Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister And Government Resign; Ceasefire Talks Pick Up In Doha; Zelenskyy: "Millions Will Be Killed" In War Without United States Aid; Haley Vows To Stay In Race To march 5, Super Tuesday; Vigil To Be Held At University Of Georgia After Campus Murder. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired February 26, 2024 - 10:00   ET




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



ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome to our second hour of CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos, in for my colleague, Becky Anderson.

This hour, a massive political shake up. The Palestinian Authority prime minister and government resign. Saying, the challenges facing Gaza and the

West Bank require new political arrangements.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his country is in during its most difficult moments. He warns millions of lives could be lost without

more aid.

On the campaign trail, in the United States, all eyes are in Michigan. Could a protest vote by Democrats against President Biden spell trouble for

his reelection bid?

Well, nearly five months into the war between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Authority is regrouping. The prime minister handed in

government's resignation today and opened the door to a unity government.

The authority governs parts of the West Bank, although it's not clear what role it could play down the road.

This comes as more ceasefire talks are held in Doha, while Israel prepares for it offensive in the southern Gaza City of Rafah. I want now to get some

insights. Nic Robertson is following developments from Tel Aviv. We've got Alex Marquardt in Washington for us, as well.

Nic, I want to start off with you. I mean, looking at this resignation, it is significant. There's a lot of talk about a technocratic government being

put in place. Who will appoint this new government? What will the makeup be? And what does it mean in terms of unifying the Palestinian cause


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I think if you take a big picture, look at this. So, the pressure of the United States has been

putting on the Palestinian Authority to reform Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, when he visited the region in January.

He said that he needed to see and wanted to see and would be pushing for the Palestinian Authority to reform, and he got that. When he left, he said

he did have a commitment. That was the 11th of January.

A commitment for that reform is taken a long time and nothing moves quickly here to see that reform. But it is in the United States' view a necessary

part of the post Gaza war scenario where there is a Palestinian body that has enough credibility that it's -- that is free from the taint of

corruption. That is supported by enough people in the West Bank and in Gaza to be an administrative authority for those areas.

Indeed, that is on the path to what the United States says needs to be part of the go -- part of the way forward, is a guaranteed pathway to an

independent Palestinian state.

So, I think when you look at it in that context, that's where this is headed. But it's slow. I don't think we're going to expect to see any

immediate change the Palestinian Authority, prime minister -- Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said, look, because -- as you said, because of

what we've seen in Gaza, we're not suitable for the moment.

So, let's reform or reshape. And he is sort of talking about a government or players that would bring about a government of national unity. Said,

that this isn't going to be about parties, this is going to be about competencies, who is actually competent, does he mean technocrats here, it

isn't clear at the moment.

But I think what it signals is that in the -- in the big arc of the changes that need to happen for there to be a post Gaza conflict scenario that has

a possible, however, remote pathway to enduring peace. This is one of the pieces of the puzzle.

And it's interesting that just this week, many of the different Palestinian groups will be going to Moscow for meetings there, not all of them as far

as we know so far, but some of them that will be a forum for discussion. But this is really part of the United States push and a reality on the

ground that the Palestinian Authority really lacks legitimacy now in in the West Bank. They would not -- probably not taken a vote now.

Certainly, the president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, his approval ratings, negative 92 percent, is not -- is not brought support for


GIOKOS: All right. We've got Alex with us as well. We've got talks going on in Doha right now. Important hostage negotiation talks. Look, Israel wants

to see the hostages released before Ramadan. There are a lot of things at stake right now. But how does the resigning of the Palestinian Authority's

government play into what we're seeing on the discussion and negotiation front?


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, the hostage and ceasefire deal is the first step to getting to the day after

plan that the U.S. has been discussing with both European and Arab partners. You can't have a day after the war until the war ends.

Those questions of Palestinian governance, of Palestinian security, of rebuilding Gaza, those essentially cannot be addressed until the war ends.

And the U.S. does not believe the war can end until they crack open this door to a hostage deal, and to a pause in the fighting.

The only way the U.S. believes to get Israel to agree to a pause in the fighting is to come up with a plan to get these hostages released. And

during that pause, the U.S. believes you can then start to talk about the end of the war, you can start to talk about the day after.

So, it is very important what happened in Paris and a meeting on Friday. And what is happening, Eleni, today in Doha.

We understand that the talks have progressed, that there are technical teams that are meeting in Doha today. That is to put finer points on the

major parts of a would-be agreement.

For now, there is a what Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser here in Washington says a broad -- an understanding of the broad contours of an


Take a listen to what he told CNN on Sunday.


JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: The representatives of Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar, met in Paris, and came to an

understanding among the four of them about what the basic contours of a hostage deal for temporary ceasefire would look like.

I'm not going to go into the specifics of that because it is still under negotiation in terms of hammering out the details of it.


MARQUARDT: So, Eleni, the situation, the conversations are, are still very fluid. I'm told that the conversation in Paris on Friday with the

intelligence chiefs from Egypt, Israel, the U.S. as well as the Qatari prime minister went well.

Another diplomatic source told me that, that things are progressing, but they are still struggling to get to an agreement. So, it does look like

progress has been made. And once that pause starts, that is when the really difficult conversations will begin about possibly ending this war.

And the -- when the war does end, the U.S. certainly does want a revitalized reformed Palestinian Authority to take over governance of both

the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right. Alex, Michael, thank you so much.

Well, we still have Nic Robertson, with us. And Nick, I really want to talk about this potential incursion into Rafah. And, of course, there are over 1

million Palestinians right now that need to find a safe place to move to.

The IDF, of course, have put out a plan. Does that plan work in terms of what we understand the sort of -- the dynamics to be there. And we've got

to remember that the U.N. just today said that an incursion into Russia would be the final coffin, nail-in-the coffin for aid into Gaza.

So, there's a lot at stake here.

ROBERTSON: There is. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres was speaking in Geneva today at a U.N. conference. And he said, Rafah is the central

core. The core, he called it of the humanitarian aid program for the whole of Gaza. Why? There is 1.5 million displaced people from 1.1-1.2 displace

about 300,000 lived there before. But 1.5 almost a million Gazans out of a population of 2.2 there in Rafah.

The two border crossings where humanitarian aid gets across right now, they are also close to Rafah. One, Rafah from Egypt at Rafah into Rafah. And the

other from Kerem Shalom, right in the south, pretty close to Rafah, as it closer to any other of the cities inside Gaza.

That's why it's at the core. That's where most of the aid goes in. If there's a ground offensive there that massively disrupt any humanitarian


Look at the north right now. 300,000 people. Aid is, you know, the WFP recently stopped putting aid through because of disruption to convoys of

looting of shots being fired, convoys quite unclear.

All of that some of it we understand from investigation CNN has done was Israeli fire at those convoys. But the core of the operation is in the

south, and that what we are being told by the U.N. Secretary General is that would fall apart.

So, to the plan that the IDF has given to the security Cabinet, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, he's had the briefing from his defense chiefs at

that security Cabinet.

We don't know the details of what the IDF has brief the government, and it was the prime minister who told the IDF to come up with a plan to evacuate

the civilians because he was under so much pressure from the United States.


So, we don't know what that looks like. What it has looked like in the past is the IDF telling people by dropping flyers and by text messages, telling

them to leave certain neighborhoods, take certain routes at certain times, and go to safe zones.

What we've seen happen on the ground is it's not always safe, civilians still get killed in their homes, killed on the safe routes, and killed in

the safe settings. Not all of them, but some of them. And we don't know what this new plan is going to be different to previous yet, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes, a really important point. Perhaps move to a safer place, but definitely not safe enough in any respect.

Thank you so much, Nic Robertson for us there in Tel Aviv.

Now, the prospects of Saudi Arabia seen as the leader of the Muslim world, normalizing relations with Israel has grown distant since Israel began its

relentless bombardment of Gaza.

But Israel seems determined to make it happen. That's Israel's economy minister, Nir Barkat, shaking hands with his Saudi counterpart right here

in Abu Dhabi. Telling him, "We can make history together."

Now, there was no immediate reports about the meeting in Saudi state media, and the climate between the two countries has certainly been icy of late.

The Kingdom has made it very clear there will be no normalization without a ceasefire in Gaza and progress towards an independent Palestinian state.

The Russian war on Ukraine entered its third year this weekend. U.S. President Biden has repeatedly framed the need to support Ukraine as a

matter of national security both abroad and at home.

But Mr. Biden's military aid request for Ukraine to the summer of $60 billion is stalled in the U.S. Congress. As pressure builds around that,

White House official says Mr. Biden is set to convene the top four congressional leaders Tuesday. Ukraine says American Funding is critical to

its fight against Russia.

The country's president told CNN that without it, millions will be killed.

Here is what else Mr. Zelenskyy told Kaitlan Collins about the importance of that support.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: So, you see the difference that U.S. aid makes is what you're saying?

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE: Yes, it's been that this year, if we will not get anything, we will not have any success. And also, I --


COLLINS: You won't have any success?

ZELENSKYY: Any new success. And I think the route will be closed with a grain. Because it -- to defend it, it's also about some ammunition, some

air defense, and some other systems. And that's why without it, and without -- we can't count on this war --

COLLINS: That's a really stark comment. You're basically saying that there will be no new success for Ukraine if there is no new U.S. aid.

Essentially, this all depends on U.S. aid.

ZELENSKYY: Steps, success forward will depend on the U.S. aid. Yes.

Not defending -- not only defending line. Because if you defend, just defend, you give possibility Russia push you. Yes, small steps back. But

any, any way, you -- we will have these steps back -- small one.

But when you steps back, you lose people, we will lose people.


GIOKOS: All right. And President Zelenskyy is warning that Moscow could attempt a new offensive in a matter of months. But added that Kyiv has a

"clear battlefield" plan of its own, although he could not supply details.

We've got Nick Paton Walsh, standing by for us as well.

Nick, I want to get a sense in terms of what you're reading into this and he is saying very clearly that we -- no new successes. We'll be able to

defend our territory, we might have to take steps back, but we won't be able to achieve anything successful even as Moscow starts planning on this

new offensive.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, I mean, both sides, they're going to talk about counter offence in

the summer. It's really down to the capabilities they have, and it's very clear at this stage that we're already seeing Ukraine having to withdraw

repeatedly from areas along the front line.

Just today, Lastochkyne, a tiny village of little consequence itself. But it is three miles to the northwest of Avdiivka. Now, Avdiivka was

important. It was fought over for months and two Saturdays ago, Ukraine withdrew from it, after significant Russian pressure.

Ukrainian officials warned Russian officials claimed they all said that Russia would keep going, and indeed that appears to have been the case with

the announcing of Ukrainian withdrawal from Lastochkyne today.

Now, there are many analysts who say look, that was always part of the Ukrainian plan. There is no point defending that village. There is better

higher ground further away. So, important not to read too much into it.

But at the same time, this is yet more bad news, yet more territory lost and comes hot on the heels if Zelenskyy's very forthright claims about

exactly what damage is already being done to Ukraine's military campaign by the holdup in American military aid.


Millions of lives, he said, would be lost to Kaitlan Collins, if indeed that material did not come through fast enough or that money did not come

through fast enough.

So, we've seen really a complex message, Zelenskyy, having to simultaneously sound a massive fire alarm, explaining to his Western allies

exactly the dire straits they are in.

Bear in mind, it's not just near Avdiivka. Near where I am in Zaporizhzhia, pressure on tiny gains made over the summer counter offensive. Pressure

around Kharkiv, pressure near Bakhmut, it's all beginning to pile up potentially.

And so, I think Zelenskyy has to simultaneously try and offer up the prospects to Ukrainians that they can't persevere if they don't get the

same, which looks highly likely, to be honest, he can't sound to defeat it, but at the same time, explained quite how critical it is.

And that message in bold and really emphasized by the announcement of 31,000 Ukrainian military deaths since the full-scale invasion began -- the

first time we've had a real official death toll from the president himself.

So, a very complex 48 hours for Ukraine, looking forward to the end of this week really where Congress gets back and can even begin to think about

whether the $60 billion may come here. So, very dire straits, indeed, Eleni.

GIOKOS: All right. Nick Paton Walsh in Ukraine for us. Thank you. Russia is denying a new stunning claim from Alexei Navalny's team earlier. The head

of Navalny's anti-corruption foundation claimed that just the day before the Russian opposition leader died, negotiations for a prisoner swap that

would set him free were in the final stages.

A Kremlin spokesperson tells CNN he knows nothing about that purported deal. Separately, we are hearing the volleys allies are planning a public

farewell for him at the end of this week.

And let's later on, CONNECT THE WORLD, a father's anguish as he struggles to get justice for his 17-year-old son killed in the occupied West Bank.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When do I see him again? When do I see my 17 years (INAUDIBLE).


GIOKOS: Nic Robertson went to the West Bank and brings us the story of a Palestinian American family.

And backlash against the U.S. president in Michigan over his handling of the war in Gaza. What could it mean for tomorrow's presidential primary and

the general election in November? We'll be right back.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Nikki Haley says she is not dropping out of the Republican presidential race despite Donald Trump's convincing win in the South Carolina primary.

Trump tallied almost 60 percent of the vote Saturday in the very conservative state.


The victory keeps him on track to secure the Republican presidential nomination within a few weeks. But Haley is telling voters to focus on the

40 percent of the vote that she was able to get.


NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can't have a candidate who is going to win a primary who can't win a general.

You look at those first early states. They can say Donald Trump won. I give him that. But he, as a Republican incumbent didn't get 40 percent of the

vote of the primary.


GIOKOS: Well, there's no better person to break all this down for us.

Stephen Collinson is joining us. Nikki Haley, remaining very defiance, I have to say.

Look, Trump may have a clear path ahead of him. But should he be worried about that 40 percent that went to Haley when it comes down to where those

votes will go in November?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: It's true that large number of Republicans are voting against the former president. And he does

have a problem in the suburbs, not just in the Republican primary, but more generally, among the broader November electorate.

Haley did very well in Charleston and Columbia and South Carolina, more liberal areas of a very conservative state. At the same time, however, the

idea that all of those Republican voters who voted for Haley are simply going to go and vote for Joe Biden, in the general election, seems a little


From my own reporting. There are a number of Republican officials who believe that a lot of those disaffected Republicans who voted for Joe Biden

in 2020, are going to come back to Donald Trump in 2024. So, I think the jury is really out on how serious a problem for Trump these primaries show.

Of course, you know, if Trump is convicted in one of his criminal trials, if he continues the wild behavior that we've seen from him, and that

reminds people of how fraught his first term was, that could change things. But I think there is some of this as Democrats telling themselves a story

that Trump is weaker than they hope he is and trying to make themselves feel better.

GIOKOS: Look, in the meantime, in the Democratic primaries, and I want to talk about Michigan, because this could be one of the biggest tests for

President Biden.

Many of saying that they want to vote uncommitted because of Biden's policies in the Israel-Hamas war. And of course, that is a concern. I want

you to take a listen to what Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer said to CNN's Dana Bash over the weekend.


GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER (D-MI): It's important not to lose sight of the fact that any vote that's not cast for Joe Biden supports a second Trump term. A

second Trump term would be devastating, not just on fundamental rights, not just on our democracy or at home. But also, when it comes to foreign

policy. This was a man who promoted a Muslim ban.


GIOKOS: So, could this make-or-break Biden?

COLLINSON: Well, he's going win the primary easily. On Tuesday. There's no doubt about that. But the big question is whether we can take some

indications from what happens, especially among Arab American voters and progressive voters to take a test of how badly the war in Gaza and his

support for Israel has hurt him among crucial democratic constituencies.

It was interesting that the Governor Gretchen Whitmer was quite honest in saying she didn't know exactly how this was going to come about, if large

numbers of uncommitted votes start showing up. I think that's going to cause real alarm bells among Democrats. The reason is because there are,

say 70,000 odd Arab American voters in Michigan, many progressive voters who are also angry about his handling of the war. And this is going to be a

very tight state in November.

In 2016, for example, Donald Trump won Michigan over Hillary Clinton by about 11,000 votes. Biden won by a much bigger margin in 2020. But there is

real precedent here for, you know, a close race in Michigan. So, a few thousand votes here or there can make a big difference.

And if you look out west --



COLLINSON: Biden is having some trouble polling in some of those states he won in 2020. The route to the White House for Biden really goes back

through the Midwest. So, he cannot afford to lose Michigan and another state in the area, Wisconsin.


GIOKOS: Stephen Collinson, great to see you. Thank you.

Well, students are planning to hold a vigil later today at the University of Georgia. It was the site of a shocking murder last week.

A nursing student found dead Thursday, near at lake on campus. An undocumented migrant has been arrested and is facing charges. Police are

calling it a crime of opportunity.

Ryan Young is in Athens, Georgia where classes have now resumed. Ryan, vigil being held, a clearly very shocking story. Tell me about how students

are responding, and importantly, now that they have to go back to class and face reality.

RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as you can imagine, this has really sent shockwaves throughout the campus here. This is one of the

largest universities in the state of Georgia. This is one of the premier universities in the state of Georgia.

And for your international viewers, this is about an hour outside of Atlanta.

If you look over here, this is a student quad. This is the area where this visual will be in about the next 2-1/2 hours or so. So, many of the kids

who are here are upset to learn about a loved one, a friend of theirs, Laken Riley being killed.

And of course, you said that what the police chief told us, this was a crime of opportunity, according to the police chief. She was running a

trail that so many of the students like to run here. And according to them, she is apparently, came in contact with this man, Jose Ibarra, and that's

when the attack happened.

And so, what police are trying to figure out right now is, was there a motive behind this case? And that's what students want to know as well.

They also want increased safety measures. Now, what we were told by the police chief here is there's an intricate network of video cameras

throughout this area. And that's how they were able to catch parts of this crime.

But this crime happened in broad daylight. And that's what scared so many of the students here, who obviously walk and enjoy this campus. I mean,

there are runners who are going throughout this game was all times a day who are enjoying this and this attack happened -- this was the first murder

in some 30 years. You can understand why so many people here are upset.

The governor for the state of Georgia has also been calling to try to figure out exactly why this undocumented man was in this area. He's asked

the Biden administration to say, who was tracking him and why he ended up in this community?

So many questions that have been left unanswered. People here want to know the answers to those questions.

GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely. So many questions and of course, a real tragedy. Because, I guess everyone must be feeling so alert right now, knowing that

even a run could put their lives at risk.

Ryan Young, thank you so much.

Well, coming up, a U.S. Air Force member has died after lighting himself on fire outside and Israeli embassy. He said his suffering was minimal

compared to the Palestinians in Gaza. We are live in Washington, D.C. after the short break. Stay with CNN.



GIOKOS: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Becky Anderson. Like your headlines this hour. Ukrainian President

Zelenskyy says Donald Trump doesn't understand Russian President Putin as he has never fought against him. He told CNN "I don't think he understands

that Putin will never stop." Mr. Trump has in the past refused to say whether he wants Russia or Ukraine to win the war. The former U.S.

president is now on the verge of becoming the Republican presidential nominee.

A shake up within the Palestinian authority, the Prime Minister and the government resigned today citing new realities due to the Israel-Hamas war.

He left the door open for a unity government. Authority President Mahmoud Abbas must now decide whether to accept the resignation.

Israel says it will increase its strikes on Hezbollah in Lebanon even if there is a temporary ceasefire reached within -- with Hamas in Gaza. Israel

carried out a series of airstrikes in Lebanon today, including the northeastern city of Baalbek, the farthest north it has struck in the

country since October 7th.

And in an act of protest against Israel's bombardment of Gaza, a member of the U.S. Air Force set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in

Washington on Sunday and has died in hospital according to a statement from D.C. Metro Police. In a video of the incident obtained and reviewed by CNN,

the man gives his name and says "I will no longer be complicit in genocide before self-emulating an investigation, it's currently underway.

But let's bring in CNN Correspondent Gabe Cohen for more on the story. Really horrific. We haven't shown the images of what played out but take us

through what we know.

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here look, Eleni, we're not going to show that video that was obtained by CNN because it is just too graphic, too

disturbing. But it does paint a really clear picture of what happened in broad daylight outside that Israeli embassy here in Washington, D.C. on

Sunday because it was recorded and live streamed it appears by that airman, by 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell of San Antonio, Texas.

He was an active duty member of the U.S. Air Force. And I'll walk you through what we can see in the video. We can see Bushnell clearly in his

military uniform walking down the street in D.C. up to the Israeli embassy. Really speaking calmly to the camera, he says "I will no longer be

complicit in genocide. I'm about to engage in an extreme act of protest." But compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the

hands of their colonizers, it is not extreme at all.

This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal. We then see Bushnell pour what appears to be some sort of accelerant out of a water

bottle onto his own head. And then he sparks a lighter and sets himself on fire yelling free Palestine again and again, as he's burning until finally

he collapses. And police officers eventually rush in one of them with a fire extinguisher trying to put out those flames.

But as you mentioned, we have learned that in the hours after Bushnell did die in a hospital. But look, Eleni, this speaks to be a tensions that

continue to rise over the war in Gaza. Now more than four months into this conflict, the death toll in Gaza now nearing 30,000 people. And we saw a

similar incident back in December when a person set themselves on fire outside of the Israeli consulate in Atlanta.

But this really takes it to another level because we are talking about a member, an active duty member of the U.S. military burning himself to death

on the streets of Washington outside of the Israeli embassy as political pressure on the Biden administration continues to mount over this issue.

GIOKOS: Gabe Cohen, thank you so much for that update.

Well, grief can be an all too constant companion, we found that is true in the West Bank where violence has grown alarmingly. Our Nic Robertson met

with a father of slain Palestinian American teen Tawfik Abdel Jabbar shots in the West Bank last month.


His family says -- the family is still struggling for answers.



ROBERTSON: The one down here?

JABBAR: Yes. This is where Tawfic was shot at.

ROBERTSON: An American father Hafeth Abdul Jabbar showing us his family land where he says his son was murdered by an Israeli settler in January.

JABBAR: He wasn't going to do anything. Simply a barbecue Friday prayer and come back home. And he's not a terrorist. He's an American-Palestinian kid

full of life. Wanted to do so much in his life.

ROBERTSON: His son Tawfic was 17 years old. Studying towards his dream job. NASA engineer. The family left Louisiana last spring returning temporarily

to their roots in the occupied West Bank. They visited their ancestral hilltop village home most years.

All around the village, there are murals of Tawfic remembered, immortalized. And underneath it says the smiling martyr.

Tawfic's trauma increasingly common in the West Bank.

And this is getting worse since October 7th.

JABBAR: And it's getting worse since October 7th. Way worse.

ROBERTSON: They're turning it more likely to Gaza.

JABBAR: Exactly. They want to turn it to Gaza.

You see the bullet?


A month after Twafic's death, Hafeth is struggling to get justice. The single shot that killed his son and exploding bullet entering the back of

his head clear in the CT scan of his brain. Photos of the crime scene and an investigation by the Palestinian Authority document 10 shots. Video

shows what Hafeth says is a soldier taking the final shot. An eye witness as a settler took the first shot.

Israeli investigators say an off-duty police officer and an off-duty soldier were also present at the time of Tawfic's killing but have yet to

charge any of them. They say the investigation is ongoing.

JABBAR: That's the problem that I'm facing right now that we all face in here, that when they do such a thing and they're not stopped and they're

not questioned, it's OK for them to do it again and again and again. And that's what keeps happening here. This is not the first kid that got shot

and killed in the same area.

SARI BASHI, PROGRAM DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Since October 7th nearly 400 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlers.

There are currently 9000 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons and jails.

JABBAR: Sari Bashi is an Israeli human rights expert living in the West Bank has been tracking Israeli security force tactics there for more than a

decade. Hamas is brutal October 7th for attack she believes became a watershed for unprecedented Israeli violence in the West Bank.

BASHI: We have seen things piloted in Gaza and later moved to the West Bank in terms of the levels of violence, the airstrikes, the drone strikes in

Gaza are starting to become much more frequent in the West Bank.

ROBERTSON: Not just more aggressive and more frequent, but more audacious too, not to mention possibly illegal according to U.N. experts. Like this

covert Israeli Special Forces up in a hospital that killed three militants believed to be planning an attack. The hospital says the man was sleeping

when shot. IDF diggers gouging up West Bank streets, rendering them unusable, akin to Gaza's battle-torn thoroughfares also deepens fears. The

West Bank is worsening.

The impact of Israel's actions according to respected Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki is enabling groups like Hamas.

KHALIL SHIKAKI, PALESTENIAN POLLSTER: The West Bank is becoming more militant today than Gaza was before the war or today.

ROBERTSON: Because of what the Israeli government is doing here.

SHIKAKI: Because of what the Israeli government is doing, what the army is doing and what the settlers are doing.

JABBAR: While we support in such a regime like that.

ROBERTSON: Hafeth is angry President Joe Biden isn't doing more to pressure Israel to rein in radical settler leaders like Security Minister Itamar

Ben-Gvir whose party has called for the annexation of the West Bank.

The Israeli government maintains its military operations only target terror suspects, but settler violence has spiraled in recent months.

JABBAR: These officials on T.V. from the Israeli government's making these comments and passing some weapons from Ben-Gvir to the settlers. That's why

they feel like they can do anything without being charged or without being stopped.

ROBERTSON: Impunity that is repping irreversibly through his family.

JABBAR: How can they forget their brother? Can they ever forget their brother? Can they ever figure out who shot their brother?


No. When I told my wife I want to have another Twafic. And I want my older son to get married and have another Tawfic.

ROBERTSON: Across the square from his family home that predates Israel's creation by more than 70 years is the town cemetery.


Where Tawfic is buried. Feet for two have half is his uncle's whom he says were killed by settlers 36 years ago.

JABBAR: That's a message to them, to the Israeli government. We're not going nowhere. Even if you put all of us right here. Generations will come

and for you this country from you guys.

ROBERTSON: Defiance, yes, but beneath it, a father struggling.

JABBAR: When do I see him again? When do I see my 17 years long ago? When do I get to see him again? That's the minute that I -- right now I think

about. I don't think about money. I don't think about businesses anymore. I don't think about anything else other than when do I see my son again?

ROBERTSON: Nic Robertson, CNN, the West Bank.


GIOKOS: And just ahead. As tankers head from Mexico City, will they be enough to solve its water crisis? One resident tells CNN shortages are not

uncommon but he says this time it feels different. Find out why coming up next.


GIOKOS: And some news just coming into CNN. Former U.S. President Donald Trump is formally appealing those massive penalties handed down in his

civil fraud case. Attorneys for the former president are appealing the $454 million judgments and the ban from doing business in New York for three

years. The court found Trump and his adult sons liable for inflating their net worth for years on financial documents and the news on the appeal just

coming through.

All right. Time could be running out as Mexico City faces severe water crisis. Experts say the taps could run dry in many areas just months from

now. The city of nearly 22 million people is struggling to cope after years of low rainfall blamed on climate change. CNN's Gustavo Valdes brings us

the story.


GUSTAVO VALDES, CNN REPORTER (voiceover): Lorena Cruz knows she's breaking the law every time she pulls water from these underground reservoirs.

She says it is a miracle the city thank has water and without it, the whole neighborhood would suffer because they've got no running water for over a



And the city she says still wants them to pay for the service. Lorena and her neighbors are not the only ones struggling to find water for their

basic needs. All 21 million residents in Mexico City's metropolitan area are experiencing shortages in part because of a severe drought.

Mexico's capital gets its water from two sources. A system of reservoirs known as Guatemala and underground aquifers.

Raul Rodriguez Marquez, director of the Consejo Consultivo del Agua. A civic organization promoting water conservation says the reservoirs are at

historic low levels well below 40 percent capacity. And the aquifers are over extracted. Part of the problem has been drier than normal rain season

that typically run from May to August. And experts say the situation can worsen for the city built over a lake bed before the Spaniards arrived five

centuries ago.

Some experts warn the city could run out of water this summer, what it's been called Day Zero. Mexico's president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, this

means those claims, calling them and attempt from the opposition to influence the presidential election in June and said his government is

working to get more water to the city.

The city's mayor assured residents that the water supply is guaranteed. But first rated residents have taken to the streets in protest and many

neighborhoods depend on water delivered by trucks. Some paid by the government, many paid by local residents.

Maria Herminia Collins (ph) says, each truck costs about $200 and it's just enough for 20 days of water for a handful of families if they use it wisely

and recycle. Like using water from washing dishes to flush toilets.

But the lack of rain is not the only reason experts say Mexico City is suffering from water shortages. A study by Universidad Autonoma de Mexico

shows that 40 percent of the water supply is lost due to leaks. Some because breakage of pipes during the frequent earthquakes. Some because the

city still relies on pipes over a hundred years old.

Rodriguez Marquez says that instead of investing to improve the infrastructure, the money spent on water project has decreased for many


VALDES (on camera): We contacted Conagua, Mexico's National Water Management Agency, and they declined our request for an interview. They

also declined to answer the written questions we submitted about the water supply levels and the state of the infrastructure.

VALDES (voice-over): For now, the government will continue to rush on distribution and continues to call on its citizens to conserve the precious

liquid, forcing residents to patiently wait for water to come their way or get what they need whenever they can.

Gustavo Valdes, CNN, Atlanta.


GIOKOS: But let's get you up to speed on some of the stories that are on our radar right now. India's Prime Minister visited and underwater holy

site on Sunday. Narendra Modi puts on a diving suit and submerge himself into the Arabian Sea to pray and meditate at the site when ancient holy

city is believed to have existed. This comes after the Prime Minister introduced a controversial Hindu temple last month, fulfilling a long-

standing promise in an election year.

Also in India, railway officials are investigating a runaway freight train. They're looking into how a train traveled more than 40 miles on Sunday

without a driver before being stopped using emergency brakes. Officials say it reached speeds of up to 46 miles or 28 kilometers an hour.

European farmers are protesting today in Brussels over a long list of grievances such as rising costs and environmental regulations impacting

their livelihoods. Similar demonstrations have been going on for weeks in more than a dozen countries across Europe.

CNN's Clare Sebastian has more.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Anger piercing through the streets of Europe's diplomatic hub. farmers across the

continent traveling to the European Union headquarters in Brussels on Monday, as agriculture ministers meet to discuss Europe's farming crisis.

Police meeting the protesters with water cannons as patients begins to wear thin. For weeks, farmers in over a dozen countries have been disrupting

highways border checkpoints and city centers in uproar of unfair competition from outside the E.U. and what they dubbed as restrictive

environmental policies.


This in part a consequence of E.U. leaders waiving duties on Ukrainian food imports following Russia's full-scale invasion in 2022. Over the weekend,

farmers in Poland who have been blocking Ukrainian border checkpoints destroyed 160 tons of Ukrainian grain spilling corn across train tracks. A

move Ukrainian officials described as vandalism.

Meanwhile, in Spain, convoys of tractors continue to clog Madrid, while in France, motorways hidden the truckloads of hay. Union leaders calling for

more noise.

FRANCIS AMBROGIO, SECRETARY GENERAL, FDESEA (through translator): In any case, we have to keep up the pressure, because I have the impression that

we're going to be hearing a lot of speeches, but we want action, facts. And today we're not making any progress.

SEBASTIAN (voiceover): Back in Brussels and acknowledgement Russia stands to benefit here.

DAVID CLARINVAL, BELGIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER (through translator): There are also aspects of the market which are important. And we see that the

grains market is collapsing, the prices are going down. This is a very game which Russia is putting in place to put pressure on Ukraine but also on the

single market. We are in a global geopolitical context. And we have to keep all these aspects in mind.

SEBASTIAN (voiceover): The response to these protests, a test for European unity, as anger continues to grow louder.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.


GIOKOS: All right. And this news just into CNN. Hungary's parliament has now approved Sweden's bid to join NATO. That is the last hurdle for Sweden

to become the 32nd member of the alliance.

And just ahead, when you've got skin in the game and the game is serious gender identity and African woman's tattoo stories, that is up next in our

series As Equals.


GIOKOS: Now for our ongoing series on gender inequality "AS EQUALS". In our latest installment CNN follows to woman on a mission to preserve a

traditional African practice that was erased by colonialism, traditional tattooing.


JESSICA HORN, UGANDAN FEMINIST ACTIVIST: In the process of European colonization and tattooing was deemed immoral, demonic and something that

was practiced if at all by an underclass of people.

We're interviewing African women in many parts of the continent from many different African backgrounds around their own personal stories and

histories of tattooing and scarification. We have many, many, many people come to us and say, you know what, my grandmother had tattoos. I never

asked her about that.

LAURENCE SESSOU, BODYWORK THERAPIST: What we want to do is collect as many stories as possible so that we can create an archive for next generation.

It's not going to be my last tattoos, you know.

HORN: Really?

SESSOU: My feet, yes.

HORN: I think now you should tattoo then we can kind of lay out --


HORN: -- how are you want this to be.

SESSOU: That's if I want you to touch me again.

So, when you think of colonization and the effect that it had on our original precious practices.


I think we owe it to ourselves to actually reclaim that part of us because it speaks very, very deeply.

HORN: That is really a form of memory. They bring out memories in you.

SESSOU: In Benin, this symbol is heavy also. And it's the energy of the sky. And this symbol here is a goon. It's the metal element. And it's often

carried by warriors.

When I look at my tattoos and scarification, it reminds me of how far I've come. So, it's a body of celebration.

HORN: I'm hoping that the temple of her skin will really stretch the perspective as to what beauty is.

We say because our stories matter and our skin speaks. So, we're interested to hear what the skin is saying.


GIOKOS: Well, thank you so much for joining us. I'm Eleni Giokos. And that is it for CONNECT THE WORLD. And stay with us. Rahel Solomon is up next on