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CONNECT THE WORLD
Israel-Gaza Conflict; Attack on Passenger Bus; Gaza Perspective; Iraq Crisis; Battling Ebola; Details on Bus Attack in Jerusalem; Surrogacy Dispute; Region Divided; Searching for a Solution; Hamas Leader Speaks Out; Crisis in Ukraine; World War I Centennial; Family Lost Four Sons in WWI
Aired August 4, 2014 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, HOST: The Middle East a tinder box. Hello everyone. Israel stops what it calls a terror attack in Jerusalem just as a fragile
one-sided cease-fire ends.
Also ahead, a top secret Ebola drug never tested on humans before apparently saved the life of an American who hours earlier told doctors "I
am going to die."
And paying tribute. A look at one family's extraordinary sacrifice in what was called the war to end all wars.
ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we CONNECT THE WORLD.
HOLMES: Welcome everyone, I'm Michael Holmes. A seven-hour cease- fire in Gaza now officially over. I want to show you the scene there a short time ago. During the humanitarian pause declared by Israel, many
Palestinians grabbing the chance to get some supplies, any supplies, and also check on their homes or what is left of them.
But Hamas says it never agreed to this truce. It accused Israel also of violating it shortly after it started. Israel has in fact just
confirmed it did carry out an airstrike on a refugee camp. Palestinian officials say that attack killed an eight-year-old girl. The IDF maintains
the strike didn't violate the cease-fire because it was, in their words, part of an ongoing operation.
Now, in Jerusalem, police investigating a deadly attack on a passenger bus. Officers say one pedestrian was killed when a man used an earth mover
to overturn the bus. The driver of the tractor was killed by police. We will have more from the Israeli side of the conflict in just a few minutes,
but first, let's go to our Martin Savidge, who is live for us in Gaza City.
And Marvin, a partial, unilateral cease-fire, alleged Israeli airstrike when Gazans ventured out today amid the broke infrastructure of
that strip. What did they find?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, yes. The cease-fire, as you say, would have officially come to an end about an
hour ago, although many people are still out on the streets now.
You can still hear a lot of traffic out on the streets, so it's clear that people feel that they're taking advantage of every last moment and
going beyond that to try to shop for any supplies they can find, also get money out of the bank, also get prescription medicines, things like that,
and clearly just enjoy what they get as a little bit of a sense of relief.
However, that said, it was not a total cease-fire. Israel was the one that said it declared the humanitarian cease-fire. Hamas and none of the
other militant groups said they were going to agree. That said, the level of violence did seem to be down, but it certainly wasn't a day without
There was said to be mortar fire that was fired in and around the area of the border. There was also said to be that Israeli strike, which came
at 10:02. In other words, two minutes after the cease-fire began.
You've already pointed out, Israel says that was not a violation. Hamas says it most definitely was a violation. And of course in that
strike, it was reported here by Palestinian medical officials that one child died, and there were a number of other people that were wounded in
But so far, it's been relatively quiet. I will tell you about an hour ago, there was a burst of gunfire outside of the bureau here. Now, we've
had just about everything else over the last couple of weeks, of course, explosions and rockets being fired, but this was the first time we've had
gunfire like that.
It was said to be a dispute between families. So even during a humanitarian cease-fire, the danger still exists on the streets of Gaza,
HOLMES: In the meantime, as we say, this was a partial and unilateral cease-fire, one that the Palestinians say was broken. But as I said, when
you look at Gaza now, and it is probably way too early to even get a full analysis of it, one imagines infrastructure there is completely destroyed.
You're talking water shortages, you're talking about sewage, you're talking about electricity. What is the situation on the street, there, for
SAVIDGE: Well, you go on and on and on. You're right. You could list everything from the number of homes that have been destroyed -- there
are some estimates about 10,000 of them. You talk about the damage to the infrastructure, that is the water filtration system, the sewage system, the
The main provider of electricity, at least in Gaza, that plant was damaged as a result of air strikes. And then there are the power lines
that run to Israel. Israel provides a lot of power, but those have been damaged.
So, you're right. The infrastructure here has been severely impacted, and that's not the sort of the thing that the moment that there is a
declared longterm cease-fire that suddenly switches back on again. There is a lot of money that's going to have to be invested, a lot of people that
will have to be housed.
The other fear there is now is that -- and people were about at work today going, looking for what they could retrieve from their homes, and
also many fear there are many more dead yet to be recovered. So, that is part of the grim work on top of the relief work that was taking place,
HOLMES: All right, Martin Savidge, there in Gaza. A place the UN said before all of this would be uninhabitable by 2020. Thanks, Marty,
good to see you.
All right. Well today's brief cease-fire, partial cease-fire anyway, gave Palestinians a bit of a break from the fighting, but what Gaza does
need, of course, is a longterm solution to his violence, attacking the causes and not the symptoms. We're going to look at the options coming up
a little later in the program.
Also later, Hamas says it has every right to defend itself against Israel, but who is supplying Hamas with weapons and money? Now, Nic
Robertson's going to have some answers for us.
Also, a live report on that attack on the bus we mentioned at the top of the program in Jerusalem. That's all still to come here on CONNECT THE
Iraq's largest hydro-electric dam right now in the hands of ISIS militants. They seized the Mosul Dam in the north of the country on Sunday
after a 24-hour battle with Kurdish forces. The Sunni-backed fighters have also taken control of several towns and oil fields near Iraq's Kurdistan
CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson has been monitoring those events for us, joins us live from Abu Dhabi with the
latest. It's hard to overstate the significance of this dam, Nic. They control the taps, they can control the water flow, and they could let it
all go, and that would be catastrophic.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Down the Tigris River Valley all the way to Baghdad is the assessment of just how
bad it could be. And of course, Mosul is just a few tens of kilometers further south, devastate parts of that city if a huge dam like that, the
biggest in Iraq, were to be burst open.
What this does allow ISIS to do is to consolidate, or is a part of its consolidation of control over northern Iraq, because no military force
seems able or willing to stand up to its advances. They will now control the electricity for Mosul, for many other parts of northern Iraq. That
gives them leverage over those communities and towns.
It is a consolidation. Sinjar in the north there, they've forced about 200,000 people out of that town over the weekend, mostly a minority,
the Yazidis. The UN calling this a humanitarian crime. Why does the secretary-general say that? Because these people were forced out by ISIS
over the threat of death if they didn't convert to their radical brand of Islam.
Now, we understand from the Peshmerga fighters who were defending that dam that they have, in fact, rushed in more fighters from other areas, that
the fighting has been tough, intense, and it continues.
But if we look at where the sort of the Kurdish autonomous region in Iraq really starts, it's not that dam. That dam is outside of that area.
They've been taking up protection of it since Iraqi forces were pushed out by ISIS or ran out in the front of ISIS a couple of months ago.
But now, even those Peshmerga forces pushed out. They haven't yet -- ISIS hasn't yet been able to sort of breach and get into that Kurdish
autonomous region, Michael, which would be a whole different ballgame.
HOLMES: Absolutely would. The Kurdish Peshmerga are a formidable fighting force, that would be a worry. Nic, thanks so much. Nic
All right, let's turn now to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the fight to contain it. Sierra Leone deploying hundreds of members of
the military to help health workers after the government ordered people to stay home. Infections on the rise in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Meanwhile, Reuters reporting international financial institutions are organizing funding for those countries. Details are going to be announced,
apparently, a little later this week.
Meanwhile, a top secret experimental drug was flown into Liberia last week in an effort to save two American missionaries who have Ebola. One of
them, a doctor, is now back in the United States. He is actually the first Ebola patient in the Western hemisphere.
Another American expected to arrive on Tuesday. She, too, will be treated at Emory University Hospital. That's in Atlanta, Georgia. Chief
medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is there. And Sanjay, obviously encouraging to hear that Dr. Brantly showing signs of improvement. Tell us
about this treatment and what, apparently by all accounts, was his remarkable response to it.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was a pretty extraordinary story, Michael. They flew this serum in. At that point,
there weren't many details about it. But it was flown into Liberia.
It's something that's kept at subzero temperatures, and the only instructions really were that it had to thaw out, and it had to thaw out
naturally without any heat, and then it could be given.
What unfolded next was kind of remarkable. Dr. Brantly first said that Ms. Writebol should be the first to have the medication. Dr. Brantly
is younger, though the had a better chance of recovery, so he offered up the medication to her first.
While it was thawing, Dr. Brantly himself had a deterioration in his condition, started to become quite sick. His breathing became difficult
and labored. He had a rash that is often associated with Ebola that was sort of coming up the trunk of his body.
And he himself, a doctor himself, thought he was going to die. He expressed that to the health care workers around him. They obtained the
medication from Ms. Writebol at that point. It was still just finishing being thawed, and they gave it to Dr. Brantly.
And within 20 minutes to an hour after that, Michael, he went from, again described as being very grave, almost going to die, to nearly a
complete reversal of his symptoms. His breathing improved, the rash went away.
By the next morning, we now know, Michael, he was able to get up and shower before his already prearranged flight, his medevac flight to the
So, this particular medicine, experimental, had never been used in a human being before, it had only been used in monkeys. So it was definitely
a bit of a long shot, and it was unclear exactly what effect it would have, but at least with regard to this one patient, it seemed to be pretty
HOLMES: Right. And of course, a lot of people watching us, particularly in Africa, would be saying, well how come he got it and we
haven't got it? It's a lot more complicated than that, isn't it? What is the process for this to be a little bit more widespread?
GUPTA: Well, keep in mind, what we're talking about is real time. He is the first human being to ever receive it. So, it's not like it's been
dispensed in other locations or more widely. As you know, the typical process is, these things go through clinical trials. You want to determine
that it is safe, you want to determine that it is effective, you want to determine it's something that can be mass distributed.
None of that had happened. Sometimes someone can be given an investigational or experimental drug like this under what is known as
compassionate use. No other options, maybe this will work, let's give it a try. That's sort of the thinking there.
But given at least his response to it -- and they obviously want to see if this is the same sort of response other patients get. If it is,
then I think that's going to be the discussion: how do you make this more widely available.
Keep in mind, it is something that needs to be stored at subzero temperatures, something that needs to be thawed out naturally. They may
sound like simple things, but Michael, you and I have both been to some of these more remote areas.
Even getting simple things like that completed and administered properly can be a challenge. So, it's got to be a drug that can be used in
the field as well. And we already know that some of those discussions are underway.
HOLMES: All right. Thanks for that, Sanjay, appreciate it. Sanjay Gupta, there, outside Emory Hospital, and some positive news, one hopes.
All right, still to come this hour, rescue workers in China are struggling to find more survivors after a deadly earthquake claims hundreds
of lives. We'll have the latest on that.
And far from the rubble of Gaza and the sirens of Ashkelon, there is a political push for a more permanent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
Do the parties want it? We'll examine the key players and the possible options.
HOLMES: You're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Michael Holmes, welcome back. Let's return to our top story, now. That is the
conflict between Gaza and Israel. Let's get the latest from Saima Mohsin, who is standing by for us in Jerusalem.
And an incident earlier today was the large piece of earth-moving equipment. Bring us up to date on the latest on what happened there.
SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Michael. Yes, let me explain to you exactly where I am. This the road that intersects East
and West Jerusalem. Basically right here is Sheikh Jarrah. Over there is Beth Israel, which means House of Israel. It's a Jewish Orthodox area.
That strip of red tape that you see was earlier where the entire intersection was cordoned off when a young believed-to-be Palestinian man
from East Jerusalem drove that digger or tractor, bulldozing equipment towards that road down there, right behind me, as you can see.
He hit a couple of cars, and then went towards the number 291 bus, and he actually managed to overturn it. There were no passengers onboard.
There was a bus driver who was seriously injured and a passing by pedestrian who was killed.
There were two police officers on patrol at that time, Michael, and they then in an encounter with this young man onboard, shot and killed him.
I discussed this with the police spokesperson, I asked why didn't they try to arrest him and interrogate him to get to the bottom of his motive.
He said, well, look, in a life-threatening situation in Israel, particularly in Jerusalem, a high security area, we are given -- we give
our police officers liberty to shoot to kill.
And what else he told me is that there were 80 security officials brought in to cordon off the area. We saw police, we saw armed border
security officers, we saw police on horseback. This was a heavy -- heavily secure operation that they conducted after this attack took place.
HOLMES: It's a tactic we've seen before. I remember being in Jerusalem before when earth-moving equipment like that was used in various
attacks in Jerusalem.
When you talk about the broader situation there in Israel, on the Israeli side of the border, have you been getting a sense, there, that
there is much appetite for Israel when it comes to talks to -- they're not going to Egypt, obviously. What does that say about moving forward on this
on a more permanent cease-fire?
MOHSIN: Well, Michael, we've had that seven-hour humanitarian cease- fire, it was a selective one, as well. Let's remind our viewers that this wasn't a cease-fire right across the Gaza strip. In fact, it was selective
in terms of where that cease-fire took place.
Operations in Rafah, where that UN school was hit on Sunday, widespread condemnation, of course, from the United States and the UN for
that, the strongest words we've had so far against Operation Protective Edge. And also, what the Israelis said was wherever their soldiers are
operating currently in Gaza, they will carry on. So, there was a cease- fire today, but certainly selective.
Are we going to see any kind of draw-down? Well, frankly, I don't think so. All we're hearing so far from both Prime Minister Netanyahu and
the spokesperson from the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces, anything but. They are saying we will go full-steam ahead. They're saying they see no
end in sight.
And certainly, Michael, if we take a look at today's events, this will certainly galvanize opinions further as events now come towards Israel into
the heart of Israel, with this attack, which as been considered a terrorist attack.
But the support for this operation will certainly continue, and pressure mounts on politicians not to draw down or hold back. Michael?
HOLMES: All right, Saima Mohsin in Jerusalem, thanks.
Much is being made of the fact that the latest escalation of violence in the Holy Land is the worst in recent history. One article we have
online argues why, perhaps, this time the conflict is truly different beyond those numbers.
Rick Francona is a CNN contributor and a former US Air Force intelligence officer. He writes that there is less willingness on both
sides to look for what he calls the "usual" way out, and that would often be considered a very temporary arrangement, the usual way out. He shares
his thoughts on why it going to be harder for Hamas to rearm. Find out more, join in the conversation, cnn.com/international.
All right, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Still to come, for the first time, Malaysian experts now helping international inspectors in the Flight
MH17 recovery effort. We are live in eastern Ukraine, Nick Paton Walsh standing by for us.
Also, the case of baby Gammy highlights a problem in Thailand involving surrogate mothers. And the government now taking action. We'll
have that also.
HOLMES: Welcome back, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Michael Holmes in for Becky Anderson. An Australian couple accused of abandoning a
special-needs baby in Thailand. Well, that's the claim by the surrogate mother, anyway.
But the case has moved the Thai government to prevent some babies born through surrogacy from leaving the country. Anna Coren explains what
happened in this case.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oblivious to the cruel and unthinkable circumstances that brought him to this
hospital in Thailand's capital, baby Gammy smiles at the loving faces around him.
Six months ago, his surrogate mother, Pattaramon Chanbua, gave birth to him and his twin sister. But when their biological parents arrived from
Australia, she says they only took home the healthy baby girl, abandoning Gammy, who has Down Syndrome, and a congenital heart condition.
"I feel so sorry for him," cries 21-year-old Pattaramon. "This is not his fault. He's innocent. Why does he have to suffer like this?"
The Australian father, yet to be identified, toward the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the Thai surrogacy agency, who charged $16,000 for
the service, never told him about Gammy's existence. But Pattaramon says that is a lie.
She claims to have met the couple three times after the birth. And before that, when she was seven months pregnant, she says they asked her to
abort him after doctors discovered one of the twins had Down Syndrome. "This is my baby. He's growing in my tummy. I couldn't abort him. It
would be a sin."
When Gammy's heartbreaking story captured headlines around the world, there was an outpouring of love and support from the public. An online
fundraising campaign was set up to provide money for Gammy's medical treatment. So far, it's raised more than $200,000. "I feel so happy, and
I have to thank everyone. They helped Gammy, while his own parents never even offered."
The parents' version of the story has not been independently confirmed, but Gammy's plight highlights the pitfalls of a multimillion-
dollar industry, often unregulated, in a country like Thailand, that's become popular for surrogacy services.
SAM EVERINGHAM, FAMILIES THROUGH SURROGACY: My concern about is it gives surrogacy a bad name, and we don't want that to happen, because this
is an isolated case. We see many hundreds of parents around the world every year who engage in surrogacy and are loving parents who will take
whatever comes their way when it comes to children.
COREN: So, this impoverished mother of two, who's been left with such an enormous burden, Pattaramon has only love for her baby. Many operations
lie ahead for this little boy. But one thing's for certain: he will never be abandoned again.
Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
HOLMES: When we come back, the latest world news headlines for you. Also, we're going to examine why an all-out victory for either side in the
Israel-Hamas conflict could have serious repercussions far beyond the region.
HOLMES: Welcome back, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Michael Holmes with your top stories this hour.
A top secret drug being credited with improving the condition of the first Ebola patient being treated in the United States. Sources tell CNN
that Dr. Kent Brantly received the experimental drug, it's called ZMapp while in Liberia and experienced what one doctor called a "miraculous"
ISIS seizing more territory in northern Iraq, including the country's largest hydro-electric dam. The Sunni-backed militants captured the Mosul
Dam on Sunday after a daylong battle with Kurdish forces. It is a significant event.
The Chinese military helping with rescue efforts following a powerful earthquake that hit Hunan province in the country's southwest on Sunday.
Nearly 400 people were killed, and thousands of homes destroyed by the tremor and aftershocks. Heavy rain making rescue efforts more difficult.
Israel's brief and partial humanitarian pause in Gaza ended about an hour and a half ago. Many Palestinians did go onto the streets looking for
what food they can find and other items. Israel now says it did, indeed, strike a refugee camp in Gaza minutes into that cease-fire. Palestinian
officials say that attack killed an eight-year-old girl. The IDF says the strike was part of an ongoing operation and was not covered by the cease-
Well, the conflict between Israel and Hamas has exposed wider regional rifts as well. A victory for Hamas would constitute a victory for
supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, places like Qatar and Turkey as well.
But in Egypt, members of the Muslim Brotherhood, of course, have been rounded up. The government that they represented was thrown out of office.
Now, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, they are also certainly not supporters of Hamas, so there are clear divisions on this conflict, and a priority for
any mediator to come up with a workable compromise.
Peace talks did hit a brick wall when a Palestinian unity government comprised of traditional rivals Hamas and Fattah, was announced earlier
this year. Israel vehemently refusing to deal with Hamas, which is, of course, labeled a terrorist group.
My next guest, though, believes that allowing the government to rebuild Gaza from the inside is the only solution, and many would agree.
Nathan Thrall is a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group's Middle East program.
Now, Nathan, good to see you, and some terrific writing online. When you look at the unity government, this was Hamas being brought in not in a
direct political way, but brought in in a unity sense with Fattah. It was vehemently opposed by Israel, actively opposed. But is not a unity
government a key to a resolution here?
NATHAN THRALL, MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM, INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP: I think that a unity government -- and actually, Palestinians call it a
government of national consensus, they reserve the term of unity government for one in which Hamas members are actual ministers in that government.
And this agreement for a new government came about basically through Hamas capitulating on all of Fattah's demands, including having no Hamas
ministers or even allies inside that government.
And many people argue that because this government represented a capitulation by Hamas and would allow Fattah to get a foothold into Gaza
and strengthen itself inside Gaza at Hamas's expense, that this was actually in the interest of Israel and the United States and much of the
But it was prevented from really acting and governing and moving forward with he reconciliation process. Now that the conflict has taken
the toll that it has, we have begun to see a shift in Israeli attitudes toward the new government, and a realization that it is actually the only
solution to resolving this conflict in one way or another.
You're going to have to have an interlocutor for Egypt and for Israel that is acceptable. And Hamas is not acceptable to either party, which
means that you're going to have to have the unity government at a minimum at the crossings with both those countries.
HOLMES: And meanwhile, of course, throughout all of this, Fattah being weakened in the eyes of many Palestinians on the street. It's
interesting that Israel not looking towards talks at the moment, in Egypt or elsewhere. And let's face it, there haven't been any for some time on
any meaningful level. What do you think the Israeli plan is for a longterm solution?
THRALL: I don't think that the Israeli plan is for a longterm solution in the sense that you and I would think of when we use the words
"longterm." I think that they are thinking of a solution for the next year or two years or maybe even three.
And they do believe that this fighting will have -- impose such a cost on Hamas that Hamas won't be ready, even if it wants to fight again sooner
than that, it won't be ready to, and it will need to recuperate and rebuild and refortify itself.
And that may be true, but it will also be the case, if that's how this ends, without a negotiated agreement, that there will be another round in
the near term.
The longterm solution, of course, is that there needs to be a two- state agreement between Israel and the Palestinian people --
HOLMES: And --
THRALL: -- even a generous package.
HOLMES: And have we not heard that one --
THRALL: Sorry, go ahead.
HOLMES: -- before? Benjamin Netanyahu recently said in Hebrew at a meeting that Israel would never give up what he called security control
west of the Jordan River. Such a state must have indefinite Israeli military control, not only in the Jordan Valley, but throughout all of its
territory. Now, that appears to really put the end to a two-state solution, in terms of a contiguous state, anyway.
THRALL: Yes, I think that's how those comments were interpreted by most Israelis and by Palestinians as well. And I don't think that it
necessarily means the end of a two-state solution. It means that it's very unlikely to reach an agreement with Netanyahu because the security demands
are so far beyond what any even the most moderate of Palestinian leaders could accept.
But at the end of the day, we have to realize that the West Bank and Gaza are part of a single political entity, and that the Palestinians
consider themselves a single people. And that no matter what kind of an agreement you make between Gaza and Israel, and even if you do make
significant easings of the closure -- I'm skeptical that that will happen in the near term.
But even if you were to do that, that is not going to guarantee that there is really a longterm, in the sense that you and I would think of,
cease-fire between Gaza and Israel, and that's because there will continue to be a conflict in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and Gazans will respond
when that conflict flares up.
And so, if you truly want a longterm solution for Gaza, that solution has to entail the West Bank and Jerusalem as well.
HOLMES: And of course, say, so much talk about the 2012 cease-fire agreement and basing anything on that, but of course, Hamas and
Palestinians will argue none of that was ever implemented, so why go back to it?
We've got to leave it there, unfortunately. Nathan, appreciate you being on the program. Nathan Thrall, senior analyst for International
Crisis Group's Mid East program, thanks so much.
THRALL: Thank you. Thank you
HOLMES: Well, the political leader of Hamas says his group has the right to defend itself. We're talking about Khaled Meshaal, of course, who
spoke exclusively to CNN's Nic Robertson, about where Hamas gets its weapons, also its financial support. Nic joins us live, now, from Abu
Dhabi with more on that interview.
And it was a fascinating and far-reaching interview, Nic. What -- the question of funding, the relationship with Qatar, the level of that
support. And of course, the interesting sidebar being, of course, that the US arms and arms well Qatar.
ROBERTSON: Absolutely. Qatar, the friend of many, many countries, seems to be able to do that, perhaps by virtue of its size, perhaps by
virtue of its 2003 Constitution Article VII says it should be involved in peace-making around the world.
It's widely viewed in the Gulf region, though, as being very much allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and, of course, Hamas is an offshoot of
the Muslim Brotherhood. So, it became, therefore, a natural home for the leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, when he fled his place of exile in Syria,
where he was when it became too dangerous because of the fighting there.
But it does raise and has raised many questions about precisely what support Hamas gets from Qatar, what it gets in the way of finances from
other Arab countries, and what they spend that money on. When I asked him those questions, this is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: How much support do you get from Qatar for your weapons systems?
KHALED MESHAAL, HAMAS POLITICAL LEADER (through translator): No one has given us weapons. We are building our own weapons inside Gaza. We
smuggled some weapons in from abroad, we got some on the open market. But we have not received weapons from specific countries. In the past, Iran
had supplied us with some weapons, but today, we build our own weapons in Gaza.
ROBERTSON: And financial support from Qatar?
MESHAAL (through translator): We get financial support from Arab and Muslim peoples, not from individual states.
ROBERTSON: And does that go into making weapons?
MESHAAL (through translator): All the money we receive is directed toward the humanitarian needs of our people, to hospitals, education, the
families of those killed and those in prison. And with our money, we rebuild what the Israelis have destroyed in their brutal aggression against
us in Gaza.
But of course, yes, some of that money goes toward our ability to defend ourselves, which is our right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: And that ability to defend themselves is tunnels and rockets that are homemade in garages around Gaza. And that, of course, is
what has Israel so angry, so frustrated, and in the position they're in right now, Michael.
HOLMES: Got to be great, but I can't let you go without asking you what his attitude was to all this talk about a split in the Hamas
leadership between the political wing and the military wing, and whether that's getting in the way of any meaningful cease-fire.
ROBERTSON: I absolutely asked him that question. He says absolutely not, that's rubbish. They want through this 2008, 2009, 2012 as well, the
same claims made then. Indeed, I remember asking him the same question in an interview in 2010.
His answer was pretty much the same this time: there isn't a division, they have the same strategic view, military and political. They
may not be in touch minute-by-minute during the conflict, but absolutely they're going in the same direction.
Their relationship has remained steadfast, political-military is going in the same direction. And he said that's why Secretary of State John
Kerry involves him, Khaled Meshaal, in consultations through intermediaries, because he's still the political leader.
HOLMES: Yes, I remember you asking him that question in 2010. Nic Robertson in Abu Dhabi, great interview. And you can find it online at
cnn.com, too. Thanks, Nic.
All right, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. When we come back, a hundred years ago today, Britain declared war on Germany, and a conflict
spanning four years and involving people from six continents began in earnest. We'll bring you the commemorations and some personal reflections.
HOLMES: Welcome back everyone. Reuters reporting that Russia has announced military exercises near the border with Ukraine. Not for the
first time. That as the Ukrainian army apparently advances on key territory in the east of the country.
Meanwhile, a team of international inspectors is at work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. CNN's senior international
correspondent Nick Paton Walsh is in Donetsk and joins us now with the latest. What more do you know of this advance by Ukrainian fighters?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's interesting, we've seen it ourselves, coming into the city from the west,
substantial progress by the Ukrainian military, who now seem to be in control of a town called Marinka.
And we saw, actually, a little separatist militant presence on one of that main highways in. They seem to have thinned out, potentially, in
areas around, waiting for Ukrainian advance.
But no doubt at all the Ukrainian military has taken a lot of ground in the past week. And even social media pictures in which some people have
been trying to claim they've in fact got into the center of Donetsk. So far no proof of that.
But it's certainly got many on edge here, thinking we're seeing perhaps a pivotal moment in this conflict. It's very clear, really, that
there's a lesser presence of separatist militants inside the city, certainly visibly.
And one key moment, too, people are thinking about as well, the leader of the self-declared separatist movement here, a man called Alexander
Borodai, well, he was announced by his staff here the activist would be giving a press conference at 1:00 today, much heralded. They then canceled
that, saying there were technical reasons for that.
That has some people, of course, wondering quite is the next step of the separatists here. No doubt at all, Michael, the Ukrainian military is
moving in at a pace around the city. And the question is, do separatist militants melt away, or are we in for an ugly siege of the city? Michael?
HOLMES: All right. And Nick, before I let you go, the latest from the crash site itself and the remains that are still there?
WALSH: Well, yes. A plane has arrived back in the Netherlands today, carrying yet more, I'm afraid to say, human remains picked up from the
site. The inspectors were en route today when apparently they were briefly detained, stopped by an issue with the security situation there, some of
the shelling got too close to them.
They then were able to continue. They put a hundred-plus experts in at the site, two dogs to assist with recovering remains, and eight monitors
in the OSCE organization, negotiating their access there with the separatists.
We understand they've moved on to a new area, because yesterday they weren't able to find many human remains. That grizzly task still
continuing, Michael, despite the shelling that clearly is audible all around them. Michael?
HOLMES: All right, Nick. Good to have you there on the spot for us. Nick Paton Walsh in Donetsk.
Still to come on CONNECT THE WORLDS, as events commemorate 100 years since the start of World War I, we bring you one family's remarkable
sacrifice. The moving story of the Shallis brothers, just ahead.
HOLMES: A hundred years ago today, Britain declared war on Germany, that declaration escalating an existing conflict, and led to what is now
generally regarded as the start of World War I, or to many, the Great War.
Earlier today, heads of state, the duke and duchess of Cambridge, and the king of Belgium gathering in Liege in Belgium for a commemoration
ceremony. A minute of silence observed, cannon fired, and 7,000 balloons released. It is estimated some 9 million troops or more were killed in the
war, 9 million people.
One UK family knows the atrocities of war all too well, after four sons volunteered to fight in World War I and never returned home. A fifth
son was spared. Nick Glass with the story of the Shallis boys.
KATE SHALLIS, NIECE OF SHALLIS BOYS: You can see holes in places because it's nearly a hundred years old. It says here, "The four sons of
Corporal and Mrs. Shallis of Harlesden, all fallen in action."
NICK GLASS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just a few treasured relics of the Shallis boys have survived. A tattered, much-
fingered old newspaper cutting. A few vintage photographs. And a clutch of their medals from the Great War.
But all together, they're enough to tell the saddest of stories, of glorious sacrifice, and one mother's unfathomable grief.
George and Kate Shallis had ten children, seven boys, three girls. They lived at a modest corner house, Number 10 Ranelagh Road, in Harlesden
in north London. As a boy, George had lied about his age and joined the army at 15 or 16. As a patriotic 53-year-old dad, he reenlisted in 1914.
He encouraged his own lads to join up, too.
His oldest boy, a naval stoker, also called George, died first, age 26. He went down with his ship when it hit a mine off Northern Ireland.
Bert Shallis, an army private, was killed in action at Gallipoli, in what is now Turkey. He was 21.
Harry Shallis, also with the infantry, was killed on the western front in France. He was the youngest of the four, just 20. The last brother
killed, Leo Shallis, like George a naval stoker, died in the Battle of Jutland. He was 24.
SHALLIS: Two of them died within the same week, which -- for my grandmother, you just think, how did she cope?
GLASS: They had all been dutiful sons, writing postcards back to 10 Ranelagh Road, always to Mother, not Father. How desolate she must have
been, four sons lost in less than a year and a half.
In the National Archives at Kew in West London, we discovered what happened to the fifth, an oldest surviving boy, John Gordon Shallis, known
in the family as Jack, age 19. He was spared military service.
GLASS (on camera): And here's the reason for the exemption: "Mother has lost four sons," four underlined, "Husband away on home defense. He's
her only boy left."
GLASS (voice-over): In 1927, more than a decade after she lost her four boys, Kate Shallis attended the annual remembrance day at the Cenotaph
in London, and she reflected on the day in a national newspaper. She was by then 60, a faintly shrunken figure in black, proudly wearing her son's
SHALLIS: "I felt that the king and queen and army and the masses of people were just one big family, thinking together the same --"
SHALLIS: "-- dear thoughts of our Briton sons who died for us. I could see the queen's face quite clearly. I felt she was proud of my four
boys, who gave their lives for king and country, and that she was sorry for me. I felt proud of my four sons and their courage. I felt proud that I
was their mother."
GLASS: Kate and George Shallis are buried in the local cemetery in Willesden near their old home. Their sons' names are engraved on the
gravestone, too: George, Leo, Bert, and Harry. The Shallis boys. Their bodies, of course, never came home, lost at sea or buried in anonymous
graves where they fell.
Nick Glass, CNN, in North London.
HOLMES: Powerful report there. Well, the team at CONNECT THE WORLD wants to hear from you, facebook.com/CNNconnect. You can have your say
there, be nice. You can tweet me @HolmesCNN, if you wish. Be nice there as well.
I'm Michael Holmes, and that was CONNECT THE WORLD. I'll be back again with the program tomorrow as well, filling in for Becky. Thanks for