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America Under Attack: Key Players in Israel Respond

Aired September 11, 2001 - 15:36   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Judy, there was something absolutely chilling as Gen. Clark walked through the planning that must have taken place: the planes that were picked, the reasons that those planes were selected, is absolutely chilling.

CNN's Mike Hanna in our bureau in Israel joins us now. Whenever something like this happens, I guess you look to the Middle East.

Mike, what is situation in Israel now?

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, is an area that has been wracked by violence by nearly a year, all have been closely watching events that have unfolded in United States. There has been a blanket condemnation from all leaders in the region of event that had taken place there and commiseration about the extensive loss of live that has occurred.

However, when news of the events started to filter through in Palestinian areas, there were sporadic incidents of celebration in the streets. In East Jerusalem and in various parts of the West Bank, Palestinians took to the streets in small group as celebrating what they said was an attack against the United States, the United States blamed by some Palestinians for its ongoing support, as it is seen, of Israel in this Middle Eastern conflict.

However, while some Palestinians were taking to the streets in apparent celebration, one youth was quoted as saying, as he received sweets handed around in celebration, this is sweet from Osama Bin Laden.

However, while this was happening, the Palestinian leadership itself was very quick to condemn the events in the strongest of terms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

YASSER ARAFAT, PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT: First of all, I am offering my condolences, the condolences of the Palestinian people to the American president, President Bush; to his government; and to the American people for this terrible act. We are completely shocked -- completely shocked -- unbelievable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNA: Condemnation and commiserations, too, from Israel, in messages to the United States administration. Israel has banned all non-El-Al flights coming into the country, as a security precaution, and certainly the events in the United States are being watched very, very closely from this region -- Aaron.

BROWN: Mike, just a couple of things, briefly: One is it is hard, I suspect, for many of our viewers to look at the tape of the celebration that you just showed us and contrast those scenes with what we have seen here in New York and in Washington -- the utter devastation, the fear on people's faces, the death and injuries that we know have taken place; the contrasting pictures are extraordinary. Is the Israeli military on a high state of alert now?

HANNA: Yes very much so. There is a high state of alert throughout this area. The context that one must view those demonstrations in and those celebrations as we've seen in Palestinian streets is a context of an area in which violence has been ongoing for nearly 12 months. The context too that some Palestinians have criticized the United States sharply for what is seen as its support of Israeli in this ongoing conflict and certainly the Palestinian leadership has been very quick to disassociate itself from those images on the ground making quite close, clear that it condemns in the strongest of terms the event in the United States. All radical Palestinian groups too have disassociated themselves and denied any responsibility for the United States attacks. (INAUDIBLE)

BROWN: Mike thank you. CNN's Mike Hanna, our Jerusalem bureau chief, where it's about quarter to 11 in Israel, about quarter to 4 here in New York.

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