Return to Transcripts main page

One World with Zain Asher

Fire Follows An Explosion In A Gaza Camp; Damage Assessed In Charleston, Kentucky After Tornado Rips Area; Ukraine Continuously Calls For More Air Defense Systems; North Korea's Latest Attempt To Launch A Spy Satellite Into Orbit Fails According To Reports; South Africa Holds A Critical Election In Two Days. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired May 27, 2024 - 12:00   ET



ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: All right, coming to you live from New York, I'm Zain Asher. Bianna is off today. You are watching "ONE WORLD".

Residents in Rafah are describing their shock, fear and anguish after what they say was a terrifying night in the southern Gaza City. One Palestinian

man says that he felt an explosion that shook the entire area, followed by a raging fire in a densely populated displacement camp.

The Gaza Health Ministry says at least 45 people were killed, 200 wounded in the Israeli strike on Sunday. Video obtained by CNN, as you see here,

shows tents on fire. The Israeli ministry says it was targeting a military compound and that two senior Hamas officials were killed.

Egypt, meantime, condemning the attack, while French President Emmanuel Macron says that he is outraged and is calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Qatar says the strike could hinder hostage release and ceasefire negotiations set to resume in Cairo tomorrow.

CNN's Jeremy Diamond is in Jerusalem, joins us live now with the latest. I mean, the video is pretty shocking. Israel is saying that they targeted

these two sort of senior Hamas commanders, but the collateral damage here has really surprised a lot of people. We're talking about dozens of people

killed, women and children, among them. How are the Israelis justifying this attack, Jeremy?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Zain, as you said, the images of this strike overnight in western Rafah are absolutely horrendous. Women and

children, many of those are among the many killed and wounded in these strikes. Forty-five people were killed altogether in these strikes that the

Israeli military says was targeting just two senior Hamas commanders.

But amid the international outrage, surprisingly, and in a very rare move, the Israeli military is saying that it will investigate this incident,

saying even that they did not expect that any civilians would be killed in this strike. And I do want to warn our viewers that the images they are

about to see are graphic.


DIAMOND (voice-over): Their blood-curdling screams tell the story of the unfolding horror more than words ever could. But it is only as bodies are

pulled out of the inferno that the scale of this attack becomes clear. At least 45 people were killed after an Israeli airstrike targeted this camp

for displaced Palestinians in western Rafah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Plastic tarps engulfed in flames, sheet metal walls crushed by the blast, a block of makeshift shelters flattened in an instant. The Israeli military

says the strike killed two senior Hamas militants who commanded Hamas's West Bank operations, Yassin Rabia and Khaled Najjar.

In a rare move, the Israeli military's top lawyer launching an investigation into the strike, saying civilian casualties had not been

expected. "It was assessed that there would be no expected harm to uninvolved civilians. The IDF regrets any harm to uninvolved civilians

during combat."

Mohammed Abu Etewi is one of those civilians, so badly burned that he cannot even open his eyes. But there are so many more. So many children

writhing in pain. And then there are the parents, desperate to save babies whose cries have been silenced, perhaps forever.

For those who survived, whatever thin sense of safety they still had has now been completely shattered. "We were sitting and suddenly there was a

big blast and fire. People started screaming," Ranine says, describing how they spent the whole night pulling charred bodies out of the embers.

While hundreds of thousands have fled eastern Rafah after the military ordered its evacuation, many others, like this man displaced from central

Gaza, came here to western Rafah, told the area would be safe. And then there are the mourners.


The occupation army is a liar. "There is no security in Gaza," says this man, whose brother was killed in the strike. Here he is with his wife. They

were martyred. They are gone. For one man, a brother. For another, his sister. She was the only one, he says. She was the only one. And she is



And we should note, Zain, that this strike in Rafah comes just days after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to halt its military

offensive in Rafah, something that the Israeli military clearly has chosen not to do in this case.

And we are already hearing condemnation from leaders around the world, including the European Union's foreign policy chief, who said that Israel

should immediately comply with that order from the International Court of Justice.

But, of course, it's not just in Rafah where the Israeli military is continuing with these military actions. Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip

overnight, another 20 people were killed in other strikes. Zain.

ASHER: Jeremy Diamond, live for us there. Thank you so much. And worth noting that in a few minutes, I'm going to be speaking with UNICEF global

spokesperson James Elder, who has been inside of Gaza many times during the last few months.

All right. Depending on where you are in the U.S., your Memorial Day is either very stormy or extremely hot. That's because a line of severe storms

pummeled the southern United States this weekend and is now moving towards the East Coast. Take a look at this destruction.

This is the damage left in Charleston, Kentucky, after a tornado ripped through the area. Kentucky saw four of the 21 people who lost their lives

in this weekend's storms. Most were in Arkansas and Texas, where tornadoes left cities in ruins.

Other parts of the south are dealing with scorching temperatures. The heat index, which measures how the body actually feels in the heat, could hit

115 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the southeast and the Gulf Coast, as well. Our Ed Lavandera filed this report from one of the hardest hit

areas of North Texas.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The National Weather Service says the tornado that ripped through this subdivision just near the small city of

Valley View, Texas, in North Texas, was an EF2 with winds of 135 miles per hour, which explains just the devastating destruction you see around us.

This is a subdivision where dozens of homes are just demolished. Emergency officials say seven people were killed here. Four of those victims were

children. In fact, we spoke with the relative of one family that was just devastated by this.

These cars and this debris that you see behind me, that is an area where a mother and two of her children were found dead by the woman's brother-in-

law. Their home was catapulted more than 100 yards, and it landed here just in -- that's the remnants of what you see there. And those victims were

found there just minutes after the storm blew through here.

In all, some 100 people were injured, as well. There was a convenience store along Interstate 35 where more than a hundred people were scrambling

to get out of the storm's path, only to find themselves directly hit by the storm. The building collapsed. Those people had to be rescued.

But right now, in what is becoming stifling heat, families are out here trying to clean up the pieces and what is left of this debris field. And

families simply just, in some cases, just kind of stunned as to where exactly you begin to clean up after this. We've seen people coming in with

heavy equipment and just piling everything together, as you see behind me here.

And right now, the biggest need that families here need is temporary shelter. So, the work is being done to get these people housed while they

rebuild. Also, clothing, because as you can see, everyone's belongings have just been strewn all over the place.

The Red Cross officials say that the storm system here in Texas kind of cut a path of 150 to 250 miles along, throughout North Texas. So, the damage

and the devastation are very intense in places like this, but also quite widespread, as well. Back to you.


ASHER: All right, turning now to Ukraine, where officials say that it has been hellish there following Russia's attacks on the eastern part of the

country. In Kharkiv, at least 18 people were killed in a strike on a crowded hardware store on Saturday. And on Sunday, another nine people were

killed in attacks across three regions.

This is video of damage in Kharkiv released by the President's office. All of this unfolding as President Zelensky is in Spain, where he just secured

a $1 billion weapons deal for Ukraine. Melissa Bell is following all these developments from Paris for us.


So, obviously, this trip to Spain by President Zelensky, Melissa, comes as Ukraine continuously calls for more air defense systems. I mean, it is

desperate, especially as Russia continues to push deeper into the eastern part of Ukraine, where it has depleted Ukraine's army and, of course, their

ammunition and military hardware, as well.

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that's right. The Ukrainian military under a great deal of pressure on that new northern front after the

crossing of the border by Russian forces earlier this month. There are not only difficulties for Ukrainian forces trying to hold those defenses, but

of course, for Ukrainian civilians, as we've seen day after day over the course of the last few days.

Around the country in Kherson and Donetsk yesterday, but also in Kharkiv, that strike on Saturday now believed to have killed 18, Zain, as you said,

but that number likely to rise. It is only 30 percent of the rubble that so far has been sifted through by Ukrainian officials who described it, as

hell. So, more likely to come in terms of civilian loss of life as a result of that strike and more pressure being brought to bear by Russian forces

along many different parts of the front lines.

And this, of course, is behind President Zelensky's visit to Spain. It was delayed, Zain, because of that opening of the Kharkiv front. He was meant

to go earlier this month. It was delayed till now, a billion euros worth of Spanish aid to be given to Kyiv. It is the 10th such bilateral deal to be

struck between a Western ally and Ukraine and will involve, we understand, much help towards air defenses, Patriot systems, but also leopard tanks.

It is that help with air defenses that President Zelensky has so desperately been pleading for. And that is also, of course, been brought to

the forefront of everyone's minds as a result of what's happened in Kharkiv over the course of the weekend. Had Ukraine had better air defenses, said

President Zelensky, speaking before the weekend as a result of attacks on civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv, these kinds of attacks and loss of

civilian lives could be better prevented.

It is also the backdrop to the important conversation that's now begun, Zain, amongst allies about whether or not to give the green light to Kyiv

about using Western-supplied weapons on Russian soil. The debate was launched publicly by Jens Stoltenberg himself on Friday, the NATO Secretary


He repeated from Sofia in Bulgaria today, his urgent plea that NATO reconsider what had been a pledge so far that none of its equipment would

be used against Russia in light of what's been happening, which is the Ukrainian defenses being put so severely on the back foot and on such a

substantial line of growing front lines.

ASHER: Melissa Bell, live for us there. Thank you. All right. At this hour, rescue efforts are underway at a frustratingly slow pace in Papua New

Guinea. Friday's landslide there buried as many as 2000 people in a remote village, that's according to the government, which says the main highway

leading to the area is blocked. The landslide happened in the middle of the night where, while many people were sleeping, CNN's Ivan Watson has more.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has taken days for authorities in Papua New Guinea to come to grips with the scale of the

destruction from a deadly landslide. They now say that the death toll could have grown into the thousands.

WATSON (voice-over): An outpouring of grief in a village community where the government says more than 2000 residents could be trapped under deep

rock. Many of the people in these highland villages buried as they slept when a massive landslide hit overnight Friday. Satellite pictures from

before and after showed the sheer size of the landslide, the rubble so deep that few victims have been recovered.

EVID KAMBU, LANDSLIDE SURVIVOR (through translator): I have 18 of my family members buried under the debris and the soil that I am standing on, and a

lot more family members in the village I cannot count. I am the landowner here. Thank you to all those who came to help us. But I cannot retrieve the

bodies, so I'm standing here helplessly.

WATSON (voice-over): Yambali village in Enga province is an extremely remote part of Papua New Guinea. Help has been slow to arrive through

mountainous terrain thick with jungle, the terrain unstable even for rescue workers. Without heavy lift equipment, desperate people have done what they


SERHAN AKTOPRAK, IOM CHIEF OF MISSION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA: They are using digging sticks, spades, agricultural forks, and their hands, of course.


WATSON (voice-over): A small amount of aid has arrived, but the landslide has destroyed the main road into the village, and aid workers say violence

between local tribes has made the journey even more dangerous. Over the weekend, eight people were killed, and houses and shops burned along the

road to the disaster site.

JUSTINE MCMAHON, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, CARE INTERNATIONAL: An evacuation area has been established. Two emergency medical centers have also been

established, and the defense force plans to bring in heavy equipment tomorrow.

WATSON (voice-over): Papua New Guinea has called for help as it comes to terms with the scale of the disaster, the United States and close neighbor

Australia have offered support. But in this stricken community, hope for rescue is dwindling with every passing hour.

WATSON: Part of what is so tragic is the timing of this disaster. The landslide took place at around 3 o'clock in the morning, local time. That

is when most of the members of these rural communities would have been at sleep in their homes. Back to you.


ASHER: Ivan Watson, thank you. Still to come here, the party of Nelson Mandela has been South Africa's only ruling party for three decades. Could

that, though, be about to change? And Donald Trump's fate will be placed in the hands of 12 jurors this week. A preview of closing arguments in his

hush money trial, up next.


ASHER: All right, in less than 24 hours from now, Donald Trump's hush money trial will begin its final phase. Closing arguments are slated to begin on

Tuesday morning, and the jury is expected to get the case on Wednesday. They'll then begin deliberating on 34 counts of falsifying business


That isn't the only action happening on the legal front involving Donald Trump. Prosecutors in the classified documents case are asking the judge to

slap a gag order on Trump. They want to stop him from talking about FBI agents who conducted the search of Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

Trump has recently made the false claim that agents had orders to assassinate him. And Trump could be in more trouble for a post he just made

on social media. He attacks columnist E. Jean Carroll in the post. Trump has twice been convicted of defaming her and has been forced to pay her

more than $88 million, so far. All right.


To help us sort through all of this, let's bring in criminal defense attorney and legal analyst, and my friend, by the way, Joey Jackson,

joining us live now. Happy Memorial Day, Joey. Let's talk about what we expect this week. Closing arguments tomorrow. Just walk us through what we

can expect from both the defense and prosecutors, too.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, Zain. Good to be with you. Wow. A lot to be argued. Very compelling. I certainly suspect. Now, what's going to

happen is, is that the defense will go first. The prosecution will go last. Why? Because the prosecution has the burden of proof.

And what you're going to hear and see are the battle of two narratives as it relates to the prosecution. They are going to focus on the issue of

motivation -- motive. You don't have to establish motive, but certainly inquiring minds want to know why would the former president engage in

falsifying business records? Why? So, that it would enhance his election prospects.

There was this "Access Hollywood" tape. Prosecutors will say in which Trump was bragging about sexual assault. And with regard to that, it really

rocked his campaign on the heels of that. And right after that, you have this Stormy Daniels revelation. What revelation? That he was having an

affair with a porn star. We can't let that out.

And so, we have to quell, quiet that story, get it out from public view. How? Because I'm going to have my fixer orchestrate a deal. And in that

deal, we're going to catch that story, kill that story, pay her for her silence. And in doing that, we have to reimburse Cohen.

So, we're going to falsify these records. And even though Trump didn't mess with the ledgers themselves, the invoices themselves, he was involved in

orchestrating and conspiring to cover it up. And as it relates to that, he was doing it to boost his election prospects. He met with Cohen in the

White House thereafter.

They certainly weren't talking about him being appointed. That is Cohen to attorney general. What else can they be talking about? Reimbursements. And

we know that Donald Trump signed those reimbursement checks in his own Sharpie pen. Ladies and gentlemen, he's guilty.

The defense certainly has another point to make and will have a lot to say in that regard. Like what? They will say that you're going to rely upon

Michael Cohen. He's the only direct connection in this case, which establishes that Trump was involved in any such deal.

No, ladies and gentlemen, the defense will say Michael Cohen went rogue. This is a person who cannot be trusted. He has lied to everyone. He lied to

Congress. He was convicted of perjury. He's lied to his business associates. He's lied to those around him. He's lied to his wife and he is

lying to you.

He is the only direct link and to the extent defense will argue that you have to and can only convict based upon his word, which is no good. You

should take that word and do what belongs to it and is to disregard it.

And so, to the extent that Michael Cohen acted on his own accord without the President's involvement at all, he is not guilty. Those will be the

narratives we'll see. Of course, Zain, we only have a couple of minutes to talk about it. They will make these statements, prosecution, three hours,

defense, three hours, a lot more than what I have to say here. But the essence of what they will argue is contained within what I just spoke


ASHER: I loved how you just laid that all out with all the facial expressions and the rhetorical questions. "Hush Money Trial," the movie,

starring Joey Jackson. That was brilliant. I do have to ask you about, you know, one of the one of the key issues that's at the sort of crux of this

case, but shouldn't really be. And that is whether or not Donald Trump did actually have sex with a porn star.

I mean, obviously that is not the issue here, but the defense made a huge deal about it when they cross examined Stormy Daniels. Obviously, so many

so many Daniels said that they did have an affair happened near Lake Tahoe back in 2006. The defense said that, you know, she's making that up. She

lied about that. How much will that matter to the jurors, do you think?

JACKSON: Yes. So, you know, I think that the defense went in on that because Donald Trump directed them to write. You can't have people

believing that he had really relations with a porn star. And so, the fact of whether he had relations or didn't is really, to your point, not

relevant with regard to the underlying issues. What makes it relevant is the notion that she, that is, Stormy Daniels, was going to out him, whether

there was a dalliance or not. And that would hurt his election prospects.

So, I think that what the defense wanted to do was to attack the notion that it even happened and suggest that if, you know, there was any type of

payoff, who would want negative information out there about them? But the actual affair itself is a non-issue. Prosecutors will focus, however, and

it's important to them because it shows the motive. You don't want that is Donald Trump, that information out there. You're facing an election. It's a

tough election. We're going to kill the story.


And then we're going to hide the issue of these reimbursement checks to Cohen relating to not having to do with any porn star or anything else, but

a retainer agreement to retain Cohen for legal services rendered. And if Donald Trump believes that, hey, look, I have nothing to do with this deal.

I know nothing about this deal. I was just signing checks to reimburse an attorney.

Guess what? He's good to go. If the jury believes that it was for the motivation of covering up that story and those ledgers, even though he

didn't write them, it was directed by him. Then it puts us in another realm.

And that's why there was so much attention paid on the salacious details, which in themselves are not relevant. But the motivation as to that

information, getting to voters and trying to quell and kill that story, that's relevant. And that's why there was so much time spent on Stormy


ASHER: And just quickly, I mean, it's important for our audience to note that in order to prevent a conviction, Trump's defense team essentially

just needs to convince one juror, just one juror to have a little bit of doubt, a little bit, just that reasonable doubt that Donald Trump may

indeed be innocent. And if that happens, just explain to us what happens next. Is it automatically a mistrial? Just -- just walk us through that

aspect of it.

JACKSON: So, Zain, that's very critical. And why is that so important? Because the way it works in doing these jury trials is you have to have 12

jurors who make a unanimous assessment as to the guilt or lack thereof. If 12 jurors come together and they say guilty, then, of course, Donald

Trump's guilty. Nothing to see here. And he ultimately spends for right.

Well, could spend up to four years in jail. That'll be a judicial determination. That is, a judge will determine whether or not to sentence

him to that. However, if you don't have that unanimous agreement, if all 12 jurors do not agree he's guilty and you have one or more holdouts, that

represents a mistrial.

A mistrial is when the jury does not reach a conclusion or render a verdict unanimously. And the essence of that is that will result, in my view,

essentially in Donald Trump's exoneration. Why? Because now you would have to try the trial or try him again.

And there's little time before the November election to have that happen. So, he will certainly not be tried before November. And if he's not, here's

the issue. If he gets elected, are you really going to try him four years later? Because you cannot try a sitting President during their presidency.

So, it would delay the trial for four years.

If he does not get elected, will prosecutors have the stomach, the wherewithal or will even be the level of interest to pursue him moving

forward? So, I think this notion, which could happen of a mistrial, which is when one or more jurors hold out, if that does happen, that certainly

would be a tremendous victory for Donald Trump.

ASHER: Joey, you are certainly the most entertaining legal analyst I've had -- break down the story. My one man show, Joey Jackson, live for us. Thank

you so much. Thank you.

JACKSON: I appreciate you. Thank you.

ASHER: All right. Still to come, Gazan authorities say an Israeli airstrike on a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah killed dozens of people.

Israel says it was targeting a militant compound. We'll talk to a UNICEF spokesperson when we come back.



ASHER: All right. Welcome back to "ONE WORLD". I'm Zain Asher. An update now on our top story. Israel is facing growing international condemnation

after a deadly strike on a crowded camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah.

Gaza's health ministry says at least 45 people were killed and 200 wounded. Israel says it targeted a militant compound and killed two senior Hamas

officials. A warning, though, these images you're about to see on your screen are very difficult to watch. The video here shows tents on fire,

people screaming. Residents in Rafah are describing a terrifying night. Take a listen.

UNKNOWN (through translator): There is no safe area here in the Gaza Strip. The place where we stayed was targeted. They killed our children and burned

our women and elders inside the so-called safe area.

ASHER: That strike came just days after the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel must halt its operations in Rafah. Egypt is condemning

the attack, while French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for an immediate ceasefire. Qatar says the strike could hinder hostage release and

ceasefire negotiations set to resume in Cairo tomorrow.

All right. Time now for The Exchange. We're going to take a closer look at the strike aftermath and the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza. UNICEF

spokesperson posted this on Instagram on Sunday after the Rafah strike, saying, quote, "Tonight, mothers in Gaza will hold their children and hope

they sleep and will pray that they wake."

James Elder joins us live now from Geneva, Switzerland. James, it's easy to sort of understand in theory, right, theoretically, that nowhere is safe in

Gaza. We hear that all the time from various officials who have visited Gaza and, of course, from the people who live there.

But when you see a strike like this happening in Rafah, where so many displaced Palestinians have congregated and you're seeing tents on fire so

much in the form of class war damage, women, innocent children losing their lives in the blink of an eye, it really underscores just how much every

single day is a gamble.

JAMES ELDER, GLOBAL SPOKESPERSON, UNICEF: It does, Zain. If we go back a step to imagine these families, almost every single one of these families

in Rafah, the place they were told to go, saw their home or family home or someone's destroyed, devastated. They lost loved ones and they moved

several times. I've seen these places.

They end up in some horrendous, overcrowded camp or it's a technical college. And with lack of sanitation and nothing that they can possibly

need to survive. They get pushed into Rafah while the offensive goes in a most indiscriminate, ferocious manner across the Gaza Strip, Zain.

That's why we have 14,000 children reportedly killed. But they end up in Rafah. And Rafah is where I spent so much of my time just last month. And

Rafah is overcrowded. They're in tents. It's hot. It's very unpleasant. There's a lack of water.


These children are traumatized. Many of these children have injuries, Zain. Many of these children cannot move. And then they're in a place which is

still designated safe. Now, we know nowhere is safe, but they are told certain areas of Rafah you can't be in. This one is okay. And then a tent

is bombed. Tents are bombed. This fire engulfs.

You speak to colleagues on the ground who speak of children just hearing these cries, but they could do nothing. You don't have a fire brigade ready

to respond. And so, that's the scenario that families find themselves in. And they will find themselves in that again tonight.

What's so very hard to understand with Rafah because it's gone on for such a long time in Gaza and the atrocities keep outstripping one another, is

tonight and tomorrow will be worse than any day preceding them, simply because families have nothing and more and more of them are seeing loved

ones killed.

ASHER: You know, Since we're talking about children, given that you're obviously with UNICEF, every mother's instinct, you talk about 14,000 kids

who have lost their lives in this conflict, there are 600 children trapped in Rafah. Every single mother's instinct is to ferociously protect their

children. And the kids who are in Rafah right now, some of them are dealing with injuries. Some of them are extremely sick.

Some of them are extremely hungry. A lot of them don't know where their next meal is coming from. A lot of them are dealing with disabilities. And

then you combine that with extreme, unpredictable violence that could happen at any moment. What can a mother do in Rafah to protect their

children? I assume the answer is nothing or the very least, not much.

ELDER: Yeah, it's a great question, Zain. It gives me a chill, because I've sat with those mothers, and I've sat with mothers who will explain that the

bombings are so loud, and I know that, because where we stayed was on the border of Rafah and the adjoining city, Khan Younis.

So, when the bombardments are hitting and you start to learn if a bombardment is half a mile away, a mile away, all these things you thought

you would never understand, and you lie in bed and it feels like you're lying in a coffin, because you just don't know, because we can't believe

the language. We can't believe that somewhere is safe.

We know that's not true. This current offensive now that we've seen over three weeks in Rafah was called, quote-unquote, a limited offensive. And

we've now seen half of the entire population of Rafah who were told to go there, 800,000 people leaving.

So, the mums I talk to say things like, there is no lullaby. There are lullabies in Palestinian, in Arabic, that they sing. They say, James, there

is no lullaby I can sing to my child at night that will get them to sleep through this.

Because the mums know not only are they dealing with the immediacy of bombs and attacks and drones night after night, but they've had seven months of

this Zain. So, we are in uncharted territory when it comes to the psychological well-being and the state of these children and of their

parents. So, the ultimate front line support for any child, yes, UNICEF is there on the front lines, dangerously close.

But the absolute front line is a mum. But the mums are shattered. They are physically exhausted. They've lost everything. They've lost a sister.

They've lost a child. They've invariably seen a husband killed. They don't -- they no longer have that psychological capacity to do what they know

they need to do. And they're aware of that.

And then, Zain, if you've got a child who's eight or nine or ten, that child at some point in the last few months has looked into their mother's

eyes and had that terrifying realization, as older children have told me, that I've now realized that mum can't protect me.

So, across the board, parents know they can't protect their child. And as you say, there is nothing worse to strip away from a parent than knowing

you can't do that. Children know their parents have lost that ability to protect them.

And then you have something like last night, this indiscriminate attack on a tented area that engulfs --that engulfs a whole array of tents and

people. And then families know that, wow, tonight we're hitting whole new levels of hell in what really is hell on earth.

ASHER: When you describe this idea of a child looking into their parents' eyes and realizing for the first time that your parents, your mother,

cannot protect you, I mean, when you're eight or nine years old, your mother, your parents are like gods. For all intents and purposes, your

parents are like gods. They're superheroes.

And for a child to understand that there's nothing that can protect them, not even their parents, I mean, that is a terrifying realization. Just

explain to us the psychological impact of, yes, of course, the war, of course, dealing with seven months of bombings and, of course, having to

look for food and not knowing where your next meal is coming from. But at the same time, this understanding that nothing and no one can protect you.


ELDER: Yeah, I think the best I've heard is literally a child psychologist saying to me that we are in uncharted territory. Psychologists will tell

you the longer a child is exposed to this level of trauma, and I don't think we've ever seen a place where every single child is experiencing


The longer they are exposed, then the more trust that they lose in everyday life, in institutions, the idea that there is some sense of safety. They

come to learn that the world can be a terrible and a dangerous place.

Unfortunately, there are then clear economic impacts to this. We know that those children, the longer it takes to get them help, the less likely they

are to go out and be able to have that job and earn an income. These things matter.

Gaza is a city of children. Any demographer's aim will tell you that if you can get it right in Gaza, then you have a demographic dividend. Right now,

we are the antithesis of getting it right for these children. So, they are living in an environment whereby they've lost loved ones.

When I was there last month and I'm sitting with children in tents, just like these tents that have burned down, children who have had amputations,

children who have not spoken for several months, such is the level of trauma that they're dealing with, or a child who's lost a mother and is

living now with an auntie and no other surviving family.

These stories aren't unique. They are in the thousands and thousands. The only chance for that child to get well, and it would take a long time, is

of course to be in a place of peace, of safety, of water, of sanitation, of loved ones. These children have nothing even resembling that right now.

They are in the worst possible place to even think about recovery.

So, as long as this continues, then we are, as I say, we are seeing children entering a level of trauma that we've not seen before. It's why of

all the children I go back to, Zain, of all the children, when you think of, you know, what does their life look like, that little boy Omar on one

of my first trips to Gaza, who had lost both his mother and his father and his twin nine-year-old brother, and as we spoke, he consistently closed his


And I asked his auntie why, and she said he is just so terrified of forgetting what his mother and father looked like. He knows he's lost them

on earth, but he doesn't want to forget them in his memory. That's what children are trying to do. Children are trying to cope amid this hellish


ASHER: That is absolutely heartbreaking. James Elder, thank you so much for really painting a very sort of detailed picture about what is happening.

It's important for people to know. James Elder, live for us there. Thank you. Appreciate it. We'll be right back with more.



ASHER: North Korea's latest attempt to launch a spy satellite into orbit has reportedly failed. The country's state media reports a rocket carrying

the satellite burst into flames during the first stage of a flight earlier today. Emergency officials in Japan had warned residents of Okinawa to take

cover after reports an unidentified projectile had been launched off the coast of the Korean peninsula.

All right, in two days, South Africa will hold a critical election which could see the greatest challenge to the African National Congress party

that has ruled the country since the end of apartheid. The party is trying to extend its 30-year hold on power, but widespread concern over

corruption, joblessness and power cuts could threaten its parliamentary majority for the first time.

If so, the ANC could be forced to form a coalition with rivals such as the Democratic Alliance, which has been wooing voters with promise of economic

reform or with the EFF party or the MK, which is backed by former President Jacob Zuma.

Let's go live now to Johannesburg with our David Mackenzie. After 30 years of dominance, I mean, this is the party that essentially ended apartheid.

They could be losing their grip on South Africa. Just explain to us some of the reasons that has led to the ANC's declining popularity.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): Well, Zain, that's right. The ANC has worked on its legacy over the last 20 -- 30

years. It's already used it as a very powerful currency in winning elections. Now, they really face their strongest challenge yet.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): IT worker Meli Mbatha knows how to gen up a crowd. He's volunteered for the ANC since he was just 15, but now it's crunch


MMELI MBATHA, ANC YOUTH LEAGUE: We want to show the support to the ANC because ANC has been supporting us. The party of Nelson Mandela needs their

voices, and it really needs their votes. Thirty years in power, and the party that has defined South African politics faces its strongest challenge


MCKENZIE: This could be the most closely contested election since the dawn of South Africa's democracy. And many believe that the ruling ANC could

lose its majority. But their supporters say, don't count them out yet.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The ANC can fill stadiums, yes, but it also has a formidable ground game. Spending vast sums on this campaign, getting right

into neighborhoods with senior leaders.

THULI GWALA, ANC SUPPORTER: Voting for ANC until now.

MCKENZIE: Why do you still want to vote for the ANC?

GWALA: I want to vote because my ANC works for me.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Millions of South Africans like Tuli Gwala depend on modest government social grants to survive. For decades, these grants have

been the party's trump card. But South Africans want more.

Breathtaking unemployment, sustained electricity blackouts and stark inequalities have left many feeling betrayed by the promises of the ANC.

Once loyal supporters are abandoning the ANC, even forming their own parties. There are more than 50 on the national ballot.

HERMAN MASHABA, LEADER, ACTIONSA PARTY: I voted for the ANC twice. All these people here before, majority of them used to vote for the ANC. Look

at the ANC's electoral support every year is going down.

MCKENZIE: The ANC government has presided over huge allegations of corruption and there is a very significant problem with unemployment. Why

should people this time vote for this party, given that record?

MASHABA: We are a party that have made strides in terms of renewal and fighting the stigma, so to say, of being associated with corruption.

MCKENZIE: Is it enough to win this election? Are you feeling confident?

MASHABA: The elections will be won on the basis of the work we do among our people. And as you can see, we are not idling.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Never idle. Not during campaign season. But on election day, will voters be singing a different tune?


MCKENZIE (on-camera): Well, Zain, the polls in South Africa can be notoriously inaccurate and it would be impossible to predict what's going

to happen on Wednesday and the days after that. But many feel that the ANC will be forced to form some kind of coalition to keep on to power here in

South Africa beyond the 30 years they've already done so. Zain.

ASHER: And David, how much is this election essentially about the generational divide?


I mean, obviously, there are a lot of older voters who support the ANC because of nostalgia, because they lived through that struggle. They

understand what the ANC did for them. And then there are the younger people who just didn't live through that struggle, and so their priorities are

different. Just explain to us how much this has come down to this generational divide that we're seeing in South Africa right now.

MCKENZIE: I think it's a very important point you raise. You saw that grandmother, Ms. Gwala, she is raising a young grandson. She is getting

some 350 rand and another 200 rand, so maybe $50 from the government each month in a social grant. That is critical for her survival. So, there's

that issue of survivability in a country where the economy is struggling.

And yes, there is definitely a generational divide. Those who remember directly the scourge of apartheid, the racist system they had to live

under, will have a very strong and powerful pull towards the ANC. The youngest South Africans, many I've spoken to, who were born after 1994 at

the birth of freedom, have a less profound link to the ANC.

That legacy is fraying over time, and they just need to look at the overall numbers, you know, the record unemployment, the desperate inequality in

this country where very few have very much and the vast majority have very little.

That is a recipe for moving away from the liberation movement and the party. I think one of the key things to watch here, Zain, though, is

turnout. Well, many people just not show up at the polls because of this apathy? I think that will be critical for the opposition parties and, of

course, for the ANC. Zain?

ASHER: And David, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday's elections, I mean, you think about just some of the things that South Africa is really

struggling with right now, living conditions for the majority. Obviously, South Africa is very unequal. It has one of the highest murder rates, by

the way, in the world.

There's an issue with violent crime. There's an issue with corruption. The list goes on. Just explain to us how difficult it is going to be to turn

the ship around regardless of the outcome of Wednesday's elections.

MCKENZIE: It's very challenging, and if coalition governments that have happened at the local level in South Africa are anything to go by, there

hasn't been a very good record of success. Here in Johannesburg, there's a coalition government that has struggled at times to provide services to the

people, so there's some wariness of, and lack of trust of politicians of all stripes to actually get their act together to fix the significant

problems that this country faces. Zain.

ASHER: All right. David McKenzie, live for us there. Thank you so much. All right, still to come, experts predicted it would be big, but just how big

were the long Memorial Day weekend travel numbers in the U.S.? We'll have more on that up ahead.



ASHER: Travel experts say Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S. is living up to all the hype. AAA predicted 38 million Americans would travel by car

over the next -- over the four days, while the TSA expected to screen 18 million airline passengers and crew between Thursday and Wednesday, the

busiest holiday period for 14 years. No surprise, the nation's highways and airports are very crowded right now.

All right, that does it for this hour of "ONE WORLD". I'm Zain Asher. Thank you so much for watching. "AMANPOUR" is up next. I'll be back tomorrow.