Return to Transcripts main page


Israel, Hamas Start 72-Hour Cease-Fire in Gaza; Ebola Victim Safely Escorted into Isolation at Emory University Hospital; Ebola Outbreak Rises: Troops Deploy to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea; Israel Accuses Hamas of Using Gaza Civilians as Human Shields; MH17 Crash Site Investigation Thwarted by Gunfire and Shelling; Ex-Reagan Press Secretary James Brady Dies at 73

Aired August 4, 2014 - 21:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And thanks very much for joining us. I'm Anderson Cooper reporting tonight live from Ashkelon in Israel, just northeast of the border, a few miles northeast of the border with Gaza.

We have two breaking stories that we are covering extensively in this special hour edition of 360.

One, the situation here in Israel and in Gaza, word of a cease-fire set to take place some four hours from now, a 72-hour cease-fire said to have been agreed to by all the parties by the government of Israel as well as all the various Palestinian factions. Also, negotiations supposed to take place within that 72-hour window in Cairo which has helped to broker this cease-fire. We're going to talk to representatives from the Palestinian side as well as from the Israeli side and the United States.

The big story Ebola that we are covering, a man right now in strict isolation at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York after being tested for Ebola, still waiting to hear whether or not he has tested positive, he returned from West Africa with a fever, showed up in an emergency room and after an abundance of caution doctors have placed him in isolation. Also, that missionary doctor being treated now is responding well to a new serum in Atlanta. And another missionary, Nancy Writebol, supposed to arrive tomorrow. We'll be following all those developments tonight.

But I want to begin with our Martin Savidge who is standing by in Gaza City. So, Martin, as I said some four hours away from the cease-fire, what did you see tonight at this late hour in Gaza City?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, they always say it's darkest before dawn but it's also the most nervous time before any cease-fire because you're always concerned that one side of the other or both may want to get in that last sort of kick before things settle down, as we hope they will in just a few hours.

What we have been hearing are the drones. Those are almost consistently over Gaza City and Gaza itself. These are Israeli drones that are used for targeting purposes. Then on top of that, occasionally we've heard jet aircraft that would have to be Israeli as well. And then a couple of hours ago, there was an outgoing salvo of rockets. You would have been well aware of those because the sirens would have sounded in your area. And then there's been flares, there's been gunfire. I mean, you name it. It's pretty much been at some point heard here in Gaza City tonight.

Earlier today, we went through another cease-fire. It's really more just of an easing of fire, but it went on for about seven hours. Israel was the one that proclaimed it and Israel according to the Hamas and according to the Palestinians. It was the first one to break it about two minutes after it began launching a strike on a refugee camp. Israel says, "Yes, we did do that but in fact we started that before the 10:00 hour when that went into effect." so technically, they didn't violate. Many Arab would say that's just crazy. But right now, all eyes focused on 8:00 a.m. local time when this cease-fire is set to begin.

COOPER: You know, I talked to a U.N. relief official who does a lot of work obviously in Gaza because they are sheltering some more than 200,000 people right now and some 90 U.N. shelters and facility schools and other places. They say basically they are at the breaking point. Are they going to be able -- If this cease-fire holds for 72 hours, are they going to be able to start to bring in more supplies and distribute those supplies?

SAVIDGE: I mean, in theory, yes, of course. I mean, if you don't have the shooting going on then it's much easier to coordinate and bringing aide through the security border which is always difficult even on a good day.

On top of that, you know, if they could get something more substantial as far as the cease-fire but a longer lasting peace you could talk about maybe lifting the embargo, something that would allow a lot more aide to come in very quickly. They're going to need it because, you know, the damage that's been done through weeks of war is probably going to take years to fix and there's thousands of people who have lost their homes. So, the hardship is not going to end even if the gunfire does. There are going to be people suffering for a long time.

COOPER: And we'll talk to you in a relief official coming up in this hour, the special hour edition of AC360. Martin, I appreciate it, be careful.

I want to bring in the Israeli Chief Spokesman for Benjamin Netanyahu. I spoke to him a short time ago, Mark Regev from Jerusalem.


COOPER: Does this cease-fire as far as you are concerned mean absolutely no military operations, no operations against tunnels? No ongoing or continuation of ongoing operations? Everything ceases?

MARK REGEV, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU'S SPOKESPERSON: That's correct. The operation against the tunnels is winding up anyway. We've destroyed -- located and destroyed those terra tunnels that allowed Hamas to send into Israel death squads to kill our people. And so our operation will cease at eight o'clock tomorrow morning but will be -- to be frank, we'll be watching very closely. We want to see if this is going to hold his time.

There have been about eight cease-fire proposals on the table. Hamas has rejected or violated them all. You can't blame us for being a little bit skeptical. We'll be watching closely. The army is not going to be what's the word? They're not going to be relaxing. They're going to be watching carefully to see if Hamas does in fact honor this cease-fire.

COOPER: How soon assuming the cease-fire is honored at 8:00 a.m. starting tomorrow morning. How soon would Israeli delegation actually go to Cairo?

REGEV: I would presume very soon. The issues on the table need to be talked about. Obviously, this 72-hour cease-fire can be extended. Obviously, that'd be good if it could be extended. And according to the Egyptian initiative, the parties can bring their concerns to the table. And for us, the most important issue is to prevent Hamas from rearming and prevent Hamas from getting more rockets, from digging more tunnels because we don't want just to revisit this conflict in six months or in a year. We want this to be over.

COOPER: As you know, there's huge distrust obviously on both sides. Palestinian officials say it was Israel who violated the latest cease- fire, the unilateral cease-fire that Israel called a few minutes after, you know, after the start of that there was strike on a house in part of Gaza where supposedly there weren't ongoing military operations. There wasn't in Rafah which is where on going military operations were said to be occurring. They said that occurred after the cease-fire and, therefore Israel violated the strikes. So, they have a lot of distrust of your willingness to uphold a cease-fire.

REGEV: When we announced that seven-hour cease-fire from this morning, they automatically rejected it even before it started. So, I don't think anyone on their side has the right to talk about Israeli violations.

COOPER: They rejected it though as you know because they said that it was basically a PR campaign that you were receiving tremendous criticism from the United States, from the U.N. for striking at militants who you said were riding a motorcycle near a U.N. shelter that was sheltering some thousands of people on Sunday killing a number of people outside that shelter. And so they say you're trying to basically distract from the criticism by the U.S. and the by the U.N.

REGEV: It's not true. We were -- We've repeatedly accepted humanitarian cease-fire proposals. We've accepted seven of them during this conflict. We understood the need to give a humanitarian relief to the people of Gaza who we don't see as our enemy. Our enemy are Hamas terrorists who've showed over the last three weeks more than 3,000 rockets into Israel trying to kill -- to kill our citizens. But the people of Gaza are not our enemy and that's why we repeatedly accepted humanitarian cease-fires. It was Hamas that had either rejected those cease-fires or violated them. And this cease-fire that we hope will start tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. that Israel has accepted yet again is the same proposal that was on the table three weeks ago. It's important to stress that means every life lost in the last three weeks is because Hamas rejected an offer that apparently it has accepted today.

COOPER: Mark Regev, I appreciate you being on. Thank you.

REGEV: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.


COOPER: Well, obviously that is not the perspective of many of the Palestinian factions.

I spoke just before we went on air with Ambassador Maen Areikat, the Palestinian PLO Ambassador to the United States.


COOPER: Ambassador Areikat, how confident are you that this time this 72-hour cease-fire will hold?

MAEN AREIKAT, PLO AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: I think -- Well, you know, hopefully I hope it will hold. But in this most recent cease-fire, there are two important elements that did not exist before or actually three.

One is the involvement of the Egyptian side. I think the Egyptians are weighing in heavily. This is the first cease-fire that the Egyptians have brokered ever since they submitted their proposal during the first week of the confrontations between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

Secondly, the Palestinians have agreed unanimously, you have united Palestinian position that has been in Egypt since Saturday. And they have held deliberations, talks with the Egyptians, and agreed as one Palestinian delegation on the steps needed to de-escalate the situation and deal with the core issues.

The third one, I think the international pressure on Israel has been mounting and Israel wanted a way out as well. And this came as also a way to help this current Israeli government. Understand that the only way to resolve the conflict is to reach a cease-fire and talk about the political solution.

COOPER: The Israeli side says that demilitarization of Gaza is the biggest priority as far as Israel are concerned and it's only after a certain amount of stability and lack of offensive action that they would actually be willing to lessen control over the boarders and actually agree to some of these other things which the Palestinian side wants.

Is demilitarization of Gaza, is that possible? AREIKAT: Well, I think the Israelis are jumping to conclusions fast here. I think what they should offer is an end to the blockade, an end to the occupation before they can even ask the Palestinians to consider the ideal of being demilitarization.

Keep in mind, the PLOs position is a Palestinian state that will be demilitarized or with the limited military capabilities. But for the Israelis to ask the victim, the occupied, to guarantee the security of the occupier is an absurd notion. I think Israel instead should, you know, tell the Palestinians and the international community that they are willing to put an end to their 47 military, 37-year-old military occupation and then everything will be put on the civil, you know, signing in an aggregation treaty, a whole peaceful agreement.

But to talk now about denying the Palestinians the right to defend themselves is something that I don't think the Palestinians will accept.

COOPER: And as far as you understand, all factions on the Palestinian side have agreed to this, even the political wing of Hamas and the military wing of Hamas?

AREIKAT: Absolutely. The delegation that has been in Cairo since Saturday includes representatives of all Palestinian factions Fatah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Lliberation of Palestine, the People's Party, it's a representative delegation that is speaking on behalf of the Palestinians and submitted their vision of moving forward to the Egyptians as one cohesive united Palestinian position.

COOPER: Ambassador Areikat, I appreciate your time. Thank you.

Again, that cease-fire is set to take place from -- a little bit less than four hours from now. We'll obviously bring all that to you live.

When we come back, we're going to have more here from Israel and Gaza in the hour ahead.

But when we come back, we want to switch to Ebola. I want to take you to New York where there is now a patient in strict to isolation in a New York City hospital being tested for Ebola. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Welcome back. We'll have more from Israel and Gaza coming up in the hour ahead. But I want to bring you up to date on the latest on Ebola and not only in West Africa where this outbreak first started and has been going on now uncontrolled for several months, but also in the United States.

Now, as you know, there is a man right now in a New York hospital Mount Sinai Hospital in a strict isolation. He's been tested for Ebola. He showed up in an emergency room with a fever. Out of an abundance of cautions, doctors put him in isolation. We'll probably get results on him within some 24 hours or so. But also as you know, there are two Americans who are going to be treated in Atlanta at Emory University. One, Nancy Writebol is anticipated to arrive from Liberia tomorrow, she is known to be a positive with Ebola already infected and already undergoing treatment, and Dr. Kent Brantly who was sent -- who was returned over the weekend. We actually saw him walking off the ambulance after receiving this experimental serum.

Miguel Marquez has more now on his journey to the United States.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dr. Kent Brantly emerging carefully and amazingly on his own two feet from an ambulance, a picture that gripped the country, the end of an intercontinental continental raise to save his life. How he got here, a story in itself.

Days before, Brantly treating victims of Ebola at ELWA Hospital just outside of Liberia's capital, Monrovia, contracted the virus put himself in isolation suddenly fighting for his own life.

The rescue initiated by the charity he was working for, Samaritans Purse, the coordination enormous, the White House, State department, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health and the Department of Health and Human Services among those contributing. Criticism of bringing an Ebola infected person to the U.S. for the first time ever began before the operation got underway.

Friday night, social media lit up with outrage. Those making the call on bringing him here see in differently.

DR. BRUCE RIBNER, PHYSICIAN EMORY HEALTHCARE NETWORK: Because we feel they deserve to have the highest level of care offered.

MARQUEZ: Around midnight Saturday, the specialized Gulfstream III wheels up from Liberia.

Seventy-thirty a.m. Eastern, the Phoenix air jet lands at Bangor International Airport for fuel. An hour later, it wheels up again. Eleven-twenty a.m. at Dobbins Air Force Base Northwest of Atlanta, a seven-mile exclusion zone enforced around the base. The journey nearly over. Thirty-three minutes later, the convoy moves out first through the suburbs then onto freeways. The convoy moving slowly little fanfare. At one point, the ambulance carrying the Ebola victim even passes right by a bicyclist. The disease can not be transmitted through the air.

Twelve-twenty three p.m. just over an hour after landing, Brantly's ambulance turns into Emory University Hospital met by heavy security.

At 12:29, Dr. Kent Brantly steps from the ambulance. The person transporting him holds his hands supporting the doctor. They take a few steps into the best medical care the world can offer.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, New York.


COOPER: And he seems to be making improvements. And as I said, his fellow missionary Nancy Writebol is anticipated to arrive tomorrow at Emory. But in New York tonight at Mount Sinai Hospital that man in isolation, our Jason Carroll is there. What's the latest on his condition, Jason?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, still standing by waiting for those test results. You heard reports earlier that doctors here do not expect those test results to come back for another 24 to 48 hours. At the earliest, we could know they say by early tomorrow afternoon, at the latest by Wednesday.

And the anteroom of that patient, that the male patient that kept himself in, walked in here to the emergency room this morning. He had traveled to West Africa. He had told doctors here that he had traveled to the region, had flu-like symptoms. And in an abundance of caution within minutes, he was under strict isolation and that is where he remains at this hour.

And basically, what doctors are doing here is just treating him for his symptoms, trying to get the high fever down, hydrating him that is what they're doing, Anderson, while they await these test results.

COOPER: That got to be so scary for him and for all the medical professionals. Jason, thank you very much.

I want to check in with our Dr. Sanjay Gupta who has been following very carefully the story of Kent Brantley and also Nancy Writebol following their treatment. Dr. Sanjoy Gupta joins us now.

Sanjay, do we know how Dr. Brantley is doing?

SANJAY GUPTA, CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We hear that he's had a good day overall. We know that he was able to meet with his family, his wife and he had a conversation for 45 minutes through a glass wall obviously for her protection. The room where he's staying in this isolation unit just to paint to you a little bit of a picture is a little bit of like a glass box and there was anterooms around it where people obviously gown up. But inside that room, he has an intercom and a telephone so you could see him and talk to him simultaneously but obviously not right next to him.

But, you know, you saw him walk off the ambulance. That was surprising I think to a lot of people given how sick he had been just a couple of days before but it sounds like things are progressing well for him, Anderson.

COOPER: And this serum, this experimental serum, it's just fascinating to me. Explain to people just how it works, what it is. Because, I mean, I followed Ebola for years. I've never heard of this thing.

GUPTA: Yeah, you know, there's been a few labs around the country that have been working on vaccines or medications for sometime. Just to paint a little bit of picture again, you know, this was flown in to Liberia at subzero low temperatures, strict instructions were to let it thaw naturally not to administer any heat to it.

Originally when I came, Dr. Brantley said that, you know, he offered up the first dose to go to Miss Writebol instead of him that -- given that he was younger and he thought more likely to recover. During the time that it was thawing, that's when Dr. Brantley really became quite ill, deteriorated as it was described to me started to develop labored breathing, his rash over his skin became much worse. He thought he was going to die. Healthcare professionals in there thought he was going to die as well, so they grabbed this now thawed medication, put it into his IV and started to administer it.

Now, what happened after that was pretty outstanding. Within about an hour, 20 minutes to an hour, he had a very dramatic turnaround. His breathing improved, the rash they literally started to dissipate, vital signs normalized. By the next morning, Anderson, he was able to take a shower before he got on that pre-arranged jet. The medication itself is what is known as monoclonal antibodies. They take animals, in this case mice. They inject them with the Ebola virus and let their bodies respond by making antibodies to fight that virus. They then take those antibodies and create this medicine. I'm simplifying a bit but that's the general principle.

And you're right, Anderson. Part of the reason you hadn't heard of this is because what I've just described, what was given to Dr. Brantley had never been given to a human being before. It was only in non-human primates, monkeys. And so this was a bit of a last stitch effort in some ways for him. But for -- it seems to -- obviously this is just one story but it seems to have really worked for him as well.

COOPER: It is just incredible. Sanjay, I appreciate the update and we'll continue and obviously follow the conditions of Nancy Writebol as she receives -- as she returns tomorrow.

When we come back, we're going to take you to Sierra Leone where David McKenzie is standing by, where some 700 people have died in Sierra Leone as well as Guinea and Liberia and other places throughout the region and one case in Nigeria. We'll have the latest from David ahead.


COOPER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage. We'll have more from Gaza and Israel coming up. I'm coming to you tonight from Ashkelon, just a few miles northeast of the border away to Gaza.

But we are covering the situation of Ebola. I've just been talking about what's going on inside the United States. You saw the video of Dr. Kent Brantley coming over from Liberia this weekend being flown in and actually walking off that ambulance which was such an extraordinary sight after all the reports of how bad he had been. He called his wife saying he thought he was going to die a few days just before that. And then that new experimental serum he took really seemed to have made a huge improvement in his condition.

Nancy Writebol, another missionary will be arriving several hours from now mid-day on Tuesday in the United States to receive further treatment.

But the situation in West Africa is horrific. Some 700 people in Sierra Leone, in Liberia and Guinea have died thus far. There is no end to the outbreak. Our David McKenzie is there. I talked to him a short time ago.


COOPER: David, in Sierra Leone is the situation under control at all? Is this outbreak at all under control?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well no, Anderson. What health professionals particularly those from doctors without borders have told me is that it's out of control. They have an 80 bed facility here in the eastern part of the country which is the epicenter of this outbreak and all 80 beds are filled with patients. They can't take anyone more and some of the basic things that need to be done when dealing with an Ebola outbreak like tracing the contact people have before they reach the hospital sitting. That's not apparently happening to the degree it should be and that's a very worrying prospect. Anderson?

COOPER: Are people panicked about it there? How are people responding?

MCKENZIE: There is a sense of panic but there's also a sense of fortitude, you know, we drove in from the capital towards the epicenter of the outbreak. And today in Sierra Leone, Anderson, they've just shutdown the entire country. It's quite extraordinary. No cars on the road, no people at school, no one going to work and they said it was a day for reflection, for prayer, for people to internalize just how serious the situation is.

One Red Cross official we spoke to said that the virus is everywhere in the east and that there might be hundreds of people out there that haven't been contacted by a health professional. And so that means that this could go on for sometime at least six months, they say, but there's no guarantee, Anderson, they can get it under control with the level of help that they're getting to it right now.

COOPER: Do they have enough healthcare workers, enough doctors? Or is that not the need? Is it more logistical help they need?

MCKENZIE: It's a good question. Doctors without borders said listed this area, they have enough professionals, health workers to go in and deal with the patients themselves. But there's a whole other aspect to trying to stamp out an epidemic like trying to figure out who, someone came in to contact with, like going in and simply spraying the huts in the villages with a chlorine solution to stop anymore contact and more infection going forward.

It's like a bushfire. If you don't deal with the end is in individual places, the whole thing could be spread out of control. Again, we thought we were done with this epidemic some months ago but it's now spreading into yet another country, Nigeria, and that's a very worrying prospect both for the region and of course for global health concerns. Anderson?

COOPER: David Mckenzie, be careful. Thank you.


COOPER: It's truly a horrific situation in West African. And joining me Dr. James Wilson from the National Infectious Disease Forecast Center, he joins me from Destin, Florida.

Dr. Wilson, I appreciate you being with us. I mean, to hear our correspondent in Sierra Leone talk about not only the death that have occurred thus far but really -- I mean, this thing seems still very much out of control. Doctors, medical professionals really do not have their hands around this. Any sense of how long it may take to try to control it?

JAMES WILSON, NATIONAL INFECTIOUS DISEASE FORECAST CENTER: Thank you, Anderson. We're not really sure. We do agree with some of the sentiment coming from the field that this could take up to six months. It is really uncertain right now because of the vast geography that we're dealing with in some of the remote combined with the urban areas that are connected to international ports of entry in other words air traffic.

So, we have a potential here for this to smolder from many, many, many months and it's going to require the combined effort of all of West Africa to healthy international community, and the international community to help and turn the countries gain a common ground of understanding how best to control this.

COOPER: I mean, obviously there's a lot of the origins of Ebola. There's a lot of ministry skill involved. But I mean, in outbreaks in the past and I've always followed this because I just find it fascinating. It's usually very remote areas and that usually kind of burns out relatively quickly and people remained isolated. Do we know why this time it has struck in more urban populations, in more populated areas?

WILSON: Well, I think in this part of Africa what we've noticed on satellite imagery is that there's been a fairly consistent pattern of deforestation, an encroachment of human beings on echo systems that up until now have been fairly isolated. And so what you're seeing is really an outcome of, you know, human beings showing unrestricted growth and so there's more and more contact and more and more opening of what was previously isolated areas.

And so, now, what you're going to see is we're going to see more of this. We're going to see another outbreak some time in the future where the virus has finally made its way into a highly urbanized environment, plus or minus the presence of the international airport. And so this is not the last time we're going to see this.

COOPER: That is scary stuff. Dr. Wilson, I appreciate you being on. James Wilson, thank you very much.

When we come back, we're going to have more from the region here in Israel and Gaza, allegations by Israel that Hamas uses human shields. We'll take a closer look at that ahead.


COOPER: And welcome back. I'm reporting tonight from Ashkelon in Israel, a few miles northeast of the border with Gaza.

Less than four hours from now, the cease-fire is supposed to take place, a 72-hour cease-fire. All sides have apparently agreed to it. Of course, we have been here before, we've -- there had been cease- fires all of which have been broken before. So, we'll see if in fact this cease-fire holds for the 72 hours and if they're actually even able to extend it through further negotiations which are supposed to take place in that time period in Cairo between all the parties.

All sides are said to have agreed to this cease-fire. As word of this cease-fire began to spread here in Ashkelon, some rockets were fired from Gaza. We saw them incoming as the siren started we're rolling our cameras at that time. Here's what we saw.


COOPER: So we've just seen the sirens that just started to go off and we've just seen some rockets going out (inaudible). Something that's incoming there, you see -- it appeared to be two interceptions. It's the Iron Dome system here in Ashkelon but the sirens continue. Frankly, there's not really any place to run to around here, so.

Those are the two interceptions from several seconds ago, it just takes a while for the sound to actually get here. And now the sirens have stopped and people continued to walk around and go by their business.


COOPER: There haven't been anymore incoming rockets here in Ashkelon since then. That happened about two hours -- about an hour or so before we went on the air, just some two hours ago.

Again, the cease-fire hopefully will take place according to all sides in several hours. Now, as you know throughout this entire conflict, Hamas has accused Israel of targeting civilians in Gaza. It's a claim Israel that flatly denies. And for their report, Israel has claimed that Hamas used its human shields, used the civilian population to fire their rockets off and used this, the civilian population, as defense against more effective Israeli attacks.

Randi Kaye looks at that allegation.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A U.N. school in Gaza hit by an Israeli air strike. This U.N. employee rushes inside to get a look at the body count. At least 20 people are killed according to the Palestinian health ministry. As many as six other U.N. run shelters in Gaza schools have taken a hit from Israel. This is exactly what Hamas militants want you to see says the Israeli military accusing Hamas of purposely hiding rockets in facilities like these, using human shields and high civilian casualties to garner international sympathy.

Hamas' Political Leader denies that charge to CNN's Nic Robertson.

KHALED MESHAAL, HAMAS POLITICAL LEADER: Hamas sacrifices itself for its people and does not use its people as human shield to protect its soldiers. These are lies and Hamas does not seek international sympathy through its own victims.

KAYE: If that is true then how does Hamas explain this? Just today, the idea of posted on its blog that it found this Hamas training manual in Gaza. While we can't confirm its authenticity, the IDF says it explains how civilians can be used in urban warfare. The IDF claims the manual includes the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed. And there is more to suggest Hamas may support human shields. Another of the group's political leader said this about their tactics during a 2008 battle between Israel and Gaza.

FATHI HAMAD, FMR. HAMAS INTERIOR MINISTER: They have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the Mujahideen in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine.

KAYE: Israel's prime minister talked about it during an interview on CNN.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAEL PRIME MINISTER: We've developed anti- missile systems to protect. We use anti-missile system to protect our civilians. They use their civilians to protect their missiles. That's the difference.

KAYE: Hamas has also been accused to deliberately firing rockets from Gaza neighborhoods and other densely populated civilian areas, charges they've denied. Even encouraging their own people to ignore Israel's leaflets which warned residence in Gaza of impending strikes.

Listen to what a spokesman for Hamas said on AL Aqsa TV in July.

MUSHIR AL-MASRI, HAMAS SPOKESPERSON: Stay in your homes as we promised you and do not comply with the war of rumors and psychological warfare the Zionist enemy is waging on you.

KAYE: The IDF released this video of Israeli military firing a warning shot. Then moments later, civilians emerge on the rooftop acting according to the IDF as human shields.

In Gaza, believing Hamas' word could mean the difference between life and death.

Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: We want to take a look at this humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza. I'm joined now by Chris Gunness. He's the spokesman for the U.N. Relief and Welfare Agency for Palestinian refuges.

Chris, if those three days cease-fire holds, what is the biggest priority as far as you are concerned for the U.N.?

CHRIS GUNNESS, SPOKESPERSON, UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WELFARE AGENCY: Security, security, security. We have seen through these tragic incidents over the last weeks that the one thing that we and the United Nations cannot provide is security, so that's number one.

Number two, the basics of life: water and food. We will obviously make that a very high priority.

Number three. It has to be shelter, accommodation, sanitation, making these areas where huge numbers of people have taken refuge habitable places.

COOPER: In terms of the Israeli strike outside a U.N. compound where a lot of civilians were sheltering, where thousands of civilians were sheltering on Sunday. Israel says, "Look, this was a strike on militants, Islamic Jihad militants on a motor cycle nearby and therefore they are the ones to blame for operating near a place where so many civilians were sheltering. To that you say what?

GUNNESS: Well, I think the state department's statement of just 24 hours ago hit the nail on the head. It said that the suspicion that there maybe militants going passed on motorbike is not justification for hitting outside the compound where thousands of people have taken refuge blew U.N. flag on top and clearly notified. I mean, don't forget, Anderson, we phoned up the Israeli army no less than 33 times. The last of those calls being an hour before that fatal strike.

COOPER: Are you able to have the same contact with Hamas Islamic Jihad and other militants in Gaza as you are with the IDF? Are you able to give them coordinates and warm them about please don't operate near by this U.N. shelter?

GUNNESS: Our approach to these militant groups and their attitude towards our neutrality is a matter of public record. Whenever there have been any cases of violations of our neutrality, we have made it very clear on three occasions, we have found rockets in our schools. The reasons why you are able to ask about this the journalistic fraternity and others know about it is that we proactively came out and in a very transparent manner publicly condemned in the strongest possible terms as a flagrant violation of international law, as a flagrant violation of our neutrality. These cache's of rockets being hidden in our schools. We have condemned the rockets flying into civilian areas of Israel terrorizing six million Israeli civilians.

And, yes, of course we make it perfectly clear to the groups in Gaza that they must not do the things that they're doing around our schools. Having said that, it does not transform a school where there are 3,000 plus people into a military target just because there are militants around it. COOPER: Chris, I appreciate the difficult work you're doing. I appreciate you talking to us tonight. Thank you.

GUNNES: A pleasure. Anytime. Nice to see you too.

COOPER: That's Chris Gunness with the U.N. who's in charge of -- he's the spokesman for the group in charge of the -- all the internally displaced people more than 200,000 and some 90 U.N. shelters.

When we come back, we're taking you to the crash zone in Eastern Ukraine. A tough day for investigators there, we'll tell you why, ahead.


COOPER: It was a tough day for investigators at the crash site of MH17 in Eastern Ukraine. I'm joined now by Michael Bociurkiw, the Spokesman for the OSCE.

Michael, I understand today was a tough day at the site, what happened?

MICHAEL BOCIURKIW, SPOKESMAN FOR THE OSCE: Today was a really tough day, Anderson, because we had well over a hundred experts out there today including for the first time a big contingent of Malaysians. And what happened was despite a cease-fire agreement, the whole team got out there and almost as soon as they got out near the crash site, there is a shelling that started to happen and inn fact it was very, very close to the convoy. And then that delayed the whole search operation for several hours.

So, to make a long story short, the experts only had about two, two and a half hours to actually work on the ground and, you know, search for those victims' remains that we've been talking about.

COOPER: I also imagine given the topography of the crash site that the distance -- I mean, there's not a lot of places to seek shelter out there if shelling starts.

BOCIURKIW: Absolutely not. It's an open field for the most part, Anderson. You're talking about sunflower fields, you're talking about wheat fields, corn fields, villages. In fact, a new aspect to the whole story as well is that there's a kind of, if you will, many humanitarian disaster are happening because a lot of villagers are now coming to us and saying we've had no electricity for days, no water and this is because of the conflict kind of coming closer to that whole area.

The fact that villagers who -- as you can imagine have gone through so much with this aircraft running down on them and now they're having to go through, you know, really living through the conflict is very, very difficult.

COOPER: I know over, you know, days you have seen in your many visits to the site, you have seen remains of victims. Have the investigators been able to at least begin to collect some of those remains? BOCIURKIW: Well, Anderson it's a very difficult aspect to put the whole story to talk about. There had been in the first couple of days when we have these big numbers out there of remains being collected and of course it was a very big relief to the families. But over the past 48 hours, not much has turned up.

There are two sniffer dogs that have been brought out for two days now and there are five more to come, I understand. So, hopefully that will lead the investigators but it's a very, very difficult situation that, you know, there is so much hope right now especially among the families and when you have one, two days when nothing is found, you can imagine how people feel. And obviously the investigators too and we -- our hurts go out to these families where they're waiting so desperately for their loved ones to come home.

COOPER: I understand also large numbers of Malaysian investigators or actually police showed up today.

BOCIURKIW: They did and you may recall that earlier on in our access to the site we had three Malaysian experts out there, two from the Department of Civil Aviation and one from Malaysia Airlines. They spent three days out there. But to have finally 60 plus Malaysians out there coming to the site as well. That's a big kind of boost to the whole investigation.

And as far as I know, their focus is more the debris, the aircraft parts -- what actually brought this aircraft down. So, and I know there have been logistical another issues involved from the Malaysian site to have them come in. I can't tell you how relieve they must feel to finally be there.

COOPER: Well, Michael again I appreciate the work you're doing and thank you for being with us.

BOCIURKIW: My pleasure, Anderson.

COOPER: Former White House Press Secretary James Brady has died at the age of 73. When we come back, we'll look at his life and legacy.



DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is one of the most enduring images in American history. President Ronald Reagan shot outside of Washington D.C. hotel. Gunman John Hinckley set out to assassinate Reagan.

But Press Secretary Jim Brady took a bullet meant for the President, robbing the White House spokesman of his ability to speak the way he once did. But Brady's brain damage and paralysis did the talking for him as he and his wife Sarah became leading advocates for gun control lobbying for legislation that became known as the Brady Bill imposing waiting periods for handgun purchases and eventually establishing a system of background checks on gun buyers for the first time.

Brady's Republican boss backed his efforts.

RONALD REAGAN, FMR. U.S. PRESIDENT: I happen to believe in the Brady Bill because we have that same thing in California right now.

BASH: He faced steep opposition especially from the NRA.

JAMES BRADY, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY, REAGAN ADMINISTRATION: They're going to throw every road block in the way they can to derail this speeding freight train.

BASH: In 1993, success, the Brady Bill became law.

In 2011, the 38th anniversary of being shot, Brady made an emotional return to the White House briefing room.

In fact, this room was dedicated to James Brady. It was named in his honor so that the White House Press Corps and the spokespeople who work here everyday will always remember him.

Remember the man Brady was before he was shot, clever banter with reporters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is somebody who I think who really revolutionized this job.

BASH: And for Brady's enduring current with his trademark thumbs up.

Dana Bash, CNN, Washington.


COOPER: And James Brady died at the age of 73.

We'll be in the region again tomorrow night. I hope you join us for that.

CNN TONIGHT starts now.