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Israel-Hamas Truce Collapses, Fighting Erupts; Ebola Patient Expected to Arrive in U.S. Tomorrow

Aired August 1, 2014 - 19:00   ET


DON LEMON, CNN GUEST ANCHOR: Breaking news, a ceasefire officially dead. Israel says one of its soldiers is in the hands of Hamas tonight. The spokesman for Hamas is OUTFRONT next.

Plus, a humanitarian crisis in Gaza about to get even worse. No sign of a ceasefire in sight. Tonight, we're live in Gaza City.

And two Americans infected with Ebola about to return home. The first could be on U.S. soil as early as tomorrow. Let's go OUTFRONT.

Good evening, everyone. I'm Don Lemon in tonight for Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, deadly new fighting after of a ceasefire shattered between Gaza and Israel. The calm lasted 90 minutes, and now the tension at a new boiling point with the Israelis saying one of its soldiers is now in the hands of Hamas.

Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin abducted while destroying tunnels during the ceasefire. Hamas is denying any responsibility. We're going to speak with the spokesman for Hamas in just a moment here on CNN.

But first, we've got reports from both sides of this conflict tonight. John Vause in Gaza with a growing humanitarian crisis. We're going to speak with him. But we're going to start with Sara Sidner in Israel. She joins us now on the phone from along the border between Israel and Gaza.

Sara, you are on the move right now. I understand you started taking on mortar fire and you had to move out from in front of the camera. What's going on?

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That's right. We're overlooking the Gaza border when mortar came far too close for comfort. So we had to take cover and leave the area.

We have been hearing the sounds of Gaza also getting pounded tonight over and over again, the sounds of artillery fire, air strikes, F-15s flying overhead. And everyone had hoped that at 8:00 this morning that there would actually be 72 hours of calm. But clearly that is not what happened.


SIDNER (voice-over): The ceasefire was supposed to last 72 hours, but only lasted an hour and a half. The Israeli military says two Israeli soldiers were killed and an IDF Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured by Palestinian militants in a tunnel inside Gaza.

PETER LERNER, IDF SPOKESMAN: They came out of the ground, a suicide bomber blew himself up, killing two soldiers. And within the gunfight there, they went back down in the hole and abducted one of our boys.

SIDNER: Hamas said the fighting in tunnels in Rafa happened before the ceasefire and denied capturing anyone, telling CNN, it's clear the capture of the soldier is an Israeli story there is nothing from the resistance saying there was a capture. But President Obama today placed the blame squarely on Hamas.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third. Almost minutes after a ceasefire had been announced and the U.N. has condemned them as well.

SIDNER: The president also saying the responsibility lies with Hamas to put an end to the violence.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And I want to make sure that they are listening. If they are serious about trying to resolve this situation, that soldier needs to be unconditionally released as soon as possible.


LEMON: Sara Sidner is on the Israeli-Gaza border. And Sara, as we said at the beginning of your report, you started taking on mortar fire. Since this happened, this soldier was captured, there has been a ramp-up in activity by the Israeli military, correct?

SIDNER: That is correct, yes, and I think it's really expected. As soon as everyone, civilians and soldiers alike heard that there is a soldier potentially captured, even before it was made absolutely official.

There was the immediate reaction that, yes, we know what happens when that happens. It means that things get ratcheted way up. And that's what we are seeing throughout the day and especially in the last few hours -- Don.

LEMON: Sara Sidner, stay safe. Sara, if something happens we will get back to you if you get new information.

I want to talk now to Hamas spokesman, Osama Hamdan. Osama, did you heard what President Obama said to Hamas? He blames you and says only you can end the violence by returning the soldier.

You've been saying all day that you don't know if any of your people in the field have the soldier. How do you not know this now? It's been 16 hours. Quite honestly, it sounds like you're stalling.

OSAMA HAMDAN, HAMAS SPOKESMAN: Well, excuse me, I want to talk directly to President Obama. I'm sorry to hear you saying that today, Mr. Obama. I expected you to be more fair, more balanced. This soldier was missed while he was killing our citizens, civilians in their houses. Before his being missed, 20 Palestinians civilians were killed. After that another 50 Palestinians were killed.

And we've said clearly we don't have information. Just few minutes ago, released a press release saying they have lost their contact with the group, which was fighting on the ground, and they believe the group was killed by an air strike.

So until now, we don't have any more information about what had happened exact on the ground. This is supposed to be understood and this brings us back to two important points. The first one, we asked for an observers to control the ceasefire.

If there was observers, they will say exactly what had happened and they would blame Israel for what they have done.

LEMON: Let me --

HAMDAN: Secondly, we are working hard --

LEMON: Let me jump in here.

HAMDAN: Excuse me, we are working hard.

LEMON: You go a little further past than where I wanted to go. I would have eventually got to that. You say you asked for in this ceasefire observers. But then you claim at one point that you didn't know part of the ceasefire. So how can you know certain things and then not know other things? That you didn't know about the tunnels in the ceasefire, but you certainly know that there was supposed to be observers.

HAMDAN: Exactly. Exactly. We want observers to be on the ground because those observers, they will have immunity, and both sides will respect the ceasefire because they know someone is watching. But when the Israelis know that no one is watching, they will violate the ceasefire. They have a long history of violating all the ceasefires between them and the Palestinians.


HAMDAN: Not those days. Years before that. Every time they have --

LEMON: Can we stick to one subject at a time? If you will please answer my question directly. I'm talking about the soldier, right? The missing soldier. It has now been 16 hours and you're still saying that you have no information about this soldier, that you know nothing after 16 hours?

HAMDAN: Yes, we still know nothing and if you were hearing me well, I've told you just few minutes ago, there was a press release from troops saying that they have lost the contact from early morning with their groups working underground in Rafa. And they expect that they after those 16 hours, they may be killed by an air strike by the Israeli army.


HAMDAN: So it's clear there is a huge thing happening in Rafa. I want to concentrate here.

LEMON: Hang on, hang on. Let me ask the questions and then you can answer. Let me ask the questions and then you can answer them. So back in July --

HAMDAN: OK this is the part of --

LEMON: Military wing of Al Qassam announced they had captured an Israeli soldier. We have video of Palestinians in Gaza celebrating after that announcement.

HAMDAN: Excuse me. Excuse me. They did not announce that they capture an Israeli soldier. They said and everyone is saying we don't know what exactly happened underground. It's just the Israeli story and Rafa has under the Israeli bombing until now. No one can move. No one can ask. They have lost the contact with the group on the ground. So they don't know exactly what had happened. They believe that the group may be killed.

LEMON: I'm talking about July. I'm talking about back -- I'm talking about back on July 20th. That your military wing of Al Qassam said that it had captured an Israeli soldier. And again, we have video of Palestinians in Gaza celebrating after that announcement.

But then Israel, then said that the soldier was killed in action, and you didn't actually have a soldier. Isn't that exactly what you want to capture, an Israeli soldier?

HAMDAN: No, in fact not. This is clear that the Israelis are trying to say something about that soldier, to know exactly what is the situation, we know that. We have seen that before from the Israeli side. And I believe the big question must not be about the soldier who has been captured while he was killing the Palestinians.

The question is supposed to be asked why he was killing the civilians. Why he was targeting civilians. Why this army who is good in killing the Palestinian civilians are weeping for losing one soldier who was involved in a crime?

LEMON: OK. I know that's what you believe. So if it turns out that the men that you're missing, if it turns out that they did indeed --

HAMDAN: You don't believe killing civilians is a crime?

LEMON: Listen --

HAMDAN: You don't believe that killing civilians is a crime? I believe so. Don't you?

LEMON: I think the Israelis would say firing rockets after a ceasefire is also a crime or just firing rockets across into Israel is a crime as well. So I'm not here to argue the point.

HAMDAN: Exactly.

LEMON: I'm here for you to ask the questions and for you to answer them.

HAMDAN: We said clearly targeting civilians.

LEMON: Moving on.

HAMDAN: We said clearly not targeting civilians. The numbers are talking 50 soldiers who were killed to 1,600 civilians on the Palestinian side.

LEMON: Let me finish the question I was going to ask you. If it turns out you did capture that soldier, then how do you plan to handle that? What is next?

HAMDAN: Well, until now we don't know that our people have captured that soldier. So we are not supposed to talk about this anymore.

LEMON: OK. Great. Fine. Let's not talk about it.

HAMDAN: We don't have comments.

LEMON: All right, great. Another Hamas spokesman said that during those celebrations that I showed a little bit earlier, he said we support Hamas armed wing, Al Qassam Brigades who captured this soldier. And that is great news as a Zionist offensive is going on in Gaza. This is great news to our prisoners that they will become free soon. Again, isn't it your goal to trade Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldiers?

HAMDAN: Well, that's a good question because Israel did not give any space for the Palestinians. They arrest the Palestinians for no reasons. They put them in the jails for ten, dozens of years there is no justice in that. The only way that Israelis are telling the Palestinians, the only way to have your prisoners back, not the peace process, not the negotiations, only if you capture Israeli soldiers.

They have done this in Lebanon. They have done in Palestine. They did not release any Palestinian prisoner unless there was an Israeli captured from the army. So this is the Israelis' fault. They have to be more justiful. They have to stop the occupation and release our prisoners so the Palestinians will choose another way.

But with unjustice, with no peace, with no freedom for the Palestinians, don't blame the Palestinians about capturing one Israeli soldier who was killing civilians while you have 10,000 Palestinians in the Israeli jails.

LEMON: You are clearly outpowered. You outmaneuvered by the Israeli military. How much longer will you allow innocent Palestinians to suffer and die because the people who needed the ceasefire for humanitarian aid the most were Palestinians? How much longer are you going to allow people to suffer before something is done?

HAMDAN: Well, those people are our people. They are our women, men, sons, daughters. What we are doing is trying to protect them from the occupation. The Israelis violated 2012 ceasefire agreement. They bombed the houses. There was a reaction. This must be ended. We hope to have a long-term ceasefire stopping all the Israeli attacks against the Palestinians.

Giving our people a chance to live peacefully without occupation. This is the point at which everyone has to concentrate and on it and end the occupation, make an end for the occupation. Save the lives of the Palestinians and everyone in the region.

LEMON: So how long are you going to go on to let people suffer? It's just infinitely?

HAMDAN: Well, we have worked hard. We have worked hard to have a ceasefire. And this humanitarian ceasefire for 72 hours was a result of our hard work from Hamas also. The one who violated that was the Israelis.


HAMDAN: If now there is a chance to have another ceasefire with the guarantees that there will be no Israeli violations, we are OK. We will do that now. If the Israelis said that they are ready to do it.

LEMON: Osama Hamdan, thank you. Appreciate you. We're going to get reaction to this interview next.

Plus, the real Hamas, who is really running the group that Israel and the U.S. have labeled a terrorist organization?

Plus, the abducted Israeli soldier, the story eerily similar to Gilad Shalit, the soldier held captive by Hamas for five years.

And the worst Ebola outbreak in history touches America. One of two infected Americans could be back on U.S. soil as early as tomorrow.


LEMON: The breaking news tonight, fierce fighting in the Middle East after a ceasefire collapses. Both Israel and Hamas blaming each other for breaking the truce. What was supposed to be a 72-hour pause lasted all of about 90 minutes.

Israel claims it was attacked, so it resumed shelling, and tensions deepened when an Israeli soldier went missing. Neither Hamas nor its militant allies were involved. President Obama says Hamas should be in control of the Palestinian factions, which begs the question, is Hamas really calling the shots in Gaza?

Joining me now is our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson. He is in Doha, Qatar, which is also the defacto headquarters of Hamas. Nick, what kind of support does Qatar offer Hamas?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's given sanctuary to the political chief of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal. He was in Syria before, but of course, Syria went through its revolution. He didn't feel safe in Damascus. And a couple of years ago he was looking for somewhere to live and he was offered a place in Qatar. Khaled Meshaal and Hamas are very closely aligned to the Muslim Brotherhood. It's widely viewed here in this region that Qatar is a big supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood through the Arab spring, has really been trying to advance their interests.

And essentially, as of right now, the Hamas is perhaps biggest supporter in this region is Qatar. What do they provide? Moral support, political support. They are also believed to have been behind part of the reason, the political motivation, if you will, for Hamas to agree to that ceasefire earlier today.

And to agree to go into some kind of talks in Cairo over the weekend. Of course, that's now all fallen apart. But that's the kind of support that Qatar provides for Hamas, important political support, a political base. And what we've seen in the past with other groups, there is certainly a level of financing to keep them afloat as well -- Don.

LEMON: When you have Hamas' top political leader in Qatar and the military faction of Hamas in Gaza, are they operating in sync here? The representative earlier said we've lost contact with a certain group. It sounds to me like one hand doesn't know what the other is doing, if that indeed is true. Who is calling the shots then, Nic?

ROBERTSON: Yes, they're not operating as much in sync as they would during normal times. Their communications I think they can rightly assume are going to be monitored between the political heads and the military heads inside Gaza. But they've been through this before, 2008-2009, operation cast lead, 2012 as well.

Another confrontation between Hamas and the Israelis in Gaza. So that they've learned to deal with this in the past and the Hamas political leadership here say that they are in sync with the military leadership in Gaza. That they defer to their command at times like this.

But they have come through these situations before and other Palestinian leaders believe that there is coordination between the political and military wings of Hamas. And the evidence of the past speaks to the fact that they probably will survive this again.

Even if the political leaders here don't know minute by minute precisely what is happening on the ground. But almost in any war situation, a political leadership would find itself behind the army if you will of knowing what is happening on the ground -- Don.

LEMON: Nic Robertson, stay with us. I want to bring you back into this possibly. I want to bring in Aaron David Miller now, the author and former adviser of the Arab-Israeli peace process. And Khaled Elgindy, who is a fellow on the Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Hello to all of you gentlemen.

Aaron, President Obama said when Hamas signs on to a ceasefire, the group is saying it is in control of the various Palestinian factions. Is that actually happening or is that Hamas's problem right now?

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER U.S. ADVISER ON THE ARAB-ISRAEL PEACE PROCESS: You know, I think Mr. Hamdan suggests the degree of confusion that exists now between the military wing, which I would argue are setting the pace of this confrontation and the political leadership.

And the problem with the ceasefire effort was that John Kerry, the U.N., the Qataris and the Turks essentially were relying on assessments from the political leadership that the military wing was committed to this.

And frankly, Khaled Meshaal or Mr. Hamdan outside in Qatar are not running the show. The show is being run by a bunch of guys who have high trajectory weapons, who have developed an incredibly sophisticated tunnel infrastructure. And as well Khaled may agree or not, believe they're actually winning.

There is absolutely no incentive or any sense of urgency right now on the military wing to stand down and common sense would dictate frankly.

LEMON: That was my last question to him is that you're clearly out manufactured by the Israeli military. Your people are dying. They're in need of humanitarian aid, yet you're violating a ceasefire and saying all that the other side. It's clearly there is a huge disconnect going on.

And Khaled, how can anyone who may be, you know, pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel, how can anyone have any faith in Hamas if their leadership is not in control of what the guys are even doing in the field?

KHALED ELGINDY, FELLOW, CENTER FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Well, that's a good question. I think there is no doubt that there is a disconnect between the political leadership of Hamas and the military wing. And it seemed last night and early this morning that they were in sync when the ceasefire first went into effect and then it broke down.

And it's not entirely clear. I think, you know, despite the certainty that a lot of people are speaking with, I think it's not entirely clear how the ceasefire broke down. We heard the Hamas spokesman talk about Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians.

We know that a number of homes are being destroyed in the Rafah area in the theater in which the capture of the Israeli soldier took place. I suppose it's debatable as to who broke the ceasefire. But the question is as far as Hamas being in control, there are two parts to that.

The first part is whether there is a will to enforce the ceasefire. The second part is whether there is the ability to enforce the ceasefire and the ability relates to whether Hamas has control over its own.

LEMON: Right.

ELGINDY: People. And whether there may be sort of lone -- LEMON: Actors, yes.

ELGINDY: Who are affiliated with Hamas but going on their own.

LEMON: I want to get Aaron back in here. You have worked for a half dozen secretary of states, Secretary Kerry's predecessors. How should the U.S. proceed now?

MILLER: Look, you had the secretary for nine months try to broker an agreement, frame an agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas. It didn't work. You had the secretary of state two weeks ago try, I suspect a little prematurely because the parties weren't ready for it, to try to broker a ceasefire that didn't work.

And he was wrongly criticized, I would argue unfairly for it. And now you have -- it surprised me, frankly. I was actually stunned by the fact that they produced this agreement. But I was not surprised by the reality that the agreement lasted less than 90 minutes.

Because the sense of urgency that is required to actually de-escalate doesn't exist. In the main, it does not exist on Hamas' side because I'll say it again for, military wing, they actually believe they're winning.

LEMON: Nic, I have to ask you something, which I think is a very good point. This came from social media. It says the representative that you had on from Hamas can say all of those things sitting in the comfort of Doha, Qatar, but drop him in the middle of Gaza, he might actually change his mind when there is no electricity and there is no power, and people are dying.

ROBERTSON: These are politician who have been through this before, I think to a degree they know their people on the ground. They know they have similar objectives. They may not be on exactly the same path to those objectives. But when the dust does settle, they're all trying to go in the same direction.

There, if you will, political leaders who are outside of the conflict may be at a slightly greater ease, and perhaps one might argue slightly more rational when it comes to making peace. But these are the people who are going to have to impress on those military leaders inside the heat of the battle. You need that mix. You need people on the outside that you can talk to as well.

LEMON: Gentlemen, thank you very much. Appreciate all of you this evening. We have heard about the Qatar-Hamas relationship before from our very own Erin Burnett. For more on her in-depth reporting make sure you visit

Still to come tonight, mortar fire erupting in the Middle East.

And two Americans with Ebola set to return to the U.S., one of them could be here as early as tomorrow. Are doctors doing enough to ensure the American public is safe?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: We're back now with our breaking news. New levels of deadly fighting and destruction in the war between Gaza and Israel. A truce shattered in less than 90 minutes.

And now, Israel says one of its soldiers is in the hands of Hamas. Hamas denies the charge, but today, President Obama squarely placing the blame on the group.

And there is no denying this incident has only made things worse for the Palestinian people. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza growing by the minute.

CNN's John Vause is in Gaza with the latest for us tonight.

John, what's going on?

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, this is maybe the first quiet night here in what, 25 days. But instead what we have seen over the last hour or so, have I counted about nine air strikes, which have hit the eastern part of Gaza. We heard the missiles being launched. We're being told by the Palestinian officials here that those air strikes are targeting homes. They say a number of people have been killed. They don't have the exact death toll at this stage.

We're also hearing that there has been renewed fighting, renewed Israeli strikes on the southern town of Rafah, 23 people killed there in the last few hours or so. So, that brings the death toll in Rafah since this ceasefire collapsed to at least 95.

That a big part of Israel's massive response since that soldier was captured by Palestinian militants. Witnesses down there, I went down there, I spoke with them. They said that the area was pounded repeatedly Israeli artillery as well as tanks. Many stayed inside. The Israelis told them to stay inside. Others, though, decided to leave.

So, once again, thousands of Palestinians are looking for some place out of harm's way.


VAUSE (voice-over): They couldn't stop killing each other for more than two hours. By midmorning Friday, the ceasefire was shattered, and the war picked up, where it left off.

With heavy fighting around the border town of Rafah, many headed to this U.N. school.

"They told us there was a ceasefire," this woman told me. "We returned home and they targeted us again."

Israel warned people here via text messages or robocalls to either stay indoors or find somewhere safe.

(on camera): Many of the people here say their phones simply stopped working hours ago. They had no coverage. But they decided to come here, to this U.N. school because they thought it would be safe. They heard the Israeli explosions, the sound of artillery. They saw the jets overhead and they thought they should come here because this would be much safer than staying at home.

Others decided to leave in overloaded cars, they sped north, away from Rafah, reluctant to stop and talk even for a few moments.

"They will target us, the planes, tanks and missiles. This area is being targeted," he says. "We must go to Khan Yunis."

And this is why they're leaving. A Khan Yunis hospital, doctors are standing in blood, treating the wounded.

MOHAMMED SALEM, EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR: And fracture, injury, amputated the lower limb. Many amputated lower limb.

VAUSE (on camera): Lower amputated legs?

SALEM: Yes, legs.

VAUSE (voice-over): Like every else in Gaza, supplies here are running low. A three-day ceasefire would have been a chance to restock, maybe rest, but not now.

And once again, Palestinians in Gaza like Um Ahmed and her six children are trying to find somewhere, anywhere that is safe.

"They killed 45 members of my family," she says. "They've destroyed our homes. My aunt and uncle, all of them killed."


VAUSE: Don, we are getting this late statement now from the Al Qassam Brigade, the military wing of Hamas. They put this statement out saying that they lost contact with a group of their fighters who they sent out possibly to kidnap an Israeli soldier. They're assuming all of their fighters are dead. So, that is the latest from Hamas. That's a statement which they put out on their Web site just a short time ago, Don.

LEMON: A spokesman confirming that same statement earlier as well. Thank you, John Vause.

Joining me now from Tel Aviv via Skype, Michael Herzog, retired brigadier general of the Israeli Defense Force.

General, this ceasefire broke down preventing humanitarian assistance from coming in. How far in good conscience are Israelis willing to put civilians in Gaza in harm's way? I mean, at what point do you say enough is enough, we've done enough already?

MICHAEL HERZOG, RETIRED BRIGADIER GENERAL: Well, it's clear that the humanitarian situation in Gaza is very serious after nearly a month of fighting. I think this is a result of the government's policy of putting civilians in the middle of this war, hiding their military capabilities in civilian populated areas, firing from them, calling the population not to leave war zones, not to heed the IDF's call to leave war zones. And they are the tragic victims of this.

I don't know when this war is going to end. I hope soon. I believe any civilian loss in Gaza is a loss for Israel. I hope this ends soon.

LEMON: Let's talk about now that missing Israeli soldier. The IDF spokesman said they don't know who is behind it, but it was, quote, "The Hamas M.O." How does IDF know for sure if Hamas is responsible?

HERZOG: What I hear from people in Israel that they believe Hamas was behind it. Probably based on information they have. It's not clear yet what exactly happened there, is he dead or alive and where exactly he is located.

Obviously, the focus is shifted now to tactical decision-making of trying to locate him and get him back. And IDF focuses its operation in that area of kidnapping in Rafah to isolate the operation and to try if they can get him back. It's an ongoing operation. The longer it takes, the less hope there is to get him back soon.


HERZOG: That complicates the efforts to bring about a ceasefire.

LEMON: So, there is speculation that another group was responsible. If that is the case, how does that change the calculation toward a ceasefire with Hamas?

HERZOG: Well, ultimately, as far as Israel is concerned, Hamas should bear a responsibility for enforcing a ceasefire. Hamas led the war on the Palestinian side. And Hamas is responsible for a ceasefire. It's the biggest and the most powerful group in Gaza.

And if there is a ceasefire, Hamas will have to bear a responsibility. We cannot reach ceasefire agreements with numerous groups in Gaza. There has to be one address, and that address has to be responsible and to be able to enforce the ceasefire on all other factions.

LEMON: Have you given up on ceasefires with Hamas? If so, then what is next?

HERZOG: We tried several humanitarian ceasefires. I believe at least five of them. All of them were violated by Hamas. In many cases when we agree to a humanitarian ceasefire, we ultimately paid with the life of our soldiers.

Today, during the humanitarian ceasefire, two were killed and one was kidnapped. Three days ago, 10 soldiers were killed during a humanitarian ceasefire.

So, I believe the conclusion here is that we cannot trust Hamas for humanitarian ceasefire. And to the extent that there is ceasefire, they will have to show first that they abide by it, and that they enforce it.

LEMON: Michael Herzog, thank you. HERZOG: Thank you very much.

LEMON: OUTFRONT next, Israel claims Hamas captured one of its soldiers. Years ago, Israel released more than a thousand prisoners to get one soldier back. Will they do it again?

And Ebola in America. A U.S. citizen infected with the disease could be back on American soil as early as tomorrow. What's being done to prevent the outbreak from spreading here?


LEMON: We have been telling you about Hadar Goldin, the Israeli soldier that the military is accusing Palestinian militants of abducting. And for many Israelis, it is a stark reminder of the anguish they experienced eight years ago.

CNN's Jason Carroll has this story for us.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The capture of an Israeli soldier, Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, his fate uncertain. What is certain, when one is taken, it is felt by all in Israel.

That was the case with Gilad Shalit, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants during a raid near the Gaza-Israel- Egypt border on June 25th, 2006. Hamas held Shalit captive for more than five years. During that time, his name became a symbol of unity for Israel in a country where it is compulsory to serve in the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces.

JERRY SILVERMAN: Because of that, there is a culture in Israel, that those who serve in the IDF, they're everyone's children.

CARROLL: Three years into captivity, these photos taken from a so- called "proof of life" video released by his captors.

In June 2010, Shalit's parents joined protesters who marched to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's home in Jerusalem to draw attention to his cause.

Finally, October 18th, 2011, Israel's native son is freed. In exchange, more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners are released.

Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about the price paid for securing Shalit's freedom.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): On this day, we are all united, in joy and pain.

CARROLL: Gershon Baskin helped broker Shalit's freedom, but says the kidnapping of Lieutenant Goldin must not become another Shalit incident.

GERSHON BASKIN, NEGOTIATEED GILAD SHALIT'S RELEASE: There is not going to be a Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. Israel will not leave Gaza without that soldier, dead or alive. And this is a sad reality for that soldier. Israel is not going to back itself into a situation where it's being held hostage.

YOUSELF MUNAYYER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE PALESTINE CENTER: I think from a Palestinian perspective, they look at this and they think that it is a little bit of leverage.

CARROLL: Initially, Israel tried to rescue Shalit immediately following his capture. The country's military doing all it can this time as well.

MARK REGEV, NETANYAHU SPOKESMAN: It's crucial to make a maximum effort at the initial stage because if you have a kidnapping, and the individual who has been kidnapped disappears into the middle of a large city in Gaza or something like that, you have much less chance to bring him back home.


CARROLL: There are already early calls for Lieutenant Goldin's release. There were similar early calls for Shalit's release. For now, a soldier held captive, a country doing everything it can to make sure it's not held captive as well -- Don.

LEMON: Thank you, Jason Carroll. Appreciate that.

Still to come done, two teenaged girls caught in the middle of the Mideast conflict, one Israeli, one Palestinian. They're both OUTFRONT tonight.

And the largest Ebola outbreak in history gets even worse. One of two Americans infected with the virus could return to the U.S. as early as tomorrow.


LEMON: More breaking news tonight. America's first Ebola patient is expected to arrive tomorrow. Two Americans sickened by the deadly virus in Liberia are now stable enough to head home. The plane sent to pick them up left the U.S. yesterday, but only one patient can travel at a time.

Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spoke to the doctor that will be in charge of treating these patients at Emory University Hospital and asked how ready his staff is for this challenge.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Any hesitation in accepting these patients?

DR. BRUCE RIBNER, EMORY UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Actually, it's been the reverse. We have a small cadre of ICU nurses who staff our unit. I actually had two nurses who were scheduled to go on vacation tomorrow, and they both canceled their vacations and said, we have been training for this. We are not going to miss the opportunity to care for this patient.


LEMON: Sanjay is with us here live now.

So, Sanjay, you had some pretty incredible access. What more did you learn about treating these patients once they arrive here on U.S. soil tomorrow?

GUPTA: Well, you can't emphasize enough, Don, how much of a first this is. It's the first time an Ebola patient will be in the western hemisphere of the world. First time certainly in the United States, and, obviously, the first time at this hospital, Emory University Hospital, behind me.

They don't have a lot of information, which is somewhat surprising, Don. They said they're going to get a two to three-hour notice before the patient arrives but just even basic things, you know, the blood work. They haven't gotten blood work from Liberia, the blood work has not been done. And they also said, we're not even sure if the patients, for example, are on breathing machines or ventilators.

So, they're really, really operating with limited information. They know the patient has an Ebola infection and they know the patient will be stable enough to fly, but that's really about it. So, it's going to be sort of starting almost from the beginning here, Don.

LEMON: Yes, how will it medical team there protect themselves and I'm wondering about the people who are actually flying them over, as well.

GUPTA: Yes, this is one of those interesting things, you know, when you think about Ebola, just a small amount of body fluid from an infected patient, a sick infected patient, that gets on somebody's skin, could be a source of infection.

So, take a look at the video here, Don. This is Dr. Ribner. He's going to be the doctor who's actually in charge of the team caring for these patients, suiting up. That's what it looks like, they're going to have to do that several times a day, put on a mask that has an air ventilation system and that's what they're going to look like when they go in the room.

You've seen these type of moon suits, that's what they use also in the fields in Guinea, where we were, but this is a little bit more sophisticated. The goals are the same. Cover up every square inch of your body before you see these patients.

One more question in the short time we have left, Sanjay. We know the patients will arrive one at a time. Will their families -- families won't probably have access to the isolation units, I would imagine. But probably, but there will be some sort of communication with them, hopefully.

GUPTA: Imagine a glass box. That's what sort of what's like. They can certainly see their family members one to two inches away, intercoms, telephones, that's how it needs to be done to keep those family members safe.

LEMON: Yes, it's unbelievable, and the family members, you can't imagine what they are dealing with right now.

And it's -- you know, just quickly here, Sanjay, a little more time, it's the not knowing. There are so many unknowns with this.

GUPTA: I mean, all they know, all they have heard is this carries a mortality rate of 60 percent to 90 percent. I mean, it's so scary. This health care team was out there taking care of Ebola patients. They're doing incredible work. But now, they base the next step is they got to make sure they can get back fly back and do it safely. There is a big unknown there. It's a risky medical evacuation, but it's one they think is worth trying.

LEMON: Sanjay Gupta in Atlanta for us -- Sanjay, thank you very much.

OUTFRONT next, innocent children caught in the middle of the Mideast crisis, this conflict. We hear from two of them tonight.


LEMON: Welcome back, everyone.

Death and destruction in the Middle East tonight has two teenagers living on each side of this conflict in constant fear.

Paula Hancocks has their story.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "This is in my area, I can't stop crying. I might die tonight." A few nights ago, this 16-year-old Palestinian girl tweeted live from Gaza, sharing her terror with the world.

FARAH BAKER, PALESTINIAN TEENAGER: The sound of the bombs, I feel like it's going to explode the house, so I just keep listening to the bombs and pray.

HANCOCKS: Farah Baker, an amateur photographer, used to take photos of nature, now she says it's with bombed buildings. With little electricity and weak Internet in Gaza, we talk on the telephone. The teenager says she's lived through three wars between Israel and Hamas but this one is the worst.

BAKER: I actually feel unsafe and so scared and worried, but I try to hide all of my fears to encourage my 6-year-old sister, who keeps crying all the time.

HANCOCKS: Even at six, her sister has seen all three bloody escalations and violence.

Children are dying in the streets in Gaza. More than 250 since the latest fighting began according to the United Nations, more than the number of Palestinian fighters killed. I asked Baker what she wants. She replies, a cease-fire forever.

Tal Bilia, also 16, also war hardened. An Israeli from (INAUDIBLE), a veteran of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza. She says a few years ago, a rocket hit her school bus 20 seconds after she got off.

TAL BILIA, ISRAELI TEENAGER: I get on and get off the bus every day, twice a day, every week and it's terrifying to think that I -- I may be the next one that will be on that bus that will explode.

HANCOCKS: One hospital moved the neo natal clinic to a room that's rocket proof. Bilia volunteers for a local group that helps residents find shelters and stay safe. She said Israel may have shelters and sirens, but the violence is no less terrifying.

BILIA: When the alarm goes on, you have 40 seconds to save your life, 40 seconds to run.

HANCOCKS: Bilia wishes her life could be different.

Two teenagers on different sides of the boarder, 16-year-olds, who should be worrying about exams or parties. Instead, they are worrying about staying alive.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, New York.


LEMON: Thank you so much for joining us tonight. I'll be back here tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern when I'll host "CNN TONIGHT," where we will cover the very latest on the violence in the Middle East.

After the alleged capture of that Israeli soldier, the Israeli army has vowed to ramp up its military action in Gaza. We're going to talk to an Israeli ambassador about their next steps. It is coming up on 3:00 a.m. in Gaza. The sun will come up by the time we're on at 10:00 p.m. Eastern tonight, and we will see the fallout. I hope you join us there.

I'm Don Lemon. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm in for Erin Burnett tonight.

"AC360" with Anderson Cooper starts right now.