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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Officials: Israel Requests Precision-Guided Bombs And Interceptors From U.S.; Families Desperate To find Missing Festival Goers Who Were Taken Hostage By Gaza Militants; Israel Official: Hamas Has Fired 4,000 Plus Rockets At Israel; IDF Spokesman: More Than 700 Killed In Israel Since Hamas Surprise Attack, Israel Declares War. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired October 08, 2023 - 22:00   ET



GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: But the most difficult kind of operation that any kind of mounted force conducts with the requirement to know the intelligence of what's happening above the ground and below the ground and then you add to that toxic stew.

The fact that there's going to be hundreds of casualties and some hostages in that area that you have to avoid killing, that really takes a whole lot of strength on the commander's point. First of all, to plan and conduct the operation, but also on the politician's part of telling the commanders.

Here's what we want you to do. And here are the kinds of risks we want you to take. This is going to be a very difficult operation, and certainly the anxieties and the emotions are stoked. So that's going to play a part in how the Israeli Defense Forces goes in to the Gaza when they do and we're certain that they probably will.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: General Mark Hertling, I appreciate your time tonight. It is hard to put into words the horror from what took place in that music festival in Israel, those killed more than 260 according to Israeli authorities, others abducted we don't know the actual number yet young people running for their lives, many of them not making it out.

In our next hour, we're going to hear from young woman whose boyfriend managed to get out of the danger only to turn back wanting to help others. He headed back into the brutal scene. And he is now missing.



COOPER: It is early morning in Tel Aviv nearly 48 hours into the war that Hamas launched by surprise against Israel. And at the very start where Israel's Prime Minister today warned will be a long and difficult fight against Hamas. There's little doubt about that. It is a battle being waged right now in the sky as over Israel in other locations within rocket range of Gaza. Israel's Iron Dome system has been engaging incoming targets. You hear that from time to time here in Tel Aviv, right in the last few hours, it's just been a distant boom, far off but closer to the border obviously, much more noticeable. According to an IDF spokesman just a moment ago, the effort now just is getting underway with the aim of disarming Hamas as a fighting force.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Anderson, complicating that effort of course, Hamas is also claiming to have taken more hostages today and now claim that they have more than 100. Some of them had taken from a desert Music Festival near the Gaza border Saturday morning, the scenes of ordinary Israelis and citizens from all over the world celebrating the peace and the end of the fall holidays.

Then being chased and fired upon with nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. And one of the most searing images that we have seen since the attack began. We just got new video from that speech, that scene that speaks to the deadly chaos. Abandoned cars spread across the roadside shot up burned out.

In all we're told upwards of 260 bodies have now been recovered from just the festival site alone. The attack on it, of course is part of a coordinated wave of strikes in Hamas is initial assault on Israeli border locations. Some of them even came by paraglider but all of it was nearly a total surprise.

COOPER: Yes, it has left this country in a state of shock. There's no doubt about it. This is a country of people who have seen so much and have gotten used to so much rockets coming in. This is different. The last time Israel faces surprise attack of such magnitude was in 1973, 50 years ago, almost to the day before Saturday's first strike.

More than 700 Israelis have now been killed that number may grow, they're still finding people. 400 Palestinians for Americans to from Ukraine, American naval and air forces are heading into the region and giving Hamas as long standing ties with Iran. Any evidence of Iranian involvement or complicity obviously threatens to widen the conflict. There's a lot to cover tonight.

COLLINS: Absolutely. And of course the people are at the forefront of this and we're learning more about those who were at that music festival, the nova music festival and are still missing tonight. Many of them were taken hostage or murdered as they desperately tried to escape.

What was supposed to be a night of dancing and revelry? Earlier I spoke with Jessica Miranda, whose boyfriend Ben Shimoni was at the festival and is now missing.


COLLINS: Jessica, let me first off say I'm so sorry for what you have been through. Can you just kind of walk us through what happened and when you realize that something was wrong?

JESSICA MIRANDA, BOYFRIEND MISSING AFTER MUSIC FESTIVAL ATTACK: Well, I realized it from early morning like 6:30 when, like everything got crazy already everywhere, not only where my boyfriend was. But the first, we were talking all the time he went to the party where the area of a lot of people injured and went out from the party.

He got to he saved five people that he don't know. He came back to the party and all this time everything was fine. We talked everything was OK. He was on the way back to me. He picked more people he saved more people. He said five people, he came back to take more people that he doesn't know.

He know, only one girl from there. And when he went out I was calling him we were speaking on the phone. And everything was OK until I heard noise like suddenly screaming, panic, and running. I didn't hear any shooting but I heard screaming in the back. The girls were shouting to my boyfriend and he was the driver. Go, go, go, go like quick like somebody's running after them. Go, please go.

COLLINS: When you had been talking to him in those previous calls and he said he was going back he was helping save people.


Did he tell you what he was seeing? I mean the reports and another, what we've heard from other festival goers is just mean that gunmen were essentially coming from every direction and just executing people that they assault?

MIRANDA: The thing is, afterwards, he didn't tell me that he said, everything's OK want to do like, everything's OK. I'm here, I'm saving people coming, don't worry, I'm on the way. But afterwards, I talked with his friend who was there with him. And they're saying a different story.

They saying, we were shooting them. And before he saved those people, so he wants I think he just, this is the person he's a hero. He always is thinking about people before himself. This is Ben Shimoni and that's the thing. I think he realized what's going on. And he still kept doing it, because afterwards, after our last call, one of the girls called her mother.

I don't know how, what happened? We have no clues, clues that we're putting together. She called her mother and she said they're shooting us. Somebody's shooting us, please help us. And then half an hour later, one of the other girls called her mother, and said. Oh, she said were injured.

Police were injured. I don't know what to do. She said all of them were injured in the car and from that moment, when that phone has ended, nothing. We don't know anything. We don't know what happened with them. If they're OK, we know they're injured. Nobody came to take them on time.

We have no idea how this story is going to end. But we are praying that something's going to happen. Because, you know, he's a hero.

COLLINS: And so those were those were two of the girls that he had gone back to get and that he was taking out with him. I mean, clearly, I mean, just to hear what he was doing. The fact that he went back into danger to save other people just speaks to him. But I mean, can you just kind of describe what he's like, you know, what you want people to know about him.

MIRANDA: He's a very special person. Everybody who heard the story that he came back and the risk himself said this is so bad. Like there's nobody was shocked from it. Everybody was like, why did it but if you already saved people way to come again, you did your thing. OK.

You save people, good job for you. But actually be is. I'm talking about him as it is. To me hope you will come back to me.

COLLINS: I mean, he sounds like a very special person. Have you heard anything from anyone in the government or the military or even the organizers of the festival, Jessica?

MIRANDA: Nothing, the organizers of the festival then posted their numbers if anybody needed help. But, you know, not a lot of luck with this. The police did answer finally but like, there was a big chaos. So it's the first time I can remember that something like that. Like there's nobody to talk with nobody to ask for help.

You're calling police. You're calling the ambulance. You're calling everybody you can have help from and everybody is OK, thank you. We got your information, but they're not talking to you for many hours in more than a day already so.

COLLINS: And this is just a festival where I mean, it's predominantly young people that go to have fun to have a good time and just to see it. Now be turned into this where you know, the latest number that we heard from Israeli rescue operation was that they had recovered over 250 bodies at the scene of the festival.

MIRANDA: I didn't want it to watch any videos people got videos from the scene over there. I just can't this is too much to see. I think this is just too much. But yes, it was a regular festival. Nobody was supposed to think about something like that. Young people want to have fun music and come back but it turned up, terror movie.

COLLINS: Jessica, we're thinking of you and obviously praying for you and the Ben Shimoni is found and I'm really grateful that you came on to talk about this in such a difficult time.

MIRANDA: If somebody knows anything, I would be happy to hear he was wearing a white t-shirt, black pants and black shoes.


He has tattoos on his hands and we love him and we miss him already. So we don't want to miss him anymore. So please, if somebody knows anything, please let us know. We need Ben back. We need him back. I need him back.

COLLINS: Jessica, thank you so much.

MIRANDA: Thank you.


COOPER: It's extraordinary. I want to go next to Ashkelon. Kaitlan, which came under rocket attack tonight. Our Clarissa Ward is there. Clarissa, what have you been seeing tonight?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson honestly, it really hasn't stopped. We've been here about five or six hours now. Drones overhead jets overhead, large thuds coming from that direction, the sky glowing orange, those are strikes on the Gaza Strip.

And in addition to that, as you mentioned, when we were arriving, I don't know if you can hear that in the distance. The microphone doesn't pick it up. But they're loud and they're constant. As we were arriving, huge barrage of rockets, most of them intercepted by the Iron Dome.

Although not all of them, at least two did make impact, one allegedly hitting a bus stop the other hitting a building near to hear the streets, not just because it's the middle of the night. But because people are frightened and they're sheltering in place are completely empty of human life, everyone waiting to see what tomorrow will bring?

What the next few days will bring? And really no sense of clarity as to what that might look like Anderson.

COOPER: Of course, I talked to a spokesperson for the IDF a short time ago and they said, point blank, Israel is not in full control of its own territory along the border. He believed that some of the fighting that still may be going on is Hamas attackers who had been left behind or didn't make it back to the border.

And are now making a last stand or trying to figure out how to get back or how to just try to kill more people.

WARD: Well, that's right. I mean, we had heard of at least seven instances today of skirmishes in different areas along that border between the IDF for Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas militants ourselves as we were driving along that road. We had to turn around at one point because we saw a firefight between Israeli forces and presumed Hamas militants.

So this is a real priority right now, for Israeli forces. The first most pressing step is to try to ensure that all those parts of the border that had been breached, had been repaired that all those people who successfully infiltrated Israel have been neutralized or arrested or killed or whatever may be.

And that people here, while they may still be under threat of rocket fire are no longer directly concerned. As we've been seeing today, that potentially any car driving by can just open fire on civilians that has a tremendously taxing effect on the collective psyche, it is absolutely terrifying and so far, Israeli forces have not yet been able to put a complete stop to it, Anderson. COOPER: Clarissa Ward thanks so much, be careful. Coming up next, Kaitlan will be joined by two analysts on the region for some perspective on how this happened and how it may develop in the coming days. There's a lot more to cover. I'll have a conversation with the father and mother and close friend of another Israeli taken captive as our live coverage of Israel at war continues.



COOPER: Well, it's nearly 5:30 in the morning here in Tel Aviv. A few moments ago, an IDF spokesman told me about Israeli air operations underway tonight. He said, "I think Hamas leaders must commanders will wake up to difficult sites in Gaza tomorrow morning". He went on to say that, "they will see a lot of their military infrastructure destroyed".

And I think there'll be significant losses for Hamas. Kaitlan, that may be the case but obviously Hamas has taken significant losses in the past. They've had buildings destroyed. It is very difficult for Israel to change the situation fundamentally on the ground in Gaza without going in and obviously that comes with it a whole host of difficulties.

COLLINS: Yes. And of course, Hamas likely knew that this would be part of Israel's response after they conducted this horrific attack. Joining me now on what could be next what we could see next is Mike Doran, who served as the Senior Director of the National Security Council during the George Bush administration.

He's currently a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. Also here tonight, Robin Wright, a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Columnist at the New Yorker, thank you both for being here. Robin, I mean, obviously we've seen these attacks continue.

And Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed what he says is going to be a mighty vengeance. What do you think that could look like? And how is it complicated by the people that Hamas has kidnapped and dragged and forced into Gaza?

ROBIN WRIGHT, DISTINGUISHED FELLOW AT WOODROW WILSON CENTER: This is going to be a more complicated conflict than anything either Israel or Hamas has engaged in their previous conflicts. This place in the past that is played out in rocket attacks from Gaza, Israeli airstrikes.

And eventually some kind of negotiated settlement by third parties, usually Egypt and Qatar. But this time, you have so many different layers to this conflict. And the reality is that Israel can destroy command post. It can disable Arsenal's it can kill leaders. But the problem as it learned in Lebanon against his bullet is that it's very hard to kill an idea.

And the real danger is that this only inflames passions and fury, and that Israel can win a short term victory, but not a long term one, and that's the real danger going down the road. COLLINS: Well, and Mike I mean, the other issue at play here is over 2 million people live in the Gaza Strip. We know obviously, that Hamas has an ugly history of using people and civilians as human shields.


I mean how does that factor into what Israel's response looks like here?

MIKE DORAN, FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Hi, thanks for having me. I certainly agree with Robin that this is going to be more complex than anything either Israel or Hamas has seen before. But I think that the game is fundamentally changed.

I think there are two imperatives working on the Israelis that are going to change the whole dynamic here. One is the magnitude of the blow that they have received. There's not a single Israeli that doesn't know somebody that was directly affected by the events of the last couple of days.

I mean, directly harmed by the events the last couple of days. And that creates an imperative, that political imperative that just can't be ignored by the government. So I think we're going to see some kind of serious ground incursion. I don't know if it's going to be an occupation of the whole strip.

But it's going to be a very curious incursion. And the second thing is the role of Iran and all of this. Iran is the hand behind this operation. And the Israelis understand, the Israeli leadership understands very well, that this is an Iranian-Israeli war. And then the stakes are the Iranian nuclear program.

Now Israel isn't going to go work, is it going to go directly after Iran right away? But it understands that it can't leave this Hamas operation that Iran has created or has empowered. It can't allow it to operate like it's been operating. So the game has to change and Israel has to use his power to change it. And I don't think there's any way to stop this.

COLLINS: Well, and Robin on that front, you know, we've been speaking with U.S. officials all day Biden administration officials. They say they still haven't seen any direct evidence of Iran's involvement here. But obviously, that doesn't mean that it's not there. They've said that as well.

And Hamas would be not being the state that it is, if it didn't have a Ron's help and backing. I mean, what kind of intelligence would they need to make that direct link?

WRIGHT: Well, Iran was clearly complicit in almost everything that Hamas has done. I've interviewed the Hamas Representatives in both Tehran and Beirut, and there is a kind of Axis of Resistance, as they call it. There is no question that Iran has a hand in this by funding, training, exploiting, directing Hamas militants. That has been true for decades, the degree to which Iran was engaged in actually planning this assault will be something that Israeli and U.S. intelligence will be looking at very closely in the next few days, and looking for exactly what role it may have played. There are reports of meetings being held in the Middle East.

But there have been meetings all over the region for decades, trying to coordinate what all of them are doing and challenging Israel.

COLLINS: Yes, that's Wall Street Journal reporting. We haven't confirmed that yet. I should note that obviously, this is a massive question that the U.S. is looking at. And, Mike, part of this, when you zoom out and look at the big picture is what Israel appeared to be on the cusp of potentially doing which is attempting to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

Which, of course, would cause a massive shift in the Middle East just overall and how it operates. I talked to the Prime Minister barely less than three weeks ago about the likelihood of that deal. And this is what he told me.


COLLINS: Do you feel that a deal is likely?

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I think it's possible. I think it's likely because I think Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States share a common goal, to change history to make this quantum leap, another quantum leap for peace. We had one with the Abraham accords with the United States. And we now have an opportunity with the United States to change the Middle East forever.


COLLINS: Of course, those negotiations were already complex. How much does this complicate that? Or is that even still possible, do you think Mike?

DORAN: Oh, it's complicated enormously. And that was the Iran's goal in helping Hamas develop these capabilities and this very sophisticated operation, more sophisticated than Hamas has ever carried out before. And the Iranians wanted three things. They wanted to put a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Israel they succeeded.

They want to raise Hamas's profile within the intra Palestinian politics, Abu Mazen but for actuarial reasons are on the way out. There's a vacuum around him and they want Hamas to fill that vacuum. And then thirdly, they want to change the subject in the region to Israeli Palestinian questions and deflect attention away from the Iranian nuclear program.


So they are both deflecting is real away from the nuclear program, but also deterring it simultaneously by wrapping it up and all of these military problems with Hamas and potentially Hezbollah. Let me just say one more thing here. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad was directly involved in these activities.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is not a proxy of Iran. It's an extension of Iran. So weapons, operations, and even partners, they're all directly related to Iran. Iran's fingerprints are all over this. Secretary Blinken doesn't want to admit that because this is a threat to his to the Biden administration's Iran policy.

COLLINS: Well, he didn't say that he didn't want to admit it. But he said the evidence wasn't there. Of course, we'll see if they see something different going forward.

DORAN: He doesn't want to see the evidence because it's a threat to his Iran policy.

COLLINS: Well, I'm sure he would disagree with that. But Michael Doran, thank you for that perspective, Robin Wright as well. Thank you both for joining tonight. Up next, of course, it is the human aspect of this that is just so sickening, and the stories that are coming out of the music festival are difficult to hear.

The pictures are even harder to look at. This video in particular stands out for the horror that it captures on this young woman's face. We're going to speak to her distraught family tonight, right after the break.



COOPER: Welcome back to our coverage from Tel Aviv, we have been learning over the last day or a lot more details about the slaughter that took place at the nova music festival supposed to be just as you might picture it a fun celebration, a dance thousands of young people in the desert dancing to the early hours of Saturday morning.

That of course, is not what it turned out to be. The horror of what actually happened there it is still being revealed with each new video that's being uploaded to social media and spread around the world. This is one video that stands out certainly. The young girl is Noa Argamani the 25 year old can be seen pleading for her life and for the life of her boyfriend who was at the festival as well.

Becky Anderson first introduced us tonight if you've been watching our coverage to her father, Yaakov Argamani. I spoke to him along with Noah his childhood friend Shlomit Marciano and Noa's mother, Leora, just before the program.

Yaakov, Shlomit and Leora thank you so much for being with us. I'm so sorry for what has happened to know Shlomit you're a childhood friend of Noa's talk about, what is she like?

SHLOMIT MARCIANO, FRIEND OF NOA ARGAMANI WHO WAS ABDUCTED FROM FESTIVAL: Noa is one of a kind person. She's very caring down to earth. She has two sides, two dominant sides, one of them being very fun. She has a lot of friends. She likes to travel. The other side, she's very ambitious. She takes her studies very seriously. She's taking care of her family. Her mother Leora is suffering from cancer and she's really helping her, taking care of her --

COOPER: And Leora, how are you? How are you holding up?


MARCIANO: So that it's very hard for her she needs any help.

COOPER: Yaakov, have you heard from Israeli authorities? Have you gotten any word about where Noa may be?

YAAKOV ARGAMANI, FATHER OF NOA ARGAMANI WHO WAS ABDUCTED FROM FESTIVAL: Nothing, Noa -- had problem about no one come to me.

COOPER: And Yaakov, I mean we've all seen the video of Noa when you see that. I can't imagine what that was like seeing that.

L. ARGAMANI: Terrible.

Y. ARGAMANI: The -- . They will record the ability to -- .

MARCIANO: He's saying it was terrible, because before that he still had hopes that she's OK. That she's here. But seeing that was the proof that she's been abducted. And his hopes were shattered.

COOPER: And Shlomit, have you heard anything about her friend in the video?

MARCIANO: That was her boyfriend. We haven't heard from him. Last time we've heard from him, he texted Yaakov that they're OK, but four other friends or texted their location? Asking and begging for help. It was around 10 am and since that, no contact.

COOPER: And do you know what time it was there? They were abducted and when they were texting had they already been abducted? Or was that when they before?

MARCIANO: We suppose they were abducted, and it's 12. They probably were hiding for three, four hours begging for help.


They started hiding after hearing the massacres and shooting and they found them.

COOPER: Yaakov, what do you want people to know about your daughter?

Y. ARGAMANI: My daughter, she was lovely. She'll know that -- if you might be sure. It'll tell us a message at --

MARCIANO: He is saying that first of all he wants to know that she's OK, that she's fine. He's trying to stay optimistic, he's a religious person. He believes in God and he's praying that she's OK. And she will come back to him to the family and to us safely. She's their only child.

COOPER: And Leora, what would you want your daughter to hear right now? If she might, what do you want her to know?

L. ARGAMANI: I love to you sent her message. We were the strong. We were waiting for her at home.

COOPER: You're waiting for her at home?


COOPER: Shlomit, is there anything you want people to know?

MARCIANO: I want people to know that the situation here is crazy. Those are innocent people that were just wanted to have fun and they just in slathered been killed, hundreds of people are missing. And my best friend was one of them, her boyfriend too. And I want the world to know what's happening in here.

We need any help because I think sharing this is our only help right now. We see are abducted. We have the proof that she's there and we want to bring her back as soon as possible. She has a bright future in front of her and we need her here we need all of the kidnapped people here.

COOPER: Shlomit, Yaakov and Leora, I'm so sorry for what has happened and we'll continue to follow it and I wish you continued strength in the days ahead.

MARCIANO: OK, thank you.

Y. ARGAMANI: Thank you.

L. ARGAMANI: Thank you.

COOPER: When families anguish that is amplified in homes across this country tonight. Next, a closer look at the system that we have seen repeatedly in action tonight and over the last several days Israel's Iron Dome, we'll be right back.



COLLINS: New video tonight of Israel's missile and rocket defense system in action near Ashkelon. It's a mainstay of the country's defense and is now gone up against upwards of 4000 rockets fired by Hamas so far. CNN's Randi Kaye is now with more on how the land based system came to be and how it works?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can listen. That's Israel's Iron Dome defensive system, working to protect the people of Israel this evening.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN on the ground is Israel's anti-missile defense system known as the Iron Dome heads off yet another barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: See the tracer find the Iron Dome missiles come up to intercept missiles coming from Gaza you'll hear the explosions. There's Iron Dome being fired up all around us.

KAYE (voice-over): Iron Dome was developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, who later joined forces with Raytheon technologies. The air defense system was first put into place in 2011. Its technology considered a game changer for Israelis. This video from Raphael advanced defense system shows how Iron Dome works to stop incoming rockets.

According to the company, Iron Dome has the ability to shoot down multiple rockets in mid-air using a mobile battery system that includes radar, a control center and interceptor missiles. When radar recognizes that an enemy rocket has been launched, the control center calculates its flight path.

If it's deemed dangerous, a missile is fired from the launcher, which holds 20 interceptor missiles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The interceptor seeker achieves very accurate and game homing.

KAYE (voice-over): It operates day and night even during severe weather. According to the manufacturer, Iron Dome can target rockets, mortars, artillery shells, unmanned aerial vehicles, even helicopters. The system is expensive to operate each interceptor missile costs about $50,000.

The United States has helped fund Iron Dome. In 2014, then President Barack Obama signed a bill that provided approximately $200 million for it.


BARACK OBAMA, 44TH U.S. PRESIDENT: These are further reminders that we will help to preserve Israel's qualitative military edge. So Israel can defend itself by itself against any threat.

KAYE (voice-over): Despite its unique ability, though, even Israel acknowledged early on, that Iron Dome isn't perfect.

MAJOR ARYE SHALICAR, ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES: We're usually down them, but it's not a 1 percent solution, unfortunately.

KAYE (voice-over): Not 100 percent and not enough to stop the fire power over the weekend, with thousands of missiles coming from Gaza all at once, on Saturday morning. The Iron Dome system was overwhelmed. Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Joining us now CNN's Military Analyst Retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Obviously, that Iron Dome system has done extraordinary things for protecting Israel over the years. But this kind of attack that we have seen in the last 48 hours is really unprecedented for the multi-pronged nature of it.

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, it sure is, Anderson. And one of the things to note, though, about the attack, is the fact that the missiles that the Hamas sent into Israel. They actually had a fairly short flight path their trajectory was also fairly limited.

And that made it more difficult for the Iron Dome, or, frankly, any other system to intercept those missiles and those rockets. So it's a pretty hard task before the Iron Dome system anyways. But the fact that the missiles came in, and such a low distance, and it's such a low altitude that made it a little bit harder for the Iron Dome to pick up many of them.

COOPER: In terms of you and I talked earlier about the hostage situation, the taking of I mean, this Hamas, which is ruling in Gaza, this is not just, you know, random fighters. This is the government of Gaza, kidnapping Israeli civilians and holding them hostage right now. You just talked from a military standpoint, how much that complicates Israel's response.

LEIGHTON: Yes, Anderson, that does make it more difficult because this isn't a rogue group as you mentioned, because in a case like that, where a guerrilla group, for example, is holding a hostage, say in a jungle and go in after that you would have host government support to do that.

You don't have that situation, a in this case, with Gaza, and with Hamas running the place. That is so what you're basically dealing with is the abduction by a de facto before in government of the probably about 100 or so Israeli citizens and others that are a part of this group. And really what it is a grand hostage taking scheme at this point.

And that is something that is going to be really difficult for the Israelis involved in a military way because they could be dispersed they could be moved into areas that are very different from an intelligence standpoint, and from a breaching standpoint. So it makes it really hard to go after not impossible, but very hard.

COOPER: The U.S. has moved the USS Gerald Ford Carrier Strike Group as well as additional fighter jets into the region. Do you expect that level of force as show force to be enough? Do you think more will occur in the coming days?

LEIGHTON: Well, I probably won't be in the coming days that we'll see more than what's already been announced by the White House. But what I think you'll see is an increased and increased emphasis and what this show of force is designed to do, Anderson, is it's designed to dissuade actors like Hezbollah, Iran and others from interfering in the fight between Hamas and Israel.

And that's really the intent right here. It's also designed to protect Israel from other types of incursions, at least in a military sense. They won't do much in the cyber realm but they will certainly provide a support in kinetic sensing and power projection sets. COOPER: Right, -- and of course, Iran obviously very deeply involved with Hamas and Islamic Jihad which is also operating in Gaza. Colonel Leighton, appreciate your time. More missile strikes in Israel over the nighttime hours here as we mentioned, one made a direct hit on an apartment building the latest ahead.



COOPER: Just about an hour before sunrise here in Tel Aviv to the south along the border with Gaza, Hamas fighters might still be operating inside Israel, according to an IDF spokesman who told me earlier this evening that Israel still does not have full control over their own territory along that border, the air campaign against targets in Gaza.

He said we're underway the first part he said of a mission to disarm Hamas, whether that includes IDF ground forces moving into Gaza, he did not elaborate a notice Mike Doran did during your conversation a moment ago, Kaitlan, which would certainly be a very difficult undertaking for a whole number of reasons, not the least being the hostages being used as human shields, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes. But he also talked about the fact that he believes there will be a serious ground incursion in his prediction because everyone in Israel knows someone who was kidnapped or murdered here and just talked about what the demand for a vigorous response is going to look like.

Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem for us. Hadas, what is the latest on this promised Israeli response that we've heard Prime Minister Netanyahu say it is definitely going to happen?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now this is really response has been so far by air by essentially non-stop airstrikes targeting the Gaza Strip targeting what Israeli military says are hundreds of Hamas targets. We've seen several images of entire buildings being destroyed in the Gaza Strip.

Yes, hours ago, I think this is now 12 hours ago, if not more, the Israeli military warning civilians in Gaza to leave certain areas of the Gaza Strip and to find safety elsewhere. So far, we have not seen indications of that ground incursions starting imminently. But I think it's a question more about when that happens.

And not if that happens, just based off of the atrocities that have happened so far. The sheer number of casualties and of course, the hostages because you can't exactly get extricate hostages from the air that will have to be some sort of ground presence on the ground in order to try to get them out.

COLLINS: And what do we know about what that effort could look like? What they're planning given just how complicated the nature of it is to actually go in there and get these civilians that Hamas clearly wants to use as bargaining chips? GOLD: Well, we know that they have called up tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of reservists already to be called up. I'll just give you an example of just how much this is affecting the rest of the country here in Jerusalem.