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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  July 9, 2014 2:00pm-3:31pm PDT

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the home team in front of fans that wanted world cup redemption and instead got rodney dangerfield's ladybugs. i'm not going to pretend that they helped build arenas and we know sports provide a great escape from real life, but when the extra time expires it might be time for everyone especially you guys in brazil right now, to get a grip. that's it for "the lead." i'm jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer. he's in "the situation room. >> jake, thanks very much. happening now, breaking news. beyond the brink. dozens more rockets are fired from gaza into israel aimed at major cities and at israel's nuclear reactor. while israel pounds palestinian militant targets in gaza where the death toll is growing and where the ground offense of may happen, quote, quite soon. isis in the crosshairs.
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as the brutal jihadist group goes on a rampage in iraq, the u.s. considers a drone strike to take out its leader. and crisis on the border. president obama will talk about it in texas this hour with the texas governor rick perry, but why won't he take a trip to see what's going on firsthand? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room "qwest. -- captions by vitac -- this is cnn breaking news. >> dozens of rocketses rained down on israel today, some intercepted over major cities like tel aviv or in a worrisome new development near israel's desert nuclear reactor at demona, israel is responding. look at this. israel's responding with waves of air strikes, hammering targets linked to the islamist militants of hamas and other
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groups. palestinians say the gaza death toll is now at least 53, many civilians among them. israel warning its operation will intensify until the rockets stop and with 40,000 israeli military reserves potentially on alert, the president of israel tells cnn a ground offensive may happen very soon. ben wiedman is standing by and he's in gaza. i'll talk with a spokesman of israel's prime minister and let's begin with cnn's diana magnate, and she is right near the gaza border. what's the latest? >> reporter: hi, wolf. well, just under a hundred rockets have come in from gaza over the course of the day, and israel has not let up at all on its air strikes of terror targets as it calls them within the gaza strip. in fact, it says it's looking to ramp up that operation, not just to stop the flow of rockets, but
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to really target hamas and damage its capabilities to send out more rockets, rocket terrorism as israel puts it. this is what operation protective edge looks like as it it enters its third day. a hamas commando unit tries to enter israel from the mediterranean sea. stunning newville video released by israeli defense forces shows the attempted assault ending in a blaze of gun fire as five militants are killed. dozens of militant rockets have been fired at israel today, some as far as 140 kilometers over tel aviv and beyond. those threatening civilian populated area intercepted. >> this ceremony was apparently interrupted by an air raid siren, the bride rung down the aisle to seek cover. >> israel may launch a ground invasion continues says shimon
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peres, the country's president. >> tonight there won't be any ground entrance, but it will continue sooner or later this will be the response. >> israelis say they will continue to strike hamas targets inside gaza trying to hit concealed rocket launches and command centers, they call them, mostly homes until they have crippled hamas' capacity to wage in their word, rocket terrorism. this was the home of the senior hamas commander, they say, but defiance from the leader of hamas who blamed israel. >> the palestinian people will not give in, will not surrender. >> reporter: dozens of people have been killed since israeli air strikes started on monday including eight women and 11 children. >> israel maintains that it tries to minimize casualties using telephone warnings and warning shots like this one which caused people to flee this building. this is not the first time hamas and israel have fought, and analysts say previous clashes may have convinced hamas that it
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can win even if it loses. >> in each case, whatever it lost it gained back eventually in terms of reputation, rebuilding leaders and getting more outside support in terms of mono sdpe arms and being able to tighten its control over gaza. >> reporter: here in ashkalon, wolf, over the last couple of hours there have been five or six air raid targets and people are alarmed for those few 30 secondses as they wonder whether to take shelter and then life continues as normal. let's not forget that throughout this barrage of rockets against israel there has been no loss of life, while people in gaza, the palestinians there count the death toll by the hour, wolf? >> diana magnate, along the border in gaza inside israel. thanks, diana, we'll get back to you as israel answers a rocket fire with punishing air strikes, the death toll in gaza is climbing as all these civilians
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are caught in the middle. >> our senior international correspondent ben wiedman is standing by with more from there. >> what's the latest there, ben? >> reporter: wolf, we believe the death toll here has topped 60. there have been a variety of strikes and israeli air strikes in gaza in the last few hours and just about an hour and a half ago, we heard where we are in the middle of gaza city, a large explosion. what happened is a car clearly marked tv was hit by an israeli missile. the driver of that car was killed and several others severely wounded. down the coast at what looked like a cafe on the beach, that was hit. several people were killed in that instance and we've been seeing a steady number of strikes from the far south to the far north all day long. we were in the northern part of the gaza strip. we saw outgoing missiles heading toward israel and israeli
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counter strikes very soon afterward and that's an area where people are livering. we were with the family for a few hours there and they are just living in fear the entire time, but as they pointed out to us they have nowhere to go. there are 15 people in this family and no way they can find a com dayings and like many people here in gaza, they're sitting, praying and hoping this fighting comes to an end as quickly as possible, but it doesn't look like that at the moment, wolf. >> is there anything, as far as you know, ben, behind the scenes that's going that could result in some sort of cease-fire? >> reporter: we have no clear idea about any mediation efforts that might be going on. in november 2012 mohammed morsi, the egyptian president was quite instrumental because he had good relations with hamas, egypt had diplomatic relations with israel and they were speaking with the united states and they were able
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after eight days to work out a cease-fire and now you have a regime in cairo led by president abdel fatah who is quite hostile to hamas, keeping in mind that hamas is the palestinian branch of the muslim brotherhood that he has been cracking down on. so that avenue really doesn't seem to be open and there's no clear effort by any regional or international power to resolve this crisis at the moment, wolf? >> it looks like it's going to continue for some time. our ben wiedman, be careful over there and we'll stay in close touch with you. i just want to alert our viewers. we'll be speaking with benjamin netanyahu's spokesman, but you are looking at a live picture from texas, dallas-ft. worth. the president will be meeting with folks in texas and he is not yet ready to go dunn to the border with mexico where there have been thousands of unaccompanied children who have crossed that border illegally
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into the united states. there is the president. i'm anxious to see if the governor rick perry, the governor of texas is there at the bottom of the stairs to receive the president of the united states and they will be meeting, yes, there he is, there's rick perry, the governor of texas and there is a cordial welcome for the president of the united states and they'll head over to an event where they both will be participating and they'll have an opportunity to discuss this major crisis in the united states right now. tens of thousands of kids unaccompanied, illegally crossing the border. most of them coming in, not from mexico, but coming in from central america, el salvador, honduras, guatemala and other countries and they're making their way and the u.s. is trying to determine what to make of them right now. there you see rick perry, boarding marine 1 and the president of the united states boarding marine one and they'll have an opportunity to speak aboard that brief helicopter flight to their location and then they'll have a bit of a
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formal meeting on what's going on as so many of our viewers know there has been an extreme, extreme difference of opinion, very critical comments from rick perry as far as the president of the united states is concerned on this whole issue of these thousands, of these 60,000 unaccompanied children over the past few months and the u.s. is trying to determine what they're trying to do with them. so there you see marine 1 getting ready to take off and go to the event. it's what's going on. the president of the united states is there. let me bring in our white house correspondent, michelle kosinski who has been watching what's going on. michelle, the meeting with rick perry will be significant. as far as we know, though, the president will still go ahead with his three fund raisers in texas, but will not go down to the border. >> reporter: this has been an interesting little back and forth. in the first place, rick perry wasn't even going meet the president saying a handshake just isn't going to do it. i want to sit down and have a
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substantive discussion about this. the white house didn't really respond to his request, but they instead invited the governor to another pre-arranged meeting and that's where they're headed now and that will be with some community leaders and faith leaders who are focused on this issue. the meeting is happening. it's kind of a compromise, there will be a one-on-one onboard marine 1 and forry has been invited to attend the roundtable discussion. it was like the president saying yes without saying yes to perry's specific invitation. a lot of politics going on here and the president's been asked a couple of times now, governor perry has been one of the president's harshest critics and huge difference of opinion and what will come out of this meeting and surely this is such a big issue and both sides care about it, there must be some common ground, wolf. >> we'll continue to monitor what's going on and see if any public statements are made by rick perry, the governor of texas and president obama. there is marine 1 getting ready to take off.
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>> when we come back, we'll get back to our top story. palestinian rockets intercepted near israel's secret desert nuclear site. i'll ask mark regev what's going on. that's coming up next. >> also, a u.s. ally furious over american espionage and what's more embarrassing, president obama apparently didn't even know about it. the house intelligence committee, mike rogers, he knows what's going on. he's standing by and we'll discuss with him. that's coming up later. kid: hey dad, who was that man?
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let's get back to our top story, the breaking news. israel and gaza right now on the brink of war. israel is warning it will intensify its air strikes until palestinian rockets stop falling. a ground israeli military offensive could, in fact, be imminent. joining me now is mark regev, he's the spokesman for benjamin netanyahu. thanks very much for joining us. the president of israel. >> good to be with you. >> shimon peres spoke with becky anderson and said a ground offensive in gaza, in his word, may happen quite soon. what would trigger that? how close is your prime minister to authorizing a military ground offensive into gaza? >> wolf, we'll do what needs to be done to protect our people, and we've had over the last few weeks literally hundreds of missiles and rockets fired from the gaza strip on our cities and our townships and on our rural communities and it has to stop. if it can stop without a ground offensive, that will be nice,
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but if we need to go in, if that's the only way it can stop the rockets, that's what we'll do. >> it's a-ly populated area, 2 million palestinians crowded interest a small area in gaza. if you sent armored personnel carriers and tanks, what would that accomplish? because you know there will be a lot of innocent civilians that would get killed. >> we don't want to see any innocent civilians get killed and we don't see the people of gaza as our enemy. our enemy are those hamas extremists who target our civilians. i saw your correspondent ben wiedman report earlier today from gaza. the people of gaza didn't want this war either. they're forcing us to respond. let's be clear, wolf. we've seen rockets come into the very heart of israel. they've been shooting them at tel aviv and jerusalem. it's not just a border conflict and what has to be understood is that over the last few years, hamas with the help of iran has built a formidable terrorist
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military regime with thousand of rockets. now we told hamas, we urged them, we warned them, stop shooting the rockets. they didn't pay attention, and now we are acting, the israeli army is in action. we are depleting that supply of rockets. we are dismantling that military infrastructure which ultimately threatens israelis. >> can you do that strictly with these air strikes or will it require from your perspective, a ground invasion? >> it remains to be seen and we're ready for any possible contingency. >> it must be remembered, though. the israeli operation is defensive. our goal is to bring peace and quiet from our citizens. >> victory is peace and quiet. that's our goal, to protect our people and that's what request country would do if terrorists
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were fighting from the wrong deal. what would the united states do, if rockets were being fired from outside the frontier on american citizens. you would also respond. >> some of those palestinian rockets from gaza were aimed at israel's nuclear reactor in the desert. what can you tell us about that? >> i don't specifically know that for a fact. i do know that there were missiles launched on the city of dimona and on cities throughout israel and all of the way up north, if you remember the north north of tel aviv to places like kadera. people think of hamas as a terrorist group maybe with one or two bombs or a machine gun or two. this is a formidable military machine, a terrorist machine and we are acting now to dismantle it. over the years, iran has given millions in financial support and in technical support to build gaza and a formidable arsenal and who has the finger on the trigger in gaza?
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hamas, an extremist group and a fundamentalist group and one of these islamic groups committed to violence and jihad, not so different frommis ice or direct or hezbollah or lebanon and boko haram in nigeria. they are ruthless and they don't have a problem killing civilians. they don't care how many die in their holy war. >> we want to show the videos and they're hamas' commandos and inside, israel, there are reports another beach episode today took place, is that right? >> that's correct. >> israel has been attacked by hamas and gaza from the air through all these missiles and rocket, through the sea, those commandos and those terrorists came through the sea, through the mediterranean in boats from gaza and we also had had an
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attempted attack underground and they've been trying to bring in terrorists that way to israel. hamas is a threat and it must be understood, but anyone who wants to see peace between us and the palestinians, that's what we want. that's what all people of good will want to see is peace and reconciliation, but hamas is the very opposite of that. hamas is a violent and vile terrorist group that says my country has no right to exist and not in any borders and they say any israeli civilian, man, woman and as we saw last week, children, as well are legitimate targets in hamas' war on terror. so israel is perfectly within our rights under international law to defend ourselves against these terrorists. >> mark regev, thanks very much for joining us. he is the spokesman for benjamin netanyahu. >> later, we'll get the other side of the story and my interview with saeb erekat. he'll be part of the special
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situation room report coming up at the top of the hour. saeb erekat will join us exclusively in the next hour. also, will the u.s. assassinate the leader of isis? we're getting new information about a possible targeted killing. stand by for that. plus, a close u.s. ally outraged right now over allegations of spying. did the cia deliberately keep president obama in the dark about this espionage? ring plumb, carpenters and even piano tuners were just as simple? thanks to angie's list, now it is. start shopping online from a list of top-rated providers. visit today.
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isis encite a crisis, their leader could be in the u.s. crosshairs. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr has been digging into this development. barbara, what are you learning? >> wolf, in countries like pakistan and yemen, certainly the u.s. has demonstrated time and again that it can strike militants and kill them using drones. the question now is will iraq be the next front line? >> reporter: isis insurgents taking over iraqi military barracks. disturbing destruction of tombstones at holy sites by isis, but now being the reclusive and violent isis leader abu bakr al baghdadi soon find himself a target? his appearance for the first time at a crowded mosque in northern iraq raising the question why wasn't he killed outright? >> ready to fire.
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>> reporter: cnn has learned the pentagon is considering under what circumstances it would recommend to president obama that al baghdadi be targeted for killing by a missile-equipped drone. >> the the good thing about going after al baghdadi would be it will decapitate isis as we know it. >> the u.s. has had a $10 million reward on his head. >> no one will directly say he is on a kill list, but u.s. officials tell cnn that intelligence is being gathered on so-called high-value targets in iraq. president obama would have to approve any decision to kill al baghdadi. several conditions would have to be met. first, that he poses a threat to the u.s. pentagon officials have said isis does threaten the u.s. embassy and americans in iraq. then would the intelligence be precise enough to target him without risking civilian casualties? militants like al baghdadi know,
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the u.s. will not strike a mosque and would not risk killing large numbers of civilians. more difficult to determine, what would killing al-baghd bag accomplish. >> killing al baghdadi might cause a problem for the leadership of the islamic state, but it's not going stop the movement. people are still going to flock. what might happen is if you kill al baghdadi you might drive people who were sitting on the fence to do just that. >> reporter: now there's no indication a hit to kill mission is imminent, but the u.s. is collecting all of the intelligence it can in iiraq, officials tell us, and u.s. reconnaissance flights over iraq just went out. it was about 25 flights a day and now it's 50 flights a day. >> we'll see what the u.s. president decides to do about this. thank you very much, barbara starr at the pentagon. even as the u.s. weighs the
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target of an enemy, the u.s. has managed to infuriate germany once again upset with the united states over allegations of spying. our senior white house correspondent jim acosta has this report. >> reporter: one week, two different allegation of german spying for the u.s. german prosecutors today said they're investigating a german defense official accused of s s passing secrets to washington after an agent was working for the cia while german chancellor angela merkel. >> translator: it was reports are correct it would be a serious case and if it's true, it would be for mere, a clear contradiction to what i consider to be a trustful cooperation between agencies and partners. >> reporter: her stern warning comes as u.s.-german relations are already shaky after last year's disclosure from leaker edward snowden that the nsa was listening in on merkel's phone calls, making the latest spy controversy more embarrassing is that president obama apparently
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didn't know about it, during a conversation with merkel last week. a white house spokeswoman told cnn the president was not aware of this issue at the time of that call. >> oh, that's a clear-cut mistake on the part of the cia not telling the president, you know? an espionage arrest in germany, you tell him the moment you hear it. >> reporter: former cia operative bob baird said germany's decision to about public with the cases should worry u.s. officials. >> the germans are really, really mad. usually things like this are handled quiet. >> administration officials were frustrated with the cia for not alerting the white house which had to jump into damage control mode? the relationship that the united states has with germany is incredibly important. this is a close partnership that we have on a range of security issues including some intelligence issues. >> reporter: still, the u.s. spies on nearly every country in the world, even allies, even as president obama assured merkel earlier this year that the u.s. is no longer listening in on the
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phone calls and he hinted other forms of intelligence gathering would continue. >> we do not have a blanket, no-spy agreement with any country, with any of our closest partners. >> merkel was hardly satisfied. >> translator: i think the whole debate has shown that the situation is such that we have a few difficulties yet to overcome. >> reporter: with merkel's help crucial to retaining vladimir putin and the violence in ukraine, the question is just how much this new spy story will damage one of the president's most important friendships. jim acosta, cnn, the white house. >> we'll discuss what's going on in this u.s.-german relationship. the allegations of espionage and congressman mike rogers and the chair of the house intelligence committee and he'll join us from capitol hill. also, president obama near the epicenter of the border crisis. should he go down to the border and see it firsthand. we're live in texas with del tails of this meeting with one
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>> both sides fired up today. the president is in texas and not at the border, but meeting with community leaders and one of his toughest critic, the texas governor. today the justice department moved more resources to the border. the much bigger question is will congress even approve that nearly $4 billion the president is asking for to deal with this long-term problem. >> reporter: today far from the border in denver, president obama did address the the immigration crisis in a slam on republicans. >> congress just said no to fixing our broken immigration system, in a way that strengthens our borders and our businesses, despite the fact that everybody from law enforcement to corporations, to evangelicals, there is a coalition around immigration reform that's unprecedented and these guys still can't get their act will together. >> reporter: the administration defends itself. >> the whole federal government is all over this situation. >> it is true, they tried to get out ahead of the problem in may, mobilizing resources, but on
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capitol hill today republicans were furious, as the president continues to not plan to see the border situation himself, the thousands of children in temporary shelters -- >> the root cause literally is we have got to stop incentivizing parents and other immigrants coming into this nation. >> reporter: they're blaming obama for not only failing to prevent this, based on sharply rising numbers of unaccompanied minors starting around 2012 and exploding this year. governor perry down in texas warned the white house about this specific issue two years ago, but they're also saying the president's sudden granting some amnesty to kids brought here illegally years ago by their parents is a cause. >> it is the disaster that is a direct consequence of president obama's lawlessness. the direct predictable, foreseeable, consequence of granting that amnesty as the number of children unaccompanied children immediately began to skyrocket. >> reporter: the congressional anger out there includes wanting
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to see more border security, the same thing the white house blames them for holding up and not passing immigration reform, but even some democrats now are balking and that's showing president obama the money he's asking for. >> what i'm going to be focused on is accountability, who is in charge and what the plan is and who will be held responsible before we spend $3.7 billion. so we've got a lot more questions to be answered before i think we run too far ahead. >> today the white house says it needs more detention facilities and thinking on using ankle bracelets to make sure they show up for hearings, a big problem and democratic senator menendez spelled out the politics of it it this way and said his republican friends in congress can't have it both ways and you can't threaten to sue the president and criticize for taking action when you don't take action on immigration yourselves. he called that totally and transparently political. >> wolf? >> michelle kosinski at the
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white house, thanks very much. let's go to dallas. cnn's ed lavandera has been covering the story for us for a long time. what's the latest there, ed? what are you seeing, what are you hearing? >> we just saw marine 1 land here behind this building where president obama, rick perry and other leaders in the dallas area will be meeting. president obama just shuttled over from dfw airport and had had a one-on-one meeting on marine 1. rick perry met the president at dfw and they met privately in the chopper ride over to love field airport where we are and that took a little less than 15 minutes and now they're inside. we are told they do have the opportunity to continue their one-on-one dialogue inside the building behind me, but we're still waiting on updates on what was said we're told, and the president may have to make comments with various community leaders in dallas that are discussing the immigration crisis issue and they'll
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continue to strip through texas, wolf? >> are they letting cameras in there and will we see live in this exchange the president has with these faith leaders and the governor? >> reporter: we won't see it live. we will have some video to share here shortly. the traveling news media pool that travels with the president is in the process of doing that and we'll be trying to turn around that video for you as quickly as we can, but that is -- that is in the works, but it will not be live. the entirety of the meeting will not be transmitted so we'll have a very short glimpse into what is going on behind closed doors here independent. >> just a little photo op, as they say, thanks very much, ed lavandera on the scene. let's dig a little deeper. he's a former presidential adviser on latin america's contributor to cnn enespanol, and the republican strategist anna nava are on and kate lincecum of the los angeles
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times. she's covered these stories for a long time. you worked, dan, for president obama is he making a mistake by not actually going down to the border? i spoke to henry cuellar, from the border area. he's got three fund raisers and why not see first hand these unaccompanied young kids and what they're going for. >> it's not a matter of understanding or not understanding, i think the president understands very well what these kids are going through and as you well know the president showing up somewhere is awfully disruptive. we need people working the problem and i don't think the president is making a mistake and he'll be criticized if he went and he'll get criticized if he doesn't go. >> do you think he's making a mistake? >> i do. i think it could be used a chance to be a bully pulpit and to the parents sending these kids. that being said i'm not going to fixate on that because i think it's very much time to stop wagging the fingers at each other and to stop the partisanship and stop the blame
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game. here we need the feds, we need the border state governors and the govern am ments of the regi and we need republicans and democrats to work together to address what is a critical situation going right now. >> is there a way out of this, kate? because it looks like the two sides are so far apart right now, you've been covering this immigration crisis for a long time. >> well, it's interesting, i mean, it's just become such a politicized issue that it seems like every option that the government chooses to deal with this crisis it gets met with resistance. you saw that last week here in california when the government started sending some of these families who couldn't be housed at the border because there wasn't room into the interior u.s. to start processing them there. in california in the town of murrieta, those immigrant busses were turned away by protesters who said we don't want them here. so it's incredibly polarizing and it makes it difficult for
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peel like president obama. >> you worked for the president on these kinds of issues, what can he do right now especially if congress doesn't appropriate the nearly $4 billion funding request he's put forward. >> the president and the administrations will move and they can out of the existing base. >> they could change the 2708 law which has complicated the decision -- >> that requires congress as well. >> does the president want to change the law? >> i don't think so. i think he wants more discretion. >> because dianne feinstein says he has discretion. >> there is a debates to whether he as has the discretion to do this. there's a very careful balancing act, being a compassionate nation and one that controls its immigration system. it is a really tough issue that
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will take a lot of conservative work here in the united states and as anna pointed out in the region, itself. >> of course -- >> there is a different standard for mexican unaccompanied children who get into the united states or canadian unaccompanied children, for that matter as opposed to honduras, el salvador and guatemala. >> the mexican kid gets immediately deported right away. no court hearings or nothing. on the other hand, if you're from central america you go before a judge and it's mexico, the bottom yes, he want wants to change this law and there's a lot of consensus that these kids should be repatriated in order to send a message to the region and the question is do we have the stomach to do that? does this president and does this country have the stomach to do that? to start filling up planes with the kids and returning them to a very volatile, violent region where we know there's gang
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violence and we know there's insecurity. >> it's an important issue. >> kate, in los angeles, we are now hear anding you can update us on this, this is on a development that is raising out there. >> l.a. police said they not going to heed the requests of the federal government to stop these kinds of deport eggs. >> what's going on in l.a.? >> the los angeles police departments joined counties like television and they would no longer offer i.c.e. hold arrests. they've made an effort to identify people who are already in the legal justice system. people who are in jails to target those people for deportations and the main way that they've apprehended immigrants has been through jails and counties after people serve their sentence, i.c.e. asks the police department in this case to hold those immigrants there for up to 48
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hours. for a long time the l.a.p.d. and other agencies did that, now they're saying they're not going to do that because they think that they may be liable for holding people beyond, you know, serving their time. >> i.c.e. being immigration and customs enforcement agency. >> is the l.a. police not going to honor a federal law? >> this is underscoring how broken the overall immigration system is right now. this is an indication and both the tradition of using local law enforcement as holders of first resort of undocumented immigrants who are in the deportation process and also that now you're getting the state and local entities that said no. you're seeing in the opposite extreme and you've seen it in arizona and state and local officials trying to be tougher and it underscores the immigration system isec broen and the immigration system needs to be fixed and it can only be fixed if democrats and republicans can work together in washington and congress to fix it. >> the president of the united states getting out of marine
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one. rick perry running for the vice presidential nomination. i don't know if you said some ground up. >> and the president has said fairly fasty things about republicans upon. get over it. we have a crisis at hand and they've got a duty to this country to secure the border, but also to be the moral country that we are and they've got to do it. >> can they do something, cothey do com pro hencive immigration reform before the november election? >> you know, i have been the last one to declare it dead, but i think not. when you have john boehner and congressman luis gutierrez and you have the president declaring it dead. >> it could be resurrected in the moment. if john boehner shows the leadership to put this in front of the house, and they don't exist the majority of republicans in the house don't support it, but the majority of the house and a little bit of leadership from john boehner
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would go a long way. >> you're in california, murrieta, there were protesters who didn't want the the kids to be held at least temporarily. what's going on in terms of the angry reaction that we saw of some of these demonstrators? >> plane loads of kids and they're mostly mothers continue to arrive from texas. currently, they're being bussed to border patrol processing stations not in murrieta. they haven't yet successfully transported immigrants there because you've seen every time they try really large protests by people who are upset that obama, you know, hasn't in their minds done a better job of securing the border and those protesters have vowed to continue this protest and take it across the country in the coming weeks. >> i think their situation has made the prospect of comprehensive immigration reform
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because emotions are going way up and frank le, wooey can sit here and spew out the statistics about. how so much border, i'm sure the president looks back and regrets the fact the first two years of his administration when there was a democratic malm orjority e senate and a majority in the house, he didn't push. >> if you could do more than one thing at a time. >> he did more than one thing in those two years and certainly the president wants to see immigration reform and it shouldn't have been just when it was controlled by democrats. this is something that rick perry's predecessor, then governor george w. bush and president obama supported, pushed and the republican party has lost its way on this issue and if it can find the agree with annie, the emotions are really high. >> i don't know if the president
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regrets having done it the first two years. i sure as week regret it. >> i know you do. >> we have more to discuss, anna, dan ask kate. we'll continue our conversation. israel and hamas escalating to new deadly levels. is an israeli invasion of gaza imminent? a situation room special report coming up at the top of the hour.
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frankly my republican friends can't have it both ways. they can't criticize the president, in fact, sue the president for abusing his
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executive authority and at the same time come to this floor and criticize him for a lack of leadership when they won't even cast a vote. that is nothing if not totally and transparentally political. >> senator bob menendez, anna, does he have a point? >> there's a lot of frustration going on. particularly these eight guys and bob menendez was part of that gang of eight that put so much time and so much on the line to get an agreement to see it go nowhere, there's a lot of frustration on both sides. what you're seeing as my friend bob, venting. >> how much frustration is there within the white house right now on this issue? they must be totally upset about how it's unfolding. >> there's a significant amount of frustration. they saw this coming that they have been pushing for reform. they need a system that works and this is a system that doesn't work. there's a lot of frustration with our central american partners and their inability to e get ahead of the economic
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problems that have plagued central america for a long time that are now manifesting. >> is there something the president could say that could ease the crisis? >> part of it is the message he's been out with is not sending these kids. and getting the resources he needs to be able to start sending kids back in a more expedited fashion. this is a very tough balancing act. >> he needs to clarify and make it perfectly obvious that these kids that are coming do not fall under the current executive action. he needs to say that over and over again. >> let me ask kate because she's been reporting on this. these parents who send their kids unaccompanied from let's say honduras or guatemala through mexico all the way to the united states and these whoever is taking them, they get paid $5,000 a head, do their parents think once they get across the border they are free
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and clear to live a wonderful life in the united states? >> well, we're hearing those are the rumors circulating in the central american countries. you basically get amnesty when you're crossing the border. interestingly, if you look at what's happening, that's almost the case. you have such overcrowded border facilities there that these kids and their parents, if they have parents with them, are being released sometimes just 24, 48 hours after they turn themselves into border patrol authorities and are just given a notice to appear at a later date in immigration court. >> hold on a second. we have to take a break right now. we're standing by to hear the president of the united states. thanks very much. we're following also the breaking news, coming up next, new rocket fire, fresh air strikes, hamas stepping up their
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start your free trial today. -- captions by vitac -- happening now, a situation room special report. the breaking news, new targets in the exploding warfare between israel and hamas fighters. we have new video of a gunfight and new confirmation they have tried to storm an israeli beach again. israeli troops are ready to roll into gaza. an invasion could happen very soon. the spokesman for the israeli
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military is standing by. i'll also speak with the palestinian negotiator about the rising death toll and whether either side can pull back from the brink of full scale war. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." >> this is cnn breaking news. rockets have been raining down on israel. gaza militants firing near a nuclear reactor. a top official confirmed another gunfight close to the area that they stormed yesterday. two armed militants were reportedly killed. the israeli military is warning the attacks must stop now or hamas will face an intense ground military offense i-ive in the coming days, maybe even the coming hours.
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the united states is appealing for calm as a critical and volatile region threatens to explode. we have a team of correspondents standing by. they are in the hot spots of this conflict. an attack could happen at any moment. let's go to our senior international correspondent ben wedeman. ben? >> yes, wolf, we have seen a variety of strikes this evening. one on a cafe where apparently people were watching the world cup, according to reports from there, five people dead. just up the street from here, a couple hours ago we heard a loud blast. apparently it was a car being driven by somebody for a local tv network. the car was clearly marked. the driver was killed. several bystanders were wounded. now today we had an opportunity to go. north from here very close to the border with israel where we met a family living on the front
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lines. the attacks on both sides are relentless. dozens of hamas rockets firing deep its israel targeting major cities. commandos storming an israeli beach and dieing in a shootout. the israeli military releasing this dramatic new video. the israelis air defenses are up stopping many but not all of the incoming rockets. they are expanding their offensive in gaza right now pounding more than 500 hamas targets so far. explosions lighting up the gaza skyline day and night. israeli tanks are massing at the gaza border. 40,000 troops are on standby. it acknowledges that a ground invasion could begin at any moment. >> i'm not going to tell you when and where, but that's the
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logical conclusion. it may happen quite soon. >> reporter: it's a deadly cycle of violence and bloodshed escalating by the hour. medical sources in gaza say more than 60 palestinians have been killed, 11 were children, 1 just a baby. >> if the israelis continue their attacks, the palestinian people will defend themselves. all the palestinians. >> reporter: this family lives in northern gaza near the israeli u border. these boys have heard outgoing missiles before, but they are still not used to it. i asked their mother how she deals with the racket of war outside. do the children cry? no, i'm the one who cries for
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them, she says. they don't understand. israelis are in anguish too. a wedding, apparently disrupted when air raid sirens blare. more than 3 million civilians at risk of attack and living in fear. and wolf, what we're seeing here in gaza also more than a million palestinians fearing attack. many of them now staying inside, stores are closed, people are really avoiding going out. the feeling is there's more and worse to come. >> i suspect they may be right. ben wedeman in gaza. a few miles north of where ben is now on the other side of the border, that's where dianna is standing by u. i suspect there's a lot of tension where you are as well. >> there is tension here also, wolf. we're hearing in the last couple
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hours there was a barrage of rock rockets all in one effectively heading east from the gaza strip. now seven of those were intercepted. also a little south from here, that beach where yesterday command from hamas swam to shore. we're being told an israeli media is reporting there's another operation. also mentioned to you what we can see from here is that we have flairs up in the sky alum nating the ground below. they wouldn't give us any further details of it, but where milita militants could come ashore before they could come ashore. again, it gives you a sense of how aggressive hamas is being with its rocket fire, with it's attempt at incursions into israel. and clearly from the israeli perspective, they have moved from a situation last week where they said they would meet quiet
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with quiet. hamas must pay the price for this new rocket attacks into israel. whether it uses ground forces now it's clearly the key question. public opinion is largely behind this operation as it now stands, but you can be sure if it drags on, if ground forces become involved on the ground and if israeli soldiers are killed, then public opinion may start to swing the other way, wolf. >> we'll see what happens in the coming hours. dianna magday, be careful over there. hamas has been warned and israeli ground forces are ready to roll into gaza. becky is joining us from jerusalem. i take it this ground invasion could happen literally at any moment. >> yeah, he certainly didn't
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rule it out being imminent although he didn't say when he expect ed it to start. i spoke to a number of people part of the defense force tonight. a spokesman for benjamin netanyahu. there's no sense that there is a definitive time here. i'm in jerusalem tonight and i have to say this is a fully functioning city i drove through today with the interview earlier on. it is quiet. it is 1:00 in the morning. but behind closed doors, there's clearly tension here. this time last night, a barrage of rockets coming into or just outside of jerusalem. three of those were intercepted by the military defense system, but two of them landed just about 20 kilometers away from here. i'm just at the entrance to jerusalem here in the bureau. so clearly some concern. when residents here see the sort of images that has been reported on, there are concerns.
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how did he explain what might happen next, this is what he said. >> the world should expect to see a ground offensive at any time. if called up reservists. >> we'll do whatever we can do. so we wait. we didn't start the war today. they started it. and they continue and they spread the fire. >> how long will israel wait? >> until we should reach a conclusion that it should be the next step. it may have been quite soon. >> so obviously the situation is extremely tense. becky anderson, standby. there's a lot happening right now. the air strikes are escalating.
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a ground offensive, as you just heard, could be next. i'll ask a top spokesman for the israeli military what it will take to give those troops marching orders to move into gaza. >> and i'm about to speak live with the top palestinian negotiator. we'll get his response. we'll talk about the threat of an imminent ground attack in gaza. both sides are standing by as this breaking story unfolds. c'mon, you want heartburn? when your favorite food starts a fight, fight back fast, with tums. heartburn relief that neutralizes acid on contact. and goes to work in seconds. ♪ tum, tum tum tum... tums! ...and let in the dog that woke the man who drove to the control room [ woman ] driverless mode engaged. find parking space. [ woman ] parking space found. [ male announcer ] ...that secured the data that directed the turbines that powered the farm that made the milk
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back to our special report. israel under attack by hamas rockets and now threatening to invade gaza. israeli air strikes continuing
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now. let's get the latest from colonel peter lerner is joining us from jerusalem. a quick question on the hamas rocket attack. was it directly aimed at the nuclear facilities? is that what we're hearing? >> good evening, wolf. israel over the course of the day has been exposed to about 90 rockets launched at several locations throughout the country. the farthest they have reached is almost -- they are trying to make a statement there. if they have the range to reach there, they can reach the midst of the town. they could reach anywhere in the immediate vicinity basically putting over 3 million israelis under direct threat of hamas rockets. >> i raised the questions of
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damona, how close did the rocket get? >> there were some rockets that were launched in the direction of the city. they were intercepted by the iron dome and back to normal. >> how close are you to moving ground forces into gaza? we know that israel is continuing its air strikes. what about moving carriers into gaza? is that about to happen? >> the israeli defense forces on the border with gaza today have reached a level of about three brigades, infantry, and also artillery as well as special forces. indeed we are taking all of the necessary steps in order to be prepared if that is required. we don't want to go there. we are taking the steps. hope is not a method. we have to be prepared for that escalation. the rockets are still coming
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over from gaza. we are trying to control that. we are trying to take out the rocket launching capabilities. we're trying to strike the command and control facilities of hamas. it's a tough question. we have to be patient. this is a clear design crafted mission. it's not something we're just doing out of a gut reflex. i think a great credit goes to the iron dome missile defense system that actually gives that ability to the decision makers here to our leadership to sit back, look at the situation, and judge what is best for israel. >> lieutenant colonel peter lerner, we'll stay in close touch with you. thank you for joining us. let's get the other side right now. the chief palestinian negotiator is joining us from the west bank. he's joining us on the phone
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right now. what is the latest? how can this be ended and both sides go back to a cease fire. what is being done? i believe the palestinian authority has an opportunity to get involved and tell the israelis to stop. >> yes, wolf, that's what's happening. secretary general he's in touch. and he's in touch with the american administration. the only way to begin a deescalation for both sides is to restore that between the suicides. >> last time that agreement was achieved, the president of egypt was in charge. he had good relations with hamas. the new leadership in egypt doesn't have good relations with
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hamas. that's why a lot of us are looking to your president, maybe he can do it. give us a tick tok. tell us what he's trying to do. >> he's trying to restore the cease fire, wolf. i think egypt can play an important role to obey the cease fire. it's in the interest of the whole region. so far in gaza, 61 people have been killed including 18 children. i think this cycle of violence was not necessary. we urge the international community to stop israel from moving on the ground, to stop the escalation and the only way is to appoint zero hour for both sides to stop attacking each other. it can be done. the u.n. must be involved. they are leading all the effort
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with the secretary general of the u.n. and every effort is being used to begin this deescalation effort. we will all want good. >> here's the question r you also in touch with the prime minister, your counterpart, on these peace negotiations? is there a dialogue going on through you, through the palestinian authority to reach some sort of cease fire? >> unfrptly, not. . we are not at this stage anger and mistrust between the two sides is so high. that's why we need the intervention of a fair party and we're urging all those countries who can excerpt their effort now to restore the agreement reached in november 2012, i think it's
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in the interest of all parties to stop this escalation. >> do you believe that if hamas stops firing rockets the israeli will stop their air strikes? >> that's when i meant when i said we need for both sides to be committed. i don't think it's in israel's interest to have further escalation. it's not in their interest to gaza. this will just add fuel to the fire. what we need is to stop it, restore the agreement and then to begin a serious dialogue of how to end the situation. this occupation must come to an end. e we need to restore the negotiation. we need to restore sanity, we need to get to the point where we can achieve a solution because this is the only way to provide israelis and palestinians. >> anything the obama administration or the president can do right now that you want them to do? >> absolutely.
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i think they can do a lot, and i think they are. the 2012 agreements, we need the offices and influences. we can do it all together. i spoke to secretary kerry last night. many european officials and hopefully we can succeed. >> i hope so too. we'll continue this conversation hopefully tomorrow. tha thanks very much. hopefully it will be under better circumstances but we shall see. let's get some perspective from the historian who is the author of the important book "the stakes: america and the middle east." we have covered these kinds of horrible stories over the years. is there a way out right now? >> yes, there is a way out. in part because i think neither side really fully wants an escalation.
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initially, both hamas and certainly the israeli prime minister tried to tone it down. it was an emotional environment in which this happened where you had the killing of both sides, raw feelings. it happened at a time i happened to be there when these boys were abducted. i was in jerusalem and my feeling was it was 1987 all over again. the reason for it is, they felt they were being ignored. everybody is preoccupied with their own issues. and the leaders will lose contact with the public. the authority and hamas were feeling a little irrelevant. >> did this explode right now in part because the u.s. led peace process ended? >> yes, but let me just say this. it's not because the u.s. tried and failed. the u.s. extended the hope a little longer. we have seen the polls before the u.s. even started when
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people were saying to john kerry, why are you doing this? both in the israeli had given up on the peace process. so i think the administration ought to be commended for trying. >> unfortunately it didn't work out. thank you very much. we'll continue our conversation as well. just ahead, what, if anything, can the united states realistically do to stop the attacks, the bloodshed? what's going on? the stakes are high. so are the frustrations in the white house. moderate to severe crohn's disease is tough, but i've managed. ♪ i got to be pretty good at managing my symptoms, except that managing my symptoms was all i was doing. ♪ when i finally told my doctor, he said my crohn's was not under control. ♪ he said humira is for adults like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. and that in clinical studies,
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a new plea today from the
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united states for the israelis and the palestinians to deescalate tensions in gaza and the attacks threatening civilians on both sides that maybe all the obama administration is prepared to do at least now after so many years of dashed hopes and failures in the middle east. here's our foreign affairs reporter a lease lavin. >> reporter: the u.s. hope the force would be enough to full both sides back from the brink. >> it's not a surprise they are taking steps to prepare themselves, but certainly our preference is to deescalate the situation. >> reporter: in an op-ed in a newspaper, president obama called for an end to the cycle of violence writing all parties must protect the innocent with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution. it's a familiar scenario, but with a new twist. hamas, a terrorist group, is part of the palestinian
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government now. raising the question, what role can the u.s. play in stopping the conflict from escalating and did it play a role in starting it by pushing the parties into peace talks. >> when you raise expectations, when you see a huge investment by the united states, when you take parties to the top of a mountain and the top of the mountain turns out to be a valley and a pretty dark valley, then there are implications and consequences. >> reporter: ten months of shuttle diplomacy by john kerry ended in april with the collapse of peace talks causing the lead negotiator to leave. the very group israel is now targeting. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has vowed not to sit at the peace table as long as hamas is in the government. >> i don't think unless you got a profound change on hamas's
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views that hamas is going to be an acceptable partner. certainly not for the united states. >> reporter: u.s. officials say their current focus is not restarting peace talks, rather than to stop the cycle of violence, but they point out that without a functioning peace process, there's a vacuum and thus the potential for the kind of violence we're seeing now. >> as far as you know, are there any plans for the secretary of state john kerry to go to israel, to meet with the leaderships? >> right now, no. certainly he's on the phone, he's been on the phone constantly with prime minister benjamin netanyahu. he's planning to talk to leaders in the next 24 hours, but it's not the same as when the u.s. negotiated that cease fire with the egyptians in 2012 if you remember because that's egyptian government president morici tied to the muslim brotherhood was closer to hamas. you see an egyptian government.
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and really it's unclear what the u.s. can do at this point. certainly just urging calm. >> thanks very much. remember you can always follow what's going on on twitter. tweet me r or tweet the show. please be sure to join us tomorrow. watch us live or dvr the show. thanks very much for watching. i'm wolf blitzer. now let's step into "the crossfir crossfire." president obama is taking a brief time out from his busy fundraising schedule to focus on the border crisis. >> moat republicans and democrats can't focus on the name calling. the debate starts right now. tonight on "crossfire", the crisis at the border. are children suffering as washington plays politics? >> congress just said no to fixing our broken immigration system. >> so cruel. >> on the left, van jones,