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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Palestinian Authority President Condemns Hamas Terror Attack; Israeli Reporter on Balancing Grief with Critical Journalism; Inside the Hamas Attacks in Be'eri Kibbutz; Interview with Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA) about Israel at War; U.S. Military Sends Second Aircraft Carrier to Eastern Mediterranean; FBI Says Reported Threats Rise After Israel Attacks; "Terror in Israel." Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 15, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and watching around the world to CNN's continuing coverage of "Israel at War." I'm Anderson Cooper in Tel Aviv.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kaitlan Collins in New York.
Tonight, in a new interview, President Biden has just warned that Israel should not try to reoccupy Gaza, while adding that he does believe Israel -- and I'm quoting the president now -- has to respond to the Hamas assault that has killed 1400 people, including, tonight we are learning, 30 Americans.
All of this comes as President Biden is weighing whether to visit Israel in the coming days, following an invitation by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
COOPER: But first, we want to bring you the latest on a number of developments unfolding here and in the region. A short time ago, the president of the Palestinian Authority issued his first public condemnation of the Hamas attack. Mahmoud Abbas, speaking with Venezuela's president, called for an end to civilian casualties, the release of prisoners, and a rejection of violence.
Also tonight, Gaza is running out of water and running out of life. Those are the words -- those are the exact words coming from a United Nations agency, warning that the Israeli blockade and airstrikes are pushing civilians into an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe. The U.N. is seeking a safe corridor to provide essential supplies, such as fuel, water, food, and medicine. Palestinian officials say the number of people killed has surpassed 2600 so far.
And along Israel's border with Gaza right now, more than 300,000 soldiers, tanks, heavy equipment await orders. A ground invasion seems all but inevitable. The question, of course, is when and what will it look like.
We want to begin our coverage just north of the Gaza border. CNN's Clarissa Ward is in the town of Ashkelon, Israel. Clarissa, how significant is this condemnation of the Hamas attack you
think from Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, Anderson, that on the Israeli side, it will be seen significant only in that it took nine full days to issue this condemnation. On the Palestinian side, I think it's fair to say that Mahmoud Abbas has very little credibility, particularly for those Palestinians who are inside Gaza. From what we are hearing, Abbas issued this condemnation really at the urging of Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
He did say that, you know, he condemns the attacks, that the hostages must be released, but certainly, on the ground here, I don't think anyone expects this to significantly move the needle -- Anderson.
COOPER: And Clarissa, aid workers say Gaza has already plunged into what they call a complete catastrophe. How dire is the humanitarian situation just 10 days into the war? And do we have any sense of how many people in the north may have heeded the warnings and moved to the south?
WARD: Well, I just spoke to this 22-year-old dentistry student, who we interviewed actually for your show on Friday, Yara Alhayek. She lives in northern Gaza. She said that she and her family are still there in northern Gaza. That they don't feel safe moving at the moment. That they don't have any place to go. And particularly they don't have any place with electricity.
And this is, I think, you're seeing, many people are moving. Many others are simply too afraid. The U.N. has come out and said that this is a catastrophe. They have said that the world has lost its humanity. That they have had eight days now with no ability to get electricity, water, food.
The IDF, Israeli Defense Forces, did come out and say that they have turned back on the water in southern Gaza. So far, though, that has not been confirmed by people on the ground. One of the things they're saying that makes it difficult to gauge is that they don't have electricity to power the pumps that are needed to actually get the water out of the taps, so to speak. So rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis with no real end in sight -- Anderson.
COOPER: You know, we have seen this play out multiple times over the years.
The international community is ratcheting up pressure now on Israel to ease the suffering of the people in Gaza. What happens next? I mean, obviously, Israel seems intent on moving forward with its -- the next step.
WARD: I mean, we're definitely seeing a ratcheting up of the language. You heard Secretary of State Blinken saying that it's really important the way Israel does this. We've heard European leaders urging for restraint. But I just wanted to draw your attention to a tweet from Ursula von der Leyen, the E.U. general commissioner. It's from October of 2022. She's talking about Russia in the context of Ukraine and she says, quote, "Cutting off men, women, children of water, electricity, and heat, these are pure acts of terror and we have to call it as such."
And I think what this does, Anderson, it feeds into this strong perception of a double standard. You have so much anger right now, so much outrage, not just from Palestinians in Gaza, but across the Arab world and beyond that they don't feel that Israel's supporters and particularly the U.S. are doing enough to really push Israel to try to facilitate the opening of this humanitarian corridor.
Now we did hear earlier on from Israel's ambassador to the U.S. that they are working on this construction of some type of humanitarian zone in southern Gaza that would be able to potentially meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of people, but there are still so many obstacles that need to be cleared, Anderson, before that can actually happen.
That Rafah border crossing with Egypt so far has not been opened. There is a strong expectation that it may open tomorrow, but not for long periods of time and not in a way that will allow for unfettered access and a huge amount of volume of aid to be allowed in, which is really what's needed at this stage -- Anderson.
COOPER: Clarissa Ward, thanks very much.
Quote, I want to read to you now, it has been a crucible and in some ways a distraction. That is how Avi Mayer, editor in chief of the "Jerusalem Post," describes reporting on what he calls his country's 9/11. In a new editor's note titled "Reporting a Pogrom," Avi describes his decision to work through Shabbat, which he has observed his entire life, writing, quote, "While I need a break more than anything else, I'm also concerned.
"Concerned that without the frenetic activity of running a 24-hour news site, putting out a daily paper, managing a newsroom and telling the world what transpired here, I may actually be left alone with my thoughts, with the first-person accounts I've read and with the images I've seen and can't unsee. And I don't know what I'm going to do when it hits me."
Avi Mayer joins us now.
Thanks so much for being with us. You have -- obviously, I mean, you know this region well. You were a former IDF spokesman years ago. Talk us through how you are covering this and what you think happens now in terms of the international response and the effect of that on what happens in the days ahead.
AVI MAYER, EDITOR IN CHIEF, JERUSALEM POST: Well, Anderson, this has been the most devastating experience of my life and I know that's certainly true of many Israelis. We're a country in shock, a country in trauma. I would say a country in mourning, in many respects. You know you're here. You're seeing it yourself. And that, I think, permeates every aspect of society. And it permeates our newsroom as well.
There's not a single person in Israel who doesn't know a family or know someone personally who has been affected by this, who's lost a loved one, a parent, a child, a grandparent, or whose loved ones have gone missing and are presumed kidnapped in Gaza, and that's true in our newsroom as well. It's been an extremely difficult weekend. And, you know, I wrote that piece just before this Shabbat, this past weekend.
And you know, Shabbat is a time when you're with friends and family, and I was with my friends and their children, and I have to tell you, I can't be around small children without starting to tear up. I think about the children who were massacred, who were slaughtered in their own homes just one week ago and my heart just breaks. And I think many people are having that experience here in Israel today.
As for how things go forward, I think many Israelis are determined to see Hamas brought down. They want to ensure that it never has the capacity to engage in the kinds of atrocities that were perpetrated just last week, which is why you see this mass mobilization of Israelis in response to the government's call-up order. As you said, 300,000 Israeli troops are currently amassed on the border with Gaza, waiting to just go in and do whatever they can to dismantle Hamas' infrastructure, dismantle its leadership, and do whatever they can to ensure that it can never do anything like this ever again.
COOPER: I've talked to a lot of Israelis particularly today who are concerned about a shift in the international community's perception of what's going on here and support for Israel in this, which we've seen a lot of over the last week. That is what has happened in the past. There have been ground operations and gradually pressure builds for Israel to -- for there to be a cease-fire. Part of that is based on the horrific images coming out of Gaza. We see people, little children dead in hospitals. We know what the humanitarian catastrophe looks like in Gaza.
As a reporter, when you see that, what stands out to you and how does that -- how should that impact events?
MAYER: Look, I think the images of humanitarian crisis in Gaza are difficult to see. I don't think there's any decent person in the world who wouldn't be affected by them and feel for the people of Gaza who've been held hostage by the Hamas leadership for so many years, used as Hamas shields, as Hamas embeds itself intentionally in civilian areas to ensure that any Israeli airstrikes will inevitably cause civilian casualties.
So I don't there's any person who doesn't watch and isn't affected by it. And at the same time as Israelis, we have to call upon our government and expect them to do whatever they must to bring an end to the threat posed by Hamas and ensure they can never, ever engage in the kind of atrocities, murdering 1300 men, women, children, elderly, babies, that they did just last week. It can never ever happen again. I think that that's how many Israelis are seeing this. Yes, their
hearts break for what's happening in Gaza. Yes, they hope that that humanitarian corridor can be put in place. That those who are able to escape do, in fact, do so and are not prevented by Hamas threats or roadblocks or the other obstacles that we hear Hamas is doing to prevent them from leaving those areas. But at the same time, I think many Israelis feel that the Israeli government, the Israeli military just simply has to do what it has to do in order to bring an end to the threat posed by Hamas.
COOPER: Based on your experience, based on what you've seen with previous ground operations in Gaza, and knowing clearly Hamas has been preparing for this inevitable operation for, you know, we believe, the latest reporting, maybe as much as two years, planning this attack. They have clearly been expecting a ground operation in response to such attack. What do you think -- what are the lessons from past operations that you think will be applied this time from Israeli forces?
MAYER: Look, I think there's the sad inevitability of Israeli casualties. That will happen anytime ground forces go into any area, certainly a place like Gaza, which is basically turned into an armed camp, booby-trapped in every respect, webbed with tunnels that are used for attack purposes and violence. So, unfortunately, it looks like that is a likelihood. That is something that Israelis are keenly aware of.
And at the same time, they acknowledge that there is really no way to ensure that Hamas is sufficiently dealt a blow, is sufficiently affected in their capabilities without having some kind of ground offensive. You can't do it all from air. It's simply impossible to do. And quite frankly, if Israel were to simply carpet bomb Gaza, which of course it would never do, that would draw way more civilian casualties than if they were able to go in and do it by ground.
And so this has been Israel's practice for many years to ensure that ground troops do go in, endangering their own lives while trying to spare Palestinian civilian lives and it looks like that's what Israel will be doing now as well.
COOPER: Yes. Avi Mayer, I appreciate your time this evening. Thank you very much.
MAYER: Thank you.
COOPER: The United Nations secretary general says we are on the verge of the abyss in the Middle East, and the White House is not ruling out sending troops to help free Americans held by Hamas.
You want to stay with our special coverage as we continue from Tel Aviv. We'll be right back.
[20:17:30] COOPER: When Hamas launched its terror attack on Israel in the early hours of October 7th, many Israelis were just waking up. They had no idea they're about to be engulfed in a nightmare.
I spoke earlier with Yarnin Peled. He lives on the Be'eri Kibbutz near the Gaza border that was invaded that morning by a group of Hamas gunmen. Yarnin, his family, the rest of the kibbutz tried to hide from the attackers. Here's what he told me about that day.
COOPER: Yarnin, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. When the rockets started, I believe you were out walking your dog. Explain what the next 16 or so hours was like for you and your family.
YARNIN PELED, RESIDENT OF BE'ERI KIBBUTZ: Well, take the worst you can imagine, add a bit more, and then you have a bit of what I had. It was a nightmare. And nothing you can imagine, and you're locked in a confined place. Some of my friends and colleagues, families, have been even few -- we've actually been only two of us, my spouse, myself, and the dog. About I know eight people crowded in this place or even more. Everything is locked. You see nothing outside.
COOPER: I should point out, you live in Be'eri, which was attacked by Hamas very early on, on Saturday morning.
COOPER: It was a scene of horrific brutality by Hamas on the ground there. And you got to your safe room and I know other members of your family got to their safe rooms, as well. But you were on a WhatsApp group following every move that these terrorists were making, as they moved around killing people.
PELED: Well, the kibbutz has an app for internal messages, you know, mainly for the daily life. It knows about what's going on in the culture, what is about health care, and what about dining room, you know, things like that. Add to that, as a family, we have our own family WhatsApp, and each one of us actually talking to other people so you get a lot of information from a lot of place that's in the kibbutz.
Add to that that all my friends start calling me in the middle of this chaos, and I can't answer anyone because I see on the news what is going on which is more than I can at the moment, and so you sit there and you are literally blind. And just can imagine what is going on elsewhere. You get a message from one, please, someone, go to my mother's house. They're breaking down the safe room door. Please go -- save my uncle. They're burning down his house.
And smoke is coming into the -- and they're going up the stairs. We hear Arabic shouting outside. And you know, these kind of messages all over the kibbutz. And everybody is asking, where is the military? Where is the military? For hours and on and on, and there is no answer, from nowhere, at the moment. So you really start doubting what is going on. And at the time, you get -- you start getting, you know, those online videos that Hamas is showing all over the media. And sometimes you can see your kibbutz there, you know, where they're going. And it's horrific. It's terrible.
COOPER: So you would actually see jihadist-style videos of Hamas gunmen in your kibbutz, in your community, and in other communities, while you're in your safe room?
COOPER: I understand your dog was with you and you were scared that the dog might bark and alert the attackers to your location.
PELED: Yes, we were quite afraid, but for a reason we don't know why, she just kept quiet for 17 1/2 hours we've been to the safe room. The dog on the flight beneath us, below, just below, was barking. And on a normal day, my dog would help. Don't shout alone, I will help. But this time, she didn't. I don't know why, but that was a lifesaver, literally.
COOPER: Do you know how many people in your kibbutz were killed or kidnapped or wounded or are missing?
PELED: We are a community of 1200 people, give or take. More than 110 killed. And some of them kidnapped. Even so we get -- we are talking about a greater number than 110 in total including my sister and her husband that are missing now.
COOPER: Your sister and her husband, were they taken from -- they were taken from Be'eri?
PELED: Either they are killed or in Gaza, yes. We lost contact with my father about at 11:00 a.m., and with my sister, the last time on WhatsApp, last seen, 11:16 a.m. We lost contact with them. And we didn't know what happened. Later on when we're rescued, I found my father and his taker alive and well, shook but alive. My father was a war prisoner in 1973 war in Egypt and it's like all over again for him.
Lucky this time, it was only three hours that he sat and talked with his Hamas terrorists in his house. And eventually, they let him go, because he's 93 years old and he might slow them down or because they felt pity, I don't know. But they said, we're going to leave you here because you're too old.
COOPER: Do you have any -- you have no word about your sister or her husband? You haven't seen any videos or anything?
PELED: No. We haven't seen any of it. We tried to spread the word around, if anybody seen or heard, but nothing.
COOPER: What is your sister's name and her husband's name?
PELED: Myana and Noah Herschkowitz.
COOPER: Thank you for your time tonight and I hope you get word very quickly about your family.
PELED: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
COOPER: Right now tens of thousands of Palestinians are trying escape airstrikes and the situation in Gaza City and elsewhere in the north.
Coming up next, one U.S. lawmaker's efforts to get Americans home from the region.
COLLINS: Tonight, as President Biden is continuing to offer unwavering support of Israel, he is also issuing a new warning, really the first sign of restraint that we've heard from him, saying that he does believe if Israel tried to re-occupy Gaza, it would be, and I'm quoting him now, a big mistake.
Of course, all of this is coming -- this is in an interview with "60 Minutes." We'll have that sound bite for you in just a few moments. In this interview, he did not explicitly endorse a ground incursion into Gaza, but he did endorse destroying Hamas, saying that he believes Israel has to respond to this attack.
Joining me now is Democratic Congresswoman Sara Jacobs from California, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees and also is the youngest Jewish member of Congress.
Congresswoman, thank you so much for being here tonight. First off, I know that you have family in Israel. How are they doing tonight?
REP. SARA JACOBS (D-CA): Well, thank you so much for asking. I'm really glad that my cousin and her three kids, including an 18-month- old who's had to spend nights in the bomb shelter have been able to leave Israel. I have one more cousin who is still staying in Tel Aviv for the time being, but so far, despite some air raids and sometime in the bomb shelter, she is safe.
COLLINS: OK, so she is safe tonight?
JACOBS: Yes. Thank you for asking.
COLLINS: Of course. We wanted to make sure. I know that it has been obviously a big priority for you. And you heard from President Biden tonight in these comments with "60 Minutes." You know, he's warning Israel, saying that he doesn't believe re-occupying Gaza would be a good idea. What did you make of those comments and do you believe that he should take Netanyahu up on that offer to travel to Israel?
JACOBS: Look, I think President Biden is exactly right. You know, having family there who are still in harm's way, I understand how important it is to make sure that Israel is doing everything it can to defend its people, to root out Hamas, to try and get the hostages, and Hamas should give up the hostages. But the fact of the matter is, we are stronger when we lead with our values and when we protect civilian life, and we have seen from our own efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan that long-term occupation, population-wide kind of military incursions just haven't been actually effective or successful. And I don't think it makes sense for Israel's long-term safety and security.
COLLINS: And do you believe that he should go and visit?
JACOBS: You know, I think he should visit when the time is right. I know having worked in many emergency and conflict situations myself, it's always big lift when a bug principal comes. It's important for them to show their support, but it also takes a lot of resources away from the frontlines. And so I know that his team is working on those deliberations right now.
COLLINS: Yes. The White House says nothing to confirm at this time. Obviously, Congresswoman, you are working to help Americans who wanted to leave Israel in recent days and were struggling to do so, as commercial airlines were canceling flights. What is the latest on those efforts and have you also heard from Americans who were in Gaza, who are trying to get out and unable, struggling to do so with no really diplomatic or humanitarian corridors being established yet?
JACOBS: Yes, the State Department came together really quickly and I'm grateful for everything they've done to help get families like mine out of Israel. There are now flights going. If any American citizen is trying to get out of Israel or Gaza, there's a form they can fill out on the State Department Web site and they should get information very quickly about how to get on those charter flights.
But I've also been hearing from Americans in Gaza about how difficult the situation is and how unable they have been about getting any information. So I led an effort to work with the State Department to try and make sure we're upholding our values of serving Americans wherever they are. I'm glad that this crisis intake form on the State Department Web site now includes Israel and Gaza.
And I'm hopeful by the news that American citizens will be able to leave through the Rafah Crossing gate into Egypt. And we're going to continue working with the administration to get every American who wants to leave out.
COLLINS: The U.S. has been trying to persuade Israel to open up a humanitarian corridor that would let aid in, let people out. They've also been trying to make a deal to open the Rafah Crossing, which of course has had its own challenges as well. But do you fear that they're running out of time, these nations that are working together to get this done before that potential ground incursion does happen?
JACOBS: I am very concerned about the situation on the ground. Look, I completely understand having family there still in Israel that urgency that the Israeli military feels in moving quickly. And they should be doing everything they can to try and get the hostages to make sure that they are taking out Hamas. And we are strongest when we lead with our values. And we are seeing immense human suffering in Gaza.
I was very proud that President Biden has been emphasizing the law of war and humanitarian access in all of his conversations with the Israeli government. And that that has led directly to water being turned back on in southern Gaza. And there's still a lot more we'll need to do to make sure that the humanitarian situation there is tenable, as Israel does what they should be doing, which is going to try and get the hostages and taking out Hamas' leadership.
COLLINS: You sit on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congresswoman. The Rafah Border Crossing that I mentioned has so far remained closed. There's questions about whether or not it's going to open tonight. Obviously, they're not letting any critical supplies go back and forth. As you know, the U.S. gives Egypt a lot of aid money each year. What should the ramifications be if Egypt doesn't help?
JACOBS: Look, I think it's important that we get the Rafah Crossing open. And I'm glad that Secretary Blinken has had those conversations with President Sisi, is doing the shuttle diplomacy that is so important in this time. You know, I think this is a really difficult situation, where you want to make sure humanitarian good are getting in. People can get out, while also recognizing that you want to make sure you're doing it in a safe and orderly and humane way, and that you're doing it such a way that it protects against Hamas being able to get out or any sort of war material being able to get in and that is difficult because so many things can be used for multiple purposes.
And so I know that Secretary Blinken and the entire U.S. government is working hard on those negotiations, and I'm hopeful that we will see a breakthrough soon.
COLLINS: We get an update from the State Department that you bring up there tonight that it is now 30 Americans, 30, that were killed in this attack by Hamas. 13 more Americans are still unaccounted for tonight. What went through your mind when you heard that latest number?
JACOBS: I mean, it's just heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking, it's horrifying. I condemn in the strongest terms Hamas' brutal and inexcusable attack, and I think Israel has the right to do everything it needs to do to protect its citizens and to make sure that something like this can never happen again while upholding the international rule of law and protecting civilians.
And, you know, my heart just goes out to everyone who is grieving. I think about my family and I am so grateful that they are safe. But it could just have easily been them. Shar'ar Hanegev, that community on the border where so many of these atrocities happened, is actually San Diego's sister city. And so I spent a lot of time there. I spent time as a teenager there meeting with folks, meeting with the Israeli Arabs who live nearby.
And it's just so heartbreaking and infuriating, everything that is happening and the atrocities that we're seeing. COLLINS: Congress obviously is headed back to Washington this week.
There is still no House speaker. House Republicans went home last week without anyone. Obviously you are a Democrat, but as you're looking at your Republican colleagues and what we're seeing happen right now with Jim Jordan in this desperate effort to try to get him enough votes, he's not there yet, obviously this has consequences, especially when it comes to aid for Israel, which we've seen, you know, officials in the White House say they're running out of runway for that.
That is going to be something that Congress needs to deal with soon. Are you confident that your Republican colleagues can get this done this week, so Congress doesn't remain paralyzed?
JACOBS: Look, House Democrats are united behind Hakeem Jeffries. We've got 212 votes for him and we have been having both public and private conversations with Republicans about our willingness and openness for a bipartisan way forward. And I'm hopeful that some Republicans will take us up on that because frankly the idea of Jim Jordan as speaker, someone who actively worked with President Trump to undermine the election in 2020, who has done so many other awful things I think is simply untenable.
And this is critical. We need to get a speaker so that we can pass necessary legislation. It is becoming an issue of national security, and I know that we are all eager to have those conversations about what a bipartisan way forward can look like.
COLLINS: If they put forward a more moderate Republican, would you consider crossing the aisle to vote for that person?
JACOBS: I think that will have to be part of a larger conversation around what kind of bipartisan way forward there is, what kind of coalition it could look like. It would have to involve some rules changes to make sure that we don't just get into this same mess again in a few weeks, but I do think that there's real openness and willingness among House Democrats to have those conversations.
COLLINS: Congressman Sarah Jacobs, we are so grateful that your family in Israel is doing well. Please tell them that we're thinking of then. And thank you for your time tonight.
JACOBS: Thank you.
COLLINS: The White House tonight is not ruling out sending out troops to help rescue American hostages who have been kidnapped by Hamas. We have the latest from Washington as CNN's special live coverage of the Israel-Hamas war continues.
COOPER: The United States is sending a second aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East. This in the news that 30 Americans have been killed in the conflict. 13 U.S. citizens are still unaccounted for.
CNN's Hadas Gold joins us now from Washington.
I'm told a U.S. Marine unit specializing in hostage extraction has departed earlier from a scheduled exercise in Kuwait. What do we know about potential U.S. Military involvement in the recovery or the attempted recovery of American hostages?
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this unit has more than 2,000 Marines and sailors, and they can also -- not only can they help in a large-scale evacuation, for example, of civilians, but they do have special operations capabilities, and actually, just earlier this year, they actually trained with FBI hostage rescue teams earlier this year. You know, we can't come to any sort of major conclusions just from their presence, but you can connect the dots there and see perhaps, maybe, there might be some sort of preparation, at least to provide some support for the Israelis with their expertise.
We do know that there's already a federal team on the ground there that is assisting Israelis in these hostage -- in preparations potentially to try and rescue hostages. But also, Anderson, just think about the complexities and how difficult any sort of rescue operation would be because, first of all, you're not even sure. The Israelis may not be entirely sure where all these hostages are. There's more than 150 of them. They have most likely been spread out.
Keep in mind, Hamas has this major tunnel network underneath Gaza. Keep in mind how dense Gaza is. Keep in mind, already there's been damages from these airstrikes. There are subgroups also, Islamic Jihad is holding some 30 people we know as well. And also we know that Hamas hides and uses civilians. They purposefully, you know, place their rockets, place their operation centers in civilian centers.
It is completely possible that there are also hostage amongst these civilians, potentially even possibly hostages being moved south. Now in terms of actual American boots on the ground, while we have these carrier strike groups, you know, right off the coast to try and provide deterrence, I sincerely doubt we will see American boots on the ground.
You know, Chuck Schumer just spoke with our Erin Burnett and he said that the Israelis have never asked for troops, they just want support. And we've heard from John Kirby earlier today saying there are no plans or intent to put U.S. troops on the ground in this fight. Because, Anderson, also keep in mind, what would that mean about U.S. troops on the ground and what would that mean for the region and how could that further enflame what's already essentially a region on fire?
COOPER: Yes. U.S. officials have said that the second carrier strike group was deployed in part to discourage other countries or groups like Hezbollah from becoming involved in the conflict. How concerned are you as officials that it will spread beyond Gaza and Hamas?
GOLD: I mean, one of the biggest concerns has always been Hezbollah. In my almost three years in Jerusalem, every time I spoke to military officials, either Israelis or Americans, when they talked about their worst-case scenario, their sort of nightmare scenario, I don't think they ever imagined what just happened, but they always talked about Hezbollah because Hezbollah has so much greater capabilities than what we have seen from Hamas.
And any involvement from Hezbollah would, especially right now with how Israel is reacting, could lead to devastating effects for the Lebanese, but also for the Israelis, because the capabilities that Hamas has in terms of their missile capabilities, in terms of their guided missile capabilities, that could lead to really, really lasting damage. And we're not even including now Syria in all of this.
And that's why you see these American carrier strike groups off the coast, just as a deterrence, just to kind of warn these groups, don't try and get involved.
COOPER: Hadas Gold, thanks very much. Kaitlan?
COLLINS: Yes, Anderson, a disturbing story happening here in the U.S. tonight that's been unfolding. A Chicago landlord has now been charged with murder and with a hate crime, accused of stabbing a 6-year-old boy to death simply for being Muslim. Police say that his mother was also hurt in the attack. Investigators say that the landlord, Josef Zuba, did not give a statement, but they do believe that he was motivated by the war that is playing out right now between Israel and Hamas.
And all of this is coming as the FBI director says in a new statement that they are tracking an increased number of threats against both Jewish and Muslim Americans following the deadly attacks.
Joining me now, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
Obviously, Andrew, this is an incredibly disturbing story, but when you look at this statement that is coming from the FBI director himself, that they are following this, what does tracking these threats actually look like?
ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Kaitlan, watching the potential follow-on threats after an overseas terrorist attack, the potential for follow-on threats here in the United States is one of the primary responsibilities of counterterrorism authorities across the board. So you are always concerned when a foreign terrorist organization operates overseas, that that might cause terrorist activity here. Anything from actual operatives who have been sent here for the purpose of waiting for the right time to strike, all the way to the other end of the spectrum of just individuals who are like minded with that terror group, motivated by it, followers of it, who decide to strike out against a similar target.
So that is a standard part of counterterrorism work. On top of that, counterterrorism officials at the FBI and DHS are concerned about an evaluated threat against Jewish facilities and community -- the Jewish community over the last several years, which has really spiked in the last few years. So it is a very dangerous time for -- certainly for members of the Jewish community, but also, as we see from this horrific act, folks in the Muslim community who may be targeted as a result of people who are enflamed over what's happening overseas.
COLLINS: Yes. And given your previous role, I mean, where does the biggest threat lie? What are they looking at the closest? Is it potential lone actors like what we saw with this landlord and what he's accused of now?
MCCABE: It absolutely is. Because those are the folks that probably have not come to the attention of law enforcement, certainly not counterterrorism enforcement at the FBI over the previous years. They're just individuals who may be consumed this propaganda on the internet. They follow these groups, they have, you know, strong feelings about -- strong feelings of antipathy for the folks that they're focused on, whether that's Jewish or Muslim targets.
And you've never heard of them before. They've never done anything before, and then they all of a sudden are motivated by what they're seeing happen overseas and they strike out here. That is what keeps people in the FBI and DHS awake every night worrying about. I know, from my many years running the FBI Counterterrorism Division, that those are the folks that you're most concerned about. It's the threat that you know is here, but you don't know exactly who it is.
COLLINS: Yes, just discomforting for so many people tonight.
Andrew McCabe, thank you for joining us tonight.
MCCABE: Thanks, Kaitlan.
COLLINS: And we're continuing to follow the tense situation playing out tonight in Gaza as there are major concerns potentially a ground invasion by Israeli forces. What does a humanitarian corridor look like if there is one? Our special CNN live coverage continues in just a moment.
COOPER: It's been eight days since the unprecedented terror attack on Israel. The single biggest loss of life, that day was the slaughter of the Supernova music festival. More than 260 people were killed there by Hamas gunmen. Only now is the whole story of what happened there becoming clear. And at 10:00 p.m. tonight, I have an hour-long look at that massacre, using new eyewitness accounts and dozens of videos from the event.
Here's a look at some of what you'll see. This is what happened in a number of bomb shelters around the festival site where people were hiding, bomb shelters that turned into death traps. I want to warn you, some of what you'll see is disturbing.
COOPER (voice-over): In another shelter a few miles north of the festival site about 30 people tried to hide. A man named Noam Cohen recorded inside. You can hear the panic in their voices asking what's going on. Are there Israeli soldiers nearby? We aren't going to show you what happened next.
Cohen says Hamas gunmen repeatedly toss grenades into the shelter. People inside were blown apart. It's one of the most gruesome videos we've ever seen.
This is some of the aftermath. Noam Cohen survived hiding under body parts. That's him terrified, but alive.
We found the shelter in the town of Alumim yesterday evening. Someone had put a curtain up over the doorway, but nothing could hide the smell as you enter.
My cameraman, Neil Hallsworth, who's experienced a lot of war, began to wretch, and had to step outside.
(On-camera): There's bloody hand prints on the wall. There's blood smeared on the walls. See, probably these are either bullet holes or from the grenades that were thrown in here.
(Voice-over): Body parts have already been collected from here, but blood-soaked clothes and shoes remain.
(On-camera): This looks to be a bloody handprint. This shelter is no more than 15 feet long, maybe 5.5, six feet wide. The idea of so many people packed in here, standing shoulder to shoulder, terrified, screaming, it's incredible that anybody was able to survive.
(Voice-over): There are other shelters like this, other tragedies still to be discovered. The full horror of what happened here is just starting to come to light.
COOPER: And we've compiled what we think is the most comprehensive look at the attack on the Supernova festival. It's a special hour on what happened. That's tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN on "THE WHOLE STORY." We'll be right back.