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Isa Soares Tonight

U.N. General Assembly Approves Measure on Palestinian Membership Bid; Death Toll Rises with Massive Flooding in Brazil; Protests at Eurovision Contest Over Israeli Singer. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 10, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, an overwhelming yes in a symbolic test

for support. The U.N. General Assembly approved the resolution that backs giving Palestinians full membership.

Then Israeli whistleblowers speak out about what they say is the systematic abuse of Palestinian prisoners in the shadowy detention center. We'll have

exclusive CNN investigation. Plus, unprecedented flooding in Brazil. Dozens of people are missing with more rain unfortunately on the way.

But first, we begin tonight -- but first, we begin tonight with a dire as well as the increasingly desperate situation in Gaza and in Rafah in

particular. The U.N. today warning that the humanitarian plight there has reached quote, "even more unprecedented levels of emergency".

Aid agencies said there are simply not enough supplies. Many hospitals we've been told will stop being able to provide services within the next

day or so due to a lack of fuel, which is something we heard on the ground yesterday, if you remember, right here on the show.

All this as tens of thousands of people leave Rafah, the southern city under threat of an Israeli invasion. A displaced Palestinian shares the

hardship that he's facing. Have a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been displaced for seven months. I'm broke. I don't have a single shekel. I'm forced to flee from Rafah to Khan Yunis. I don't

have any shekels to pay for a ride. Tell me where it's a safe place for me to go there. But there isn't a single safe place in the Gaza Strip.


SOARES: While Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is pushing ahead with his plans to wipe out Hamas in Gaza. He says Israelis, if

they're forced to, well, quote, "stand alone", even if it means fighting with their fingernails, his words. And this comes after U.S. President Joe

Biden said he will hold some weapons shipments to Israel if it launches a major offensive in Rafah.

We'll have more on the humanitarian situation in Gaza and in Rafah in just a moment. But right now, we want to turn to developments though at the

United Nations, because it was a resounding yes vote today at the U.N. headquarters, the General Assembly overwhelmingly improving a resolution

which called on the Security Council to reconsider full U.N. membership for Palestinians. It would also grant new rights as well as privileges. Have a



RIYAD MANSOUR, PERMANENT OBSERVER OF PALESTINE TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Our flag flies high and proud in Palestine and across the globe and on the

campus of Columbia University. It has become a symbol raised by all those who believe in freedom and is just true by all those who can no longer

stand idly by in the face of such utter injustice.


SOARES: Meanwhile, Israel's U.N. ambassador accused those voting in favor of the resolution of trying of quote, "advance their establishment of a

Palestinian terrorist state."


GILAD ERDAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: You can see exactly what you are inflicting upon the U.N. charter with this destructive vote.

This is -- you are shredding the U.N. charter with your own hands.


SOARES: Well, before the vote, the U.S. vowed to begin veto any bid for Palestinian statehood that is brought to the Security Council. We've got

coverage of these developments, all these developments for you. Jeremy Diamond is standing by in Jerusalem, but first, I want to go to Nic

Robertson in London.

And Nic, so, just talk us through first of all, this -- what this vote at the UNGA means for Palestine. It's historic, it's symbolic, but it's the

first hurdle.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It is. And I think it shows an increasing swell of support for the Palestinian cause. You heard

the Palestinian representative there speak about the flag being flown above campuses, universities in the United States. And he was emotional about


And I think that this is what we're witnessing. The vote required a two- thirds majority, it got actually close to three-quarters of all the votes, nine against, 25 abstentions, but 143 is a big figure, and there were

strong language, obviously both from the Palestinian representative and from the Israeli representative who described that, this sort of vote would

in effect allow a state.

And this is why we're shredding the U.N. charter, because he was saying the U.N. charter was established after World War II, which was to block

countries like Nazi, Germany from, you know -- from ever existing in the future. And he said that by accepting the Palestinian state in, you're

accepting a terrorist state, a modern Nazi state is what he called it.

It fell to the -- it fell to the Pakistani representative who took up the podium right after the Israeli representative to say that, that sort of

language was an insult to the General Assembly. And really, the tone of the language really gives you that sense of how much the ground is shifting.

Now, the Palestinian representatives at the U.N. will now be able to propose debates, to be able to talk about issues other than just sort of

Palestinian Middle East issues and engage more fully. But it was the United States just a month ago that vetoed that the Security Council, which is

where the final decision about accepting Palestine to be a member state of the United Nations.

That decision will have to be taken and the United States has vetoed that just a month ago and indicating that they would -- they would do it again.

SOARES: And packing just the diplomacy on for one -- for one moment, Jeremy. Let's talk about the humanitarian situation because it is getting

desperate. And it seems like even NGOs are running a lot of ways or words to describe it. Just give us a sense of what you're hearing is happening at

the situation on the ground in Rafah here.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is why there has -- have been warnings for months by humanitarian aid officials concerned by

the United States and other countries about the potential impact of a major Israeli military operation in Rafah.

And that's because not only are there 1.4 million people, many of them displaced living in that city. But also, because it has become a hub of aid

work, of the ability to bring in that aid and quickly and effectively distribute it to the people who need it most. And so, now what we are

witnessing beyond the mass displacement of people, 110,000 people or so already having been displaced from Rafah is a breakdown of certain key

aspects of humanitarian support inside of Rafah.

One of Rafah's three partially functioning hospitals out of commission as patients and staff were forced to evacuate. In addition to that, you're

witnessing the Rafah Border Crossing, which has been closed throughout this entire week. And then the people who are being displaced from Rafah who

were then moving north, they're heading to this Al-Mawasi humanitarian zone as it's being called by the Israeli military.

And what they're finding there are -- is a sandy area that doesn't have sewage, doesn't in many cases have running water, electricity. People

living in makeshift shelters and tents on the sides of roads, prompting the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, to warn that this will

be a quote, "epic humanitarian disaster if the Israeli military proceeds with an expanded and all-out ground offensive in Rafah."

SOARES: I appreciate, I'm just seeing as well, and I wonder if you can expand on this a bit more, which is seeing that the Israeli security

cabinet, which of course was meeting yesterday, has now approved this expansion of Rafah operation. Do we know how soon and how expansive this

area will be?

Because I was hearing from an NGO yesterday on my show that already they were hearing strikes outside of these key areas that people were told to

move from.

DIAMOND: Well, there's no question that there had been strikes outside of that eastern Rafah area as there have been for months now. Rafah has been a

refuge, but it has not been entirely free of Israeli military airstrikes. What I am told by an Israeli official is that yesterday, the Israeli

security cabinet approved a quote, "expansion of the area of operation in Rafah", effectively empowering the war cabinet, which is that smaller group

composed not only of Netanyahu as well as the Defense Minister Yoav Gallant but also Benny Gantz, a member of the opposition.

Given the war cabinet, the authority to continue making decisions about the war in Gaza, and in particular, about the operations, military operations

in Rafah. This is not an indication of any kind of imminent expansion of that activity.


We don't have a sense as of yet of the timeline of when exactly that expansion could happen. But this is a signal that Israel's government is

unified in this notion of expanding military operations in Rafah in the face of criticism, condemnation, and now threats by the United States to

withhold further military support to Israel if indeed it proceeds with an all-out ground offensive in Rafah.

SOARES: Jeremy Diamond and Nic Robertson, thank you to you both. Well, joining me now here in the studio is Husam Zomlot; he's the head of the

Palestinian Mission to the United Kingdom, a well-known face here on the show. Husam, great to have you back on the show.

Let me pick up really, I wanted to start off talking about the UNGA, but now we just had these news coming in that the Israeli security cabinet, as

Jeremy was just reporting there, has approved -- has approved an expansion of this Rafah operation.

Now, what we don't know is the timeline here, when it will happen, but Netanyahu -- it is. But speak to this moment right now, that for months,

I've been hearing from guests on my show, calls from politicians and NGOs talking about what this would mean, right? Into -- going into Rafah. Now,

this is looking like it will happen. Your reaction?

HUSAM ZOMLOT, HEAD OF THE PALESTINIAN MISSION TO THE U.K.: Well, Netanyahu has learned over the last seven months, perhaps the last seven decades that

he can cross every red line, the U.S. has told him that this is a red line. The U.K., Europe, the rest of the world, the U.N., the ICJ, ICC, the

Security Council, name it.

He doesn't care, simply because he will not get the serious consequences. He has many statements and sympathies and warnings, should he go to Rafah?

It will be catastrophe beyond description. You're talking about 1.5 million people, 600,000 children are scattered in the streets of Rafah.

Can you imagine what will happen with his tanks and the way he did it in the north and in the middle of Gaza, he simply has made up his mind, that

is Netanyahu, the Israeli government, they have made up their mind. They want to press ahead all the way to actually erase the Palestinian people.

SOARES: So, when you saw this decision by the United States to pause the weapons, to pause the bombs being sent to Israel, what did you think?

ZOMLOT: I thought that was important? I thought it broke at a bull(ph), maybe it killed a 100 --

SOARES: Does it shift -- does it shift -- does it --

ZOMLOT: Maybe it killed a 100,000 people killed and maimed late. But better late --

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: Than ever.

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: Yes, I just -- I heard you quoting Netanyahu that he says we will fight with our finger --

SOARES: Fingernails, yes --

ZOMLOT: Fingernails?

SOARES: We just had an interview just overnight.

ZOMLOT: Isa, he's fighting with American 2,000 pounds, tons, dropping it on our families and homes. The moment he's deprived of that, he will not

fight. And you said pause. Why the U.S. should pause after all these atrocities? The U.S. should revoke the license of exporting arms to Israel.

There has to be an arms embargo and then Netanyahu will listen. And you --

SOARES: Do you think he's going to listen, because according to that interview --

ZOMLOT: Oh, yes --

SOARES: We heard overnight, it doesn't seem like he's listening.

ZOMLOT: Right --

SOARES: He's been -- he's been asking for -- the U.S. has been asking for plans for Rafah. They haven't received it. They said there's a red line.

He's still going ahead.

ZOMLOT: Yes --

SOARES: So, what other pressure is there?

ZOMLOT: He's not listening because he's not getting any consequences. And he knows that, that pause is going to be just for a few days. He knows he

will get it. And he has seen some of the Republican senators --

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: Writing only this morning against their own president for even pausing for a few days, pausing to continue the genocide using American

weapons. And these huge bombs that are made --

SOARES: Two thousand-pound bombs, yes --

ZOMLOT: They're not made for such a situation. And therefore, the U.S. must also be watching. I've seen a letter only a couple of days ago by few

senators, Republican senators sent to the ICC, saying, you have been warned. Did you see that letter?

SOARES: No, I didn't, yes --

ZOMLOT: They were threatening the ICC, should they actually start investigating Israel's war crime?

SOARES: But it's not common, but it's not just --

ZOMLOT: It's almost like "The Sopranos", "The Sopranos". The -- some U.S. politicians are literally threatening international courts to shield

Israel. This is what Netanyahu knows. So, he knows in the end --

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: He can do what he wishes.

SOARES: What about the U.K. here? Because the way the U.K. will say, OK, not comparable in terms of size of weapons that it offers. Should the U.K.

be also pausing?

ZOMLOT: Of course, the U.K. should not only pause, the U.K. should impose an arms embargo, and the U.K., it is upon the U.K. own domestic legal

responsibility and international law under international law that the U.K. should stop. After the ICJ, officially put Israel on trial for genocide,

and say genocide is plausibly here. There's no conversation.

Every third party that provides such weapon is complicit. It's as simple as that. And that's why these countries should watch it. These countries

should make sure that they are not part of committing genocide, and not just that, look at the inconsistency and the positions of the U.S. and the


On the one hand, they say they want a two-state solution, and when we go to the General Assembly, this overwhelming support, the world support, the

U.S. stands only with few countries, Micronesia and Palawa, I don't -- whatever that is, isolating itself only for the sake of objecting our right

to self-determination?


The Israeli ambassador to the U.N. stands and shreds the U.N. Charter that created Israel, really? And the U.N. Charter, the talks about people's

right to self-determination as inalienable, that talks about the admissibility of acquiring land by force. So, the issue is the U.S. is

giving lip service, but in effect, it's double-talk and double-faced --

SOARES: Hypocrisy?

ZOMLOT: So is the -- yes, hypocrisy and double standards, and really, just supporting Netanyahu's -- Israel's slow genocide for 70 years without

wanting to take --

SOARES: Let me --

ZOMLOT: The real political -- the real political capital. Invest --

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: The political capital to actually move us in a different direction --

SOARES: Husam, because we're running out of time, and I think it's really important for us to talk about what happened in the U.N. today. The U.N.

vote 143 countries, it's a symbolic, it's historic, what does that say to you? The fact that 143 countries there voted, of course, you still need to

go the next step, but voted to recognize that, to give it more rights to Palestine --

ZOMLOT: It's just symbolic. It's actual.

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: It represents the will of the people of the world. You're talking about all continents. You're talking about the countries that really

represent the millions of one -- millions. You're talking about governments that have decided to listen to their own people, and not just in the U.S.,

but everywhere.

And today for us represents a verdict by the world that they will stick to the U.N. Charter. They will stick to international law, and they will

defend what is right here. However, the scene was clear, the issue is the U.S., primarily the U.S., and of course, all these countries that up-state.

Why did you abstain?

The U.S. says because this has to be an outcome of negotiation. Seriously? Did you wait for negotiation when you recognized Israel? You didn't wait

for -- you didn't even consult us when you recognized Israel. Then all this is a pretext to delay and delay.

And then your entire talk about two-state solution is not very serious, but however, we move on from this moment --

SOARES: Yes --

ZOMLOT: And we heard from the absolute vast majority of the world. And we move forward and we will come back to the U.N. and to the U.N. Security

Council every session if needed, until Palestine is a full member state, and until the U.S. stops allowing Israel to drag it, drag the U.S. into a

genocide, drag the U.S. into regional war, and now dragging the U.S. into undermining the U.S. democracy by going after these students that are

trying --

SOARES: Oh, I wish ---

ZOMLOT: To fight for justice and for liberation --

SOARES: That we're seeing not just in U.S., we're seeing protests right around the world. I wish we had more time, I did hear today from the EU's

top chief -- U.N. chief basically saying -- Josep Borrell saying that he expects Ireland, Spain, as well as other European countries --

ZOMLOT: Norway, Nepal --

SOARES: Norway, several on the 21st of May, I believe, to recognize Palestinian statehood, is something that -- a conversation that we've had

with the Spanish Foreign Minister right here on the show. Husam, always great to have you on the show, great to see you --

ZOMLOT: Thanks --

SOARES: Thanks very much. Now, in 20 minutes also, we'll take you live to Rafah. I'll be speaking with Dr. Mohammed(ph) to hear who says people in

Gaza don't know what to do other than accept that their fate that they will be killed, we'll have that interview for you.

Well, jurors heard more testimony in Donald Trump's hush money trial today before it concluded for the week. But it's the witness now expected to

testify on Monday that may very well make or break the prosecution's case. Prosecutors plan to call Michael Cohen to the stand. Trump's former

attorney and fixer, who is now a bitter enemy of the former president.

They'll try to show a link between Cohen's $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, of course, who we heard this week, and an alleged plot

to Donald Trump to cover it up. Among those testifying today -- testifying today, former Trump White House aide Madeleine Westerhout, known as the

eyes and ears of the western -- West Wing during the first two years of his administration.

She told jurors Trump would often sign checks without reviewing them first. Let's get more on all these trends for you and what to expect on Monday.

Criminal defense attorney Janet Johnson joins me now. Janet, great to see you. Let's push ahead to Monday because I think that's where everyone is

looking forward to now.

Prosecutions -- the prosecution's star witness, I should say, is expected to testify, Michael Cohen. What should defense attorneys be doing this

weekend, you think to prepare here?

JANET JOHNSON, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, I mean, you have to think they already have their preparation done. You know, Michael Cohen has

talked a lot. There's a lot of information that they can do to impeach him. He is going to be prepared though. I mean, he is a lawyer.

You know, let's remember Stormy Daniels testified she did find there are some issues that I think she struggled with being nervous. But here's

somebody who's used to being in court. Someone who's talked a lot, and as much as people say, Michael Cohen is going to be a really difficult


He's going to have a hard time. He's kind of a charmer, and I anticipate he's going to hold up pretty well even under cross-examination.


SOARES: Yes, and I mean, it's -- and we expect a testimony from -- I understand, I mean, to last several days. I mean, do you think prosecutors

here will address even his credibility issues and right from the get-go because he did, of course, serve time for tax fraud and lying to Congress,

how do you think -- what tactics do you think you'll see?

JOHNSON: Yes, absolutely. I think they'll embrace those issues, and then I think they'll turn it around, especially in their closing argument and say,

we didn't hire Michael Cohen, we didn't pick Michael Cohen. He's not our lawyer. You know who is in bed with Michael Cohen for years?

You know, whose lawyer Michael Cohen was, Donald Trump. So, if you think that Michael Cohen has credibility issues, if you think he's slimy, if you

think he's sleazy, he was the fixer for Donald Trump. And you know, quite frankly, who has a fixer who didn't do anything wrong?

I think they'll embrace that he has these foibles that he's not necessarily squeaky clean. He's been to jail, but he did all that at the service of

Donald Trump. I think that gives him credibility.

SOARES: And Janet, I mean, just focusing on today, it wasn't as riveting as previous days, right? But they were -- the jury was shown business records

and her testimonies from I think, AT&T and Verizon analysts. Perhaps, a slightly more tedious and boring for jurors, but explain why this is

important. Going ahead to that testimony on Monday --

JOHNSON: Right. Yes, I mean, this is testimony that often times wouldn't have been presented. Both sides usually stipulate and say, we will agree

that, that's Michael Cohen's cell phone. Those messages came from his AT&T account. So, they had to jump through the hoops because the defense said,

no, we're not agreeing.

And that's not an outrageous thing, I've done that and drown myself. I don't necessarily want to make the job easier for the prosecution, but

often times, just to move the trial along, both sides agree. So, they didn't do that. They went through all of those. It's important to

authenticate that any information that Michael Cohen testifies to is corroborated that it came from his cell phone.

There were calls that came from Donald Trump contemporaneous to some of these transactions that occurred. So, all of that was really important. And

then they wrapped up with you know, essentially the secretary to Donald Trump, to Madeleine Westerhout, who was a pretty effective witness for the


And any time someone in the states' case gets in the stand and doesn't hurt the defense, the defense feels pretty good walking away. I mean, she's sort

of humanize Trump. And here's a woman who said, you know, he had some fondness for his wife, contradicted a few of the things that Stormy Daniels

said, not necessarily a homerun for the defense, but not as harmful as some of the other witnesses.

SOARES: Yes, indeed, Janet Johnson, it's going to be another busy week next week, looking forward to that. Great to see you, thank you --

JOHNSON: Thank you --

SOARES: Janet. And still to come tonight, the Eurovision competition is supposed to unite people through music, but one contestant is dividing many

fans. So, why someone to ban one singer from Saturday's finals, that is next.



SOARES: Well, Israel's offensive in Gaza has led to a wave of anti-war protests. And this week, they even reached the Eurovision song competition,

which insists it is not a political event. Demonstrations have been taking place at the Swedish host city, Malmo, we showed you these pictures

yesterday, more of course that we've been seeing in the last few days against Israel's participation, that says Israeli competitor Eden Golan

makes it through to Saturday's finals. Our Anna Stewart has the very latest for you.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Her song is about facing down a hurricane --


STEWART: And Israel's Eurovision entry this year certainly finds herself at the center of a storm through to Saturday's final, the music contest. But

while Eden Golan enjoyed a rapturous response from the studio audience on Thursday night's semifinal, the crowd outside the venue in Malmo, Sweden,

struck a wholly different tone.


STEWART: Thousands gathered to protest against Israel's inclusion in the event, saying it should be bought by the European Broadcasting Union,

because of its military campaign in Gaza.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The EBU has allowed Israel to participate in Eurovision, but not Russia. And I think that's just the -- it's wrong.

STEWART: Climate activist Greta Thunberg amongst the crowds calling for further demonstrations against Israel.

GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: I think they should be everywhere, and once again, young people are leading the way.

STEWART: Israeli singer Golan seemingly not deterred by the outrage on the streets.

EDEN GOLAN, ISRAELI SINGER: Of course, there's like stress and nerves and excitement and many things around and thoughts. But at the end of the day,

I'm very focused.


STEWART: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling out what he said was an ugly wave of anti-Semitism directed towards Golan, telling her in a

video message, when they boo, we will cheer you on. The atmosphere has been tense around the Eurovision song contest venue, amidst one of the largest

security operations Malmo has ever seen according to Swedish police.

Eurovision has always proclaimed to be a political. Organizers already intervened earlier in the year when Israel's initial entry titled "October

Rain", was deemed to too closely referenced the Hamas-led attacks of October 7th.

Dissent has still crept in, Belgium, the semifinal broadcast was interrupted briefly with this message on Thursday. A statement from the

network union condemning what it said were the violations of human rights by the state of Israel.


STEWART: Protests organized in Malmo to coincide with Saturday's final, have promised to draw bigger crowds than the venue audience itself.

Eurovision slogan, "united by music", facing perhaps its biggest challenge yet. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, a constant bars of drones filled the night sky. I'll speak with one doctor in Rafah who calls the situation in

Gaza slaughter. That live interview is next.




SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Even more unprecedented levels of emergency, that is how the U.N. is describing the bleak situation in Gaza.

UNRWA says nearly 110,000 people have escaped Rafah since Monday, have left Rafah since Monday, as Israeli bombardments have been intensified and

forced displacement continues. Living conditions in Gaza are being called atrocious and time is running out.

Officials with a central Gaza hospital say it will run out of fuel possibly as soon as this weekend. And at the top of the hours, I'm not sure if you

heard our conversation with Jeremy Diamond saying that the Israeli security cabinet has now approved an expansion of the Rafah operation.

Joining us now live from Rafah is Dr. Mohammed Tahir. He's a surgeon at the Gaza European Hospital in Rafah, one of only two hospitals, I believe,

operating in Rafah. He says people in Gaza are uncertain of what they're going to do next.

Doctor, appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Just give us a sense, first and foremost, what is happening at your hospital. What are

conditions? What's the situation like?

DR. MOHAMMED TAHIR, SURGEON, FAJR SCIENTIFIC: First of all, good evening to everybody listening today. In the last 72 hours, things have taken a turn

for the worse, so much so that last night we were woken up by the thunderous sound of bombing nearby.

This continued as an onslaught for hours and hours and hours. Bear in mind, we are in a hospital, and this hospital has in fact become somewhat of a

refugee camp where lots of people have taken shelter. You have families, you have children, women, injured people lying around, sleeping on floors,

makeshift tents in and around the buildings within the confines of the hospital itself.

And so things have definitely taken a turn for the worse, and that's also reflected in the number of casualties and the severity of the injuries that

we've seen. The first thing today in the morning, we saw three dead young men who were clearly civilians, butchered beyond recognition, in fact. One

of them, his head and his torso was unrecognizable. It did not resemble anything human. It was only flesh and bone, and that's what we're exposed


And it's also young, innocent children being cut down with shrapnel, and it's just nonstop. And the atmosphere is filled and is gripped with fear.


The staff here are very worried about their lives. They think that there will be a repeat of al-Shifa in this hospital. Many people have been

evacuated from nearby Rafah, and so they've had to take their families and flee and that's left an already crumbling system on its knees.

SOARES: And doctor, you say that everyone is nervous, and quite rightly so. The image that you've just portrayed is absolutely shocking. What do you

advise people and staff when that's the sound they're hearing, these are the images they're seeing, the lives, of course, the people walking in,

that level of injuries? What do you tell them? Are they -- do you tell them to evacuate? Because in the last, what, 35 minutes, we've heard that the

Israeli Security Cabinet has approved an expansion of the Rafah operation. We don't have a timeline on when this will happen, but this is what we're

hearing. So what do you advise?

TAHIR: Well, I would advise -- I mean, if you were to ask me what would I advise my -- the colleagues, I suppose, that are from Gaza, who I've become

accustomed to, and who I've worked with for the last one and a half weeks, who have been very dedicated and passionate about their jobs, I can't tell

them to hang in there and continue to work, because I know that the fear of being killed is very real, and not only for themselves, but their -- for

their families too.

As for myself and the personnel from missions, I mean, listen, for me, I came here because I believed in this mission. I came here because I

believed that if not me, then who? And that I can't rely on others to do the job that I want to be seen -- that I want to be seen done in this

world. And I'm prepared to be here and to put myself in harm's way to protect and help these people, who, by the way, are wonderful people, are

loving, are kind, are just like anybody else, and like you and I, who just want to take care of their families. So, it's -- it is very shocking to see

the reality of what's going on on the ground.

We've seen -- I've seen what's been happening for many months beforehand, but then to finally arrive here and see it with my own eyes, it really is

beyond comprehension.

SOARES: Yes. And this is something I heard as well with Melanie Ward, who is the CEO of Medical Aid Palestinian, who was also on the ground, and she

said, you know, what she saw with her own eyes pretty much shook her to the very core.

Dr. Mohammed, let's talk about the fact that, you know, the Rafah crossing is closed, fuel is a huge concern. How much fuel do you have for the Gaza

European Hospital? How much longer do you have those reserves of fuel?

TAHIR: I don't have the specifics to hand. However, what I can tell you is that often I'm operating and the lights go out, the electricity go out, the

machines go off, and then we have to wait a period of time for the backup generator to kick in. That's one aspect.

There is the other aspect of supplies. I mean, many of the things that we are working with today are the things we've literally bought in hundreds of

suitcases that we, you know, we struggled with to get in ourselves. It's not been aid that's been delivered by trucks. It's been the things that we

bought on our backs, and that's quickly running out.

We are not allowed to leave, as far as I understand. I'm not one to -- want to leave right now in these people's greatest moment of need either because

I have been inspired by them, in fact, by the medical students who have shown a passion that is unlike anything I've ever seen before. They work

tirelessly to care for their fellow Gazans, and that's inspired me to want to be with them, and I will be with them to the end.

So, your question about the fuel, that's one aspect. The supplies, that -- those are running out too. We've all lost a considerable amount of weight.

We don't have food like we do in our -- where we live normally. Our water is also coming to, you know, a critical supply as well. We are feeling a

squeeze, and we've only been here for a couple of weeks. I can only imagine what the Gazans have experienced for the last seven months.

SOARES: Dr. Mohammed Tahir, really appreciate it, doctor, taking the time to speak to us and just giving us a real sense, honest and pretty brutal

sense of what is happening there at the Gaza European Hospital.


Thank you very much, doctor. We'll stay in touch. We are going to --

TAHIR: Can I just say one last thing before we finish, please?

SOARES: Go ahead, go ahead, doctor. Go ahead.

TAHIR: I just want to -- thank you. I just want to really ask the international community and to all the free people who love peace, who

love, you know, humanity, to help the people of Gaza now. They are in desperate need. If this Rafah invasion continues, we will see the slaughter

of thousands of innocent people and a human suffering on a scale that we've never witnessed. Please stop this war.

SOARES: Dr. Mohammed Tahir, thank you, sir. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. We're going to take a short break. We're back on the other side.


SOARES: And this just coming in to CNN. South Africa has, in the last few minutes, in fact, filed an urgent request, an additional measure, actually,

in its case against Israel, its genocide case, if you remember. Now, in this request, I'm just going to read what South Africa says. "The situation

brought about by the Israeli assault on Rafah, specifically over Rafah here, and the extreme risk it poses to humanitarian supplies and basic

services into Gaza, to the survival of the Palestinian medical system and to the very survival of Palestinians in Gaza as a group, is not only," says

South Africa, "an escalation of the prevailing situation, but gives rise to new facts that are causing irreparable harm to the rights of the

Palestinian people in Gaza."

So this is a court statement, South Africa filing an urgent request for additional measures here in the International Court of Justice. This is a

genocide case that they've placed against Israel. We have not had a response so far from Israel. As soon as we get that, of course, we'll bring

that to you. We'll stay across this story for you.

Well, since military operations began in Gaza, a growing number of Palestinians are being held in the Sde Teiman military detention center,

and that's in the Negev Desert, a shadowy facility where reports of widespread abuse of detainees are emerging.

For the first time, CNN speaks to three serving Israeli whistleblowers who have worked in those various capacities, I should say, pardon me, at the

prison, and they describe a systematic pattern of abuse there, and that includes mass detention, in-stress positions, sensory deprivation, beatings

as well as torture. They say they are speaking out as a matter of conscience.

Matthew Chance has this exclusive investigation.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a place the Israeli military doesn't want us to see.

CHANCE: How many Palestinians are there in there right now?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me please now.

CHANCE: Hang on, what is it that you want? My camera or my card?

CHANCE (voice-over): CNN has gained exclusive evidence of Palestinian prisoner abuse from multiple Israeli whistleblowers. At the Sde Teiman

facility in southern Israel, we joined human rights activists amid growing public concern for the detainees being held inside.

CHANCE: This is a protest by Israeli citizens outside a detention center close to Gaza, where we know hundreds of Palestinians have been held. You

can see it's a closed military facility, it's behind a barbed wire fence, we're not permitted access.

CHANCE (voice-over): And there's hostility from passers-by.

CHANCE: We just had somebody drive past in a car and they shouted out to us in Hebrew, you're defending murderers. You're defending -- what do you --

how do you understand this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, no, we're defending basic human rights.

CHANCE (voice-over): And eyewitnesses are now speaking out. Away from the military facility near the beaches of Tel Aviv, one young Israeli army

reservist agreed to speak about scores of detainees at Sde Teiman. He says they're kept in cages or pens, constantly shackled and blindfolded, many

for weeks on end. We've hidden his identity and voice to shield him from prosecution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were told they are not allowed to move and must sit upright. They're not allowed to talk or peek under their blindfolds.

CHANCE: And what happened if they did do that? What kind of punishments were meted out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were allowed to pick out problematic people and punish them, having them stand with their hands above their heads for an

unlimited time. If they didn't keep their hands up, we could zip-tie them to the fence.

CHANCE (voice-over): The Israeli military says detainees are handcuffed based on their risk level and health status. But the account tallies with

photographic evidence obtained by CNN of Palestinian detainees inside Sde Teiman. And with hand and wrist injuries, shown to CNN by dozens of

Palestinians, released back into Gaza.

"I was zip-tied and blindfolded," says this former detainee, "and tortured in a way I never imagined." One source telling us the restraints were so

tight they had to amputate a man's hand.

CHANCE: The view that I've heard expressed is that, you know, how do you think Israeli hostages are treated by Hamas?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This sentiment was voiced in the facility. But I think that if Hamas is so abominable, which I agree with, then why use Hamas as a

bar? It's a descent into dehumanization.

CHANCE (voice-over): A descent that's accelerated. Since the rampage by Hamas on October 7th last year, the killing and abduction to Gaza of

hundreds of Israelis provoked outrage and a brutal response.

Amid Israel's wrath, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed. Thousands detained for interrogation. Transported to facilities like Sde

Teiman, where one Israeli guard now tells CNN prisoners are routinely beaten. We've hidden his identity and voice too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can take them out and hit them, maybe four or five times, with a club. It's not dying in the face so you don't see blood. The

detainees lie belly down, being hit and kicked, people screaming and dogs barking at them. It's terrifying. Some detainees are taken away and beaten

really hard, so bones and teeth are broken.

CHANCE: So you saw people who were subject to these beatings, who had their bones broken and who had their teeth broken?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it's a practice which commanders know about. They want intelligence, but they also want revenge and punishment for what

happened on October 7th.

CHANCE (voice-over): The Israeli military hasn't approved CNN's requests for access to Sde Teiman. But at the gates of the facility, we challenged

the Israeli guards.

CHANCE: How many Palestinians are there in there right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. I prefer not to answer it.

CHANCE: Do you know if they're being handcuffed? Are they being blindfolded?


CHANCE: This is the facility.

CHANCE (voice-over): As we leave, masked soldiers approach.

CHANCE: Hello, how are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you stop filming, please?

CHANCE: I'm filming this way. We'll leave now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a figure of the army, so you --

CHANCE: Who are you guys? We're CNN.

CHANCE (voice-over): They tried to take our cameras.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me please now. Give me please now.

CHANCE: Hang on, what is it that you want? My camera or my card?

CHANCE (voice-over): Then order us to leave.

CHANCE: Well, we're driving now to meet one Israeli with personal experience of the Sde Teiman facility.


It's experience that he says has left him shocked at the condition and the medical treatment of Palestinian detainees there. He told us he treated

Palestinian detainees with gunshot wounds fresh from the war zone in Gaza, but was appalled at the lack of equipment and expertise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The problem is Gazans who are brought in are labeled as terrorists, and it is very popular opinion over

here that terrorists deserve to die, so they do not deserve the same medical care as everyone else.

CHANCE (voice-over): Satellite imagery obtained by CNN shows how the Sde Teiman facility was expanded after the October 7th attacks, with detention

facilities and makeshift medical bays being added after public hospitals in Israel refused to treat injured Gazan suspects.

Eyewitness accounts describe a field hospital with 15 to 20 patients virtually naked and blindfolded, with hands and feet shackled to their beds

and wearing diapers. One eyewitness told CNN painful procedures were carried out by underqualified medics. Treatment, the medical worker told

us, amounts to punishment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): In my view, it's the idea of total vulnerability. If you imagine being unable to move, being unable to see

what's going on, that's something that borders, if not crosses, into psychological torture.

CHANCE (voice-over): The Israeli military says prisoners are stripped for security checks and that investigations are opened when there's suspicion

of misconduct. Still, accounts from Israelis and Palestinians inside and the shocking images paint a disturbing picture.


SOARES: Now, the death toll continues to rise in Brazil after nearly two weeks of just devastating as well as widespread flooding. And the threat of

new storms could make the situation there even worse.

Another round of heavy rain as well as strong winds is expected to hit the southern part of the country today as well as throughout the weekend. 113

people have already lost their lives, dozens more are missing, and nearly two million people have been impacted.


The army is trying to rescue people as well as deliver food, clean water and medicine to the tens of thousands who have been displaced. Of course,

we'll stay across this story for you.

Well, that needs context. Apple is apologizing for its new iPad Pro advert, that you can see there, advertisement, saying its video, "missed the mark."

In the clip that you're looking at, we see various items being crushed by a giant hydraulic press to reveal the new iPad Pro. The tech giant apologized

after swift backlash from Internet viewers who felt the advert celebrated technology's destruction of human creativity as well as art.

And finally, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in Nigeria for the weekend to take part in a mental health summit. Upon arrival in Abuja, Prince Harry

and Meghan visited a school in the Nigerian capital where students lined up to welcome the couple. The trip comes after a quick visit to London by

Prince Harry where he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Invictus Games but did not meet with his father, King Charles.

That does it for us for tonight. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "NEWSROOM" with Jim Sciutto is up next. I'll see you on Monday.

Have a wonderful weekend.