states. we will be tracking their progress all along the way here on cnn. those patients are being taken to emory hospital in atlanta where dr. sanjay gupta is on the staff. he'll will covering that for you on cnn. it's an unbelievable situation. you know, it's almost 7:00 a.m. in the middle east where a ceasefire between israel and hamas now just about an hour away. yet tonight a constant barrage of artillery can still be heard coming from the eastern part of gaza city. the humanitarian truce set to last for about 72 hours hopefully. during that time, forces on the ground will stay in place. and people in gaza will have time to get food and water to care for the injured and to bury the dead. so we will be watching all of that for you. make sure you stay tuned to cnn throughout the evening and throughout the day here. well will have constant coverage for you. i'm don lemon. thanks for watching. good night.
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