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Israeli Forces Escalate Campaign on Gaza; India's Coronavirus Cases and Vaccine Shortage; India's Neighbors See Cases Skyrocket; CDC: People Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Can Go Without Masks Indoors and Outdoors; Israel Bombards Gaza With Artillery Fire, Airstrikes On Eid; IDF Says It's Struck 600 Hamas Military Targets in Gaza; Pressure to Cancel Olympic Games Grows Within Japan As Cases Surge; CDC: Vaccinated People Don't Need a Mask Inside or Outside. Aired 2-2:45a ET
Aired May 14, 2021 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Lockdowns and vaccine shortage at India's growing COVID crisis. Also, Prince Harry opens up about being haunted by his past and how he is rebuilding his family's future.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company. This is "CNN Newsroom."
Israel is escalating its military campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza, now adding artillery fire to its punishing airstrikes.
The IDF says there are no Israeli troops inside of Gaza and although it is considering a ground invasion, any decision on that would take days and more reinforcements to the front.
To the north, rockets fired from Gaza continue to land indiscriminately around Tel Aviv and other cities. At least seven Israelis have been killed.
In Gaza, the death toll from Israeli airstrikes has climbed to at least 109, including 28 children. Israel saying it is going to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemning a wave of mob violence as Jewish and Arab residents attack each other in cities and towns across Israel. The violence, the airstrikes, the rocket strikes have everyone on edge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UM RAED AL-BAGHDADI, GAZA CITY RESIDENT (through translator): There is a lot of shelling and the children are all afraid. Even us, adults, have been at war since our childhood. We are afraid and can't bear it anymore.
PINCHAS HADAD, LOD, ISRAEL RESIDENT (through translator): People are doing whatever they want: torching, looting, hitting. I don't know what. We are on the verge of an abyss. This is not a way to manage a country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES (on camera): One group of neighbors in Northern Israel coming together to plead for peace. Jewish and Arab residents united in song on Thursday, carrying signs that said we refuse to be enemies.
Well, it is just past 9:00 a.m. in Tel Aviv, where journalist Elliott Gotkine is live for us this hour. Good to see you, Elliott. So, what is the likely scope of the Israeli operation going forward? I mean, talk of a ground operation, but no sign of it yet.
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: There is no sign of it yet. There was, actually, a feeling that it already begun yesterday when the Israeli defense forces tweeted out that air and ground forces were attacking the Gaza strip, but that was swiftly road back to clarify that there were no ground forces there. But the option of a ground incursion has always been on the table and that was reiterated again by spokespeople for the Israeli military.
Now, will it happen? Well, there's a real possibility that it will. Is it likely to happen in the next day or two? Probably not, and there are a ac couple of reasons for that, one military and one political.
The military reason, journalist say, a single division of armor and infantry just outside the Gaza Strip and also 9,000 reservists now called up. But it is simply not enough to carry out a -- what is -- they would hope would be a successful ground incursion.
The political reason is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a risk-averse prime minister. He is clinging to office by the very skin of his teeth right now.
Coalition negotiations are still ongoing. Yesterday, one of the right- wing parties that look to be going towards the opposition looks to now have gone back towards Netanyahu side and increases the prospect of a fifth set of elections coming up.
And Netanyahu will be very mindful that a ground incursion will inevitably lead to a number of Israeli casualties and that could damage his popularity. So, he is no doubt making those calculations right now.
It doesn't mean a ground incursion will not happen. It is just something that Israel will not take lightly. It's not a decision that Prime Minister Netanyahu will take lightly either.
HOLMES: And speak to how concerning this aspect is of violence in some of these Israeli towns with mixed populations, that is pretty unusual.
GOTKINE: It is unusual. In recent memory, nothing of this nature has taken place. The mob violence is, if anything, to many Israelis, more worrying than what goes on and Gaza because it directly affects their own communities, even more than the rockets flying overhead.
We heard from the President Reuvin Rivlin, they've tried pleading, begging people to stop the madness. They have been, you know, talking tough. Prime Minister Netanyahu saying that they will tolerate anarchy and anyone found to be involved in the small violence will be severely punished.
GOTKINE: You've got political leaders reaching out to community leaders to try to encourage them to ensure that their loved ones or their children don't get involved in this mob violence as well. But it seems to be continuing. You showed some reassuring footage of people calling for coexistence. I saw some of that myself.
But this morning, just on my way her to this live position in southern Tel Aviv, I witnessed someone throwing a rock through a car window, which I believe was occupied by Israeli Jews. They look just to be lightly injured and trying to pursue the assailant on foot. Now, I didn't see exactly who the assailant was, but clearly, you know, there are a lot of people on edge.
We saw five synagogues being burned in a lot in central Israel last night. And just here in Jaffa, an Israeli soldier was attacked and suffered a fractured skull.
So, the violence is continuing. There's a hope that it won't spike completely out of control. More police reinforcements have been brought in. They are considering tightening the curfew in flash point cities such as Lod. But there is a very real concern that some of the things going on now with more violence between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews could push the country to the point of no return.
HOLMES (on camera): Yeah, very worrying development. Elliott Gotkine in Tel Aviv, appreciate it. Thank you so much.
And we are hearing from Israelis as Arab Jewish coexistence does unravel in some of the cities and towns. The first person we are about to hear from is from a town that is dealing with some of the worst of that violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDEN MALTZUR, ISRAELI RESIDENT (through translator): Some 100 Arabs came up to me and asked me if I'm a Jew or an Arab. I told them Arab. They heard that my accent was not Arab, ran up to my car and they started throwing stones.
I was lucky there were no cars behind me, so I reversed. I drove full gas in reverse. I almost ran into people and cars. I didn't see anything. I saw death, death. You know what death is? People jumping in with stones, throwing stones at me.
ESTHER GELBERG, ISRAELI RESIDENT: We are all Israelis, Arabs, and Jews. We are Israelis. They are wonderful people. It is just so heartbreaking what happened. Let it never happen again.
MONI YOSEF, ISRAELI RESIDENT: It's not fear. It's more than very sad. Not just to me. I think it's for all the people. Because people are losing money, losing hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES (on camera): Diana Buttu is a human rights attorney and former spokesperson for the PLO. She joins me now from Ramallah in the West Bank. Good to see you, Diana.
DIANA BUTTU, HUMAN RIGHTS ATTORNEY, FORMER SPOKESPERSON FOR PLO: Thank you.
HOLMES: The thing is, and you know this well, being there many times, this is just a bloody, tragic, horrendous cycle of rinse (ph) and repeat. There is a war every few years, hundreds of thousands get killed, and here we are again. Who is going to take the hard decision to change things at a fundamental level because we inevitably will see this again?
BUTTU: Well, this is exactly the point, Michael, is that the reason that we are seeing this is that this is now 54 years of military occupation, 73 years since the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the Nakba, and we have yet to see either an Israeli leader or an international leader come forward and actually stop this.
This is a one-sided occupation. Israel is occupying Palestine and that's why it is so important for the international community to put pressure on Israel to end this. And yet, instead, we see the Biden administration and other administrations around the world are instead coddling Israel, which is only going to lead to more and more Palestinian death and destruction.
HOLMES: I want to ask you about this concerning aspect of violence in some of these Israeli towns with mixed populations like Lod (ph), leaders of these two Arabs (ph). There are ancient wounds in these places. But inter-communal violence is not often seen. How worrying is that?
BUTTU: Well, it's terribly worrying because there has always been a system of discrimination and of ethnic privilege that has pervaded this country. And it is not at all surprising that we see that Netanyahu and leaders, virtually all of the Israeli leaders that are representing this political parties, have come out and stoking the flames of anti-Palestinian hate. It is not at all surprising that we now see that these mobs are happening.
You know, I think it is really important to put yourselves in the shoes of what it's like to be a Palestinian, who's been told time and again that not only are you a second class citizen but you are -- you are not even wanted in this place, you don't belong, and then on top of that to have the full weight of the state doing the same.
It's not at all surprising that we see these mobs coming out, pulling people from their houses, smashing Palestinian cars, and chanting death to Arabs, all while the police are watching.
HOLMES: I mean the escalation has come from Gaza in many ways.
HOLMES: I mean, has this barrage of rockets from Gaza in some ways been a bit of a tactical blunder by Hamas in the sense that the rockets have distracted from what was a fairly popular uprising in Jerusalem over these potential evictions and that issue, and it made it easier for Israel to justify using, you know, overwhelming force as it always does? Was that a blunder by Hamas getting involved like this?
BUTTU: You know, Michael, history didn't begin with the rockets. This didn't begin with the rockets. This all began because decisions were taken by this Israeli government to try to incite, to inflame, and to kill.
And whether there were rockets or no rockets, we all know that the result would have been the same, which is that there have been calls now by different levels of Israeli politicians to -- quote unquote -- "flatten Gaza."
And so to look at it just from that perspective is to ignore the 54 years of military occupation, of course, the now 15 years of military blockade that Israel has imposed on the Gaza Strip.
HOLMES: You mentioned this earlier. Speak more to what the international community needs to do to broken not just an end to this latest round of violence because as I said, we will be here again in a few years, but to try to set up some sort of pathway forward.
BUTTU: It's simple, Michael. All that they need to do is to put sanctions on Israel to make sure that it ends its occupation. It really is that simple. But instead, we've seen leader after leader after leader coddle Israel.
There is an active boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign that needs to be adopted and pushed because we see that without that, Israel is going to continue full steam ahead.
We are hearing from human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch that has declared this apartheid. And so, just as there are mechanisms that were used to end apartheid in South Africa, the same mechanisms can be used to end Israeli apartheid.
The sad part is that we don't have any leaders around the world at this point in time and Palestinians are the ones who are paying the price.
HOLMES: We nearly have time, but I just want to ask you, the Palestinian political system has to get its act together, doesn't it? I mean, elections were postponed. There isn't a strong leadership. And then you have Hamas in Gaza doing what they do.
In many ways, Israel needs Hamas not just as a visible enemy but because the collapse of Hamas would leave a power vacuum in Gaza and the chaos that would bring. What do the Palestinian political wings have to do to get their house in order?
BUTTU: This is also one of the problems, is that Palestinians, obviously, need to have a new leadership, but that should not detract from the fact that it is up to Israel, forced by the international community, to actually end this military occupation.
They don't need to have a Palestinian leadership in place to end the occupation. It needs to be a political decision that is taken. And sadly, that political decision has not been taken.
HOLMES: Diana Buttu in Ramallah in West Bank, than you so much. Appreciate your time.
BUTTU: Thank you.
HOLMES: And coming up in about 25 minutes, I will be speaking with the former mayor of Jerusalem to the Israeli perspective on the violence. Do stay with us for that. We are going to take a quick break now.
The search for vaccine is intensifying in India as both case numbers and deaths rise nationwide. We will have a live reporting with Sam Kiley after the break.
And in the U.S., the CDC announces a huge step towards some sense of normalcy more than a year into the pandemic. We will have details on that as well when we come back.
HOLMES (on camera): India passes another staggering milestone. It is now reporting more than 24 million confirmed COVID infections since the pandemic began. Nearly five million of those cases have been recorded this month alone and we are just two weeks in.
Meanwhile, vaccine still in short supplies. Several Indian states have had to partially suspend their vaccination programs, leaving many scrambling to find a dose.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
So this is definitely a little alarming situation, a frantic situation, and probably a little more -- better logistical better plan should have been done to cover this kind of population.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES (on camera): Now, India's government says it is working to secure an additional two billion doses by the end of the year. CNN senior international correspondent Sam Kiley joins me now live from Delhi. Sam, India is trying to ramp up vaccine production, distribution, but still not enough and those cases and death numbers are still horrific.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they are. If you just take the numbers first, Michael, there was a slight kind of decline in the numbers of known infections, down to about 360 odd thousand new ones in the last 24 hours.
Some 4,000 deaths in both cases, both deaths and infections, of course, but particularly when it comes to infections, that figure essentially reflects only the capacity to test and the desire to test.
There are vast numbers of people here who are infected, who have not been tested indeed. And on top of that, large numbers of people who have died, whose deaths have not been ascribed to COVID-19.
So the official figures, which are not being (INAUDIBLE), they just are the official figures. We've seen the same thing in Europe and the United States, of course, where the levels of infections are actually much higher than those that are actually tested unknown.
But nonetheless, what we do know is that there remains a shortage of oxygen here in New Delhi and in other parts of the country, particularly Uttar Pradesh, but also expanding now into the south where the spread of the spread of the coronavirus continues.
On top of that, the vaccination campaign is running into the sand with shortages of vaccinations really across the whole nation. Nearly three percent of the population, Michael, vaccinated, and the epidemiologists here are hoping that over the next week to 10 days, this latest wave of the pandemic may be cresting. But that may also be wishful thinking.
Of course, there is also deep concern about a third wave, particularly if they can't get the vaccination program going until much later into the year. Michael?
HOLMES (on camera): All right. Sam Kiley there for us live in Delhi. Appreciate it, Sam. Thanks.
Now, residents of Sri Lanka are right now under a nationwide travel ban that will last throughout the weekend. After that, almost all civilian movement will be restricted during overnight hours until the end of the month. This move coming as Sri Lanka saw its largest increase of coronavirus cases on Monday.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has more than 135,000 cases, nearly 900 deaths.
And from Sri Lanka to Malaysia to Singapore to Taiwan, rising COVID cases, lockdowns and quarantine orders are hitting India's neighbors hard. Kristie Lu Stout with the details.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As India's COVID-19 catastrophe worsens, new waves of infection are engulfing south and Southeast Asia. If you look at this, the seven-day average of new coronavirus cases, Asia is the global coronavirus hot spot. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross societies are sounding the alarm. The Asia Pacific director says this -- quote -- "COVID-19 is exploding across much of Asia, overwhelming hospitals and health care."
In Nepal, cases are spiking. COVID-19 patients are begging for oxygen and hospital beds. At least 72 out of Nepal's 77 districts are under full or partial lockdown.
The virus is also threatening Southeast Asia.
LU STOUT: On Monday, the director general of the World Health Organization said that cases and deaths are still increasing rapidly in the region. Cases have been rising in Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Thailand is reporting a record number of cases, including thousands of infections at two prisons in Bangkok.
As cases rise, Malaysia announced a new nationwide lockdown on Monday. All social gatherings are banned, along with interstate and inter district travel.
Taiwan, a pandemic success story, is now dealing with an outbreak linked to China airlines pilots. The island is quarantining all pilots from that airline for 14 days.
Singapore has generally kept the pandemic under control, but it too is managing a COVID-19 cluster linked to staff at Changi Airport. Singapore closed the airport's passenger terminal buildings from Thursday for two weeks. The airport remains open for air travel.
This week, the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 variant first identified in India as a variant of concern, warning that it may be highly contagious. The variant has already spread to 44 countries, including many in south and Southeast Asia, from Bangladesh and Nepal to Singapore and the Philippines. The virus and this new variant of concern have no respect for borders.
Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HOLMES (on camera): And there are many ways you can help people in India cope with this devastating outbreak. Go to cnn.com/impact. You will see plenty of resources there to help you decide how.
Huge announcement in the United States from the CDC: New guidance saying fully vaccinated Americans can now go maskless in most cases, both indoors and outdoors. The major milestone in the gruelling fight against COVID-19 is coming as more people get their vaccines.
Now, as this map shows you there, an average of more than one million Americans had become fully vaccinated each day over the past week. Some good news.
And the shots, well, they seemed to be working. Have a look at the map there of the number of coronavirus cases around the world reported this week compared to the previous week. The U.S. is very much in green.
And let us have a closer look at all of that. The number of new infections has decreased by about 21 percent. That drop prompting the CDC to say that it is okay to ditch the mask.
CNN's Nick Watt with more on this major milestone.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're turning a corner, nearing the light at tunnels, and pick your cliche, it is happening.
Averaging new infections a day near half in the past four weeks which help the CDC make that call. No more masks for the vaccinated, inside or out. Reaction from the New York park --
UNKNOWN: I am so happy. I couldn't wait.
WATT (voice-over): -- to a Chicago restaurant --
UNKNOWN: Well, it's really exciting.
WATT: -- to the Senate floor in D.C. Senator Ernst there pointing to her bare face.
Vaccines are key to our current optimistic trajectory. Hesitancy? Ohio is about to throw a lot of money at the problem.
JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST, DIRECTOR OF CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION PROGRAM AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Only in the United States where we have this massive surplus of vaccines, lifesaving vaccines. Do we have to bribe people to take them?
WATT (voice-over): A shot in Ohio will soon get you a ticket to a weekly draw. The price for teens, a four-year free ride at a state college. For adults, a million bucks.
GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): I know people are going to say, hey, DeWine lost his mind, you know, this is a waste, but what I think is a waste is to have a vaccine that can save people's lives and to have someone die of the COVID because they did not get vaccinated.
WATT (voice-over): Widespread rollout of Pfizer's vaccine in 12 to 15 year olds begins making more things possible for them.
JACOB BALOGUN, RECEIVED COVID-19 VACCINE: Going to school, doing track, meeting new people. So, yeah.
UNKNOWN (voice-over): Are you a social kind of guy?
BALOGUN: I hope so.
WATT (voice-over): So, school for all in the fall?
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I believe the schools should be opened five days, full blast, just the way it was before.
WATT (voice-over): But here is a weird wrinkle, one New York Yankee and seven support and coaching staff already vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson have tested positive for COVID-19.
UNKNOWN: It has been a little bit hectic, but everyone is handling it well.
WATT (voice-over): Only one has symptoms. Such breakthrough infections are very rare.
UNKNOWN: Six of the seven are asymptomatic.
WATT (voice-over): So the evidence, at least, the vaccine works really well at stopping severe disease.
(On camera): Now, in the U.S., you do still need to wear a mask if you are on an airplane. And what officials also said, listen, it is still a personal choice. And if you see someone on the street wearing a mask, don't give them side eye. They are allowed to.
WATT (on camera): Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
HOLMES (on camera): Still to come here on the program, escalating hostilities that no one wants, but no one seems to know how to stop. And, of course, as always, civilians caught in the middle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN (through translator): We need to live here together, coexistence. We need to be together, partners, to be partners to each other.
UNKNOWN (through translator): There is no weed (ph) and there is no work because of war and missiles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HOLMES (on camera): And let's return now to our top story and the possibility Israel might be preparing to launch a ground defense to Gaza in the near future. The Israeli military says no troops are currently inside Gaza, but idea has called up thousands of reserves and is staging heavy armor and troops along the border. Israeli civilians nearby are being told to stay inside their shelters.
Gaza has been under intense shelling for many hours now as the IDF strikes hundreds of suspected Hamas targets. More than 100 Palestinians have been reported killed, including women and children. Many civilians are fleeing for safety to U.N.-operated shelters.
Israelis, of course, have not been spared either. At least seven have been killed by militant rockets that slipped through the IDF's iron dome defense system. The Israeli city of Ashkelon is just up the coast from Gaza and a frequent target. A key position at one of its hospitals says warning sirens are going off constantly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GILI GIVATY, DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR, BARZILAI MEDICAL CENTER: It is very hard to operate hospital like that because even when the physicians and the nurses need to come to the hospital, they need to drive here under fire. Sometimes, (INAUDIBLE) a few times they need to stop of the siren.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES (on camera): This confrontation falls on Eid al-Fitr, of course, the celebration marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. This year, it brought little joy to Palestinians. The Gaza- based Palestine health ministry says Israel's bombing campaign has killed 109 people. They say 28 are children. The bloodshed is shocking and horrifying. Palestinians tell us about the pain in their own words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THURAYA RAMADAN, PALESTINIAN MOTHER (through translator): Our neighbors got hit. My neighbor and her daughter were killed in the conflict. We are very close. We are like one family, so we are very sad. The violence stole the cheer of Eid from the children. They are terrified and panicked.
RABAH AL-MADHOUN, RESIDENT OF DESTROYED BUILDING (Translated): The army called our neighbor and told him you have a minute and a half to evacuate the house. He fled his house screaming and they destroyed the area and all the buildings in the neighborhood. No one had time to leave their house. My cousin and his wife were killed and his son was seriously injured.
BASMAH AL FARRA, GAZA RESIDENT (Translated): This here is not normal. It is an atmosphere of war. Every year, we celebrate Eid. But this year, we will not celebrate because of the war and the martyrs. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Nir Barkat is a former mayor of Jerusalem. He joins me now. And thanks for being with us, sir. I'm curious what your take is on the chances of a full scale war and whether that's something Benjamin Netanyahu wants a ground operation with all the risks that that entails. What do you think is the likely scope of the operation?
NIR BARKAT, FORMER MAYOR OF JERUSALEM: Well, to remind you, Michael, that when Israel left Gaza 15 years ago, we thought that the Palestinians will create the next Singapore of the Middle East. And unfortunately, they've invested all their capital, the donations they receive from the world in targeting Israel, in creating a platform for terrorizing Israel and bombing Israel.
And so, our goal - Israel's goal is to deter them and to make sure that we hit the terrorists in a way that will deter them from targeting innocent civilians in Israel. That's our goal. If we need to put boots on the ground, we will but that's not the target, the target is to deter them from terrorizing Israel.
HOLMES: The funny thing about the deterrent is that, here we are again, this just happens every few years. When it comes to targeting Hamas militants, one apartment building was destroyed, other big buildings as well. I'm just - is there a better way to target specific individuals, rather than taking down entire buildings?
BARKAT: Well, unfortunately, the Hamas has a very, very different approach to the Western world. Israel puts the army between the enemy and the civilians. Hamas targets civilians and hides behind civilians. And so, what they do to protect the terrorists themselves, they move into a civilian building, and they think they're protected.
So what Israel does is warns the civilians, please leave, because we're going to attack and tell them when we will target the infrastructure of the terrorists. And we will do everything we can to pinpoint and target only the terrorists and we don't want to hit any civilians. And that's exactly 180 degrees from what the terrorists do.
HOLMES: There's always a debate at times like this, because they keep happening, about proportionality. Do you do you think the Israeli response is proportional, when you look at the damage done and the casualties caused? Again, is there not a different way?
BARKAT: Well, I remember the United States President say that, when the United States is targeted, they will use - you will use disproportional force to make sure that the enemy understands to deter them from targeting us. So we will use everything we can to make sure that the terrorists pay a heavy price and hit their infrastructure and decrease their motivation to attack Israel. We will do what we need to do with force, with no fear, until the terrorists will understand that it's better to work with Israel versus fight with Israel.
HOLMES: You are a former mayor of Jerusalem, so I wanted to ask you this. Your take on the issues central to all of this, the potential evictions, potential, of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem, and what critics say is a deliberate creeping settler encroachment on East Jerusalem to change the demographics to, if you like, dilute the parent population there in a part of the city that Palestinians would want as capital for their future state. As a former mayor, what do you make of that?
BARKAT: Well, let me make it very clear, Michael. Jews could live anywhere they want in the world. They could live in Atlanta, your hometown, they could live in Damascus, they could live anywhere. Jews, Christians, and Muslims could live anywhere they want. And it's about time that the world stops telling Jews where not to live, especially in their hometown, the capital of the Jewish people, the city of Jerusalem - the holy city of Jerusalem.
You want to tell me that people cannot live wherever they want? Now, in this specific case, it's a civilian case, decided by the courts, the highest Supreme Court of Israel.
HOLMES: I think the Palestinians, I think just to be clear, I think for Palestinians, one of the more galling aspects of what is happening there, and in particular this time the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is the fact that the law allows settlers to claim historical ownership of Arab homes in East Jerusalem.
Palestinians do not have that legal right to claim homes taken post 1948.
Do you think that's fair? Do you think that helps with a cohesiveness of the population in the city?
BARKAT: We have high Supreme Court like in the United States, like anywhere in the Western world. Unfortunately, it's not the same all over here in the Middle East; we're the only democracy. And any dispute goes to the high Supreme Court. So when the high Supreme Court decides that in this case, A will get the house and not B, it has nothing to do with Jewish, Christian, or Muslim. It is a civilian issue, and trying to use a civilian issue to make it political is totally unaccepted. We will act by the civilian - by the high Supreme Court, because we're democracy and law and order is what - we're obliged to law and order.
HOLMES: Yes, I don't think that's the way they see it, but I hear what you're saying. I did want to ask you too about very quickly before we end, this violence that's going on in mixed towns, inter-communal violence is something that we haven't seen before in these sorts of conflicts. How concerning is that in terms of social fabric in these towns?
BARKAT: It is concerning. I am concerned like many of us here in Israel, because we want to have peace between Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Jews in our country like all over the world. And the violence that started by the targets - by the rocket attacks of Hamas by Gaza unfortunately affected some of the Arabs in our mixed cities and towns in Israel. We will have to fight the violence very aggressively. We will not
allow anybody to get away with violence or targeting their neighbors, and we will do everything in our power to restore law and order and living together Jews, Christians and Muslims because that's the right thing to do. We have no choice but to battle these unfortunate incidents.
HOLMES: Worrying times. Nir Barkat, thank you so much, former mayor of Jerusalem, appreciate it.
BARKAT: Thank you very much.
HOLMES: Now, the Duke of Sussex is sharing details about his royal upbringing. Prince Harry appeared on actor Dax Shepard's podcast and shed new light on his separation from the royal family. We'll have the details for you when we come back.
HOLMES: The Tokyo Olympics is supposed to kick off in just over two months, but public pressure to cancel the games is growing as coronavirus cases spike in Japan. An online petition demanding the games get cancelled got more than 352,000 signatures.
Organizers handed it over to the Tokyo governor's office on Friday. And at least 35 host towns have canceled deals to house athletes. But the Olympic Committee says the games will go on for now.
We are getting more insight into what led Prince Harry to leave his native Britain and move to the United States with his wife and young son. The Duke of Sussex spoke on actor Dax Shepard's podcast where he talked about confronting his personal pain. And as Max Foster reports, he's once again tracing those issues back to his royal upbringing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): --thought Prince Harry couldn't lift a lid on British royal life any further comes this analysis of the pain he suffered as he grew up.
VOICE OF PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I don't think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody. But certainly, when it comes to parenting, if I've experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I'm going to make sure that I break that cycle so that I don't pass it on basically.
FOSTER (voice over): Appearing on actor Dax Shepard's podcast called Armchair Experts, the Duke of Sussex spoke of genetic pain, something he says he inherited from Prince Charles, and something he's coming to terms with during therapy.
HARRY (voice over): I never saw it. I never knew about it. And then suddenly, I started to piece it all together and go, OK, so this is where he went to school. This is what happened. I know this bit about his life. I also know that's connected to his parents. So that means that he's treating me the way that he was treated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Exactly.
HARRY (voice over): Which means how can I change that for my own kids? And well, here I am. I've now moved my whole family to the US. That wasn't the plan.
Do you know what I mean? But sometimes you've got to make decisions and put your family first and put your mental health first.
FOSTER (voice over): Harry puts his wild partying days down to childhood trauma, joking about being photographed playing naked billiards. He compared royal life to a mixture between The Truman Show and being in a zoo.
HARRY (voice over): It's the job, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
HARRY (voice over): Grin and bear it, get on with it. I was in my early 20s, I was a case of like, I just I don't want this job. I don't want to be here. I don't want to be doing this. Look what it did to my mum. How am I ever going to settle down and have a wife and a family when I know that it's going to happen again?
FOSTER (voice over): Harry recalls going on a secret supermarket run in the early stages of his relationship with Megan.
HARRY (voice over): The first time that Megan and I met up for her to come and stay with me, we met up in a supermarket in London, pretending that we didn't know each other. So texting each other from the other side of--
HARRY (voice over): --people looking at me, giving all these weird looks and coming up and saying hi, whatever.
FOSTER (voice over): They've since married, relocated to Los Angeles and had one child with another on the way.
HARRY (voice over): So living here now, I can actually like lift my head, and actually I feel different. My shoulders have dropped, so has hers. And you can walk around feeling a little bit more free. I get to take Archie on the back of my bicycle. Now, I've said that, they're probably going to be - but it's like I never had the chance to do that.
FOSTER (voice over): Prince Harry haunted by his past, but now rebuilding his future. Max Foster, CNN, Hampshire, England.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: Thanks for spending part of your day with me. This has been
CNN Newsroom. I'm Michael Holmes. World Sport up after a quick break; I'll see you in about 15 minutes.