Return to Transcripts main page


Israel, Hamas Double Down on Conflict; American Ebola Patient Enters U.S. Hospital; U.S. Spy Plane Evades Russian Military Jet

Aired August 3, 2014 - 08:00   ET


CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: All righty. We are back and it is so good to have you. I'm Christi Paul.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Miguel Marquez, in for Victor Blackwell. It is 8:00. This is NEW DAY SUNDAY.

Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world.

PAUL: We are glad to have you with us.

We do begin with you today regarding the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

MARQUEZ: And new this morning, an attack near a U.N.-run shelter has led to more deaths. According to Gaza officials, 10 people were killed when shells struck within the vicinity of the shelter. It is unclear which side may to be blame.

PAUL: Meanwhile, though, the Israeli military now says Hadar Goldin, the soldier reportedly captured by and killed, we should say, by Hamas, was not, in fact, kidnapped -- rather, killed during a blast by a suicide bomber in a Gaza tunnel. Now, Hamas counters that claim, saying it believes Goldin died in an Israeli air strike.

MARQUEZ: And the death toll continues to rise for both sides. Israel says 64 IDF soldiers have now been killed, along with three civilians. While Gaza officials claim the death toll has now topped 1,700.

PAUL: And after nearly a month of fighting at this point, neither side is showing any signs of backing down. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will continue its mission to destroy those Hamas tunnels no matter how long it takes.

MARQUEZ: Meanwhile, the leader of Hamas tells CNN that Israel's actions show that the cease-fire had no meaning and that Palestinians have the right to defend themselves.

CNN's John Vause is in Gaza City, trying to make sense of it all for us -- John.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Miguel, the longer this goes on, the more it seems positions harden on both sides. Now, Hamas continues to fire those rockets from Gaza into Israel,

13 we're told at least in the last 13 hours, averaging one an hour, still despite the massive Israeli military operation which we did hear from the Israeli prime minister on Saturday night that it is entering a new phase, some of the tanks and troops are redeploying closer to the border, an indication that maybe they're very close to finishing, finding and destroying what they know of the Hamas tunnel network that was essentially the object of the ground operation that we saw over the last week or so.

Despite this new phase, the Israeli artillery and tank fire continues. A number of targets have been hit in Gaza City, including a market in the last couple of hours, but there also seems to be intense fighting in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, in particular around the town of Rafah. That's been going on ever since this cease- fire unraveled on Friday. Palestinian officials say more than 100 people died there on Friday, more than 100 people died there on Saturday and now, we're getting word that a U.N. school, which is being used as a shelter has actually been hit by some kind of explosive.

The U.N. is not saying what it was, where it came from, who was responsible. All they're saying it there has, in fact, been multiple fatalities there. The number of deaths that we're getting is coming from Palestinian officials. They say at least ten people have died there. We were down there in Rafah on Friday, and people go to these schools because that is where they think they will be safe.

Now, this was meant to be the third day of the cease-fire which never really happened, and during those three days, the Israelis and the Palestinians from Hamas were meant to be negotiating, trying to find some kind of way out of this war but those negotiations are still under way, even though the Israelis are not turning up.

Reza Sayah is live for us in Cairo this morning.

So, Reza, without the Israelis there, without anyone from Gaza there, exactly what do they hope to achieve?

REZA SAYAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, if you're a pessimist, you might say without the Israelis here, this not a scenario with which you can have a true, significant face-to-face negotiations. If you're an optimist, you might say this presents an opportunity for indirect talks, indirect negotiations, and there are growing signs that perhaps that is a possibility, where you have the Palestinians here in Cairo, communicating with Egyptian government official, communicating their demands, their conditions for a possible cease-fire, and then you have Egyptian government officials conveying that message to the Israelis.

We cannot confirm that that is indeed a scenario that we can expect. However, we can confirm that the Palestinians have sent two important delegations to Cairo, the first delegations arrived last night to Cairo, representing the Fatah movement, and also including representatives of Palestinian intelligence agencies. They came via Jordan, and then this morning, according to state media, representatives of Hamas, a seven-member delegation arriving here to Cairo.

So, the Palestinians are not here -- the Israelis -- are here; the Israelis are not. Still, some hope you can have indirect negotiations with the Palestinians here, John.

VAUSE: Well, as they say, it's always darkest before dawn. So, maybe, maybe there could be reason for optimism, I guess we will wait and see.

Reza, thank you.

So, as these negotiations go on, I guess in Cairo, without the Israelis, the fighting continues here, Miguel and Christi, and it does continue, we've seen a number of artillery rounds being fired into Gaza City, there was a large explosion with a fire just a short time ago.

PAUL: All right. John Vause and Reza Sayah, we appreciate both of you. Thank you so very much. And do stay safe.

And back in the U.S., in Texas specifically, the governor there, Rick Perry, isn't just slamming Congress on the border issue. He's speaking out now and urging, quote, vigorous support for Israel in this conflict.

MARQUEZ: And so, it happens that our Candy Crowley has -- about to bring us an exclusive interview with the governor.

Candy, great get. What you got?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN HOST, STATE OF THE UNION: Well, we are intrigued, because as you may know, Rick Perry looks very much like he's going to run for president the second time around and he has taken of late to criticizing the president's policy or more attitude toward Israel. He's referred to it as calculated ambivalence, and says the U.S. needs to be much stronger on the side of Israel. I asked him exactly what that means, what he thinks the president is doing wrong. But I'm also going to ask him about his presidential ambitions as well.

PAUL: What else do you have in the next hour for us, Candy?

CROWLEY: One of the big stories this week, you know, with he had a lot to choose from, had to do with the CIA admitting what the director said it would never do, and that is that the CIA spied on staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee. It's a huge story, and there are a couple people, Republicans and Democrats, on Capitol Hill, calling for the removal of CIA Director John Brennan.

So, today, we have on Angus King. He's on the Senate Intelligence Committee and Chairman Mike Rogers, who is on the House Intelligence Committee to sort of bat that around.

PAUL: All right. Excellent. Candy, thank you so much.

CROWLEY: Thanks, guys. PAUL: Don't forget to stick around for her exclusive interview

with Texas Governor Rick Perry at 9:00 a.m. Eastern, only here on CNN.

MARQUEZ: And doctors are now treating the first known case of Ebola on American soil. We have some of the first pictures of the American doctor, Kent Brantly, as he begins the fight of his life against this deadly virus.

Plus, imagine a U.S. spy plane playing an aerial game of chicken let's say with a Russian jet. I know it sounds like a movie plot but guess what? It's not. We're going to tell you what happened.


PAUL: Eleven minutes past the hour.

And an American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola virus is fighting this morning for his life back home on U.S. soil.

MARQUEZ: Dr. Kent Brantly becomes the first known Ebola patient to ever be treated in the states for the infectious virus.

PAUL: Brantley who contracted the virus while treating patients in Liberia landed in Georgia yesterday, and upon doing so the 33-year- old was then rushed to Emory Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.

MARQUEZ: It was more security than a presidential motorcade. This video is absolutely amazing.

PAUL: And nobody knew, nobody would have thought.

MARQUEZ: They would have suspected he'd be on a gurney or bed or stretcher, instead there he is ambling gingerly out of that ambulance. He was walked into the facility and placed into an isolation chamber upon arrival. Amazing.

PAUL: We understand his wife was actually watching this on CNN as well and she was there, visited him for about 45 minutes. The couple was separated though by a glass wall but Brantly's described as being in great spirits.

MARQUEZ: He must be a tough guy.

Meanwhile, the same plane that carried Brantly to the states is flying back to Liberia to pick up fellow missionary Nancy Writebol. She also tested positive for the virus.

Now to another story we are following today, the U.S. Air Force spy plane similar to the one here evaded an encounter with the Russian military a day after Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down.

PAUL: CNN's Erin McPike has been following this.

So, lot of people might look at it and think, what was it doing, first of all, in international air space? ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christi, frankly spying on

the Russians and President Obama says that we are not going back to the Cold War with Russia. But with episodes like this one, it does feel that way. So, this U.S. spy plane had to fly into Swedish air space without permission two weeks ago to avoid a potential clash with the Russians. Now, this was one day after the Malaysian airplane was shot down over eastern Ukraine, and it was a U.S. Air Force spy plane avoiding this encounter with the Russian military on July 18th.

Now, the plane was an RC-135 Rivet Joint. It was being used to eavesdrop on the Russian military, but then the Russians began tracking it with this land radar, and even sent one fighter jet to intercept it. So that's when the American plane flew into another zone without permission. So, the U.S. State Department official tells us, quote, "We acknowledge a U.S. aircraft veered into Swedish air space and will take active steps to ensure we have properly communicated with Swedish authorities in advance to prevent similar issues before they arise."

Now, there was a similar occurrence in April near Japan between the U.S. and Russia and in that case, there was a near collision, but in this case, the land radar detection the Russians used was rare and unusual. Russian authorities have not yet commented -- Christi and Miguel.

PAUL: All righty. Erin McPike, thank you so much.

MARQUEZ: Thanks.

The crisis in the Middle East is unfolding in a region, that's home to three of the world's major religions.

PAUL: We're going to talk with a Catholic priest and a rabbi about the religious groups of this deadly conflict.


MARQUEZ: Well, the conflict in the Middle East is highly charged to say the least, both politically and religiously.

PAUL: While it may be day 27 in the current conflict, today's battles actually stem from biblical times and just who can lay claim to the holy city of Jerusalem.

MARQUEZ: And to discuss all of this, let's bring in our guest, CNN religion commentator Father Edward Beck and rabbi Matthew Gewirtz.

Father Beck, give us a sense of why all sides believe so strongly and have these ties to the Holy Land.

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Well, Miguel, I think it's important to remember that these three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths all believe the same thing, it's one God, love of God and love of neighbor.

It's not like the three faiths worship three different Gods. And so, the promise of a homeland is for all people. There's not one people that gets to have the homeland.

The land doesn't belong to anybody, even biblically. We are stewards of the land. God is in possession of the land. So, it's up to us to figure out how to live peaceably together and it's seemingly we're doing a very poor job of that, but the notion that somehow we are different faiths warring with different gods is just erroneous.

PAUL: Rabbi Gewirtz, you know, we've seen political leaders try so desperately to broker peace here. Do you believe there should be some religious voices in those discussions as well?

RABBI MATTHEW GEWIRTZ, TEMPLE B'NAI JESHURUN: Yes, I this I that the religious voice has been missing from this debate. I think somewhat for the reason people are trying to figure out how the politicians can work this out. The media, of course, is courageously on the ground trying to follow all of this.

I think religious voices have been speaking within their own communities but not to each other, I think because all of this has caused great fear -- not just a normal fear, a fear that I would call an existential fear, one that paralyzes us and one that has us go and retreat to our own camps.

I can tell you that as a Jew, I stand foursquare by my homeland. I am fretting, I am fearful about what's going on there, and I can list a litany of things that are happening to my brothers and sisters who are there, bombs that people are nervous, missiles that are going to fall each day, children who hear voices under the ground, tunnels being built by terrorists.

But the bottom line is, we all know that from history, military operations end, but ideas don't end. Peace doesn't end. Coexistence doesn't end.

And the question is, can I hold my fears and hold their fears and somehow come together in dialogue to finally come to a place where we can co-exist, not with Hamas, who is a terrorist organization but the everyday Palestinian that I do believe somewhere, someplace wants peace.

MARQUEZ: Well, I mean, this is -this is part of the problem there, Rabbi, that the moderate Palestinians are going to be less possible now to find.

Father Beck, because of the ill will there, because this is the third round of violence many in the last seven years in Gaza, the pope has called for peace between all sides. Is there just too much ill will? I think most of us can't see a peaceful Middle East.

BECK: Miguel, I think we always have to hold on for the hope of peace. Recently when Pope Francis, as you know, was in that region and he stood at that wall which some call a security wall, some call a wall of apartheid. It is probably both. He lowered his head in prayer, and we know that he was praying that someday this wall might be able to come down. I think it was Robert Frost who wrote "maybe good fences make

good neighbors, but bad walls just create suspicion and anger and resentment." You cannot keep a people isolated, blockaded for that amount of time with such oppression and expect it to have any good result.

Now, the fault is on both sides, but the prayer is of all believing people is that we need to work it out peaceably because we all have a right to exist and coexistence peaceably is our only option.

PAUL: Rabbi Gewirtz, I know both of you lived in Israel. But can you give us, Rabbi, from your standpoint a sense of the tension and the conflict that you feel living there?

GEWIRTZ: There's always intensity and always tension, but I want to -- since I'm a rabbi and maybe idealistically optimistic, I want to tell you that there are times that you walk through the streets of Jerusalem and if you do it at the right time, you can hear a confluence of the call to prayer from the mosque, you can hear church bells ringing and you can hear literally the prayers of people crying in joy and in sadness at the wailing wall all at the same time. And just for a moment you could think to yourself, maybe we are meant all of us to live in peace together, maybe able to pray at the same time and to be able to have all of our hopes and dreams fulfilled at the same time.

So, yes, lots of tension but also lots of possibility. I still believe in my heart of hearts to be able to somehow live in peace under the same God, under the same roof.

PAUL: All right. Father Edward Beck and Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz, we so appreciate both of you being here. Thanks for taking the time for us.

GEWIRTZ: Good to be with you.

MARQUEZ: Now, as violence in the Middle East nears a boiling point, Israel and Hamas continue to blame each other for the breakdown of an attempted cease-fire.

PAUL: Yesterday, CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson sat down with the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, and asked him about the collapse of that 72-hour truce.


KHALED MESHAAL, LEADER OF HAMAS (through translator): A truce is a truce, but the presence of the Israeli forces inside Gaza and destroying the tunnels means it is an aggression, because they are inside the Gaza territories. Therefore, we told Mr. Kerry that the Palestinian resistance has the right to self-defense, and the right to deal with invading Israeli forces.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARQUEZ: Now, Meshaal said chances of a long time solution his

eyes are low, unless Israel meets some of the group's demands, including an end of the blockade of Gaza.

PAUL: You can watch that full interview with Nic with Khaled Meshaal later this morning. It's at 10:00 Eastern on "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

MARQUEZ: One suspect opens fire at a casino in Arizona.

PAUL: Several people we know were hurt. We're going to tell you what happened and how police were able to stop him.

JOHN KING, INSIDE POLITICS: Coming up on INSIDE POLITICS, House Speaker John Boehner's shiny new leadership team runs into the tea party and loses.

Also, higher math Washington style. Add a lawsuit against the president to talk of impeachment and what do you get? Big money.

We'll see you in a few minutes on "INSIDE POLITICS."


MARQUEZ: Police shot and killed a fire last night in a casino eastern Arizona. The unnamed suspect shot through the doors at the Hon-Dah Casino.

PAUL: At least four people were hurt, we know. One victim was shot in the hand, another in the abdomen and the motive is under investigation.

The Ohio National Guardsmen called in to help with the state's water crisis. Some 400,000 people across northwest Ohio are being warned not to use, drink, cook or boil any tap water. The advisories come after a dangerous toxin was discovered in a local water treatment plant. We know the Ohio EPA is warning it will not know if the water is safe until sometime this morning.

Good luck to all of you there.

And thank you all so much for watching us. Make some great memories today.

MARQUEZ: Thank you very much for tuning in.

"INSIDE POLITICS WITH JOHN KING", that starts now. Have a great Sunday.