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CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports

Secretary Powell Leaves Middle East Empty Handed; Palestinians Remain Under Israeli Siege

Aired April 17, 2002 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Now on this special edition of WOLF BLITZER REPORTS, LIVE FROM JERUSALEM: Secretary Powell heads home empty-handed.


COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Cease-fire is not a relevant term at the moment.


BLITZER: Palestinians remain under Israeli siege.


YASSER ARAFAT, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: Is this acceptable that I can't go outside from this door? Is this acceptable?


BLITZER: But there is plenty of blame to go around.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All parties must say clearly that a murderer is not a martyr.


BLITZER: Is there hope for the Holy Land? I'll ask mayors Hanna Nasser of Bethlehem and Ehud Olmert of Jerusalem.

Congratulations on your pilot's license. A letter found in an Afghan cave leads to an arrest in the U.S.

A CNN exclusive: What happened to Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora?

The heat is on, as spring gets lost in the shuffle.

And multiple winners for the Big Game jackpot. Is $325 million enough to go around? Hello, I'm Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem. We will bring you up to date on the major developments in Middle East in a moment. But first, there may be a major development in the U.S. war on terrorism. For that, let's go live to CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti. She joins me from Miami where she broke this story earlier today -- Susan?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Wolf. An intriguing arrest in North Carolina involving a man investigators say might have been targeted as a recruit by the al Qaeda terrorist network.

The man is a Tanzania national in his early 40s who was picked up in Apex, North Carolina. U.S. government officials identify him as Issaya Nombo, arrested two days ago, April 15, on immigration charges for allegedly overstaying his visa. Nombo's name was found on a letter in an Afghan cave or safehouse congratulating him for completing his flight training and obtaining a U.S. pilot's license, according to the same U.S. government officials.

CNN has learned Nombo entered the U.S. in May 2001 on a valid student visa to attend a Florida flight training school. The visa expired last August. He allegedly had in his possession two counterfeit government cards, a Social Security card and a green card. Now, investigators tell CNN that Nombo does not fit what they characterize as a typical al Qaeda profile. These investigators point out he is Catholic, not Muslim. Officials say no link has been established between Nombo and the al Qaeda terrorist network. It is not known when the letter was found by intelligence sources and passed on to the FBI and INS, who tracked Nombo to North Carolina.

Investigators have not disclosed where Nombo is being held. Now, officials and federal law enforcement sources say their investigation is far from over. Nombo's name, we have learned, also appears on a Web site of the North Florida Flight School, that he attended the school, thus confirmed to CNN, that he went there and he did graduate. The FAA confirms that Nombo achieved the highest level of flight training, qualifying him to, quote, "fly anything."

And we also have been told by U.S. government officials that Nombo is a fugitive out of South Africa on unexplained fraud charges. Wolf, that's what we've got. Back to you.

BLITZER: Thank you very much. Susan Candiotti with that report from Miami.

Later in this hour, we'll have a CNN exclusive: What really happened to Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora? We'll have details of his injury. But first, our Mideast "News Alert."

Secretary of State Colin Powell did not arrange a truce and did not put the Israelis and Palestinians back on the path toward peace. But he told them what's needed, saying Israel must end its reoccupation of the West Bank towns and Palestinians must put an end to terrorism. After a blunt, final meeting, Powell left behind an angry Yasser Arafat. The Palestinian leader says Israeli troops have not really withdrawn from any West Bank areas, and he's demanding the international community step in to end his own confinement in Ramallah.

Israel is still controlling access to the West Bank's Jenin refugee camp. That has led to scuffles between troops and some international medical workers. Relief crews have been collecting bodies in the camp, where Palestinians say hundreds were massacred. Israel says dozens were killed in fierce fighting.

Colin Powell did not get precisely what he wanted during his visit here to the Middle East, but he says he did raise several important issues with the Israelis and the Palestinians. He also raised some eyebrows when he issued some tough remarks of his own.


(voice-over): Following his two-hour meeting with Yasser Arafat at the besieged Ramallah headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, the secretary of state returned to Jerusalem, where he had some strong words about the Palestinian leader.

POWELL: In my meetings with Chairman Arafat, I made it clear that he and the Palestinian Authority can no longer equivocate. They must decide, as the rest of the world has decided, that terrorism must end. Chairman Arafat must take that message to his people. He must follow through with instructions to his security forces. They must act to arrest and prosecute terrorists, disrupt terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure, and stop incitement.

BLITZER: A shaken Arafat had emerged from the meeting appealing for an end to the Israeli siege of his headquarters.

ARAFAT: I have to ask the whole international world, I have to ask President Bush, I have to ask the United Nations: Is this acceptable that I can't go outside from this door?

BLITZER: Powell, in wrapping up his 10-day mission to the region, also offered a stiff rebuke to the Israelis.

POWELL: For the people and leaders of Israel, the question is whether the time has come for a strong, vibrant state of Israel to look beyond the destructive impact of settlements and occupation.

BLITZER: It was the harshest U.S. condemnation of Israel's settlement policy on the West Bank and Gaza since former President Jimmy Carter branded those outposts as illegal under international law more than two decades ago. Still, an adviser to Prime Minister Sharon sought to play down the rift.

DORE GOLD, SHARON ADVISER: We will address the issue of settlement activity, over which we have disagreements.

BLITZER: From Jerusalem, the secretary flew to Cairo for talks, but pointedly, no meeting with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Powell left open a possible return to the region, not only by CIA director George Tenet, but also by himself.


(on camera): While the secretary left without showing much progress at easing the tensions between the Israelis and the Palestinians, he did emerge with one significant achievement. He did manage to ease those tensions along Israel's northern borders, between Israel, Syria and Lebanon, at least for now.

For some perspective, we turned to both sides. Earlier today, I spoke with the Israeli defense minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer.


Defense minister, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it. I know you have got a very hectic schedule. The Israeli withdrawal from the areas recently reoccupied on the West Bank, how many more days will it take before the completed withdrawal happens?

BINYAMIN BEN-ELIEZER, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: Well, as we have promised Secretary Powell, it is a matter of days.

BLITZER: How many days?

BEN-ELIEZER: I think by this coming Sunday, I may say that the majority of the territories, what we call area A, would be evacuated, Jenin, Shrem (ph) and the majority of the area in Ramallah itself, except there are two problems. One is in Bethlehem, where still we are keeping in the church, the terrorists. I hope that something will be found and someone will find the solution to release them in a way that we can just give up Bethlehem as well. And the last thing is the fight (UNINTELLIGIBLE) by Arafat himself.

BLITZER: Five individuals in Ramallah. So you're going to encircle his compound until he hands those five individuals over to you?

BEN-ELIEZER: Well, there's no other alternative. I mean, we have offered that a long time ago.

BLITZER: Who are the five people you want?

BEN-ELIEZER: Well, those are the people that are very involved in the massacre and the shooting of Minister Zeevi.

BLITZER: The tourism minister of Israel?

BEN-ELIEZER: Yes, yes.

BLITZER: Who are they?

BEN-ELIEZER: Well, we know them by names. They are there.

BLITZER: Do you want to tell us who they are? BEN-ELIEZER: No, no, no. I don't want to say.

BLITZER: Just to be precise, if those five people you want inside Arafat's compound are handed over, will he then be allowed to travel freely or will he be remain isolated in that building?

BEN-ELIEZER: I can imagine that once they will be released, those people will be released, I don't think there will be any more restrictions for Arafat.

BLITZER: Correct me if I'm wrong, it doesn't appear that the secretary of state of the United States, Colin Powell, achieved much?

BEN-ELIEZER: Well, first of all, let me pay our appreciation to Secretary Powell. I think he has done his upmost to try and to bring both sides to sit around the table. By the way, this is the only place that you can solve problems. And I'm telling you as a military man, no military solution. The only place, and at the end of the day, we'll have to sit around the table.

BLITZER: With Yasser Arafat?

BEN-ELIEZER: With everyone, with any Palestinian. Anyone is relevant as long as he is willing to be a leader of the peace.

BLITZER: Did he achieve anything though?

Well, first of all, the Israeli forces are going to evacuate the area within a few days. With what (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to the Israeli side, I think he achieved whatever he have worked for. Now, the promise is on the other side. Now, the other side has to decide where it is going now, because he has asked the other side to try and to do everything in order to change their strategy, a strategy of terror, of massacres.

BLITZER: You know the accusations also against Israel that the Israeli military committed so-called massacres in Jenin, that a lot of innocent Palestinians, women and children, were needlessly killed as you continued in your assault.

BEN-ELIEZER: You know, sir, all that I can say is that we never lied. We never lied, as much as it's costed us. We always ask and we say yes or no. We never massacre people. In the country, if someone will go and check what happened in Jenin by calling to the capital of the terror -- I ordered soldiers to go from one corner to another corner, step-by-step. That's why when 23 of us have been killed there.

BLITZER: 23 Israeli soldiers.

BEN-ELIEZER: 23 Israeli soldiers have been killed there.

BLITZER: Well, how many Palestinians were killed?

BEN-ELIEZER: No more than 45.

BLITZER: Forty-five?

BEN-ELIEZER: No more than 45, sir. That's what we have counted. And, you know, the amazing thing that we have found among them, more so than, by the way, were uniformed. And two of them, just recently we found them, with -- as a suicide bomber.

BLITZER: But there could be a lot more bodies underneath the rubble from those buildings that were bulldozed.

BEN-ELIEZER: I don't believe so because we are working very hard to see if anything is missing. We are trying so far. We offer, by the way, every support possible. We offer them every support possible.

BLITZER: Is there any imminent resolution at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to the standoff that has continued with some 200 armed Palestinians inside?

BEN-ELIEZER: Well, I think the only solution is that they will give up as all their fellows have given up. We promise them one thing. All innocent, we will release immediately. And all the remaining that have been accused, they have two possibilities, either to remain here and to judged to here to go for trial or (UNINTELLIGIBLE). That's all.

BLITZER: They've rejected that proposal, though?

BEN-ELIEZER: Well, I don't know. They are still working. I hope that there will come a time because they are very patient. We are very patient.


BLITZER: Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the defense minister of Israel, earlier today in a conversation.

Let's bring in now the Palestinian perspective. Joining me live, the Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erakat. Mr. Erakat, once again, thank you so much for joining us. You just heard the defense minister say no more than 45 Palestinian bodies found in Jenin. Do you have other information?

SAEB ERAKAT, CHIEF PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR: Well, I have a suggestion to make, Wolf, to Mr. Ben-Eliezer. How about if we form an international commission of inquiry, let them go to Jenin with the equipment needed (UNINTELLIGIBLE). And let them tell the world, this being American, European, anybody, we have 1,600 missing men in this refugee camp. Mostly women and children, husbands and wives. I'm not saying they are killed. I'm saying that the situation in this refugee camp which we have been reporting from there now, even milk is prevented to the children now. Bodies are rotting. It's a disastrous area, Wolf.

So it is not for us to decide how many were killed. There is no longer a refugee camp there. And maybe the defense minister and the prime minister of Israel want to deny what CNN is showing, that the camp was totally destroyed. They conducted terror. They're not out there to fight terror. They are conducting terror. They're killing Palestinians. They have made Palestinians so filled now with anger, with hate. They have set the clock back to 30 years ago. All the work of the good people, Palestinians and Israelis who devoted their lives to make peace, reconciliation, healing have been destroyed in the last few weeks at the hands of Sharon and his people.

So, as far as he is concerned, we officially offer...

BLITZER: Mr. Erakat, let me interrupt...

ERAKAT: ... to have an international commission of inquiry to get the results (ph) and to decide how many people were massacred. And we say the number will not be less than 500.

BLITZER: All right. We'll get Israeli reaction to that proposal from you. What about his proposal that if you hand over five suspected terrorists being protected, he says, by Yasser Arafat in Ramallah, the chairman, the Palestinian Authority president, could leave and go about his business just as he did before the Israeli military operation?

ERAKAT: You know, Wolf, I will reveal to you now a secret, a big one. Five weeks ago, the Americans said that you must arrest the killers of Minister Zeevi. We located them and arrested them in Nablus, OK? The four of them -- I'm sorry, four. And we contacted the Americans and we said to them we want to transfer these people from Nablus to Ramallah jail. And then, we contacted the Israelis and we said we want to transfer them from Nablus to Ramallah.

And these four men were transferred in a Palestinian vehicle, escorted by the Israeli army, by the orders of the defense minister and the prime minister of Israel, to a Ramallah jail so they can be brought to trial in a Palestinian court in accordance with Article 27F to the interim agreement in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 1995. Israel has no right whatsoever to ask for the transfer of Palestinian suspects who go to court in front of a Palestinian court in accordance with a legal jurisdiction. That is the truth.

These four men, the killers of Zeevi, were transferred from Nablus to Ramallah. And mark my words, and I'm revealing a secret to you tonight, escorted by the Israeli army with the permission of Sharon and the defense minister and the Israeli chief of staff, Mr. Shaul Mofaz. Why today (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and put us in this position to break agreement as if we didn't find any agreement concerning the trial of these people?

BLITZER: All right. Mr. Erakat, that is a fair proposal. I want to continue our conversation if we can tomorrow night. Unfortunately, we're all out of time right now. We'll be in touch tomorrow. Maybe I'll still be here in Jerusalem tomorrow night and we can continue this, a few other questions obviously on my agenda that I'd like to ask you. Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, thanks so much once again for joining us.

And our Web question of the day is this: Do you think Secretary of State Colin Powell's mission here to the Middle East was a success? You can give me your opinion. You can vote at my Web page, While you're there, let me know what you are thinking. Click the "click here" icon on the left side of the Web page. Send me your comments. I'll read some of them on the air each day at the end of the program. That's also, of course, where you can read my daily online column,

Bethlehem and Jerusalem, a tale of two cities. When we come back, why one of the mayors wants the pope to get involved in dealing with his city.

And later, exclusive new information about what happened to Osama bin Laden in Tora Bora. Stay with us.


BLITZER: Welcome back.

President Bush insists Secretary of State Colin Powell did indeed achieve some progress here in the Middle East. The president also spoke out about the war on terrorism earlier today. Our White House correspondent, Kelly Wallace, joins us now live with details -- Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, President Bush will get to hear directly from Secretary Powell tomorrow when the secretary comes here to the White House to brief the president and the entire national security council team about his mission.

Already there is talk about next steps, including the possibility of CIA director George Tenet being dispatched to the region, although U.S. officials say the president has not yet made a final decision.

Now, the president using a speech earlier on this day at the Virginia Military Institute to clarify, aides say, his policy on the Middle East. Aides are saying that the policy or the assessment of the policy was getting a bit muddled based on a fast moving situation, the changing situation on the ground. There, of course, has been some criticism of the president, in particular, coming from conservatives in the U.S. Congress, who believe the administration's engagement with Yasser Arafat is a conflict with the president's own doctrine in the war on terror, that if you're with the U.S. or you're against the U.S. when it comes to the fight against terror.

Now, the president did not name specifically Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, but he said the Palestinian leader and also Arab leaders in the region must do more to crack down on terror and the must also not glorify suicide bombers.


BUSH: All parties must say clearly that a murderer is not a martyr. He or she is just a murderer.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WALLACE: Now, of the Israelis, the president called on the Israelis to continue to withdraw from those Palestinian areas, although he didn't set out any specific timetable. Aides say the progress they see is that the situation on the ground, they believe, is better now than it was before Secretary Powell left. They believe the Israelis are withdrawing. They believe the Palestinians have cracked down on terror. Still though, they know the pressure is on. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Kelly Wallace at the White House.

Now let's check in, get the other day's news. I'll be back shortly with a lot more what's happening in the Middle East. I'll also be speaking live with the mayors of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. But first, here's CNN's Kate Snow in Washington with a quick check of other major developments happening today -- Kate.

KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Wolf. Another videotape of Osama bin Laden has surfaced. The question is, when was it made? CNN national correspondent Mike Boettcher has more now from Atlanta.


MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this newest bin Laden video, the al Qaeda leader boasts about the economic impact of the September 11 attacks.

OSAMA BIN LADEN (through translator): According to their statements, the loss rate in Wall Street market reached 16 percent, and they said that this number is a record low, never has happened before since the inception of the markets in 230 years.

BOETTCHER: The bin Laden statement, broadcast by Middle East Broadcasting Corporation, appears to be part of a documentary called "The Wills of the New York and Washington Battle Martyrs," reportedly put together by a pro-al Qaeda production company. The Arabic language Al Jazeera network broadcast other portions of the documentary on Monday, including what the network said was the videotaped last will and testament of Ahmed Ibrahim Al Haznawi, one of the 19 September 11 hijackers.

AHMED IBRAHIM AL HAZNAWI, SEPTEMBER 11 HIJACKER (through translator): We left our people to deliver a message that is written in blood, so it can reach the entire world.

BOETTCHER: Middle East Broadcasting reports that evidence on the tape indicates the bin Laden statement was recorded in the first half of December. But was it? During that period, a fierce battle was being waged between al Qaeda fighters and Afghan troops who had joined the U.S.-led antiterror coalition. They were supported by U.S. fighters and bombers. CNN's Ben Wedeman talked to al Qaeda fighters on a two-way radio during the battle.

CNN has learned from high-level antiterror coalition intelligence sources that captured al Qaeda fighters, under interrogation, said that bin Laden was in Tora Bora during the battle, and his left hand was injured in the fighting. A bin Laden videotaped statement released in late December, after the Tora Bora battle shows the al Qaeda leader moving his right hand. His left arm never moves and the left hand is never seen in the video.

In the videotape released today, believed by terrorism experts to be taped before the battle of Tora Bora, bin Laden uses his left hand when emphasizing points.


(on camera): However, other than the statements from al Qaeda prisoners, some of whom contradict one another, there is no other evidence that we know of that points to exactly where bin Laden was, or is, or if he is indeed hurt.

Mike Boettcher, CNN, Atlanta.

SNOW: Thank you, Mike.

Afghanistan's former king is expected back in his homeland tomorrow. Mohammad Zahir Shah has been living in exile for 29 years in Rome. He was invited to return to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, but his trip was delayed for three weeks because of security concerns. The 87-year-old former king says he has no intention of restoring the monarchy, but he is scheduled to preside over a conference in June on selecting an Afghan government.

And that's it from Washington for right now. Now back to Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Kate.

The standoff at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem continues, but there is still hope for peace. When we come back, I'll speak with one mayor who says the best hope for peace may be, may be, the intervention by the pope.

Later, will a hit TV show hang around? A famous family has some demands. Stay with us.


BLITZER: Taking another look at our main stories: Secretary of State Colin Powell left the Middle East today without arranging a cease-fire. The final day of Powell's Mideast mission included another meeting with the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah. Powell also held a meeting in Cairo with the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan, but an announced meeting with Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak was called off.

News stories about the crisis in the Middle East include many towns, cities and villages with names not familiar to most of you. But two cities in this part of the world have names very familiar to all of you: Jerusalem and Bethlehem.


(voice-over): In the swirl of Middle East violence, two of the world's most celebrated cities, biblical landmarks which again find themselves at the crossroads of a great struggle.

For citizens of Jerusalem, this is nothing new. The city has been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the birth of the modern Israeli state in 1948, but it has been contested throughout history. Jews, Muslims and Christians have conquered and reconquered Jerusalem since the fourth millenium B.C.

PROF. ANTHONY TAMBASCO, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: We would probably never get to a peace treaty if the arrangement has to be that one of the religions is going to lose its connection with those holy sites.

BLITZER: In Bethlehem, the current standoff is dispiriting to a city that has been relatively peaceful in recent years.

At the Church of the Nativity, built more than 1,700 years ago on a site where Christians believe Jesus was born, more than 200 Palestinian gunmen are holed up inside surrounded by Israeli forces. An economic revival, which began more than two years ago in the run-up to the millennium, has all but dissipated in just two weeks of violence.


BLITZER: We are going to talk now to the mayors of both cities.

First, let's go to Bethlehem, speak with the mayor of Bethlehem, Hanna Nasser.

Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for joining us.

We have all been watching the standoff at the Church of the Nativity. Is there any hope that standoff is going to be resolved any time soon?

HANNA NASSER, MAYOR OF BETHLEHEM: Considerable efforts has been put really in finding a solution that will protect those who are inside the Church of Nativity.

And, unfortunately, the secretary of state, Mr. Colin Powell, has left the area without giving an answer to the head of churches with whom he met in the consul general of United States of America for two days. And regardless to what the prime minister of Israel has said vis-a-vis those who are inside the church, our duty is to find a way, as I said, how to protect these people and how to protect the Church of Nativity, specifically.

But let me say something about the city.

BLITZER: You have suggested, Mr. Mayor, that the pope should be involved in trying to find a solution.

NASSER: Yes. At the end of the road, if we cannot reach a solution, I'm very glad to extend an invitation to the Holy See to come and visit the holy land and to come and save the mother of churches, really, in Bethlehem. This is what I'm intending to do.

BLITZER: Your city, your community, your little town of Bethlehem has suffered a great deal over the past 18 months at a time when earlier there was such great hope, especially for tourism, pilgrims coming from all over the world. How bad is the situation right now?

NASSER: You know, we should not always look to the repercussions of the events. We should look to the reason of the events, the reaction, why this is happening. I'm sorry to tell you that all the instability that we are seeing in the region here is because of the complete negligence of the state of Israel of admitting the rights of the Palestinian people, of giving them the occupied territories and give their own state.

And allow me to pinpoint something. This morning, I have been informed that the Israeli government has seized the opportunity of curfew, where the citizens are in their houses. And the workers of the municipality of Jerusalem, they have been traversing the lands of the citizens of Bethlehem. And they are building two double walls on the territory that belongs to the citizens of Bethlehem.

And I would like to remind you here, never ever walls has built good neighbors. On the contrary, good neighbors might build good walls. This is what is happening here. They are humiliating us every day. They are grabbing our land every day. And then they are talking about peace and then they are talking about act of violence.

To evade this act of violence, Israel should put an end to the occupation immediately. Otherwise, I will tell you, all these precautions, temporary precautions that have been taken by the state of Israel, I'm afraid it will never ever secure anybody in this area.

BLITZER: Mr. Mayor, unfortunately, we are out of time. Thanks so much for joining us, the mayor of Bethlehem, Hanna Nasser.

Let's get the perspective now of another mayor. Joining us: the mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert.

Mr. Mayor, thanks for joining us.

You just heard what the mayor of Bethlehem said about what you and your municipality is doing: building a wall outside of your community.

EHUD OLMERT, MAYOR OF JERUSALEM: I must tell you, I'm utterly surprised. Until now, I heard that the Palestinians want to divide the city of Jerusalem and actually rebuild the wall that will separate the two sides of Jerusalem. Now I hear from the mayor of Bethlehem that this doesn't make good neighbors.

So, first of all, I agree that inside a city there should be no walls. And, therefore, I think he should join me in protesting the idea that the Palestinians spell out to divide the city of Jerusalem and build a wall inside the city.

BLITZER: But do you know about a wall that Israel is building outside of Bethlehem?

OLMERT: No, we are not building any walls. We are just building physical obstacles that will not allow terrorists, homicide-takers, to penetrate the city of Jerusalem and continue their homicide attacks against innocent civilians in the heart of Jerusalem.

That is what we are trying to do now. Bethlehem is not part of Israel, unfortunately, as it turns out. And therefore we have to do something in order to stop those terrorists from coming in. But this is not inside the city of Bethlehem. And there is not a wall inside the city of Jerusalem.

BLITZER: You and the mayor of Bethlehem share something very, very important: two holy cities, but also two cities that rely enormously on tourism.

Both of your cities are suffering tremendously as a result of what's been going on right now. I was walking around the city last night on your 54th year of independence. A lot of people were afraid to go outside last night. What can you do to get tourism back going here in Jerusalem?

OLMERT: Well, first of all, Wolf, I'm sorry you didn't join me last night for the celebrations in Jerusalem. I was in the Zion Square, one of the most famous places, which was the subject of so many homicide attacks.

BLITZER: I was in Zion Square, too -- earlier.

OLMERT: But you maybe you were much earlier.

Yes, at midnight, there were thousands of people celebrating in a most joyful way in the heart of Jerusalem and many in Gilo, the neighborhood which was attacked time and again from Bethlehem. There were 7,000 people in the park celebrating the Independence Day. And it was great.

Now, the main problem of course was the fact that, for most of the 18 months, we had shooting attacks from Bethlehem and Beit Jala on our neighbors in Jerusalem. And that was partly the reason that so many tourists were afraid to come, because Jerusalem was subject for these attacks.

I really hope that they will stop it. We had enormously friendly relations with Bethlehem over the years at a time when the predecessor of Mr. Nasser was the mayor of Bethlehem. And I would be more than happy to cooperate with the mayor of Bethlehem in working out joint plans for bringing back tourists.

But he has to get rid of those 200 gunmen. He himself admits that there are 200 gunmen that broke in with guns into the most important church in Bethlehem. What do they have to do there in the first place? How come gunmen break into a church? This is terrible.

BLITZER: Do you like his proposal to invite the pope to come to the holy land and to get involved personally in trying to ease this crisis?

OLMERT: You want to humiliate the pope by involving him in this bloody, violent affairs of Palestinian gunmen? Why does he have to be involved? The mayor of Bethlehem and the Palestinian Authority should take them out of the church and get them out of the place so that there will be peace in this church. That's what we want.

And I think you don't need the pope, to involve him in this. It is so simple. It just has to be done by the authorities in Bethlehem. And it is very easy.

BLITZER: OK. Ehud Olmert, the mayor of Jerusalem, as usual, thank you so much for joining us.

OLMERT: Thank you.

BLITZER: Appreciate it.

OLMERT: Thank you very much.

BLITZER: Coming up next: a quick check of other major developments happening around the world today, including in the United States. We will also have details on how investigators are trying, trying to determine how a 6-year-old boy was killed and what role his two older siblings may have played in his death.

Stay with us.


BLITZER: Welcome back. I'll be back shortly in the program with more news live from Jerusalem, but first let's get another quick check of major developments.

Once again Kate Snow in Washington -- Kate.

SNOW: Thanks, Wolf.

In today's "Justice Files": a detention hearing for a 15-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother in Lewisville, Texas. Politics say the two admitted to killing their 6-year-old brother, Jackson Carr, and burying him behind their own. No details were released from that hearing. Jackson was found in a shallow grave in wooded area near the family's home with a puncture wound in his neck. News reports quote neighbors as saying the two children charged had been in trouble before. And the older child could be charged as an adult.

And joining me to talk a little bit more about the case, former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne.

Let's talk about what happens to these two young people now and take a look what Texas law says. We have a graphic to show this. Age 10-16 can be charged with murder in juvenile court. And then, from age 14 up, which would apply to the sister, can be transferred to adult court. Do you expect that that's what we are going to see here?


What's going to happen is that judge, the juvenile court judge has to have a hearing and meet the requirements of the statute to find out all about the girl and look at the probation reports and read the police reports and her mental health and her background. And then he will make the determination on whether or not she should be tried as an adult.

SNOW: This 15-year-old sister was pretending to help the searchers look for the boy's body. And then beyond that, when she finally was caught by police, she actually, apparently, confessed.

Let's listen to what the police said afterwards.


RICHARD DOUGLASS, LEWISVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT: They said, "Well, can you show us where he might be?" And she said, "Yes, I can." When she walked out the back door, they went about 100 yards out in the yard and she pointed to a shallow grave, which was about two foot under the mud and debris, and said, "That's where I buried my brother. I killed him earlier."


SNOW: That's got to work against her. Does a confession like that seal the case?

ALKSNE: Well, just about, but there has to be some corroborating evidence. As we know, in trials, we always try to corroborate everything. There's murder weapon, which we don't know a lot about now, except that it was a puncture wound.

Some neighbors have people reported that she had very muddy clothing. And perhaps her clothing will come in as evidence. Her 10- year-old brother's statement about how his sister was the lead person in the murder can also come in as evidence. So, there will be a host of other things that will come in. But there's no question a confession is a big problem.

SNOW: And if he was following her orders, does that lesson the punishment for him, perhaps?

ALKSNE: Well, his age will lessen the punishment for him. He is dramatically younger.

In the old days, when a person was convicted of murder and they were 10 and 11 -- in juvenile court -- when they were 18, they were free to go. Well, in Texas, since 1990, the law has changed and they can be held much longer, up to 40 years.

SNOW: One other thing: Is there any recourse against the parents? I know some states have tried now to try to find ways to hold parents accountable if something terrible happens.

ALKSNE: Well, in a murder case where one person is stabbed and choked and buried in the backyard in a shallow grave, we hold the people who actually committed it responsible, no matter their age, and not the parents.

SNOW: Cynthia Alksne, legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, thanks for helping us understand this terrible case a little bit more.

ALKSNE: Thank you.

SNOW: You can lose those sweaters. The East Coast is sizzling. Coming up: What happened to spring? And later: the lucky woman who beat the odds: Hear from one of the Big Game winners.

But first this "News Quiz": Next month, New York, Ohio and Washington D.C. join the states participating in the Big Game. This new and even bigger game will have what name: Billionaire Bucks, Mega Millions, Crazy Cash, or Giant Game? The answer coming up.


SNOW: So, what happened to spring? That's what people here in the Northeast are wondering. All of the sudden, it's short-sleeve and ice cream weather.

Our Maria Hinojosa is braving the heat in New York.

Thank God you don't have any short sleeves on at all, Maria.

MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was the only shirt I could wear today, Kate, I've got to tell you.

Now, it's about 91 degrees still as the sun is sitting in New York City, the high today 96. The last time it was this warm in New York City was about 106 years ago when Teddy Roosevelt ran the NYPD.

Now, the concerns over the weather, in a lot of ways, a welcome respite for New Yorkers who have been through so much over these past several months: What do they wear? Can they find it? Where are the summer clothes so quickly?

Earlier today, in this same area, about a block away from Times Square, this place was filled with seekers of the sun. They weren't worried about what they were wearing. They were quickly taking it off, seeking the sun rays, a lot of them without any SPF protection, just getting ready for those sizzling days that are coming up later and later in the summer, we hope.

Now, many people, though, have been concerned about whether or not these quick days of summer are any signal of something more serious, like global warming. A lot of people have that concern.

And one of them is Tor, who is a nurse.

Now, Tora, you are in fact concerned about this. TOR: Well, during the winter months here in New York, we had January, February and March as record heats. And I also always remember the fall was pretty warm.

HINOJOSA: So, for you, the concern, it's not just, oh, it's great, it's warm and hot and sunny?

TOR: I enjoy it, even not having a rain. We have a drought here in New York which has been going on for some time. We're in a water alert. So, yes. And also, during just a month or so, there was a big iceberg that melted in South Africa.

HINOJOSA: So, there are a lot of concerns about the environment.

Thanks, Tor.

It means for New Yorkers that perhaps, by the end of this week, they can be looking at something like maybe 60 degrees, nice cool weather to get people back in their spring clothes, if they can find them -- Kate.

SNOW: So, we think it going to end by then, Maria? End of the week, it goes away?

HINOJOSA: Well, that's what they're saying. But you know, a lot of people I've talked to said: "Who can trust the weathermen?" Who could have predicted this?" So, people are still a little unsure. But, at least for now, I've heard a lot of people saying they are taking all the spring and summer clothes out and ready -- Kate.

SNOW: Thanks a lot, Maria Hinojosa, live in New York City in the heat.

Be prepared to get jealous. Coming up: one woman who did win the Big Game jackpot and what she has to say about it. And the unexpected hit of cable TV: Learn why MTV better show these stars the money.


SNOW: Earlier we asked: What will be the new name of the Big Game? The answer: Mega Millions. The last Big Game drawing will be May 14. The first Mega Millions drawing will be May 17.

Three winning tickets were sold for yesterday's Big Game lottery jackpot. Those winners will split an estimated $331 million before taxes. The hot tickets were bought in three states: Georgia, New Jersey and Illinois. One of the winners, 20-year-old Erika Greene of Dacula, Georgia, says she is not sure yet what she's going to do with her share of the prize. But she is already making some plans.


ERIKA GREENE, BIG GAME LOTTERY WINNER: I've studied up on the statistics and everything. And I know that I'm not going to handle the money myself. I'm going to have someone handling it for me, do investing to where I can actually make the money work for me instead of just blowing it all.


SNOW: Greene's pretax share of the jackpot could total about $59 million.

The show that's must-see TV for the MTV generation, "The Osbournes," could turn into a jackpot for its stars. Heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family have signed with a new talent agency and are said to be looking for a big deal to come back for a second season, perhaps in the high seven figures.

And there is wrangling over big money in New York between former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his estranged wife, Donna Hanover, seen here in happier times. The couple is getting divorced. And Giuliani's lawyer says Hanover wants $1 million a year tax-free to support herself and the couple's two children. Right now, Giuliani pays a court-ordered $1,800 a month and half of all living expenses for Hanover and the children.

Let's go to New York now and get a preview of "LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE," which begins at the top of the hour -- hi, Lou.

LOU DOBBS, "LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE": Hi, Kate -- Rudolph Giuliani learning something about the private sector.

Coming up tonight on "MONEYLINE": Colin Powell heading back to United States without an Arab-Israeli cease-fire. We'll have a live report for you from Jerusalem. Palestinian Representative Hassan Rahman and Middle East expert Jerrold Green (ph) will be among my guests tonight. And the Pentagon on the defensive: denying reports that U.S. military misjudged the battle in Tora Bora and allowed Osama bin Laden to escape. We'll have that story for you. And interest rates will remain at 40-year lows, at least for now: Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan today signaling rates will hold steady -- the market not impressed, the market moving lower on the day. We'll have the complete wrap-up for you on all of that on Wall Street.

Please join us at the top of the hour -- for now, back to Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem.

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Lou. Sounds like a good show.

When we come back, our "Web Question of the Day" -- the poll is about to close -- "Do you believe Secretary of State Colin Powell's mission was a success?" You can still vote. Go to -- also, your comments on the media's coverage of the Mideast crisis.


BLITZER: Welcome back. Time now to get the results of our "Web question of the Day": "Do you think Secretary of State Colin Powell's mission was a success?" Look at this: 21 percent of you said yes; 79 percent said no. A reminder: This is a not a scientific poll.

Time also to hear from you. Miriam asks this question: "Could you explain the love the U.S. media have for Israel? It's always about Israeli suffering. No one ever talks about the Palestinian side. How about a little honesty in reporting?"

And Gil writes: "It is frustrating and frightening that most of the criticism is being heaped on Israel and that hardly anything is said about what the Palestinian Authority is perpetrating against Israel."

Elizabeth says: "I am so grateful for your accurate and thorough reporting from Jerusalem. The issues are so complicated, yet you help us wade through them with your ability to decipher and summarize with extraordinary clarity."

Elizabeth, thank you very much.

That's all the time we have for today. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Jerusalem. "LOU DOBBS MONEYLINE" begins right now.