Return to Transcripts main page


Israeli Calls Up 16,000 Reservists; Mudslides In India Killed At Least 30, 100 Still Missing; Why Israeli-Hamas Conflict Is Different This Time; Dutch, Australian Expert Team Finally Reaches MH17 Crash Site; Israel-Gaza Conflict; A Regional Divide; Ebola Myths; Physical Impact of Conflict on Gaza; Economic Impact on Gaza; Gaza in Ruins; Gaza's Marine Gas Field; The Levant Basin

Aired July 31, 2014 - 11:00:00   ET


JONATHAN MANN: An escalating fight: Israel calls up thousands more reservists in its conflict with Hamas as the UN security council hears

pleas to help end the fighting.

I'm Jonathan Mann at CNN Center, this is Connect the World.

Also ahead, a huge step forward for the flight MH17 investigation, an international team of experts finally gets to the crash site.

And the truth about Ebola: as governments in West Africa step up their fight against the disease, we'll bring you the facts and bust the myths.

ANNOUNCER: This is the hour we Connect the World.

MANN: Thanks for joining us.

At this hour, the UN security council is holding an emergency session discussing Wednesday's attack on a UN school sheltering thousands of

Palestinians in Gaza. A few minutes ago, the panel heard impassioned pleas from two of UN's own top officials: Humanitarian Aid Chief Valerie Amos and

relief and works agency head Pierre Krahenbuhl both appealed for a greater effort to protect civilians and let much needed aid get into Gaza.

On the ground in Gaza itself Wednesday back-to-back attacks on a market killed 17 people, according to Palestinian officials. And health

workers are struggling to deal with all of the dead and wounded.

Our Karl Penhaul had this update for us earlier.


KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Gaza there just seems to be a growing sense of foreboding, really. On the one hand,

we've heard the Israelis are warning their citizens to be ready for a prolonged campaign, and here in Gaza we've heard the military wing of Hamas

saying there can be no middle ground.


MANN: And we'll bring you Karl live from Gaza coming up.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military is calling up 16,000 more reservists. And Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he's determined to destroy

Hamas's network of tunnels. He says this is just the first phase of his plan to demilitarize Gaza.

Let's bring in Sara Sidner now from southern Israel.

Sara, it's a big number. What should we make of it? 16,000 more reservists. Are they all heading into Gaza?

SARA SIDNER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the way that you can characterize it if you talk to some of the military as

basically they are looking at the 16,000 number to help replace some of those. But we have to get clarification from them as to exactly what they

are doing. And this is actually growing the number of soldiers that are going to take part in this particular offensive, or if this is simply

replacing those who are already taking part in Protective Edge.

So, that is one point to be made. And you do know that we heard from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before their emergency cabinet

meeting today saying that the military is going to dismantle the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip with or without a ceasefire. Either way,

that will continue.

And obviously hearing from Hamas the last time that (inaudible) talking about the continuation of trying to rid that area of tunnels, Hamas

doesn't feel that that is -- has anything to do with the ceasefire. That's still going on. And Israel is still in its territory. It considers that a

war and a violation.

So I don't think you're going to see Hamas agree to a ceasefire in that case.

However, when it comes to support for this particular offensive, there are huge poll numbers from two different polls, up to 95 percent of Israeli

Jews who are polled have said they will stand behind this, because ultimately they want this conflict to stop. They want the rockets to stop

and they want the army, the military to do whatever they can do to keep it from happening again.


SIDNER: From the Tel Aviv seashore to the Israeli-Gaza border and beyond, the show of support from Israeli Jews for Netanyahu's war effort is

clear, we're with you.

Hebrew signs say it with words, the people prove it with deeds.

Volunteers cook free meals. The sound of war booms behind them in easy striking distance from Gaza.

(on camera): This is who they're doing it for, the soldiers on the battlefield, the message, we are with you.

(voice-over): Two opinion polls done to measure support for Israel's Operation Protective Edge revealed that up to 95 percent of Israeli Jews

are against a cease-fire and what they really want is Hamas dealt with once and for all.

REZY MERY, JAFFA RESIDENT: Hamas is a terrorism and terrorism they hurt every corner in the world. We just have to put them -- take them out

from Gaza.

SIDNER: Rezy Mery says he is happy living side by side with Palestinians in Jaffa, but Hamas is a different thing.

Netanyahu's plan to destroy the tunnel network in Gaza got a pat on the back in Tel Aviv.

SHULY SEVY, SUNPARTS MILITARY OPERATION: We have to continue because we have a lot of work to do there otherwise they will find a way to come

inside, you know, all of the tunnels and I don't know the name, and we have to destroy everything.

SIDNER: For this young lady it's deeply personal, she is to be married soon, but her fiance is a soldier on the front lines. He's in Gaza

somewhere and we're afraid, we're afraid, she says. We shouldn't stop fighting. We shouldn't compromise.

We sat down with a former head of Mossad, Israel's top intelligence agency about what it would take to fulfill the sentiment of those polled.

DANNY YATOM, FORMER MOSSAD HEAD: It calls for conquering the entire Gaza.

SIDNER: Does it mean reoccupation?

YATOM: Which means reoccupation, no doubt.

SIDNER: Danny Yatom says the price of that will be high, perhaps higher than the public realizes, costing lives and money.

YATOM: It means that we will have to stay in Gaza with relatively loudly (ph) deployed forces for two, three, four years.

SIDNER: The former spy chief initially did not support Netanyahu's decision to put Israeli boots on the ground in Gaza, but he admits

something to us spy chief rarely do.

YATOM: Now I understand I was wrong because only with this ground operation we could discover those tunnels.

SIDNER: Political analyst Marcus Chef says the support for Netanyahu and his defense and army chiefs is remarkable.

MARCUS CHEF, POLITICAL ANALYST: I can't remember a military operation which has had so much support from the Israeli people.

SIDNER: But the polls did not include Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, sometimes referred to as Israeli Arabs. Those we spoke with

wanted to stop the offensive.

But even Israeli peace rallies demanding an end to the war have been met with protesters in support of pounding Gaza until Hamas is crushed.


SIDNER: Though something Netanyahu also said is that he is going to keep up the pace and wants to demilitarize Gaza. Now that has not been

clarified exactly what that is going to mean and if we are talking about a reoccupation here.

MANN: Sara Sidner live for us on the line, thanks very much.

Well, despite repeated calls for a ceasefire there has been little progress toward a truce. Up next, we'll ask CNN military analyst Rick

Francona why the fight between Israel and Hamas has taken such a different turn this time.

Plus, we'll go live to the front lines of the conflict in Gaza for the latest.

And later, s\the battle between Israel and Hamas has exposed deep divisions in the Middle East. Several power players in the region will

weigh in on the bloodshed ahead on Connect the World.

The Australian foreign minister tells CNN that there could be still as many as 80 bodies at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight 17. A team

of experts from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe finally reached the wreckage Thursday for the first time in nearly a week.

The experts have been taking advantage of a day-long ceasefire announced by the Ukrainian military.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met with his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak in the Netherlands Thursday to talk about

priorities for the investigation going forward.


MARK RUTTE, PRIME MINISTER OF THE NETHERLANDS (through translator): Repatriation of the victims and their personal belongings, obtaining

clarity on the cause of the accident and making sure that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

NAJIB RAZAK, MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER: We ask there be an immediate cessation of hostilities in and around the crash site by both Ukraine and

separatist forces. We ask that all sides respect the lives lost and the integrity of the site so that the investigation may proceed.


MANN: Our senior international correspondent Nick Paton Walsh managed to reach the crash site Wednesday and joins us now from Donetsk.

Nick, you got to the crash site, now the international inspectors have gotten to the crash site, how did things go there?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's not the entire inspector's team. We should be clear about this. It is the OSCE

monitoring mission who have been monitoring the conflict here and trying to get access for the inspectors to the site and four Dutch and Australian

experts. So it is a recon mission. They've been trying now for the past two days. They've not managed to get through, today they did for a number

of hours.

And tomorrow it seems that there will be attempting to take a larger contingent there who maybe tasked with the grim task of taking away some of

the human remains that are still actually in place there.

What they saw similar to what we saw, a very quiet area. Still, though, circled by explosions, black plumes of smoke on the horizon and the

grim stench of, I'm afraid to say, decay for those human remains that the Australian prime minister say may number as many as 80 bodies still at the


What we saw, really, just hard to comprehend.


WALSH: The road isn't easy -- past shelling and eerie separatist checkpoints. But where it leads is harder still.

(inaudible) nothing surely could spoil lies a horror still unresolved.

It's been 13 days since MH17 was blown out of the sky. It remains here a monument to cruelty.

To how 298 souls, some shipped in parts away on a separatist train, have yet to find complete rest. Questions left: what, or who else did they

love? What did they feel in their last moments?

The silence in these fields is that of a tomb, like sorrow and loss, have isolated it from the war around it. But you really have to stand here

and see the things that people wanted to take with them on holiday and horrifyingly even now smell the stench of decay to understand the urgency

that the relatives of those who died here must feel to get inspectors to this site and get some kind of closure.

In the hour we were there, no separatist inspectors or Ukrainian soldiers at this site, just distant smoke that explains why the inspectors'

large convoy has had such trouble getting here.

God save and protect us, this sign asks. Not here, still reeking of jet fuel, where you can see the heat of the inferno they fell from the sky

in. Strangers have tried to mourn. The scene of this crime has been abandoned, evidence tampered with. What must be shrapnel holes visible in

the cockpit's remains. A wallet emptied, a cell phone looted. Traces of day dreams that fell from the Jetstream into a war whose daily horrors

drowned out that which took their lives, whose blind hatred has yet to find space for the minor dignities they deserve.


WALSH: Now this does potentially get more complex in the days ahead. The Ukrainian parliament has given authorization for 700 armed personnel,

Dutch or Australian, to accompany this inspectors mission. That introduces foreign troops potentially into this already very complex, brutal and

ongoing civil war where both sides I think it's fair to say have sought to get political capital from being the ones to secure access and show their

enemies as the ones who are trying to thwart it.

So, yes, they got through today. Will tomorrow be as easy a story? Well, it'll be a much larger convoy with a much bigger mission and

certainly on much greater scrutiny from both sides -- Jonathan.

MANN: Nick Paton Walsh live in Donetsk. Thanks very much.

Still to come tonight, it's a deadly disease, but some fears are just unfounded. Our chief medical correspondent will take apart some myths

about Ebola.

Also ahead, what makes the current Israeli-Hamas conflict different this time around, a closer look straight ahead.


MANN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN. And this is Connect the World. I'm Jonathan Mann in for Becky Anderson. Thanks for being with us.

Taking another look at our top story, Israel says it's engaged in what it's calling the first phase of the demilitarization of Gaza. Benjamin

Netanyahu says the country's armed forces will continue to destroy Hamas's network of tunnels with or without a ceasefire. He also called up 16,000

more reservists to help the battle at the front lines. The exact disposition of those forces still unclear.

Meanwhile, UN officials on the ground say the situation is growing more desperate in Gaza. More than 1,300 people have been killed since the

Israeli offensive began. At an emergency session of the UN security council today, humanitarian chief Valerie Amos called on both sides to stop

the fighting so that aid agencies can help civilians caught in the conflict.

This is the third major Israel-Hamas military conflict in less than six years. But in an article on, CNN military analyst Rick

Francona says that this time the political landscape is one of the reasons the battle in Gaza is different. He joins us now from our New York

studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

20 -- well, 2008, 2012, they went at it, but not with this casualty count and not for so long. Why is that?

RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I think the -- there's a different calculus here. The Israelis know that these tunnels present a

real threat to them. Even with a ceasefire, if they don't have time to go in there and root out these tunnels, they're going to be facing a lot of

operations on their southern border.

The rocket attacks, they seem to have dealt with fairly effectively with their Iron Dome system, so they want to get in there and get rid of

these tunnels. And it seems, Jonathan, that they're willing to absorb all of this withering criticism from the international community to take the

time to do that.

And the call up of the reservists yesterday came as a surprise to me. And this announcement -- this is phase one, it looks like the Israelis are

going to continue to do this until they meet that objective regardless of the international community.

MANN: Now you mention that the tunnels under Gaza, let's talk about the situation around Gaza, the regional context seems to have changed.

Hamas has fewer friends this time.

FRANCONA: Well, if you look at how Hamas has been resupplied in the past, it normally comes through Egypt. All these weapons come normally

from Iran and Syria. They're smuggled into Sudan and across the Sinai and then through other tunnels into Gaza. That's not going to happen this

time, because you've got a change of government in Egypt. And the government of Abdel Fatah el-Sisi is not friendly to Hamas. He regards

them just as an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood, which he's outlawed in Egypt. So there's no friendly side over there and it might be very

difficult to rearm.

So it looks like neither side really wants to give up the fight right now, because they know that the situation is much, much different.

MANN: Now Hamas is different, too, it would seem from Iraq. It's from the tunnels that started militarily stronger than it has in previous

encounters with the Israelis, but domestically, politically and financially much weaker. The government is broke.

FRANCONA: It is. And you know, Hamas has always prided itself on its ability to rally the Palestinian people.

We started to see some changes there where the people were starting to resent Hamas. Normally when they go into these battles that rallies the

Palestinian people. And it has to some extent, but not to the degree that we would have thought. They are losing this battle. They're winning it in

the PR, but on the ground they are really taking a beating.

Now they are having some effect extracting a higher price from the Israelis this time. The casualty count on both sides is higher.

One fallout of this, we are seeing though is in the international community we're seeing a lot more people rally to the jihadist cause

elsewhere. ISIS recruiting is up. So there is fallout all over the region from this.

MANN: Now, I want to ask you, though, about this latest -- it's the last few days, I suppose -- this started out with a battle to get rid of

Hamas's rockets, then Israel discovered all those tunnels. Now they are talking explicitly using the phrase demilitarization. That seems like an

enormous escalation. It has some Israeli experts talking about the reoccupation of Gaza. Once again, that seems different this time.

FRANCONA: Yeah. And the call up of the reservists makes you think that maybe they're looking at some sort of more increased ground presence

in Gaza. I think that's really a mistake. They're just going to get bogged down in Gaza like they were before, like they were in southern

Lebanon. And if you want to galvanize the Palestinian people around Hamas, all you have to do is start to reoccupy the Gaza Strip.

I think that that's a mistake.

Now I know they want to go in there and get rid of the tunnels and find out where all the rockets are and get rid of them, but reoccupation of

Gaza, I think thatOs a step too far.

MANN: Colonel Rick Francona, U.S. Air Force, retired, and analyst with us here at CNN. Thanks so much for this.

FRANCONA: Sure thing, John.

MANN: Well, for more on Rick Francona's article, log on to Why it's different this time has logged more than

3,000 comments. You can add your views on the conflict as well as take a look at the dramatic images captured across Gaza and Israel all at

Live from Atlanta, this is Connect the World. Coming up, dozens dead and many more trapped in a landslide in western India. That story and more

when we come back.


MANN: You're watching Connect the World live from CNN Center, welcome back. I'm Jonathan Mann.

At least 30 people have been killed and more than 100 trapped in mudslides in western India. The landslides were reported around midnight

in a village in Maharashtra State near Mumbai. About 500 rescue workers have been sent to the scene. Sumnima Udas has details.


SUMNIMA UDAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a massive rescue operation, an entire village virtually flattened and buried by

deadly landslide caused by heavy monsoon rains.

Rescuers have been working around the clock to sift through the mud and rocks using heavy duty equipment. People from nearby villages have

also come to help out. They're using their barehands.

So far rescure workers have managed to pull out about eight survivors, including a mother and a baby. They've also found at least 30 dead. But

more than 100 people are still feared to be trapped. So this is really a race against time.

Heavy rains continue unabated, communications like cell phones and land lines are down. There is no power, all of this really hampering the

rescue operation.

Now as more and more time passes, officials say the chances of finding more survivors are quite slim. And they also say the true extent of the

devastation will not actually be known until they're able to go through all that mud, all those rocks. And that could take some time.

Sumnima Udas, CNN, New Delhi.


MANN: The latest world news headlines are just ahead, plus the conflict between Israel and Hamas being fought across one border, but its

repercussions are far reaching and so is the search for a solution. Just ahead, we'll take you live to Gaza and we'll hear from some of the most

important voices on both sides of the divide.


JONATHAN MANN, HOST: This is CONNECT THE WORLD. The top stories this hour. The Australian foreign minister tells CNN there could still be as

many as 80 bodies at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Meanwhile, the team of experts reached the wreckage Thursday for the first

time in nearly a week.

The World Health Organization says 729 people have now been killed in the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. Both Sierra Leone and Liberia

have declared states of emergency, taking more drastic steps to stop the spread of the virus.

A pro-North Korean newspaper reports American Kenneth Bae says he feels abandoned by the US government. Bae has been detained in North Korea

since 2012, serving 15 years for alleged hostile acts. He was interviewed by the Japanese newspaper "Choson Sinbo" and says he's worried about his

health when he goes back to a labor camp.

The United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency session on Wednesday's deadly attack on a UN school in Gaza. The panel has heard

impassioned pleas from two of the UN's own senior officials, humanitarian aid chief Valerie Amos and Relief and Works Agency head Pierre Krahenbuhl.

Both called for a reprieve on the fighting to allow aid into Gaza and for greater protection for civilians.

The situation in Gaza is growing more desperate by the day. Our Karl Penhaul is on the ground in Gaza City for us. Karl, let me ask you simply,

how bad have things gotten?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I was talking to United Nations Relief Agency chief Pierre Krahenbuhl yesterday, and I think

he puts it best. "Enough is enough," that's what he said. That is, really, a reflection of how bad things are getting on the ground here as


Yesterday, in the space of 24 hours, more than 120 people killed. Just when you thought that things couldn't get any worse, a lot of Gaza is

without power, and that also means that a lot of Gaza isn't getting the water supplies it needs, because there's no electricity to pump it.

And of course, front and center of what we've been looking at, this attack on the United Nations school that turned shelter. Now, more than

220,000 Palestinians are cowering in those shelters. They were supposed to be safe havens, but quite plainly, they are no longer safe at all. Let's

take a look at this.



PENHAUL (voice-over): Jabaliya, northern Gaza, around 5:00 AM.


PENHAUL: The UN school-turned-shelter for 3,000 people just attacked. A UN employee took these cell phone images. Breathing heavily, he races

classroom to classroom.



PENHAUL: Body count by flashlight. Mutilated limbs swaddled in bloody rags. "We saw the shells when they hit, and shrapnel was falling

like rain. I was so scared, and the school filled with smoke. We poured water in our eyes just to see," she says.

One round crashed through the roof into the top floor.

PENHAUL (on camera): I just want to give you a point of reference about how big this hole is. The diameter is about the length of an

ordinary broomstick.

PENHAUL (voice-over): Another round ripped through the latrines in a classroom, opening a hole about the same size as the other. Witnesses say

this is some of the shrapnel that peppered the school. The UN says it repeatedly notified Israel and Hamas of the coordinates of the shelter,

most recently just eight hours before it was hit.

CNN asked the Israeli military if their forces fired on the school that was supposed to be a safe haven.

PETER LERNER, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, ISRAELI MILITARY SPOKESMAN: What we found is that there were mortars launched from nearby the school, and there

was a crossfire and, indeed, the IDF engaged those mortar firing.

We are currently reviewing the outcome and the tragic footage that we've seen from this area. We haven't ruled out that it was a Hamas mortar

that actually landed within the premises.

PENHAUL: But UN investigators tell CNN they have sufficient evidence to conclude Israel was to blame.

PIERRE KRAHENBUHL, COMMISSIONER GENERAL, UNRWA: Based on the initial elements, we have clear indications in the first assessment that we have

that the three projectiles hit the school. And on presenting and analyzing the pieces of shrapnel, we believe that we have all the elements in place

to conclude that it was Israeli artillery fire.

PENHAUL: Israel has batteries of Howitzers aimed at Gaza. These huge guns are capable of firing 43 kilo or 100-pound high explosive shells the

entire length of the Gaza Strip. Israel admitted misfiring a mortar into another UN school shelter in Beit Hanoun less than a week ago.

But the Israeli military says the explosion could not have caused deaths. A CNN visit showed multiple shrapnel marks and large quantities of

blood. Hospital staff told CNN 16 civilians died in the incident.

KRAHENBUHL: Enough is enough. Now, measures have to be taken. People who go to these places expect that they go there because they will

be safe, and here is the confirmation that it appears that there is nowhere where you can be safe. And therefore, measures have to now be taken by the

Israeli Defense Forces to ensure much better protection.

PENHAUL: The UN has also condemned Hamas for violating the rules of war, accusing its fighters of storing rockets in three other vacant


KRAHENBUHL: Whatever was the case with these weapons, certainly cannot be used as a justification by anyone to explain why another school,

in which people were sheltered, displaced people sheltered, had been targeted.

PENHAUL: Israeli military says it does not deliberately target civilians. At the school gates, this bloody footnote to the tragedy.

Donkeys and horses had ferried dirt-poor families here when their homes turned into a battlefield. The war plodded in behind them.


PENHAUL: Now, on the humanitarian front, the United Nations is saying that if Palestinians in other areas of the Gaza strip get more notices to

evacuate their homes because their homes are about to become engulfed in fighting, then the UN simply does not have enough shelters to deal with it.

It doesn't have the infrastructure to be able to care for them or to feed them, and the United Nations says at that point, it will fall to the

Israeli military to pick up that task of protecting and caring for the civilians that it is displacing.

On the battlefield, meanwhile, this same tempo continues. We've heard Israeli artillery pounding areas north, south, and east of the strip. And

about an hour ago now, we saw at least four militant rockets firing out from a position south of where we are, heading off towards Israel.


MANN: Karl Penhaul, live from Gaza. Thanks very much. As the conflict rumbles on, CONNECT THE WORLD's regular host, Becky Anderson, has

been seeking the thoughts of regional power players. Listen to some key voices, now, from Turkey, Israel, Qatar, and the West Bank.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, PRIME MINISTER OF TURKEY (through translator): And the fascism that was applied by Hitler, if you put all these on the

table just like that, you can see that what Israel does to Palestine, to Gaza right now, has surpassed what Hitler did to them.

We don't approve. We don't accept what Hitler did, either. But right now, we do not accept this persecution, the massacre, the genocide by


NAFTALI BENNETT, ISRAELI MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, TRADE, AND LABOR: We have to understand right now, Hamas has become a self-genocide system.

They are deliberately killing their own people in order to become victims.

You know what they're doing in kitchens, in school rooms, in hospitals? They place missile launchers, shoot missiles on Tel Aviv, and

have kids stand next to those missile launchers so they're effectively murdering their own women and children.

BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: The Israeli lawmaker, Naftali Bennet, echoing the outgoing Israeli president, said on CNN, and I quote, "Qatar is funding

Hamas. Qatar is a mass-funder of terror and death." Your response?

KHALID AL-ATTIYAH, QATAR FOREIGN MINISTER: OK, let me tell you something. First of all, Bennett and Lieberman, when they speak about

Qatar, that we are supporting terrorism, I tell you something. They are not -- they don't support terrorism. In fact, they do practice terrorism.

And this satellite wing who are daily trying to mess with the Palestinian life, they are the ones who are practicing this terrorism.

BENNETT: Our goal, we have no claim for Gaza. They founded a Palestinian state on the 67 borders. Not one Jew is living there. They

have all the opportunity to build and spend billions of dollars building a Singapore, building a prosperous country. It's their choice. If they

choose to fight, we'll fight. We don't want to fight.

HANAN ASHRAWI, PALESTINIAN LEGISLATOR: We cannot talk about Palestinians telling Hamas and so on to cease fire or stop when Hamas and

the people of Gaza are seeing themselves under relentless, cruel bombardment and attack by air, by sea, by land, without an protection.

SHIMON PERES, FORMER ISRAELI PRESIDENT: I don't imagine a Palestinian mother or an Israeli mother that will forever pray that her children will

be at war, their life and all their future. It's nonsense. All of us are human beings.


MANN: A different story, now, we have our eyes very closely on. According to the World Health Organization, Ebola has killed more than 700

people since March, the outbreak in West Africa raising fears there and beyond. But there are many myths surrounding the disease. Our chief

medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, tackles them for us.




SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ebola is not the Great Plague. There's no question about that. But it is a pretty

formidable killer. It kills swiftly, it kills efficiently, and oftentimes associated with a lot of blood. The grim reality is that it often kills so

quickly, that people don't have time to spread it.


GUPTA: Ebola is not that contagious, but it is infectious. What that means is, it doesn't spread easily from person-to-person, but it only takes

a very small amount to cause an infection. On average, the person who gets Ebola, if they're going to die, they're going to die usually within about

ten days.


GUPTA: Ebola does not travel through the air, like the flu, for example. It is something that you really only get if you spend time with

somebody who is sick and you come in contact with their bodily fluids.


GUPTA: It is false that Ebola liquefies your organs and tissues. That's the stuff of science fiction and horror movies. What does happen,

though, is it can cause significant bleeding. Your body just can't keep up with the clotting, and as a result, you start bleeding from lots of

different organs.


GUPTA: It's a myth that Ebola is the most dangerous disease that humans have ever encountered. HIV/AIDS, for example, certainly has killed

more people, and up until recently, there was no treatment for that disease, either.

Rabies, something that you can get from animals as well, if you develop symptoms, you're very unlikely to survive.

With Ebola right now, here in Guinea, about seven out of ten people are dying, but not everybody.


MANN: CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

The team at CONNECT THE WORLD always wants to hear from you, is a good place to find us. Have your say.

I'm Jonathan Mann. You've been watching CONNECT THE WORLD, thanks for joining us. MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST is next.


JOHN DEFTERIOS, HOST: All eyes on the region as the crisis in Gaza continues. We assess what the economic impact is on a territory lying in


Welcome to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. It's been over three weeks since the Israeli airstrikes began on Gaza, and the death toll and destruction

continue to mount. This week, we take a look at he economic and physical toll on Gaza after years of conflict with Israel.


DEFTERIOS (voice-over): Palestinian health officials say well over 1200 people have been killed, and more than 7,000 wounded since the Israeli

operation began. The United Nations says nearly three-quarters of those killed were civilians.

Israel Defense Forces say more than 50 Israeli troops have been killed in recent weeks. Despite repeated efforts by the international community

to invoke a cease-fire, the violence continued.


DEFTERIOS: Our correspondents have been on the ground in Israel and Gaza during the conflict. Karl Penhaul took a tour of Gaza after an

Israeli strike to give us a sense of the destruction.


PENHAUL (voice-over): Exodus from the front line. Almost nothing left to lose.

HAMZA AL-MASRI, DISPLACED PERSON: Where I live now? Where I go now?

PENHAUL: Bits and pieces bundled on their heads. His mother's photo under his arm, he says he lost her in the 2009 war. Now, he's just lost

his home. "There's nothing left, nothing left, it's a massacre," he says. In the embers, these men find what they say is the family's safe. A life

savings up in smoke. Amid the destruction, some creation. Lambs born minutes before the truce began.

PENHAUL (on camera): We're only about 700 meters from the border between Gaza and Israel here, and quite clearly, there's been close-

quarters combat here. These are the cartridge cases from a light machine gun.


DEFTERIOS: As Karl's report vividly illustrates, the loss of life can never be valued, but he cost of war is devastating. Palestinians in the

Gaza strip have been living under an air and sea blockade ever since Hamas came into power. This means limited access to building supplies and even



DEFTERIOS (voice-over): While the immediate economic impact of Israel's current incursion in Gaza is still unknown, its 2008 offensive

caused a total of $181 million in direct and $88 million in longer-term costs for Gaza's agriculture, generated about 600,000 tons of rubble, and

$44 million in environmental costs.

1.8 million people live on an area of 140 square miles, or 360 square kilometers. According to the International Monetary Fund, almost 40

percent of those in Gaza live in poverty, and one out of every three workers is without a job.

As Gaza's official economy contracted, the shadow economy, known as the tunnel economy, blossomed. Underground tunnels were built by Gazans to

circumvent the blockade, allowing goods to be illegally smuggled from Egypt. But the tunnels have also been used by Hamas to bring in weapons

and launch attacks on Israel.


DEFTERIOS: David Butter is a Middle East analyst and associate fellow at Chatham House in London, where he joins us now. We often talk, David,

about the intensification or isolation of the Gaza economy. How has it changed, in your view, as a result of the events in the region over the

last 6 to 12 months?

DAVID BUTTER, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: What's changed in the last year has been the closure of the tunnels by the Egyptian government. This was

handling up to about 200 tons of trade every day. Fuel was running through, cars. It was a thriving entry point for bringing goods in. And,

of course, Hamas derived quite a lot of revenue from customs and licenses on these tunnels.

DEFTERIOS: What are the conditions on the ground today, with the tunnels shut and before the strikes. Is it a very difficult situation for

Palestinians on the ground?

BUTTER: About half of the Gaza population received humanitarian support one way or the other from the UN. There also were salaries coming

in from the Palestinian Authority to its members of the civil service, about 70,000 of those.

But without that trade coming in through the rougher crossings from Egypt, the situation was becoming increasingly more subdued and desperate

for the people on the ground.

DEFTERIOS: Grinding poverty and the desire by Hamas to strike at Israel, would you say there is a direct link?

BUTTER: Well, I think the timing of this escalation is linked to a number of things. Obviously, we have the breakdown of the peace process.

We have the reconciliation, if you like, the unity government between Hamas and Fattah.

But certainly from the Hamas point of view, the desperation they were in may have driven them to risk being -- getting involved in this

escalation on the assumption that a major crisis would result in a major reappraisal of the entire economic situation.


DEFTERIOS: That's our closer look at the economic strains for Palestinians in the Gaza strip, but there's energy in the background as

well. Up next on MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST, we look at whether sizable reserves off Gaza and in the eastern Mediterranean will help or hinder the

peace process in the region.


DEFTERIOS: Welcome back to MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. All the tensions between Israel and Hamas have stood in the way of potential energy

development offshore of Gaza. The Gaza Marine Field was discovered back in 2000, but conflict and politics have stood in the way of actual production.

I asked Simon Henderson of the Washington Institute, what is the potential of this field?


SIMON HENDERSON, DIRECTOR, THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE: Well, in world terms, the Gaza Marine offshore field is of no particular consequence.

It's a fraction of the size of other gas fields.

But it's just on the cusp of being a size which can be commercially exploited, and in Palestinian terms, it is their largest single economic

asset and could change the way the Palestinian Authority obtains revenues, and could provide much more reliable electricity to both the West Bank and

in particular the Gaza strip.

DEFTERIOS: I remember back in 2000, Yasser Arafat actually described this as a gift from God. Fourteen years later, with formerly British gas

group BG having the rights to explore it, would you still say it's that sort of gift for the Palestinians going forward?

HENDERSON: This is a gas field which would be expensive to exploit in that before you can get it, you have to spend upwards of $800 million,

perhaps even $1 billion. But once you do that, you've got 15, 20, perhaps even more, years of gas, which can come ashore.

DEFTERIOS: in this case, with regards to Gaza, are there territorial disputes over who would actually own the gas still?

HENDERSON: Well, in political terms, Israel conceded the Gaza Marine Field to the Palestinian Authority many years ago. But in strictly legal

terms, there is still ambiguity over who owns it.

The setback to this in oil and gas terms is that off the Gaza strip, there's probably not any other gas field which is worthy of exploiting.

And nor is there likely to be oil to be discovered.

By contrast, Israel continues to discover gas and is on the point of looking beneath its current gas fields to see if, as they expect, there is

some oil there as well.


DEFTERIOS: Simon Henderson, once again, of the Washington Institute. Well, Gaza may be sitting on some sizable reserves, but it's not the only

player in the eastern Mediterranean basin. I had a chance to visit both Cyprus and Lebanon. They're hoping their recent discoveries will radically

change the fortunes for their two countries.



DEFTERIOS (voice-over): It may be early days in the quest for energy underneath the first platform in the crystal-blue waters of the

Mediterranean, but the bounty may be sizable for a small country like Cyprus.

A minister overseeing this portfolio for the island nation says that natural gas will make his country energy independent for a generation.

YIORGOS LAKKOTRYPIS, CYPRIOT ENERGY MINISTER: Cyprus requires about 0.5 trillion cubic feet for 25 years for electricity production in Cyprus.

Now, we have a discover, which ranges between 3.6 to 6, so most of that will go for exports.

DEFTERIOS: The eastern Mediterranean is considered a new energy frontier. Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt have also marked their territories

and are busy evaluating their potential. Texas-based Noble Energy did its first energy drilling work last summer at Cyprus, indicating there is

potentially 3 billion barrels of oil in the field with a shared boundary between Cyprus and Israel.

The one block that has been surveyed when brought to market would represent more than 100 percent of the country's GDP of $23 billion. This

would be a massive turnaround for Cyprus, which needed a bank bailout a year ago.


DEFTERIOS: Across the waters in Lebanon, the calculations are much grander. Freddie Baz of Bank Audi says the government's share of energy

revenues could total $700 billion.

FREDDIE BAZ, GROUP CFO, BANK AUDI: Even if we assume a 20, 30 percent haircut on this figure for whatever geological or commercial risk, we are

still talking about a figure which represents 12 to 15 times the current size of the economy.


DEFTERIOS: Energy potentially changing the landscape in the eastern Mediterranean if all the parties can find common ground.

And that's all for this edition of CNN MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST. I'm John Defterios, thanks for watching. We'll see you next week.