Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

CNN Goes Inside the Ruins of a Children's Hospital in Gaza; British PM Sacked their Home Secretary, Brought Back Former PM as New Foreign Secretary; Trump Returns to the Campaign Trail with Toxic Rhetoric Remarks. Chinese Government builds Disinformation Online Hub to Harass Chinese-American Critics; Anti-Semitic Demonstrations on the Rise; Titanic's First Class Menu Sold in an Auction. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 14, 2023 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world and to everyone streaming us on CNN Max. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, conditions inside Gaza's largest hospital are described as catastrophic with fuel, power and basic necessities growing increasingly scarce.

Benjamin Netanyahu doubles down saying Israel will see the war to the end but international pressure is mounting for a ceasefire.

Plus, the Chinese government is harassing and threatening people in the United States for criticizing Beijing.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Thanks for joining us. Well, the big focus right now in Gaza is on the enclaves cut off hospitals, which appear to be reaching the point of no return as intense fighting erupts nearby. The director of the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest, is pleading for help saying there's no electricity, food, water, or milk for the babies and no fuel for generators. He says the thousands of people sheltering inside face catastrophic conditions and all essential units in the hospital have collapsed.

Gaza's hospitals are controlled by Hamas, and Israel says the militant group's headquarters are hidden underneath Al-Shifa. Doctors and Hamas deny that. Meanwhile, the Israeli military says Hamas fighters attacked its troops Monday from the entrance of Gaza's second biggest hospital. Israel says more than 20 terrorists were killed and that they had been embedded among civilians in the Al-Quds hospital, which is no longer operational. The U.S. president expressed concern Monday over hospitals being targeted.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: And it's my hope and expectation that it will be a less intrusive action relative to the hospital. The hospital must be protected.


Regardless of what's underneath Gaza's hospitals, above ground or hidden in the walls, the situation is dire. CNN's Nic Robertson was able to get into Gaza recently and see what's left of a children's hospital. He was escorted by the Israel Defense Forces at all times. But CNN did not submit its script or footage to the IDF and has retained editorial control over Nic's final report. Here it is.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Driving into Gaza with the Israeli forces. It's a war zone. The conditions of our access only show officers. No faces of soldiers and don't show sensitive equipment.

We are passing mile after mile of destruction buildings blown collapsed. Nothing untouched by the fury of Israel's hunt for Hamas streets here crushed back to sand.

(on-camera): Shops, everything that we see, no sign of any civilians here. And the soldiers have been telling us that even inside the stores, they've been fighting things like rocket propelled grenades ready to use against them as they were advancing through this area.

(voice-over): A few miles in, we pull up at a command post. Soldiers living in blown apartment buildings.

(on-camera): Every building I'm looking at here, wherever you turn, is destroyed, it's shot up. Hard to imagine how civilians endured the bombardment here.

(voice-over): Our next journey, much deeper into Gaza. We arrive a hundred meters from a battle with Hamas.

Tanks blasting targets in nearby buildings. The IDF's top spokesperson waiting for us.

BRIG. GEN. DANIEL HAGARI, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESPERSON: We know, we're conducting an operation inside Gaza, next to Rentece Hospital.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Israel is facing massive international pressure over the destruction of homes, the shockingly high civilian death toll, and in the last few days, over its apparently heavy-handed tactics at hospitals.


HAGARI: We are searching the tunnel with the bulldozers. We will reveal the tunnels that we suspect that are underneath the hospital.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hagari has brought us here to show the connection he says exists between Hamas and the Rentece Children's Hospital.

HAGARI: We are now here in an area between a hospital, a school and a terrorist house.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A Hamas commander, he says, lives there. He points out the solar panels on the roof.

HAGARI: This is a tunnel that was sliding like this, the floor. You can see here.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): This is the ladder going down.

HAGARI: You see the ladder going down.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): I see the ladder going down.

HAGARI: Okay, this is a 20-meter tunnel. And look at here. Look at the panel. Be careful here. But look down here. The cables are going down to the tunnel. Okay?

ROBERTSON (on-camera): So they're hardwired into the tunnel.

HAGARI: For what I wanted to show you, the solar panels on the terrace house provide electricity directly to the tunnel. We have entered a robot inside the tunnel and the robot saw a massive door, a door that is on the direction of the hospital.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): We're in what is an active fire zone here. You can hear the small arms fire. The IDF say they're still clearing this area out. We're getting down here, just taking a bit of cover because they say we're still taking fire. But over here, we were able to smell what smelled like rotting flesh, bodies perhaps, buried underneath the rubble. No, no. No, don't go up, Hay. No. Don't expose yourself.

(voice-over): As we move off to the hospital, a hundred meters away, we're still taking fire.

HAGARI: We're still conducting an operation -- operation conducted by a special unit. The Israeli Navy SEALs are researching the hospital.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hagari later tells us, he took a big risk, bringing us into such a combat zone. It is clear he wants this story told.

HAGARI: We're searching here to see the connection of the tunnel to the hospital, OK? Don't fall here.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): So this is where the connection?

HAGARI: We are looking for the connection.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): As we finally reach the hospital, it is already getting dark. A huge hole has been blasted through the walls into the basement.

(on-camera): Why is the hospital so damaged? HAGARI: We'll talk -- why is the hospital so damaged. I'll ask, it's a

important question.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): Yeah, it is.

HAGARI: We came to this hospital five days ago. There were still patients inside the hospital. We did not enter into the hospital.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): He claims since then, all patients were evacuated by hospital staff.

HAGARI: We assist this evacuation, of course, to make it a safe pass for all the patients in the hospital. We do not know that the hospital is entirely clean. We do not know. We only entered to this area which was suspected because we were being fired.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hagari leads us through a warland of basement corridors to this room.

HAGARI: This was the armory, OK?

ROBERTSON (on-camera): This was the Hamas armory.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): He shows us a few rusting guns and some explosives. These guns alone have potentially huge implications for Gaza's hospitals and Israel's apparent push to take control of them.

(on-camera): The International Committee for the Red Cross say that hospitals are given special protection under international humanitarian law in a time of war. But if militants store weapons there or use them as a base of fire, then that protection falls away.

(voice-over): In other rooms, he shows us a motorbike with a bullet hole in it that he suspects was used by Hamas attackers, October 7th. And nearby, possible evidence hostages could have been held here.

HAGARI: We are now in the basement in the same area, yards from the motorcycle. We see a chair. We see a rope. We see a woman's clothes or woman's -- something covering a woman.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): She think a woman was tied up in this chair.

HAGARI: This is an assumption going to be checked by DNA.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): More evidence, Hagari says, points towards Hamas and possible hostage presence below the hospital.

(on-camera): And by bringing us here to this hospital and showing us the connection that you believe exists between the terrorists and the, possibly, hostages, what does this say about the other hospitals here in Gaza?

HAGARI: Cynically, Shifa Hospital is known by facts, by intelligence, to be a terrorist hub. And also, it's suspicious also in holding hostages. This is the best shelter for the terror war machine of Hamas.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): But the hospital authorities said they have no knowledge of Hamas or other groups inside the hospitals. Is that possible?

HAGARI: I think it's not possible for a hospital to have this kind of an infrastructure. We knew the terrorists were here. We knew, we knew by intelligence also we got some fire from this area.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): From this area of this building?

HAGARI: From this area and we were right to fire because we found an armory.


ROBERTSON (on-camera): But there's damage all around here.

HAGARI: Yeah, there is damage all around here because Hamas made it impossible for us to fight him. He built all this infrastructure in tunnels and in hospitals around areas populated.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): As we exit the hospital, it is already dark.

(on-camera): We're just getting ready to leave right now. The firefight's still going on, still intense. Bullets fired, explosions going on up the street there.

(voice-over): This war and the controversies surrounding it far from resolved.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Gaza.


CHURCH: The U.S. government is facing growing pressure to push Israel for a ceasefire in Gaza. During a meeting at the White House Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said the United States must do more to stop quote, "atrocities in Gaza." Mr. Biden did not respond to those comments.

Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is acknowledging discord within the State Department over the Biden administration's policies on the wall. In an email to staff, Mr. Blinken wrote, some people in the department may disagree with approaches we are taking or have views on what we can do better. We have organized forums in Washington to hear from you and urged managers and teams to have candid discussions. We're listening. What you share is informing our policy and our messages.

I do want to bring in CNN's Clare Sebastian who joins us live from London. Good morning to you Clare. So of course as we're reporting international pressure intensifying on Israel to declare a ceasefire and the U.S. President is feeling that mounting pressure too. So what is the latest on all of this? CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Rosemary, we had an

acknowledgement on this from within the highest levels of the Israeli government, the foreign minister on Monday saying that essentially he sees that international pressure is mounting and they have around two to three weeks before it really intensifies. Now we have already seen it intensify. We're seeing repeated calls from aid agencies for a ceasefire amnesty this week calling on E.U. leaders to demand one.

We're seeing the Arab and Muslim world of course unite around that call for a ceasefire. French President Emmanuel Macron at the end of last week coming out and saying there is no other solution than a pause, he said, going to a ceasefire.

Now, as to whether this is weakening the resolve of Israel's regards its operation in Gaza, it doesn't seem like there's any evidence of that at the moment the foreign minister said even when those two to three weeks elapsed and they see this international press pressure increasing that does not mean that Israel will change course and a similar sentiment, Rosemary, we heard from the Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday. Take a listen.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): This is neither an operation or a realm but a war to the end. It is important to me that you know this. This is not lip service, but from the heart and mind. If we do not finish them, it will come back.


SEBASTIAN: So now crucially, the U.S., which is of course Israel's biggest backer, we have seen more nuance creeping into the rhetoric around how they discuss what's happening in Gaza, certainly from Secretary Blinken, who has visited the region multiple times. They are, it seems, still some distance away from calling for a ceasefire, though. And President Biden, you saw him on Monday choosing his words extremely carefully around what's happening in the hospital, saying that it's his expectation that there will be less intrusive action, he said.

And we later heard from the White House national security spokesperson, John Kirby, speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper, who re- clarified exactly what the president had meant by that. Take a listen to that.


JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: When you bury those targets inside civilian infrastructure, particularly a hospital where there's innocent patients and little kids who have severe issues that need looking after, it makes it much harder for any military force to go after those targets because the hospital itself ought to be, as the president said, ought to be protected. So he's really talking about this incredibly difficult conundrum that Israeli military forces are facing right now.


SEBASTIAN: You know, Rosemary, this really underscores the delicate situation the U.S. is in and the fact that it is seeing a certain cost to its ongoing support of Israel, internal strife within the State Department, as you pointed out. We've seen staffers in USAID also come out and demand the president do more to push for a ceasefire. There's also been protests in the U.S. There was a protest here in London which culminated at the U.S. embassy. I think it's clear that certainly there is a view that while the U.S. may not be explicitly to blame for what's happened, they may have the power to push Israel to do more to protect civilians. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Our thanks to Clare Sebastian for that live report from London.


Well as the war rages, U.S. forces are coming under frequent assault in Syria and Iraq. An official told CNN, U.S. military personnel were attacked. At least four more times in the past day by Iran-backed groups in Syria. There were no casualties. The latest attacks came hours after the US military carried out retaliatory strikes on targets associated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard and its proxies. Pentagon officials say those strikes were conducted to send a clear message that the U.S. will defend itself and its personnel.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Our goal over time is to ensure that our forces are protected and that we respond if we get hit. That is what we have done, that is what we will continue to do. And this should be measured over the course of time, not over the course of 24 hours.


CHURCH: Pentagon officials say the number of attacks against U.S. and coalition forces in Syria and Iraq has now risen to at least 52 since October 17.

Well coming up next, former British Prime Minister David Cameron makes a surprise return to government service amid a Cabinet reshuffle. We'll have details.

And pledging to eliminate political opponents he describes as vermin and vowing to remove all undocumented aliens from the U.S. Donald Trump hits the campaign trail with increasingly toxic rhetoric. We'll have details for you on the other side of the break. Stay with us.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. A dramatic cabinet reshuffle in the U.K. is leading to a stunning return to politics for former British Prime Minister David Cameron. The current leader of the Conservative Party, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, announced Monday he had sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman after her inflammatory comments about the policing of pro-Palestinian protests in London. Sunak then announced he would be bringing back Cameron as the Foreign Secretary. Cameron resigned as prime minister in 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union. Now, he says he has gladly accepted this new role.


DAVID CAMERON, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Well, I know it's not usual for a prime minister to come back in this way, but I believe in public service. The prime minister asked me to do this job, and it's a time where we have some daunting challenges as a country. The conflict in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine, and of course, I hope that six years as Prime Minister, 11 years leading the Conservative Party gives me some useful experience and contacts and relationships and knowledge that I can help the Prime Minister.


CHURCH: Well joining me now from London is John Rentoul. He is the Chief Political Commentator for "The Independent" and Visiting Professor at King's College London. Appreciate you joining us.



CHURCH: So even former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron admits his return is unusual. Why did Rishi Sunak bring back Cameron as his new Foreign Secretary in this reshuffle that was, of course, triggered by the dumping of his Home Secretary?

RENTOUL: Well, he obviously thought that his cabinet needed more reassurance, more experience and a lurch to the center, because not only did he get rid of Suella Braverman, who was definitely posturing towards the right-wing of her party with a view to possibly succeeding Rishi Sunak eventually. But he decided to further annoy the right-wing of his party by bringing back David Cameron, who of course advocated remain and will annoy all the pro-Brexit MPs in the Conservative Party, but will send a signal, I think, of reassurance and competence to the British people.

CHURCH: I suppose it's yet to be seen, but why would Cameron agree to this after a seven-year absence? What's he hoping to achieve, do you think, with this surprise political comeback?

RENTOUL: The simple answer to that is that he said, he was saying to friends that he was bored. I mean, he became prime minister at a very young age and he left the office at a fairly young age. I mean, he's not yet 60. He's got more to give, he thinks.

More crudely, I suppose, he would rather be remembered for a short but successful stint as foreign secretary than for the Prime Minister who fought and lost the referendum and then left office immediately afterwards.

CHURCH: So I guess the big question here is will this dramatic cabinet reshuffle help or hinder the beleaguered Prime Minister? Sunak who faces a likely catastrophic electoral defeat next year doesn't he? That's according to the polls anyway. And why has it been so difficult for successive Conservative leaders to offer stability to the people of the U.K.?

RENTOUL: Well, very good question. I mean that's why I mean David Cameron does offer a sense of stability because in a way it sort of ties Rishi Sunak to the entire period of Conservative government since 2010.

Since David Cameron himself was Prime Minister which is and slightly paradoxical as Rishi Sunak was announcing himself as the candidate of change to his party conference and a few weeks ago whether it'll have a have an effect who can say, I think -- I think getting rid of Suella Braverman as -- as home secretary clearly helps the government she was a destabilizing influence.

I think David Cameron will have to wait and see whether -- whether his inclusion in the government helps Rishi Sunak minimize the damage at the next election. I mean, I think what he's engaged in is defensive politics, trying to minimize the losses rather than trying to hold on to power.

CHURCH: Right. Now, of course, Suella Braverman, as we've been discussing, was sacked Monday for her inflammatory comments about policing of the pro-Palestinian protests in London over the weekend. But she has long-course fractures in Sunak's government, hasn't she? So why did it take this long to fire her and what happens to her now? Because as we've been discussed too, she has leadership ambitions of her own, doesn't she?

RENTOUL: Yes, absolutely. I mean, it turns out that the issue that caused the breach between her and the Prime Minister wasn't the policing of the pro-Palestinian march. Rishi Sunak had decided to get rid of her before then. Her really inflammatory comment was the suggestion that people who sleep rough on the streets of British cities were doing so as a lifestyle choice. That really offended a wide swathe of opinion, not just in the country, but in the Conservative Party. I mean, there are very few, even of her most stalwart defenders on the right of the Conservative Party who defend those comments.

And Rishi Sunak had decided that she wasn't a team player all the arguments about the pro-Palestinian march over Remembrance Weekend added to his urgency in getting rid of her, but he'd already decided to do so. And she will now want to set out her stall to become leader of the opposition after an election defeat. But I don't think she has as much support as she thinks she does among her fellow MPs.

CHURCH: We'll see where all of this goes. John Rentoul, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your analysis and perspective. I Appreciate it.

RENTOUL: My pleasure.

[03:25:06] CHURCH: Donald Trump Jr. was back on the witness stand Monday for the second time in his father's $250 million civil fraud trial. This time he was the debut witness for the defense. Don Jr. walked the court through a fawning video presentation of various Trump properties calling his father, quote, "an artist with real estate."

The judge in the case has already ruled the former president and his co-defendants are liable for fraud after falsely inflating values of Trump Organization properties in an effort to get better rates from banks. Donald Jr.'s testimony was an attempt to show that if anything, the company's properties were actually undervalued in financial statements.

Amid all his legal problems, Donald Trump Sr. is dishing out venomous attacks on the campaign trail. The former president spent the weekend echoing the kind of language reminiscent of Hitler and Mussolini, much to the delight of his supporters.

Kristen Holmes has our report.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Donald Trump ramping up his inflammatory rhetoric.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The threat from outside forces is far less sinister, dangerous, and grave than the threat from within.

HOLMES (voice-over): Denigrating his political opponents on the left as quote "vermin" during a Veterans Day speech in New Hampshire.

TRUMP: We will root out. The communists, Marxists, fascists, and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country.

HOLMES (voice-over): The White House condemning Trump's remarks, likening them to language used by authoritarian leaders. Quote, "Using terms like that about dissent would be unrecognizable to our founders, but horrifyingly recognizable to American veterans who put on their country's uniform in the 1940s." White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement.

As the former president commands the GOP primary with his combative rhetoric, his allies are already planning an agenda for a potential second term. The proposals include leveraging the Department of Justice to go after his political rivals.

TRUMP: I mean, if somebody, if I happen to be president and I see somebody who's doing well and beating me very badly, I say, go down and indict them.

HOLMES (voice-over): A Trump 2025 agenda would also expand the hardline immigration policies Trump pursued during his first term in office.

TRUMP: We will begin the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.

HOLMES (voice-over): With the mass detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

TRUMP: I will shut down this travesty, terminate all work permits for illegal aliens in demand that Congress send me a bill outlawing all welfare payments to illegal migrants of any kind.

HOLMES (voice-over): It's part of an escalation in anti-immigrant language by the former president.

TRUMP: It's poisoning the blood of our country. It's so bad and people are coming in with disease. People are coming in with every possible thing that you can have.

HOLMES (voice-over): Trump's darkening political rhetoric appears to resonate with Republicans. As South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who campaigned on a more optimistic message, suddenly ended his presidential bid Sunday after failing to gain traction in the polls.

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the voters who are the most remarkable people on the planet have been really clear that they're telling me not now, Tim.

HOLMES: And the Trump 2025 agenda as it's been laid out here is really just the tip of the iceberg. We have also heard about Trump allies who are building a database of loyalists, people who would go and serve the president from day one.

We've also heard about allies working with lawyers, trying to draft executive orders so that these policies can be implemented, that Donald Trump can sign off on them as soon as he gets into office should he be elected.

Kristen Holmes, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: After a series of embarrassing news stories involving some of the justices, the U.S. Supreme Court has announced a code of conduct. It follows months of reporting by the media outlet "ProPublica" detailing undisclosed gifts to some Supreme Court justices from wealthy political donors. The eight-page code is derived from one that applies to lower courts.

It says justices should not be a speaker or guest of honor at a fundraising event and that they should quote, "make a reasonable effort to stay informed about the financial interests of themselves and their household." But the code lists no specific restrictions on gifts, travel, or real estate deals. And it does not explain how it will be enforced and by whom.

Well still to come. A desperate Palestinian-American father is pleading with the U.S. government to get his family home from Gaza where his teenage daughter was seriously wounded.

And hatred on the rise. We will look at what's behind the ugly scenes of intolerance around the world. That's next on CNN.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: We will look at what's behind the ugly scenes of intolerance around the world. That's next on CNN.


CHURCH: The United Nations held a moment of silence Monday to mourn the 102 aid workers who've been killed in Gaza since Israel's war with Hamas began. The U.N. says it's the most staff members ever killed in a conflict. At least 27 others have been injured. U.N. offices around the world lowered their flags to half staff to honor their late colleagues. But the Gaza office says it will keep its flag fully raised because it can't afford to lower it with hundreds of thousands reliant on the U.N. for their basic needs.

Well meantime, the United Nations Relief and Agency Works for Palestine Refugees is warning that it will not be able to deliver desperately-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza today because it's running out of fuel. Israel has forbidden just about all fuel deliveries to the territory. And the agency's director in Gaza says they have no fuel to fill their tanks. This, as the agency's commissioner general says he's hopeful there could be a ceasefire in Gaza. Here's what he told CNN's Becky Anderson.


PHILLIPE LAZZARINI, COMMISSIONER-GENERAL, UNRWA: I really hope that we are now reaching the threshold where we say enough is enough. And I do believe that today we have more and more leaders who are genuinely calling for an humanitarian ceasefire.

I don't have the confidence that there will be a ceasefire anytime soon, but I'm seeing a shift in the narrative with a certain number of leaders who recently were still reluctant to call for an humanitarian ceasefire and now seeing the death toll in the Gaza Strip say there is no other avenue than to lead to this. So I'm still hoping that all those with influence will succeed to, you know, to impact the decision for a ceasefire.


CHURCH: Joining me now from Ramallah in the West Bank is Hiba Tibi. She is the CARE country director for West Bank and Gaza. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So hospitals in Gaza at breaking point with the constant Israeli bombardments and of course the lack of fuel and that's also impacting humanitarian aid deliveries, as we've been reporting. What is the latest on aid supplies to the territory? Because apparently nothing is getting in, but are there still some supplies there available? [03:35:05]

TIBI: So let me start from the supplies that are within Gaza. Unfortunately, even if we have the very, very scarce fuel supplies for your hygiene practices, for medical supplies, we are unable to transport them even within the North because of lack of fuel.

And as you have just mentioned, the trucks of the U.N. agencies are unable also to deliver the very few humanitarian assistance that is entering. The total of what we have received since 21st of October is almost equaling the requirement of two days of traditionally available supplies. This is really becoming very, very harsh and dire.

We have seen also bakeries that are closing down, and this is making it very difficult for people to access basic foods. And unfortunately, the same is reported from those who are leaving the north towards the south. They are now taking the journey by foot because there is no fuel to transport them from the north to the south. Unfortunately, the situation is very, very hard. We reached, unfortunately, to the moment where we have the last drop of fuel ending and finishing and this is a very scary moment for us as humanitarian organizations.

CHURCH: And of course, at the root of this is that Israel is saying that it won't let fuel in because of concerns that Hamas will take it. And I mean, that has happened in instances, hasn't it? So talk to us about the impact of that, because presumably, as we've heard from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he will keep this fight, this war going to the very end. And part of that is not allowing that fuel in.

TIBI: So this question is becoming very hard for us to answer. Now in 2023, in the North, let me start in the North, the situation is extremely difficult and scary. There is no food, no water, nothing left in the markets, nothing left for the civilians to access.

Those who were already in the South were already fighting over resources that are became very scarce. Now we have tens of thousands moving from the North towards the South. which was already underserved in terms of water, drinking water, hygiene purposes water, food, access to medical services and hospitals. We see hospitals one after the other declaring that they are running out of electricity and unable to provide services for those who are in massive needs, those who are. not only the wounded but in critical I.C. unit, in critical need for medical help, for babies and incubators.

This is unfortunately the situation. It is becoming harder with the declaration of the UNRWA and the U.N. agencies that now the last hope for people to access food is becoming impossible with the inability to transfer the humanitarian assistance for people who are overcrowded in the shelters in the South.

CHURCH: How possible is it and when do you think it might happen that we would see more trucks coming in across the Rafah border from Egypt that are fully fueled with supplies that are needed?

TIBI: It's what we called for and what we keep on asking for is a ceasefire. When ceasefire happen, when trucks are in, when the situation allows for humanitarian actors to deliver aid that is massively needed, when patients are going to be evacuated towards the outside of Rafah where they can access medical services that are no more available in Gaza, then the situation can become more of a saving lives, humanitarian saving lives and not more. That would be the starting point for us, a ceasefire where everyone can be accessed and supported to save their lives.

CHURCH: And calls for that ceasefire are mounting across the world. Hiba Tibi, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

Well, as the war closes in on northern Gaza's almost paralyzed hospitals, thousands of terrified civilians are still seeking shelter inside. One family is desperately trying to get the attention of the U.S. government. Jomana Karadsheh tells us the story of a wounded American teenager trapped in the war zone and her father's vehement plea.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Darkness has descended on yet another Gaza medical facility. Al Quds Hospital where they've been trying to save lives with the very little they had left. But it's become nearly impossible.


This was Al Quds just hours before Gaza's second largest hospital was declared out of service on Sunday. Like other hospitals in the north, the fighting has been closing in on Al Quds where thousands of displaced had been sheltering alongside the injured. Among them are at least two U. S. Citizens, Farah Abuolba and her mother Noah.

FARAH ABUOLBA, AMERICAN INJURED IN GAZA: I want to feel like, oh, I can move my fingers. My fingers are gone now.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Farah says she was injured in an attack on their bus on the road south as they tried to make their way for a third time to the Rafah crossing with Egypt. The family blames Israel whose military denied to CNN that they struck that street on that day.

F. ABUOLBA: I walked from the beach, like it was probably three miles from the beach to the hospital. I could have given up. I felt like all my blood, all my blood dripped all over me. I, how I felt when I saw my hand falling or how I felt my skin just and my bones breaking and how I saw my wrist just turn blue. I knew that my hand was gone.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): This interview with Farah was filmed a few days ago by a journalist working for CNN on the eve of her 17th birthday before the hospital was almost completely cut off from the outside world.

F. ABUOLBA: When I sleep, I dream of what happened to me. I can hear the rockets when they hit me and my sister and my mom just screaming when they saw my hand fall.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): This is a scene just outside the hospital. This video released by the Israeli military captures a militant carrying a rocket propelled grenade they say was part of a group that attacked their forces. Palestinians deny anyone armed is inside and say the Israeli military is surrounding and targeting the hospital. Israel says it's targeting Hamas.

Farah was born in Gaza and left with her family when she was three. They were back to visit family when the war broke out. For her father, Karam Abuolba in Pennsylvania, the past few weeks have been hell desperately trying to get his wife and daughters back home, exchanging almost daily emails and calls with the State Department.

KARAM ABUOLBA, FATHER AND HUSBAND OF AMERICANS IN GAZA: I'm asking, is there a class A, class B from the U.S. citizen for all the U.S. citizen? I pay tax for the United States of America to support Israel to shoot and to bomb my daughter and my wife. I need the president, I need Mr. Blinken to listen to this message. We are a U.S. citizen. We are loyal to this country. Send the Red Cross. Send them to support the U.S. citizen. They are outside. They are not hostage with Hamas.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): A father's desperation to make his family's suffering hurt. But like so many thousands he feels no one is hearing Gaza's cries for help.

K. ABUOLBA: I feel everything hopeless. I feel like I'm dead.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.


CHURCH: Coming up, CNN uncovers a vast campaign of intimidation by the Chinese government targeting people on U.S. soil. Details of that investigation, just ahead.




CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. The White House says U.S. President Joe Biden has kicked off a significant week of high-level diplomacy which includes a Wednesday meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in California. But as those two leaders prepare to sit down for talks, a CNN review has found the Chinese government has built the world's largest known online disinformation operation to harass its critics in the United States.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan has details.



CHEN POKONG, ACTIVIST AND U.S. CITIZEN: They use hateful words or threatening words. JIAYANG FAN, STAFF WRITER, "THE NEW YORKER": They will make life very

uncomfortable for those who speak ill of China.

DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are here on American soil thousands of miles from Beijing, but still being hounded and harassed by the Chinese government.

FAN: I was instantly flooded with messages. asking me to kill myself.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Her name is Jiayang Fan, a writer for "The New Yorker." She's been targeted with a wave of online harassment since she covered pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong four years ago. More than 12,000 tweets calling her a traitor.

FAN: I was caught so off guard and I wasn't sure if it was a coordinated effort.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): It is a coordinated effort of fake and anonymous accounts, and it's called spamouflage.

DARREN LINVILL, PROFESSOR, MEDIA FORENSICS HUB, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY: Depending on how you measure it. It's the biggest disinformation campaign the world's ever seen.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Professor Darren Linvill from Clemson's media forensics hub has tracked spamouflage for years. But it's only now been revealed that the vast disinformation campaign is tied to the Chinese government.

LINVILL: Thousands and thousands of messages repeated over and over again.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): A CNN review of court documents, social media reports and interviews with victims reveals a massive, relentless campaign of intimidation by the Chinese government targeting people on U.S. soil.

QIU: They told me they will kill me if I don't delete my YouTube.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Jiajun Qiu posts pro-democracy YouTube videos criticizing the Chinese government from his office here at this church in Virginia. To hit back, the Chinese trolls post thousands of messages attacking him.

QIU: They cover people's eyes so the Chinese people cannot see the reality.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): A vast campaign of intimidation that even employs artists to create original illustrations to mock and harass its victims.

(on-camera): It's not just some guy in his basement.

LINVILL: No. I think it's clearly a very sophisticated effort. I'm often staggered at the number of platforms where we come across their content. O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Some of the people behind spamouflage are

these Chinese police officers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The DOJ charged 34 Chinese police officers for using social media accounts to threaten, harass and intimidate specific victims in the United States. The indictment is full of pictures allegedly taken from inside the special trolling unit, showing laptops, phones and other equipment used as part of the operation.

A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. said the DOJ's allegations are politically motivated and have no factual evidence or legal basis.

POKONG: Yeah, they tried to shut me up, they tried to silence me, you know, to minimize my voice.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Chen Pokong spent nearly five years in a Chinese prison for his pro-democracy work. Now, he's an American citizen and campaigns from here.

POKONG: They started to make noises, yelling, shouting.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): At the height of Covid in 2021, he organized a Zoom meeting for pro-Chinese democracy activists in the US. But Chinese police officers, part of spamouflage, broke into the Zoom and shut it down.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): At that time I was myself even shocked. I said, what? The CCP don't even allow us to have a meeting -- overseas meeting.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): The U.S. State Department has warned that the Chinese government is spending billions of dollars annually on foreign information manipulation efforts. And if it goes unchecked, it will reshape the global information landscape.

JAMES RUBIN, SPECIAL ENVOY AND COORDINATOR, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: A Communist Party's bloodstream is propaganda, repeating it over and over again and trying to get everyone to repeat that same point of view and reject alternatives. That's in the DNA of communist parties.


CHURCH: CNN's Donie O'Sullivan with that report.


Well, as reports of hate crimes escalate globally, we have seen a shocking rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in America and elsewhere. That story just ahead.


CHURCH: Well, ugly displays of hatred have been rising across the globe since Hamas attacked on October 7th and Israel responded with its strikes on Gaza. CNN's Nick Watt looks at the troubling increase in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia far beyond the Middle East. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An American college campus Saturday. Seven arrests at a pro-Palestinian demonstration after what Brandeis officials call threatening language and hate speech.

Central London, the same day a pro-Palestinian rally, far-right counter protesters, chaos.

Suella Braverman, who held the key post of Home Secretary, was fired Monday morning after calling such pro-Palestinian demonstrations hate marches.

UNKNOWN: Suella Braverman's comments have caused a lot of division.

WATT (voice-over): In Paris Sunday, thousands marched against anti- Semitism, which has spiked in France since the Hamas terror attacks and the Israeli response.

We mustn't import conflicts that are happening elsewhere into our country, she says.

Fear and anger emanating from the Middle East are going global, stoking anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

In Brooklyn, a man wearing a keffiyeh scarf says he was attacked by a woman who accused him of supporting terror. The Council on American- Islamic Relations received over 1,200 requests for help and reports of anti-Muslim bias in the month since October 7. Triple the figure from the same time last year. College campuses are a flashpoint.

At UCLA, demonstrators battered pinatas on campus, showing the faces of President Biden and the Israeli Prime Minister. Anti-Semitic emails sent to staff at UPenn, Islamophobic emails sent to Muslim student groups at UConn.

ADAM LEHMANN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, HILLEL INTERNATIONAL: The problem on campus right now has reached a critical point and really a point we have never seen in hundreds of years of higher education in America.

WATT (voice-over): Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine have been suspended by Columbia University for unauthorized events violating school policy; the groups could not be reached for comment.

LEHMANN: We are well beyond a time for words of support or expressions of understanding. We need serious aggressive concrete action.

WATT (voice-over): A Jewish legal organization has filed civil rights complaints against UPenn and Wellesley College, claiming both had failed to protect Jewish students. Neither school has commented.

ROSE GOLDSTEIN, STUDENT, WELLESLEY COLLEGE: The student residential staff of one of our dorms stated in an email that there should be no space for Zionism on campus whatsoever. There is a way to criticize, for example, the Israeli government and not be anti-Semitic. [03:55:06]

WATT (voice-over): At Ohio State University, the Hillel Jewish Student Center was vandalized and two students attacked after being asked. if they were Jewish police calling it a hate crime.

(on-camera): There was an interesting little flip flop at MIT over the past few days. Apparently a protest and a counter protest got a little bit out of hand. So college brass threatened students if they didn't disperse by a deadline, they would be suspended. Then it seems they found out that quite a few of the students involved are foreign nationals. So if they're suspended, they lose their visa. and they get thrown out of the country. So MIT dialed back a little bit and said, as an interim measure, they're going to be suspended just from non- academic activities on campus. So they stay enrolled, they keep their visas, and they stay in the United States.

Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


CHURCH: There are fewer earthquakes, but the volcanic threat remains in Iceland, that is according to the island's meteorological office. More than 3,000 residents have been urged to evacuate as authorities predict the imminent eruption of a southern volcano. They say 900 earthquakes hit the area from midnight to 1 p.m. local time Monday. That is a decrease of 1,000 from the day before.

Well meantime, Europe's most active volcano is spewing its fiery lava once again. Mount Etna erupted Sunday, sending molten lava some 4,500 meters or nearly 15,000 feet above sea level according to the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology's Etna Observatory. A huge plume of smoke could be seen rising into the red sky over Sicily and some loud explosions were heard as well. However, it is not expected to disrupt nearby air service as it did when it last erupted in August.

And finally, a first-class menu from the Titanic sold for more than $100,000 on Saturday. It appears to be the only surviving one of its kind. The menu details the first dinner on board after the Titanic set sail. Meal options included oysters, sirloin of beef with horseradish cream and Victoria pudding. The menu is heavily water-stained with some of the lettering erased. That's more than likely because it ended up in the ocean when the Titanic sank in 1912.

I want to thank you for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Enjoy the rest of your day. CNN NEWSROOM continues next, with Max Foster.