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New York City Patient Tested for Ebola; Israel, Palestinians Agree to New Truce; Netanyahu: 'Very Severe Blow at Hamas'; Israel, Palestinians Agree to New Truce; Israel, Palestinians Agree to New Truce; Near Confrontation in the Skies

Aired August 4, 2014 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news. There's an Ebola scare in a New York City hospital. A patient who had traveled to West Africa is under strict isolation at a Manhattan hospital, being tested for the deadly virus. We'll update you on that.

New truce in Gaza -- Israel and the Palestinians now both say they agree to an Egyptian plan for a three day cease-fire.

Will that really work?

Will it stop the air strikes?

Will it stop the rockets?

Jerusalem attacks -- a soldier is shot by a man on a motor bike and police shoot and kill the operator of a big truck who killed a pedestrian and overturned a bus.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world.

I'm Wolf Blitzer


ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

BLITZER: Let's check into the breaking news developments. Two major stories we're following.

A huge development in the Middle East. After nearly a month, as the casualties mount in Gaza, Israel and the Palestinians now say they both agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a three day cease-fire. Full details coming up. We'll check in with all of the parties on this story.

Meanwhile, in New York City, at a hospital, there's a patient who was recently in West Africa's Ebola zone, as it's called. He's in isolation, being tested for the deadly disease.

We have our correspondents standing by on all of the late breaking developments.

But let's go to New York for the latest on the new Ebola scare.

Our national correspondent, Jason Carroll, is there -- Jason, what are you learning?

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, doctors here at Mount Sinai Hospital are trying to get to the bottom of this as quickly and as accurately as they can.

Here's what happened.

It was earlier today, this morning, a patient who checked himself in experiencing some of the early symptoms that one might see with Ebola. He had traveled to the region. He came here with a high fever, with gastrointestinal problems, as well.

The patient, as you can imagine, is in strict isolation. That's what the doctors here are telling us. Also, he is undergoing a medical screening.

I want to put this in perspective. Dr. Sanjay Gupta had mentioned this before. A spokesman for the CDC says that since this outbreak broke out sometime in March, there have been some half a dozen patients here in the United States who had also traveled to the region, also had similar types of symptoms, underwent tests. All those tests came back negative.

So at this point, we are waiting for test results from this particular patient, this male patient. We are told that should take a day or so before that happens.

In the meantime, as you can imagine, there is a great deal of concern here from some that we've been just listening to as they leave the hospital.

The hospital releasing a statement saying, in part, "All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff. We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this particular case" -- Wolf.

BLITZER: So, Jason, just to be precise, there have been, what, at least a half a dozen cases, people who have come back to the United States from West Africa. They have some symptoms. They're tested. And they prove to be false alarms. So that's possible that that could be the case right now, as well.

That's what doctors are saying to you at the hospital?

CARROLL: Possible. But at this point, without those test results, we just cannot be sure. But I just think it's helpful to get perspective in knowing that there were some half a dozen other cases from people who came from the area, came back with symptoms. They underwent tests. Those tests came back negative. We're still waiting to see what will happen with this particular patient -- Wolf.

BLITZER: How long does the test take to get the results? CARROLL: Again, Wolf, those tests should take about a day or so for those test results to come back. In the meantime, be this patient is under isolation. Doctors using all the precautions that they would use with someone who might be infected with this type of illness.

As you can imagine, everything that can be done is being done at this point. It's just important to get perspective and knowing that there have been some half a dozen other patient who have come from this region who have come back to the United States who have undergone tests, as well. And those tests came back negative.

BLITZER: All right, Jason, stand by.

I want to bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent -- Sanjay, what are the symptoms?

What do they look at?

Because some of those symptoms, they seem fairly common.

But tell us what the symptoms they're looking at right now in this particular patient.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, some of the early ones are quite common and can be confused with lots of other things -- fever. Someone can develop abdominal pain. Sometimes they can develop a rash over certain parts of their body, red eyes. Eventually all those symptoms sort of get worse. And Ebola, as you may know, Wolf, sometimes is characterized, as well, by bleeding problems. The blood just doesn't clot as well and that's why patients may have bleeding. Some of it you may see actually -- actually be able to observe it. Some of that bleeding can actually occur on the inside of the body, as well.

But, again, the definitive test is the test you were talking with Jason, actually doing a blood test and confirming the presence of the virus and some of the antibodies to the virus in the bloodstream.

BLITZER: So I missed the last part of what you said.

How long does the test take to determine whether or not someone has Ebola?

GUPTA: Well, you know, it's interesting, when I was in Guinea, you know, they were doing the tests there in the field. And sometimes they could get the test results back the same day.

In the United States, interestingly enough, a lot of times they draw the blood, they send it to a particular lab. And it can take a day or two, usually, to get the results back confirmed.

So I would guess by tomorrow sometime we'll have a better idea.

I should point out, as well, Wolf, that the hospital has, you know, made this known. There have been about a half a dozen patients who have their blood tested because of concern. Those particular patients, their stories were not made public. This patient was. I'm not sure if that's because of heightened concern by the hospital or what that means exactly.

But, again, we just can't say for sure until the final tests come back. And, you know, they want to be sure on this. It takes about a day or so.

BLITZER: And this particular patient in New York, does the patient have that internal blood clotting problem?

Do we know if that's gone to that level, or is it just high fever and some gastrointestinal problems?

GUPTA: My understanding is it was the first -- the two things, the fever and the gastrointestinal problems. But, also, most relevant was the recent travel to West Africa. That one you're sort of piecing this together. You're looking at the history of the patient in total, what are the symptoms the patient has, but, also, the travel history obviously becomes very important. So piecing those two things together, there was enough of a concern by the doctors and the nurses who were taking care of him to go ahead, isolate the patient, get the test performed and wait for those results to come back.

BLITZER: And we should get the results probably tomorrow, is that right?

GUPTA: I think so. My guess is tomorrow. It may go into the next day, as well, because they sometimes send these results out.

One thing that, you know, I think is worth, you know, sort of putting a punctuation mark on is that he isn't going to be in isolation, but we've talked about this several times, Wolf. This isn't the kind of thing that they worry about spreading to other patients in the hospital, spreading to people who are talking around the hospital. This is not an airborne virus. This is something that spreads only when somebody is very sick and they start to actually shed the virus in their bodily fluids.

So it's somebody who comes in contact with those bodily fluids who is not protected. So while we don't know the particular story with this patient, we don't know if, in fact, he has the Ebola infection, in terms of concern for the hospital population at large, or the population around the hospital, it's still very minimal.

BLITZER: Very minimal, indeed. And, as I say, I don't want to overly alarm people in New York City. There have been at least, that we know of, six cases of individuals who have come to the United States from West Africa, from some of these countries, who have come down with some symptoms. All of them were tested. All of them negative for Ebola.

GUPTA: Right.

BLITZER: So let's hope the same is the case right now.

Sanjay, thanks very much for that. We'll have more on this story coming up later here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

But there's other breaking news, critically important news for a lot people in the Middle East. The Israelis and the Palestinians now say they have agreed to an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire. I'll be joined a spokesman for Israel's prime minister and I'll be joined by a spokesman for Hamas. We'll get all the latest information.

Is a cease-fire about to take hold?

Stay with us.


BLITZER: The other breaking news we're following, the Gaza death toll rising. But Israel and the Palestinians now say they've agreed to a new cease-fire first proposed by Egypt.

Meantime, the violence spreads to Jerusalem. Gripping amateur video -- look at this -- as police say they stopped a terror rampage by gunning down a backhoe operator who killed a pedestrian and toppled a bus.

Our correspondents and guests are standing by to bring you the kind of coverage only CNN can deliver.

Let's begin with our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, for the very latest -- Jim.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Egyptian officials are calling this, quote, "a pure humanitarian cease-fire with no military action," to be distinguished from previous attempted cease-fires, so far, that allowed military action by Israel inside of Gaza, not to mention rockets fired by Hamas into Israel.

Even with this agreement, however, the track record not good. Cease- fires on Friday and again today ended virtually as soon as they began.


SCIUTTO (voice-over): Today's first attempt at a cease-fire in Gaza up in clouds of smoke. This time, the calm lasting barely minutes.

Gaza residents had flooded into the streets to stock up on supplies and check on homes now reduced to rubble. Then this -- an Israeli air strike on a U.N.-run refugee camp, killing an 8-year-old boy and wounding 30 others. And inside Israel, the rockets kept falling, more than 50 of them. And on the streets of Jerusalem, a brazen attack. Israeli police shoot and kill a Palestinian man who used an Earth mover to overturn a passenger bus, empty aside from the driver, killing one. In another part of the city, an Israeli soldier, shot by a man on a motor bike.

Israeli leaders are calling on the world to condemn Hamas, but Israel is facing its own criticism. Today's Israeli attack on a U.N. refugee camp follows a deadly strike over the weekend on a U.N. school, being used to shelter 3,000 Palestinians. Sparking unusually bitter criticism from the U.S. The State Department calls the shelling disgraceful.

JEN PSAKI, SPOKESMAN, STATE DEPARTMENT: When you have a situation where innocent civilians are killed in Gaza, there's more that Israel can do to hold themselves to their own standard.

SCIUTTO: The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.

PSAKI: Undeterred Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the Gaza offensive until Israel feels safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The campaign in the Gaza Strip goes on. What is about to end is Israeli military's handling of the tunnels.


SCIUTTO: Despite its continuing tough talk, public comments by Israeli officials in recent days have at least laid the groundwork for an end to the offensive, talking about progress made against Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu today saying, quote, "We struck a very severe blow at Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip."

And I think reading between the lines of those statements, Wolf, I think it looks like Israel is setting itself to say, "Listen, we've accomplished what we've attended to. We've made Israel safer. We've neutralized the tunnels," et cetera and that gives the reason that they can pull out, you know, with Israeli public support.

BLITZER: Jim Sciutto, stand by.

I want to go to Mark Regev. He's the spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He's joining us from Jerusalem right now.

So Mark, walk us through exactly where this process stands right now. We understand the Palestinians say they've accepted the Egyptian proposal in Cairo. You now say the Israeli government has accepted it, as well.

Is this exactly the Egyptian proposal that was put forward three weeks ago which Israel then accepted but Hamas rejected it, because they said they never got an official proposal, or are there changes in what you now have accepted?

MARK REGEV, SPOKESWOMAN FOR ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: In essence, it's the same proposal, Wolf. And that's the very sad thing about all this, because you're with me. I remember in Jaffa (ph), the morning that we accepted the Egyptian proposal. And Hamas kept firing rockets into Israel. I remember 50 rockets, 60 rockets until we understood that they weren't serious about it, and that is the ultimate tragedy. Because all the fighting, all the tragedy, the death and the bloodshed over the last three weeks could have been avoided.

Israel three weeks ago accepted this proposal. And now it appears, though, of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. But now it appears that Hamas has finally come around to accepting the Egyptian proposal, which is an immediate unconditional cease-fire. Now, that's supposed to start at 8 a.m. tomorrow local time here in Israel.

Obviously, after what's happened over the last few days, we are looking very closely at Hamas to see if they will actually and finally honor this cease-fire agreement. We've been burnt before. You know that. I know that. We've seen them reject cease-fires. We've seen them violate cease-fires. So from 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, we will hold all our fire, and we'll be watching to see if Hamas does this time finally honor a cease-fire.

But the tragedy is that this is the essential, the same deal that was on the table three weeks ago. We accepted it. Hamas rejected it. And all the violence over the last three weeks could have been avoided had Hamas did what it's apparently done now three weeks ago. Nothing has been gained.

BLITZER: When you say essentially the same deal, when you say in essence the same deal, that's not exactly the same deal. What is different between this deal and what you accepted three weeks ago?

REGEV: I don't think there are significant differences if at all, Wolf. My briefing that I've received says immediate unconditional cease-fire. And then the parties go to Cairo to raise their issues. And of course, as you know, Israel will be raising the issue of demilitarization, which for us is crucial. We don't want to allow Hamas to rearm.

I mean, obviously, we've destroyed the tunnels. We've taken out a large part of their rockets. They are a much weaker Hamas. Their military machine has been substantially dismantled. We don't want to see Hamas rebuild its military machine, replenish its stocks of rockets to start building more tunnels. We've got to avoid all that. From our point of view, if we want to maintain the peace and quiet, it's important that Hamas cannot rearm.

BLITZER: Have all the tunnels that Hamas built from Gaza going to Israel, as far as you know, been destroyed?

REGEV: Yes, that operation is winding up as we speak, and that was crucial, also, because those tunnels were a strategic threat to my country. They allowed Hamas to send into Israel through those tunnels death squads armed with automatic weapons, explosives, rocket- propelled grenades. They pop up on our side of the frontier to kill Israelis. And it was just intolerable. It was like a knife on our neck.

That has been dealt with. We're winding that up now. And as we will redeploy in the framework of this cease-fire agreement, I'm glad to say that job has been done.

BLITZER: When you say redeploy, as part of the cease-fire agreement, will all Israeli ground forces have to be removed from Gaza?

If REGEV: the cease-fire is honored, there will be no reason to keep Israeli forces in Gaza. But I can tell you we'll be keeping readiness. It's not like at 8 p.m., everyone in the Israeli army is going to go on furlough. We've been through this before. Hamas has violated cease-fires in the past. And we'll be watching very, very closely to see how they act after 0800 tomorrow morning.

BLITZER: When -- when will the Israeli delegation go to Cairo?

REGEV: I don't have a specific, you know, flight plan for them, but they'll be going soon. That's in the framework of the Egyptian initiative, which talks about immediate unconditional cease-fire and then discussions on all the issues.

BLITZER: Is it your sense right now that all of the elements of the Palestinian factions, not just the Palestinian Authority but all Hamas Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- all of them have agreed to this Egyptian cease-fire proposal?

REGEV: Well, the problem was never with the Palestinian Authority. Let's be clear. The problem was with Hamas and the other terrorist groups in Gaza. So that the Palestinian Authority agrees is nice, but the real question is the terrorists. Hamas Islamic Jihad, and the others. And I said -- I said we'll be watching very closely. We have been told that they have agreed. We have been assured that they have agreed. We'll be watching closely.

You'll recall on Friday morning, that's not that long ago, the Americans and the united nations had received assurances from the Qataris, from the Qatari government, that Hamas would honor a cease- fire, and in the end they violated that cease-fire barely an hour and a half after it kicked in. And so of course, we'll be watching very, very closely to see what Hamas and the other terrorists do.

BLITZER: Very quickly because our time is up. But I want you to react to the State Department statement last night, very critical of Israel saying that the U.S. was appalled by this one attack by Israel on a U.N. facility and called it a disgraceful attack. What's your reaction to those strong words coming from the U.S. State Department?

REGEV: We in this conflict didn't want to see any civilian casualties, not one. And we made a maximum effort to avoid civilian casualties. We don't see the people of Gaza as our enemy, Wolf. And we don't target the people of Gaza. We don't target U.N. facilities.

In that particular event that was talked about, there was not fire inside a U.N. facility, but there was combat close to a U.N. facility in which we saw some Palestinian civilians apparently get caught up in the crossfire. We hit an Islamic Jihad target, three operatives of Islamic Jihad who were involved in shooting rockets into Israel. There was collateral damage. We don't know if that's because of our ordinance or if it's because of Palestinian ordinance. We're looking into it.

But we don't target Palestinian civilians, and we don't want to see Palestinian civilians get caught up in the crossfire.

BLITZER: Mark Regev is the spokesman for the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. Mark Regev, thanks very much for joining us.

When we come back, we're going to get a very different perspective. I'll get the reaction to this proposed cease-fire from a Hamas spokesman.

Also, a scary showdown in the skies involving Russian fighter jets and a U.S. spy plane.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Israel and Hamas now say they have agreed to a new three-day truce proposed by Egypt, supposed to begin 8 a.m. local time in the Middle East. Can it really work this time? There have been so many false alarms in the past.

Joining us now from Doha, Qatar, is the Hamas spokesman, Osama Hamdan.

Mr. Hamdan, thanks for joining us. Can we assume that starting at 8 a.m. in Gaza and in Israel, 8 a.m. tomorrow morning, Hamas will no longer fire any rockets or missiles at Israel?

OSAMA HAMDAN, HAMAS SPOKESMAN: We, Wolf, I have to say clearly this was created by the Palestinian side, in fact. And Hamas was part of that.

I've told you before a few weeks that there is a chance to create stability and to stop the Israeli attack. You asked me is there any hope? I've told you, yes, if the Israeli accepted that because the attack started by the Israelis who violated the cease-fire 2012 and they also violated the last cease-fire by claiming that one of their (inaudible) was captured. And finally, they agreed with Hamas story he was killed during the comeback. But during this period from 8:00 a.m. when they destroyed the cease-fire until they accept the fact 12 hours, they killed more than 150 Palestinians and a big (inaudible).

So, we hope and we wish that the Israeli side will control themselves, will control his soldiers in the field, and keep the cease-fire for the coming 72 hours starting from 8:00 a.m. and then the negotiations can go well --

BLITZER: All right.

HAMDAN: -- in Cairo to have a cease-fire, a lift of the seas (ph) and the old issues.

BLITZER: So, starting --

HAMDAN: We hope that they can control themselves because they were the side who messed that the last time. BLITZER: So, you promised that starting tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. local time, no more rockets, no more missiles, no more mortar shells, no fighting from the Hamas side into Israel. Is that right? Yes or no.

HAMDAN: Well, it's more than this. A complete cease-fire will start at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. And here, what the Palestinian united delegation said, "We all Palestinians will be committed to that unless the Israelis violated this." So, let's hope that they will heave that because we are ready to keep that from our side, Hamas and all the Palestinian factions.

BLITZER: All right, that sounds like a yes, but let me press you a little further. We just heard from the spokesman for the prime minister of Israel saying, "What Israel has accepted is basically, exactly the same as the Egyptian proposal that was put forward three weeks ago," which Israel accepted which Hamas rejected because you told me yourself when we spoke that night, there was never a formal proposal given to Hamas. As a result, you rejected it.

You agree that the proposal that Egypt has put forward that you now accept, that Israel accepts is basically, exactly the same as the proposal three weeks ago?

HAMDAN: Well, again I have to say that because I suppose I mean Netanyahu is in a very difficult situation. He knew -- He knows well that the militant operation on the ground was not going well. He felt on the ethical level by killing Palestinian civilians. Out of 2,000 Palestinians who were killed in Gaza 450 were children, more than 250 they were women which means that the civilians were the main target of his army. This army lost his ethics.

The second failure in the combat with the resistance, he fall down on the ground. He couldn't achieve any of the goals which he has said. So, I suppose to protect his boss (ph), he will say that it's the same initiative. Everyone knows that there were changes. It's not a game. We want to achieve a cease-fire --

BLITZER: All right.

HAMDAN: -- which will give the Palestinian people their freedom, give them the chance to live in peace, give them the chance to be safe and to be sure about the safety of the future of their children who were supposed to play and now they are killed by the Israeli army which is the most powerful army in the region.

BLITZER: All right. So, Mr. Hamdan, we will check with the Egyptians to see what's new in this new proposal if it differs significantly what the Egyptians put forward three weeks ago.

I have to ask you one question because it's come to our attention and it's all over the internet. The remarks that you made recently to Al- Quds TV and I'm going to read it you in the English translation, we have translators to make sure the translation was accurate. I want you to explain what you said because it's very disturbing. You said, "We all remember how the Jews used to slaughter Christians in order to make mix their blood with their holy matzos. This is not a figment of the imagination or something taken from a film, it is a fact acknowledged by their own books and historical evidence."

You believe that Jews would kill Christians to mix their blood to bake the holy matzos on Passover, is that your belief Mr. Hamdan?

HAMDAN: Well, Wolf, let me answer that freely, don't cut me because it's very, very important to be clarified.

First, I was asked about the statement published by the deputy speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Moshe Feiglin, who published a plan to have a complete -- under the name "complete distraction of the Palestinians in Gaza". And in this plan, he suggested to put all the Palestinians in concentration camps. He's talking about genocide. That was the question. He said that and published that in the first of August, three days ago.

So, it's clear that this senior member of the Likud, the deputy speaker of the parliament in Israel who is effective in creating decisions and making decisions who is pushing Netanyahu as a senior member in his party talking about a genocide against the Palestinians. He is committed or he is connected to such old stories which was claimed by the church, it's not what we are saying. In fact, this is the first point.

The second point, I have to tell you that they are misusing the words. I've said in the same occasion that we don't have problem with the Jews as Palestinians and as Muslims. We don't have problems with Jews, the Jews who lives in the Arab region and among the Muslims as normal citizens. They were not considered something else. They were considered normal citizens in our country. We are against the occupation. When the Jews were kicked from Europe in the mid-ages, they came to live in peace in our country and they were accepted but when they tend to be --

BLITZER: All right.

HAMDAN: -- when someone decide to be in an occupation regardless to his religion or to his race, we will fight the occupation even if he was a Muslim or even if he was from our race. We don't accept occupation, we will resist the occupation and they can't hide against being Jews. I have --

BLITZER: All right.

HAMDAN: -- a friend, Jewish friends who are supporting the Palestinian rights. We have (inaudible) who are supporting the Palestinian rights and they are our friends --

BLITZER: I understand that.

HAMDAN: -- and they are against the new Nazis of this century like Netanyahu and Feiglin and some others who are senior officials in Israel.

BLITZER: Well, I understand that but I just want to be specific and just answer the question. And maybe I'll remind you what you said. I'm going to play it in Arabic. Here's what you said on Al-Qud TV --

HAMDAN: Wolf, Wolf, I know what I've said --

BLITZER: I want to play this for you.

HAMDAN: I know --

BLITZER: Just listen to this and then --

HAMDAN: I know --

BLITZER: -- you explain what you mean. Let's play the tape.

HAMDAN: No. No. No. You don't know --




BLITZER: So, do you believe that Jews used to slaughter --


BLITZER: -- Christians to mix their blood to bake --


HAMDAN: You have to ask that for the chairs which claims that, you know. This is the fact. You cut the words, not you, the Israelis in memory. They cut the facts and they start this propaganda to say that they are innocent. They want to cover the genocide which is happening in Gaza now. They want to cover themselves when they are killing 2,000 Palestinians, injuring more than 12,000 Palestinians in a barbarian attack against Gaza.

And they are connected to the same old mentality which had the others, this man who is the deputy speaker of the Knesset when he said, "We have to put all the Palestinians in a concentration camp." What does it mean? When you have -- When you talk about -- Yochanan Gordon who wrote, "Palestinian genocide is permissible." What does it mean? Those people are the people who are hating the humanity --

BLITZER: All right.

HAMDAN: -- while trying killing the Palestinians. We don't have a problem with the Jews as they are Jewish people and in fact we believe in Moses, we believe in Jesus, we believe in Mohammad, we respect them all, the three of them the same and we believe that everyone has the right to choose his religion, no one will be questioned by the other humans for his religion.

BLITZER: All right.

HAMDAN: God will ask us all. No one is asked because of his race. The races are the same. We are all from Adam but the people who are talking about genocide against the Palestinians must be questioned and asked because they are saying that and doing that at the same time. Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: But you -- All right, we're going to leave it there Mr. Hamdan but I was hoping to get a flat denial from you that you would utter such a -- such ridiculous words that Jews would kill Christians in order to use their blood --

HAMDAN: But someone said that.

BLITZER: -- to take matzo.


BLITZER: That sounds as you know that is an awful, awful --

HAMDAN: Wolf, you have to be fair. You can't end that. I must end that because you asked me and I want to answer. This was said by everyone. I was saying they are barred of what was being said. He has to deny what he write about the Palestinians, about the genocide against the Palestinians which he call for, which he suggested to do as a member in the parliament or as a senior leader in Likud Party.

BLITZER: All right, Osama Hamdan, I'm sure we will continue our conversations. I hope this cease-fire works tomorrow 8:00 a.m. local time. Let's hope the fighting and the dying stuffs on both sides. Osama Hamdan is the spokesman for Hamas, joining us from Doha, Qatar.

We'll take a quick break, much more with the breaking news right after this.


BLITZER: Joining us now is Gershon Baskin. He's an unofficial Israeli negotiator to help broker the release of an Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was held for -- by Hamas in Gaza for five years. He's the founder of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information. Gershon, thanks very much for joining us.

Let me get your quick reaction to the interview I just did with Osama Hamdan, Hamas spokesman in which I wanted him to distance himself from what he told Al-Quds TV the other day. We all remember how the Jews use to slaughter Christians in order to mix their blood with their holy matzos. Is this -- you deal with Hamas, you've spoken to these guys over the years, is this something that's widespread or is this just an isolated tiny little anecdote if you will?

GERSHON BASKIN, UNOFFICIAL ISRAELI NEGOTIATOR: No, I think unfortunately, it's very widespread and they actually believe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the true factual book that tells the stories of the Jews wanting to take over the world and of course the meeting in the (inaudible) every year and planning how to do that and using Christian blood for matzo et cetera is unfortunately too widespread amongst the Islamic fundamentalist and people in Hamas in particular. I've heard it from a lot of people in Gaza. BLITZER: Well, what do you think about this cease-fire that supposedly is going to take effect at 8:00 a.m. your time tomorrow morning? We heard from the Israeli spokesman, he says the Israel accepts the Egyptian proposal. You just heard the Hamas spokesman say, the Palestinians accepted. Do you think it's really going work this time?

BASKIN: It's very difficult to know. From Israel's point of view, most of its military emissions have been accomplished and so Israel could easily accept it because they achieve their military goals. The Hamas side also will make its claim of victory so they can also stand out and say we achieved our goals.

What's curious to me is that this is essentially the same proposal that was there three weeks ago and the Hamas people are saying that the main difference is that they were consulted this time which is true. They were part of a Palestinian delegation in Cairo. And the last time, three weeks ago, when the Egyptians issued a cease-fire offer, they had not consulted with Hamas.

BLITZER: Do you believe that military wing of Hamas, Mohammed Deif and the other military guys as oppose to the political guys are on board as well?

BASKIN: Well, I'm sure that because the delegation was there with Islamic Jihad and the other factions and the Egyptians were really pushing hard on them that they have communicated as best as they can to the military folks back in Gaza. I think that the message is probably there. It's way out on the internet and in Twitter and on all the Arab Satellite TVs have been recording this for hours. So, I'm sure the message is there and I think that the Hamas military wing probably needs a break. And the big question is what happens after the 72 hours?

The Israeli delegation is apparently going to Cairo tomorrow. They're going to be talking about the other demands that Hamas has made. The Israel is going to be very reluctant to giving anything to Hamas. It's curious to me whether or not the Egyptians perhaps promised Hamas that the Rafah border crossing would be open and that's a border crossing that they control and they can give to Hamas and perhaps that's something that entice them to agree to something now that they didn't agreed to three weeks ago.

BLITZER: Gershon Baskin, we'll check back with you tomorrow. He's a real expert on this subject. Thanks very much for joining us from Jerusalem.

At the top of the hour, a SITUATION ROOM special report on the breaking news in Israel and Gaza. Also much more on the breaking news from New York City where a patient is now being tested for Ebola.


BLITZER: We're learning some new details about a very scary near confrontation in the skies involving Russian fighter jets and a U.S. spy plane. CNN's Brian Todd reports.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sources say it was a Cold War style face-off played out in the skies over Europe kept secret until now.

July 18th, the day after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in Ukraine, with tensions between the U.S. and Russia at a boil, an American spy plane was pursued by at least one Russian fighter jet over the Baltic Sea.

HEATHER CONLEY, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: We've had repeated instances of not only Russia testing air sovereignty of neighboring countries but taking a bit more provocative and aggressive action as the conflict in Ukraine continues to escalate.

TODD: This was like a scene right out of the movie "Top Gun." U.S. officials tell CNN's Barbara Starr that the plane called the RC-135 Rivet Joint was in international air space eavesdropping on the Russian military when the Russian aircraft were sent to intercept it. Swedish media report say the American plane had been flying near the heavily armed Russian territory of Kaliningrad, wedged between Poland and Lithuania. When it was alerted of the Russian intercept, those reports say, the pilot took evasive maneuvers and flew over Gotland Island, Sweden about 180 miles away. U.S. officials say it was a mistake to fly in Sweden's air space without permission.

Experts say the missions of the RC-135 plane are very secretive. Its capabilities impressive. It can pick up signals as strong as an air defense radar, as tiny as a cell phone call.

DAN WASSERBLY, IHS JANE'S: So those things would come into the aircraft. There are intelligence analysts on board who could look at the data and synthesize it. They can also send it back down to ground commander who could then do more work with it or they could send it up much higher to where a U-2 reconnaissance plane would be operating.

TODD: Analysts say the escalated tensions between the U.S. and Russia are especially dangerous right now. The Russians are starting large- scale air defense exercises this week along the border with Ukraine.

CONLEY: This means we are going to see potentially an increased risk of accidents, certainly provocations and potentially greater aggression in Ukraine.


TODD: We could not get Russian officials to comment on this near encounter. A Swedish official would not name the Americans but told us officials of the, quote, "embassy in question" were called to the Swedish Foreign Ministry in Stockholm where they protested the violation of Swedish air space -- Wolf.

BLITZER: It goes with the Cold War indeed. All right, Brian, thanks very, very much.

Just ahead, the breaking news from New York City. A patient is being tested there for the Ebola virus. Doctors at the hospital there getting ready to start a news conference. We'll have live coverage. Stay with us.