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Parents in Gaza Struggle to Keep Their Children Safe; Several Suspects Accused of Plotting Attacks in Europe; Green Light for Accession Negotiations with Ukraine; West Assesses Stalled Aid Package's Effects on Ukraine's Defense; WHO Official Speaks about Conditions in Gaza. Aired 10- 11a ET

Aired December 15, 2023 - 10:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD.

ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Coming up this hour, the U.S. wants to see results on Israel's intent to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza.

That is the message the U.S. national security adviser delivered on his trip to Tel Aviv earlier today. He is also traveling to the occupied West

Bank to meet with Palestinian officials. We're live in Ramallah just ahead.

The European Union agreed to open talks on Ukraine's membership into the block but failed to agree to multibillion-dollar aid package due to

differences among the members. We are live in Brussels and Ukraine this hour.

And Prince Harry was awarded close to $200,000 after U.K. court ruled that he was the subject of an intensive phone hacking. The details on that story

just ahead.

Well, the U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is in the West Bank today to meet with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. This

meeting comes just hours after in Tel Aviv Mr. Sullivan reiterated Washington support for Israel's war effort. He also spoke of the Biden

administration's desire for Israel to shift to a more precise and targeted approach against Hamas amid still rising civilian casualties in Gaza,

although he said that perspective would be offered by the U.S. as a partner and as a friend and that the White House would not tell Israel what to do.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The administration has made it clear that you are hoping that this fight will

transition at some point from this intensity phase to a lower intensity phase. What are the Israelis telling you in terms of the conditions that

are needed for that to happen and how does that sink up with your preferred timeline?

And then if I may, the administration has insisted that Israel has the intent to keep civilians safe. And we, at CNN and others are reporting that

almost half of the 30,000 bombs that have been dropped on Gaza have been so called dumb bombs, imprecise. If there was a real intent to protect

civilians, wouldn't they be using much more precise smaller munitions?

JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: So first, I really appreciate the question on the phases of the conflict because I think

there's been some misunderstanding in the reporting, not from you but from others.

When Israel launched this campaign to root out the terrorist threat that Hamas poses to the state of Israel, it made clear from the beginning that

this war would proceed in phases. We're now in the middle of a high intensity phase with ongoing ground operations, military operations in both

the northern half and the southern half of Gaza. But there will be a transition to another phase in this war. One that is focused in more

precise ways on targeting the leadership and on intelligence driven operations that continues to deal with the ongoing threat that Hamas poses.

The conditions and the timing for that was obviously a subject of conversation that I had with Prime Minister Netanyahu, with the War

Cabinet, with the leadership of the IDF, which the defense minister. And I think it's really important that those conversations take place first on

the spirit of partnership. We're not here to tell anybody, you must do X, you must do Y. We're here to say, this is our perspective, as your partner,

as your friend. This is what we believe is the best way to achieve both your tactical and strategic goals.

And then second, it has to take place in private because we can't telegraph for the enemy what the plan is. So I'm not going to speak to timelines and

I'm not going to speak to conditions here from the podium. What I am going to say is that we have very constructive conversations yesterday about the

transition from the high intensity phase forward. And we expected that that will occur in the future.

When exactly that happens in under exactly what conditions will be a continuing intensive discussions between the United States and Israel. And

I will make sure that that conversation at least as far as I can do it is going to stay -- is going to take place behind closed doors.

When it comes to the issue of the bombs, the type of bombs that Israel is using, what I would say is that different types of munitions require

different types of military operations, meaning the method by which bombs are delivered that don't have the tail kits on them is different in terms

of how the planes fly, in terms of how the targets are selected.


And they all go through the same process, a process by which Israel selects targets and tries to distinguish between targets that hit Hamas and those

that might take the lives of innocent civilians. At the end of the day what we have consistently said is that Israel has the intent to make sure that

it is drawing those distinctions clearly and in a sustainable way. And we want to see the results match up to that.

That's a conversation that I had in full with them today and yesterday as well. And will continue to do that, including on the type of munitions they

use and when they use a certain type of munitions, how those are delivered to ensure that from the United States' perspective they are fulfilling

their obligations, their responsibilities as a state to international humanitarian law.


GIOKOS: Well, you're listening to Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, in Tel Aviv. He had an exchange with our Alex Marquardt and Alex

Marquardt is in fact traveling with Jake Sullivan today. Important conversations that Sullivan with the Palestinian Authority president,

Mahmoud Abbas. It is a story we're watching very closely. Conversations that are vital between the U.S. and of course what we are seeing happening

in Gaza as well, and the influence they perhaps yield in terms of Israel's military strategy there.

All right, then of course civilians have been tragically impacted by the war. Mothers and fathers, who've already lost everything now struggling to

keep their children warm and fed and out of the line of fire.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports on how parenting in Gaza has turned into a matter of life or death. And a warning that some of the images that you're

about to see are graphic.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the desperate cries of a father left with nothing but his voice. A father who can no longer protect

his three vulnerable children.

I can't survive, they destroyed my house, (INAUDIBLE) Hamad says. I can't get food, I have no one to support me. I spent the night moving from tent

to tent.

For more than 60 days he's tried to say strong. Until he could no more. His disabled children homeless, hungry, hurting from Gaza's war. What do you do

when your child needs you, but you've got nothing left to give?

Have mercy on us, (INAUDIBLE) Hamad says.

No mercy for the people of this besieged land, it seems. Rain a blessing, they used to say, now it only brings more despair. For those forced out of

their homes, life has become this miserable existence as rains flood their makeshift camps. It's a harsh winter that is only just beginning.

(INAUDIBLE) shows us the tiny tent she lives in with 11 others, her two daughters and grandchildren. She spent the night trying to catch the rain

that drip through the roof of their flimsy shelter.

This is humiliation, (INAUDIBLE) says. I have these children without a father. I can't take it anymore. Even children now hate life, she says.

It's just too much for parents to bear when you can't even keep your children dry, warm and clean as diseases start to spread and the aid they

so badly need now a weapon in this war.

I want to protect my children, this mother says. The bombings and destruction are not enough. On top of that now we have the rain, cold and


To be a parent in Gaza is a blessing turned into torture for those who no longer wonder if but how they and their children will die.

Abu Hamad (PH) says he was sitting in thinking of how he will feed his children when an airstrike hit.

Where do I take my children, he says. I fled and came here to die. I gave my children my everything. Who will take care of them if I die?

Like many in Gaza, it's not only Israel they blame. They want Hamas to stop a war for which they pay the price. Abandoned, alone, as the world won't

stop their pain.

Six-year-old Lana was under the rubble of her home for three days. Mommy and daddy are underneath it, she says.


I just want mama. I want baba. I want my family, Lana cries.

To be a parent in Gaza is to live with the fear of this. That you're no longer are there when they need you the most.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.


GIOKOS: And later this hour I will be speaking with a regional emergency director with the World Health Organization, Dr. Richard Brennan, who

shares more on the major health crisis facing the people of Gaza. And that is ahead in just about 30 minutes right here on CONNECT THE WORLD.

An Al Jazeera correspondent and cameraman were wounded in an airstrike in Gaza, according to the network. This is correspondent Wael Al-Dahdouah from

a video shot back in October. Al Jazeera says he was wounded along with cameramen Samer Abudaqa in Gaza's southern city of Khan Younis. The network

says Al-Dahdouah is being treated at a hospital while his cameraman remains trapped in a school where they were on assignment when they came under

fire. CNN has reached out to the Israeli military for comment on its operations in the area.

Authorities in Germany and the Netherlands have arrested several terror suspects on Thursday. Germany's federal prosecutor said authorities had

arrested for suspected members of Hamas. Three were arrested in Germany and one was arrested in the Netherlands. In a separate announcement, Danish

intelligence authorities said four people have been detained for alleged terrorism offenses.

CNN's Frederik Pleitgen has the details on all of these arrests across Europe. He joins us now live from Berlin.

Great to have you on, Fred. Look, we know that these arrests technically are not connected. But what more do we know about these suspects and, you

know, how authorities came to get these arrests underway?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Eleni. Well, you're absolutely right. The Danish authority said that these are not

-- the ones in Denmark are not linked to the ones in Germany. Yet there are some pretty striking similarities between the two cases. In Denmark, as

you've just mentioned, there are apparently still four people who are on the run who have formally been arrested in absentia.

As the Danish authorities are now saying they of course have thwarted what they called terrorist activity with those rates that happened across the

country in Denmark yesterday. One of the interesting things that we did pick up on yesterday and Danish authorities themselves did not mention

Hamas when they were talking about the suspect but it was Israeli intelligence, both the Shin Bet and the Mossad that then came out and said

that this was a thwarted, as they put it, Hamas attack that these anti- terror raids were about.

It's quite interesting because the prime minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, she also then referenced to the conflict in Gaza, the war in

Gaza, and said it was unacceptable for people to take that to Denmark.

So, again, right now three people remain in custody, one was actually released, the suspects who were arrested yesterday, but four still at large

and Danish authorities say they are looking for them.

Here in Germany you have those four formal arrests that took place which is absolutely correct. So that happened by the federal prosecutor's office. We

got a statement from them just a couple of minutes before we went to air. And they once again said that they had now formally arrested those four


They did say that one of those who is in custody in the Netherlands, that there is a European order to try and bring that person to Germany to then

put him on trial here in this country. And the Germans quite frankly, they're a lot more open about mentioning Hamas. They say that at least

three of the people who were arrested yesterday had long-standing ties to Hamas, were formerly members of Hamas, and even had very good contacts, as

they put it, to the senior leadership of the armed wing of Hamas, the Al- Qassam Brigade.

The Germans also offering more details as to what exactly they believe the plot was going to be. They say that three of the people that they arrested

yesterday were looking for a weapons depot. Apparently Hamas had been stockpiling weapons here in this country. They were then supposed to bring

these weapons to Berlin for, as the German authorities put it, possible terror attacks against Jewish institutions in Europe.

So not just possibly in this country but in Europe of course. As you can imagine, the German authorities very much concerned about all of this. But

they do say that they now have these four people in custody, and they believe at this point in time, that things are safe here in this country.

So a lot of activity going on. One of the things we have to keep in mind is that this did happen in three countries, but it is very close together. If

you're talking about Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, all those countries of course neighboring countries to one another -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Super fascinating. Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much.

Well, just ahead, the EU's decision to move forward with membership talks with Ukraine. And we'll have global reaction in a live report from Ukraine

as well as Belgium.


Plus Western officials warn Ukraine is certain to fail against Russia if the U.S. doesn't provide more aid.


GIOKOS: The European Union has decided to move forward with membership talks with Ukraine nearly two years after it became a candidate state.

Obstacles remain but the move sends a strong message to Moscow following concerns that Western allies were faltering in their support for Ukraine.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it a truly remarkable result. But Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced that the move,

calling it senseless and irrational.

We've got team coverage of this story for you. Bianca Nobilo is standing by in Brussels where she's been monitoring the E.U. Summit. And we also have

Nick Paton Walsh in Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine.

So, Nick, let's start with you. Great to have you on. The big holdup as well has got to do with aid. I guess the big question is whether Ukraine

can actually stand any kind of chance in terms of winning against Russia if the U.S. and the E.U. doesn't put in more aid. Could you give me a sense of

what you're seeing on the ground and what influence, what impact this is going to have, immediate impact it's going to have for Zelenskyy?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Yes, things were bleak before we had this week's staggering series of reversals for Ukraine.

It is no way to paint this prettily. They are unlikely to see U.S. aid in January and then there's a big question mark over that in the quantity that

they need at all next year. And then the E.U., sort of rubs salt into those wounds by delaying any future votes on the European aid package. $55

billion worth, until January.

A lot of smiley faces, reassuring the world in Brussels essentially the vote could just be done again in January. It might pass then. But a Putin

sympathizer, Hungary's Viktor Orban, was the one who vetoed the aid package. And so while Ukrainian officials are sort of very sunny in their

dispositions saying how this E.U. session negotiation is a huge victory, and it is symbolic certainly, that the world's probably largest economic

block is choosing to keep Ukraine in its orbit when it's currently under attack by Russia.

The news has been unnaturally bleak for Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He's traveled across the world to try and persuade the United States to keep funding up,

something that would frankly not even be necessary. So much of his previous trips seemed essentially be congratulating Ukraine on the defense they've

put up. And he returned empty-handed. There is not it seems going to be any last-minute breakthrough ahead of the holiday season. And so it's to

January we look.

And the news here, Eleni, is unutterly bleak on the military front. In pretty much every direction, Ukraine is not seeing progress. In fact,

seeing some of its previous progress reversed, particularly in the town of Avdiivka in the east where Russian appears to be making some advances.


It's not particularly strategically important but it's a place certainly Russia, like many of these towns, is willing to throw thousands of lives at

potentially in order to slowly take it. We've just come back from the place where the counteroffensive was fiercest in the summer. That is very bleak


And indeed further in the west near Kherson where we were earlier on, back to seeing a particularly slow move by Ukraine across the river and a big

toll on civilians from Russian artillery as a result. So yes, Zelenskyy is coming back to a country that's had patchy cell phone service because of

what Ukraine says it's Russian hacking. Bad news for the military fronts, too. And now its two key allies slowing, if not potentially interrupting

aid payments entirely.

One medic I spoke to last night, most people put on a brave face when they talk about the disappearance of Western aid. That medic said, look, if

there's no aid, we're finished. And that I think is a sentiment really felt by many here. It's been Western aid that's kept them afloat. And Russia is

now on its front foot at exactly the same time that Western aid appears to be evaporating -- Eleni.

GIOKOS: Vladimir Putin is certainly watching on seeing that, you know, Ukraine is down $61 billion in terms of what it should've been getting from

the U.S. We know Joe Biden is working on that $50 billion now being blocked by Viktor Orban.

We've got Bianca Nobilo for us. While, you know, Zelenskyy is not getting the aid he wants, he is getting closer to E.U. membership, which is

important. But you know, what impact that is going to have in terms of him being able to win this war is the big question.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A big question. It's a symbolic diplomatic victory. This was something that was an aspiration for Ukraine

just a few years ago. It would have been unthinkable for the country to be at this stage. In fact, when we look back to 2013, it was because of

Ukraine trying to move closer to the European Union and signing a European association agreement, that ultimately triggered Vladimir Putin's illegal

annexation of Crimea.

So Putin's anathema is Ukraine going deeper into the European fold. And this green-lighting of Ukraine moving closer towards European Union

membership is a huge victory for Zelenskyy and something which will antagonize Vladimir Putin. But the question is, how meaningful is this when

Ukraine is struggling to keep its economy afloat? Now, I'm sure Vladimir Zelenskyy will be in a position of -- it's a critical juncture. He will be

anxious about the fact that this $55 billion that was meant -- euros that was meant to come from the E.U. has been delayed until January.

Yes, they were saying -- the leaders have said that they're optimistic about their ability to pass that, but they were wrong in how they read the

tea leaves ahead of this summit as well. It was a surprise that Viktor Orban essentially abstained from the vote, allowing it to go ahead and the

unanimous principle to still be maintained that Ukraine can go ahead and begin negotiations to become a full member of the European Union.

And Zelenskyy and Orban are likely to come head-to-head again because Orban has made it very clear that he still has the opportunity to stand in the

way of Ukraine's hopes to become an official member of the European Union. The Hungarian delegation saying there'll be about 70 opportunities for them

to interrupt unanimous votes between now and the path to Ukraine officially becoming an E.U. member.

But officially, on Monday, talks will start between Ukraine and the E.U. to take them further down that path. And then January we may expect to see a

visit from Zelenskyy when that new package of aid is discussed. But going into the bleak winter, as Nick was describing, this is a very difficult

time for Zelenskyy. Yes, it's symbolic and a diplomatic victory, but when it comes to the actual tangibles and ability to fight Russia off, he hasn't

had much assistance this week.

GIOKOS: All right. Bianca Nobilo, Nick Paton Walsh, great to have you both on. Thank you.

Well, as Ukraine aid package remains stalled in the U.S. Congress, America and its allies are gauging what they described as a potentially

debilitating impact of U.S. aid or lack thereof in Ukraine's defense and its longer term prospects of losing the war. One senior U.S. military

official describes it this way, saying there is no guarantee of success with us, but they are certain to fail without us.

Our chief U.S. security analyst, Jim Sciutto, joins us now from Washington.

Jim, we just heard from Nick Paton Walsh saying the same thing. The sentiment is that if, you know, Ukraine doesn't get more aid, and we know

which direction this war could be headed. The U.S., and I'm sure Joe Biden, very acutely aware of what that would mean for the West. Can he unlock more

funds and aid for Zelenskyy?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Eleni, I've been speaking to officials on both sides of the Atlantic here in the U.S. and in

Europe. And the assessment is consistent.


And that is that without U.S. aid, and the U.S. has been the lead, although Europe of course sending an enormous amount of aid as well, but without

U.S. aid it really puts not only Ukraine's chances of any success in its current counteroffensive, but it raises the possibility of losing this war.

And the timeline is quite near term. The concern being that within months, perhaps in a worst-case scenario by the summer, Ukraine's defense could

fail by then.

That would be the impact of this aid. And the fact is already, I'm told, Ukrainian forces are rationing their ammunition. They're already being out-

fired, out-gunned by Russian forces. And now even more so because they have to ration. I spoke to a senior Ukrainian military official who blamed

additional casualties on the battlefield on that shortage right now. With artillery shells, the concern is that that shortage will extend to air

defense missiles.

And they've been key because in the last couple of weeks Russia has been amping up its attacks via missiles, drones, and other strikes on Ukrainian

civilian infrastructure with the expressed intent of breaking Ukrainian will now. The Russian president seems to sense weakness now, not just in

Ukraine but among its allies. It is looking to exploit that.

GIOKOS: Yes. That's a really good point. Sensing that weakness. And an opportunity, right, for Putin to take advantage of this moment.


GIOKOS: But in terms of how the U.S. and E.U. aid are tied, I mean, it is interesting that we're seeing delays on both fronts at the same time.

SCIUTTO: The concern is that the U.S. has been the leader here, right, in terms of that aid. And it is of course the largest military, the largest

economy among the allies. I spoke to a U.S. congressman, Mike Quigley, who is the co-chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, and he said, in his

words, if we go south, speaking of the U.S., our allies will, too. And it was notable that just in the last 24 hours, we saw some sign of that,

granted what happened in Brussels, the result of Hungary's opposition here.

But the idea that there is a momentum here, right, that if one stops sending aid or feels capable of doing so or doesn't have the political

support to do so, it makes it more likely that other allies will do the same. And again, when I speak about the potential consequences of that,

particularly to European officials, particularly to those on the eastern frontier of NATO, they look at this as existential, not just for Ukraine

but perhaps for themselves.

You speak to Baltic leaders. They say very openly that they would be Russia's next targets if Ukraine were to fall. So they carry out the

radiating results of these decisions and delays are enormous in the view of officials directly involved.

GIOKOS: Jim Sciutto, great to have you on. Thank you so much for that analysis.

SCIUTTO: Thank you.

GIOKOS: Well, the World Health Organization has said Gaza is facing a catastrophic health situation that's almost impossible to improve. And

still to come, I'll be speaking to a WHO doctor about the biggest medical issues for the people of Gaza. That is coming up right now.



GIOKOS: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos. Your headlines this hour.

In Beijing, more than 500 people were sent to the hospital on Thursday after two metro trains collided in the snow. Officials say one train came

to an emergency stop due to slippery tracks and the other crashed into it. Two carriages appear to have detached from one train injuring several

passengers. No deaths were reported.

Venezuela and Guyana have promised not to use force against each other in their dispute over an enormous oil-rich region. The leaders of both

countries met Thursday and agreed to create a commission to try to address the decades old spat. Essequibo is generally recognized as part of Guyana,

but Venezuela has recently revived its claim to it after the discovery of offshore oil fields.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels claim they targeted two cargo ships on route to Israel on Friday. The group says its fighters used missiles to attack the

MSC Alanya and the MSC Platinum III as they sailed near the coast of Yemen. It comes a day after Houthis also took responsibility for a drone strike on

Maersk Gibraltar vessel.

Well, let's get back to our top story now. Israel says for the first time since the October 7th assault, humanitarian aid will be allowed to cross

directly into Gaza from Israeli territory. The Israeli prime minister's office says trucks will temporarily be allowed to unload on the Gaza side

of the Kerem Shalom crossing. U.S. National Security adviser Jake Sullivan, who is traveling in Israel and the West Bank, welcomed the announcement

which he called a significant step.

Meanwhile, the number of people killed in Gaza since October 7th has reached at least 18,700 people. That is according to the Palestinian

Ministry of Health which says more than 50,000 have been injured. It says just 11 of the 36 hospitals in Gaza are partially operational and able to

accept new patients. ICUs are at 250 percent capacity. These are unbelievable numbers.

Look, CNN cannot independently verify those figures, but this is what we have at hand. The World Health Organization has said the hospitals left up

and running in Gaza are highly vulnerable and the risk of disease outbreaks has increased dramatically.

I'm now joined by Dr. Richard Brennan, regional emergency director with the WHO.

So great to have you on. Thank you so much for joining us. You know, I've laid out some of these numbers, right, 18,608 people killed. 11 out of 34

hospitals operational. We're hearing 50,000 people that are injured. We know the humanitarian crisis playing out right now is dire, it is

miserable, it's difficult to get your head around.

Could you give me a glimpse of what you're hearing right now that is playing out that you're really concerned on?

DR. RICHARD BRENNAN, WHO REGIONAL EMERGENCY DIRECTOR: Yes, I mean, I think you've started off with some of the key figures there, 18,000 deaths due to

trauma. 50,000 injured patients. Overwhelming, the reduced number of hospitals. Prior to the conflict there were 36 hospitals operating across

Gaza. Now we have 11 partially operating hospitals and three what we would call minimally operating.

So -- and that massive new trauma load, you can just imagine the pressures that the doctors and nurses are working under. So that's our biggest

concern right now is the major degradation of the health system at a time when the health needs are soaring.


But we're also very concerned about the high levels of displacement, 1.9 million people, well over 80 percent of the population are being displaced,

and that these massively overcrowded shelters and what we call collective centers we're seeing increased rates of infectious diseases such as

respiratory infections, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea which would give us concerns about, dysentery, jaundice which we would give us concerns about,


There are also massive food deficits currently. The World Food Program is documenting that over 90 percent of households in northern Gaza, 80 percent

in the south very much food insecure. So it's a toxic mix. People dying from trauma, lack of access to health care, and increasingly we are

expecting infectious diseases and potentially (INAUDIBLE).

GIOKOS: You talk about this toxic mix. I mean, every week, look, every story you hear is just incredible just to hear what is playing out on the

ground. So the question now becomes, Kerem Shalom is now going to be used to bring in aid into the Gaza. What kind of aid and how much aid is

required right now? Because everything you've spelled out, I mean, it's just --you don't know where to even start, where to begin, in order to

alleviate some of that enormous pressure.

BRENNAN: Yes. You're absolutely right. Well, I think right now it's good news that Kerem Shalom is going to be used to bring aid across. We're only

at around 100 trucks a day. Currently we need to be at least 500. So the priorities currently food, clean water, shelter, medicine. And we've got to

address that massive food deficit for those displaced people. You know, winter is approaching, the rains have started, it's a miserable condition

in these overcrowded settlements.

You know, in some of these settlements, there's only one toilet for 300, 400 people. So you can imagine what the sanitation system is like. So the

food, the water, the shelter, of course the medical aid have soaring needs. They are our priorities right now.

GIOKOS: Let's look at the calls for a cease-fire or some kind of pause. We've heard from agencies, you know, constantly that it is absolutely

critical to stop the fighting, to allow for assistance to come in. At the same time, when we've seen -- the images we've been showing, like the

rains, the heavy rains right now, we've been seeing how families have been trying to keep their children warm and dry. And you're describing what the

sanitation situation is like.

How long would a humanitarian pause need to, you know, go on for, for you to even make some kind of, you know, inroads into alleviating some of the

things that you described? And where would you start? Where would you begin? Because when you're talking about 1.9 million people displaced, so

much is required.

BRENNAN: Yes. It's hard to describe it in just a short period of time, as you can imagine. So a pause in and of itself would (INAUDIBLE) but we

really do need a cease-fire. We need to end to this conflict. We need to a sustained cease-fire. We also need access to people in need about the high

levels of insecurity making it very, very difficult for us as humanitarian workers to actually reach those in need.

Now currently because of the escalation in fighting, those displaced people have been squeezed into a smaller and smaller area in the south. There are

still significant numbers in the center of Gaza, in the north, we have extremely limited access. We are largely confined to southern Gaza, Rafah

right now. So we need that access. We need a reduction in the insecurity so we can get to people.

We need to be able to decongest those shelters so we can address the issues of overcrowding, of poor sanitation, of disease risk. And we need a massive

scaling up of that aid. Particularly food right now, particularly clean water, and of course the shelter, the warm clothes, the blankets, and the

medicine. So that's what we need to do. We need to be very targeted and strategic about how we direct that aid as well.

GIOKOS: So, I mean, one of the things that's really been striking and actually very difficult to listen to is a lot of the doctors that we've

been talking to have been saying that they have had to, you know, do amputations without anesthesia. And frankly really horrifying stories. Are

you still hearing that? Do we still see that much of a deficit of medical supplies that doctors still having to take these harrowing decisions?


BRENNAN: Yes. I mean, it's not just the constraints on the supply is getting in, it's the increased number of patients that doctors have to

treat. So, yes, I mean, they're making incredibly difficult decisions.

Now I'm an emergency physician, I've worked in war zones, I know what it's like to have, you know, half a dozen, 15 severely injured people coming in

at one time. You have to make some tough decisions. Sometimes about, frankly, who's going to live and who's going to die.

Now in the instance of Gaza, we're hearing of 30, 50 patients coming in at any one time. And if you're a doctor from that community, every time you

have a caseload coming in, you're wondering, will this be a family member? Could it be a friend? So, you know, I can't speak more highly of the

heroism, professionalism, the incredible dedication of these doctors, day in and day out now for well over 60 days, providing trauma care in perhaps

the toughest environment that I've ever experienced.

GIOKOS: In terms of the safety situation, I mean, we know that people in the south of Gaza are being asked to move, and we've been hearing, you

know, they've been receiving pamphlets and so forth. Could you describe to me what you're seeing in terms of people being now displaced in the south?

We know they have nowhere to go. They cannot go back to the north. What are your team members telling you on this?

All right. I think we might have lost Richard unfortunately. All right. That was Richard Brennan from the WHO. Incredibly important insight into

what we are hearing on the humanitarian situation that is currently playing out in Gaza.

All right, tensions over the Israeli-Hamas war boils over at a U.S. school. Why a teacher was arrested following a disagreement about the Israeli flag.

And over 2200 antisemitic incidents have been reported in the U.S. since the Israel-Hamas war started in October. We'll look at some of those cases

and reactions to them. We'll be right back.


GIOKOS: For Jewish Americans, a dark shadow has loomed over Hanukkah this year.


A spike in antisemitic incidents since the Israeli-Hamas war started in October has many living in fear.

CNN's Omar Jimenez shows us how the situation is unfolding in the U.S.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The week of Hanukkah is supposed to be a time of joy. But for many Jewish Americans, some of that

joy has been replaced with fear. In Greensboro, North Carolina, a man was arrested for vandalizing a holocaust monument. It was defaced with graffiti

that included a swastika inside of the Star of David at the base of the monument, according to the local nonprofit that built the monument.

In Oakland, California, the city's largest menorah was destroyed and pieces of it were thrown into a nearby lake, according to images and video from

the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Bay Area. The words "Free Palestine" were also sprayed in Arabic around the edges of the amphitheater

near where the menorah had been standing.

RABBI DOVID LABKOWSKI, CHABAD JEWISH CENTER OF OAKLAND: I don't know why anyone would do this. I know that it's toxic. The air is toxic these days.

And it's just -- it shouldn't be that way.

JIMENEZ: In Ohio, a 13-year-old is facing criminal charges after allegedly crafting a detailed plan for a mass shooting at a synagogue even weeks

before Hamas's October 7th attack on Israel. In the Los Angeles area, two men were charged Tuesday with hate crimes. One, in connection with an

alleged December 9th attack on a man wearing a yamaka and another in a separate late November incident for allegedly spraying swastikas on a

number of buildings including a temple and a church.

Earlier this week at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, someone placed a Palestinian flag on a campus menorah.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): Enough is enough.

JIMENEZ (voice-over): In the little more than two months since the October 7th attacks and ensuing war, there have been more than 2,000 antisemitic

incidents documented in the U.S. That's a 337 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

And the ADL is calling it all part of a terrifying pattern. They say it began back on October 7th, and it is currently showing no signs of


But let's remember, this isn't happening in a vacuum. The Council on American Islamic Relations has also reported what they have called an

unprecedented rise in the number of anti-Arab and Islamophobia incidents they have reported. Specifically they said in a month after October 7th

they reported more than 200 percent increase in requests for help and bias incidents.

Omar Jimenez, CNN, New York.


GIOKOS: And as Omar mentioned, Islamophobia also on the rise in America. In the state of Georgia a schoolteacher has been arrested after allegedly

threatening to behead a 13-year-old Muslim student. According to a sheriff's deputy, witnesses said Benjamin Reese made the threats after the

student said he was offended by an Israeli flag hanging in his classroom. According to police reports, Reese said he told the student she was being

antisemitic but denied saying anything racist.

Now, the leaders of Venezuela and Guyana say they will not use force against each other amid a dispute over an oil-rich piece of Guyanese land.

On Thursday they agreed to create a joint commission to address the territorial spat. Still, the two countries' positions on the Essequibo

region remain far apart.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann explains.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The presidents of Venezuela and Guyana met on Thursday in an attempt to lower tensions

surrounding a region of Guyana that Venezuela has increasingly laid claim to.

Upon arriving in St. Vincent, where the talks were held, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, issued a statement where he said that he arrived

with the backing of the Venezuelan people. He says they support his annexation of this region of Guyana.

This is an issue that goes back decades. Venezuelans have long felt that this part of the country was wrested away from them unfairly. It is an area

that is about 160,000 square kilometers of jungle, remote region of Guyana, but one where there have been discoveries of oil and gas that promise to

provide the Guyanese people with billions of dollars in the years ahead.

Guyana, for its part, says that this is an issue for the international court of justice to decide, and they're not prepared to give back a single

piece of -- single part of this area, which they say belongs to Guyana.

The president of Guyana on Thursday said that both countries are committed to peace and working on this issue together, but he seemed unwilling to

budge to the demands of Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, who has increasingly over the past several weeks been threatening Guyana with the idea that

Venezuela could invade and take away by force part of this contested region, if not the entire contested region.


The United States is backing Guyana, as are other countries in the region. And it's unclear if Nicolas Maduro really intends to follow through on

these threats or this is just a bid to increase nationalist sentiment ahead of a presidential election in 2024.

And while both sides have said they are committed to holding further talks, it seems unlikely that both sides can be made happy through any further

negotiations, as both countries have now laid a claim to this territory and say, essentially, that it belongs to them.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


GIOKOS: And still to come, a verdict for Prince Harry and his long battle with the tabloids. A judge has issued a ruling in his lawsuits over phone

hacking. Details on that story coming up just ahead.


GIOKOS: Britain's Prince Harry has won a lawsuit against a British tabloid newspaper that he accused of hacking his phone. A court in London ruled

that Mirror Group Newspaper used unlawful information gathering methods, including phone hacking in 15 stories published about the prints. The judge

ordered the company to pay damages.

CNN's Max Foster reports for us.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: A clear victory in 15 cases of shocking innovations into Prince Harry's privacy, which he says blighted

his younger years and left him paranoid and depressed. The court ruled voicemails intercepted and personal information stolen through deception.

His lawyer gave a statement on Harry's behalf.

DAVID SHERBORNE, PRINCE HARRY'S LAWYER: Today's ruling is vindicating and affirming. I have been told that slaying dragons will get you burnt. But in

light of today's victory and the importance of what is -- doing what is needed for a free and honest press, it is a worthwhile price to pay. The

mission continues.

FOSTER: That's the mission now by Prince Harry's team, to encourage the British authorities to press charges as Harry continues with his cases

against other British tabloids. This is one battle in his wider war against the so-called red tops. This case hinged on stories published in the 1990s

and 2000s by Mirror Group Newspapers, MGN. MGN responded today by saying, quote, "Where historical wrongdoing took place, we apologize unreservedly,

have taken full responsibility and paid appropriate compensation."

Harry became the first British royal in about 130 years to give evidence of a court of law when he faced two days of questioning at the high court in

June. He said he was targeted by MGN for 15 years, though the judge said Friday he only found evidence of phone hacking for the period 2003 to 2009.

The judge awarded Harry damages of around $118,000. Not a big financial win, but a hugely symbolic victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a major victory. It's a major battle which he has won. And I say that because there has been a trial where he gave evidence

and he is largely -- his claims has largely been upheld.

FOSTER: In Harry's words, a great day for truth and accountability.

Max Foster, CNN, London.



GIOKOS: A British teenager who's been missing for six years has been found in France. According to local authorities, Alex Battey disappeared in 2017

while on holiday in Spain with his mother, who did not have legal parental guardianship. His grandfather was with him as well. A previous police

statement had said Battey was 11 years old at the time. He is now 17. And authorities say he was found near Toulouse in southern France. He's

expected to return to England soon.

Well, that's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos. Have a fantastic weekend. Stay with CNN, "STATE OF THE RACE" with Kasie Hunt coming up next.

I will see you soon.