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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees

Israeli Tanks, Troops Line Gaza Border for Possible Incursion; Israel: 250 Hostages still being held by Hamas; Father of Hostage: I'm Hopeful after Release of Others; CNN: Forensic Analysis Shows Hospital Blast not from Israel; Some Aid Trucks Arrive in Gaza as Humanitarian Crisis Grows; CNN: U.S. Secretly Provides Ukraine Long-Range Missiles. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 21, 2023 - 20:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our continuing coverage of Israel at war. I'm Anderson Cooper in Tel Aviv tonight alongside John Berman in New York. I want to show you some new videos CNN has just received, shows Israeli tanks and military personnel near the border with Gaza.

Today, the Head of Israel's Armed Forces told his commanders and "we'll enter the Gaza Strip". The IDF also announced it would increase airstrikes. Its spokesman said the military is now focusing on its readiness for "the next stage". And then there's CNN's team on the ground here saw dozens of tanks and armored personnel carriers and even bulldozers along the border with Gaza.

Exactly the sort of equipment one might expect to see during a possible ground operation. This was just one of several areas where our team saw scenes like this altogether, CNN saw hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles. Sources tell CNN that the U.S. and its allies had been urging Israel to set clear goals about if and when it launches a ground assault on Gaza.

President Biden was asked today whether he was encouraging Israelis to delay a possible invasion, his only response was to say, "I'm talking to the Israelis". These developments come after a shipment of aid carrying food, water and medical supplies was finally allowed to cross into Southern Gaza from Egypt.

No fuel was allowed. Israel says Hamas could use that fuel in its war. Gazan officials say it is needed for schools and hospitals. The Head of the World Health Organization said the aid is not nearly enough, and those hospitals are already at their breaking point. We're going to have more on all this.

Plus, the President's phone call today with the American hostages released by Hamas, but first wants to get the latest from the ground. Nic Robertson is in Sderot, Israel for us tonight. What is the latest that you're seeing, Nic? NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, there is an uptick in airstrikes and artillery strikes on Gaza this evening. And we saw it in the afternoon as well in the northern end of Gaza that we have a good view of from here. And that certainly does fit with what the IDF are saying that they are going to have more strikes, and that is to protect troops on the ground.

But it gives no indication of when an incursion might come. And we spent the day going along the Eastern border of Gaza trying to sort of compare and contrast what we've seen along that border over the past number of days or so that sort of amount of energy and that level of troops that were rushing to the border and the groupings of tanks we've seen earlier in the week where they were repairing their tracks at the side of the road.

And you've got this sense of a surge of momentum towards that border with Gaza. We're not seeing that, partly because some units may have either move forward closer to Gaza. And we can't get there because security is tighter in that sort of militarized border zone region.

So we don't have access, or perhaps some of them have gone back to base. There are still large areas where we're seeing armored personnel carriers and tanks lined up in fields near some of the military bases a little bit deeper inside of Israel. They don't have troops with them yet.

They don't look like they're ready to go into the fight. But it does indicate a depth of reserves of military fighting equipment that Israel may need once an incursion if and when that incursion gets underway. But you know, I think what I'm trying to say here, Anderson is that it is very hard to make an assessment of the readiness of Israeli troops close to the border.

But in terms of airstrikes, yes, we can hear them. There are flashes behind us this evening. You can hear the detonations and explosions in Northern Gaza.

COOPER: You had heard a couple of nights ago machine gun fire, automatic weapon fire. Are you still hearing that?

ROBERTSON: We are getting it occasionally. And I think it's indicative and instructive of the fact that just behind us, you know, in the very controlled military zone that runs up to the border, the sort of mile or so behind us here, that there are a lot of troops in those positions there.

I don't think that has changed. We certainly haven't seen troops coming away from the border region from closer to the fence with Gaza. So they're there and we do know that from Israel from the IDF that there have been points where they've seen somebody trying to set up to fire an anti-tank rocket at units that are close to the border.


And they've engaged them in a firefight to neutralize that threat. So I think that situation persists. And it just depends where those points of contact along the line happened. We haven't heard any today. That area over there where we were seeing the tank fires a couple of nights ago, it's quiet.

But again, we have seen a couple of rockets, Israeli rockets fired into that area, it was hard to tell if they were coming from a helicopter or what they were coming from, but they literally flew very close and low over our heads wish a real zoom on to targets there. So I think the idea that just across the fence.

There is an active threat from Hamas that's maybe trying to take the fight to the waiting troops that it seems that may be the case.

COOPER: Nic Robertson, appreciate it from Sderot. Joining us right now is IDF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus. Thanks for being with us. Just in terms of where things stand now, who makes the decision at when to actually move forward to the next as the IDF has called it the next phase of this operation.

LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Good night. Thank you for having me. And that is mostly a military decision. But there's always close coordination between the higher military level and our war cabinet. And since any such decision would be a major decision, I can imagine that would be coordinated at the highest levels.

Important to keep in mind that, you know, we have said and our senior commanders have been visiting touring the troops, speaking with the forces, preparing, approving plans, etcetera. And the general spirit is one of the combat readiness and a very clear resolve in what needs to be done.

COOPER: The release of two hostages, American hostages last night. Does that impact the timing the decision making on a ground incursion?

CONRICUS: One would assume that the Hamas hope so and you know they issued another dose of fake news or misinformation today about some attempt and that it wasn't approved by Israel, which is just nonsense. So one could in what --

COOPER: They said they were prepared to release two more hostages, I think.

CONRICUS: Yes, but that was discredited immediately by the Prime Minister's Office. So I think that can be laid to rest. The bottom line is that, of course, Hamas understand they don't have to be wizards of intelligence to understand what's coming. They see the troops, they hear the statements.

And therefore I think they are bracing for impact and impact that will come and the troops on the ground have clear assignments, clear missions. We have a mission and a commitment to get all of our Israelis back home. And we have an end aim to dismantle Hamas, and make sure that the Gaza Strip will no longer harbor terrorists or threatened Israeli civilians.

COOPER: I saw a slightly higher number of hostages believed to be held, can you give me what you believe is the current number because it was 203 and then two were released. But now I see a number that that may be higher.

CONRICUS: Correct. The updated number after the return of the two women is 210. The work is ongoing to identify and put the pieces of the puzzle together. I think that is still a dynamic number and we will see that change as well and additional families in Israel will be notified.

I assume that's an assessment, not a news flash, but an assessment. And it is you know a work in progress. The work to identify remains of Israelis is very, very difficult. We're using the most advanced technology that we have available.

And still pathologists are really scrambling and at loss because some of the corpses are in such a horrific state that it are virtually impossible to identify. So it is very challenging and the numbers aren't dynamic, but the commitment is clear to bring them back home.

COOPER: The International Committee of the Red Cross has asked for not only access to hostages but proof of life of the hostages they have not been given that. How do you determine the number because from everything I understand it's not only Hamas, Islamic Jihad early on had claimed that they had some 30 people?


They had taken hostages, that there may be armed groups, sort of Mafia groups or individuals who also crossed over the border and took hostages of their own. You've seen that in the past.

CONRICUS: Yes, in this unprecedented situation for us to have so many of our civilians and military at the hands of an enemy, it's very complex. And all of what you said is precise, what we're doing is focusing all of our intelligence assets in order to understand who is holding whom?

And where they're being held in to try to put that puzzle or to create some clarity in that puzzle? It is very, very complex. And it's a challenge I think, our intelligence institutions and our military has never faced. But it is a task that we must succeed. And we will use all the tools available military, intelligence, civilian, whatever technologies we can.

And of course, combat boots on the ground, and whatever force and of course, diplomacy, whatever works will work. And the end game here is to get everybody home.

COOPER: I've just been told that there's getting some word from the IDF about an operation on a mosque in the West Bank. What do you know about that?

CONRICUS: Yes, if you recall, there was some significant fighting in Jenin, a few months ago, significant fighting for about two days. And during that operation, we discovered terror infrastructure inside a mosque actually a tunnel system inside a mosque.

What we did today was to strike that tunnel system that was hidden under a mosque, because we had new and live intelligence that suggested that there was an imminent attack coming from a joint Hamas and Islamic Jihad squad that was preparing itself from that mosque.

COOPER: Jonathan Conricus, appreciate your time. Thank you.

CONRICUS: Thank you.

COOPER: John Berman in New York, John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Anderson thanks so much. With me now is CNN Military Analyst retired Major General James "Spider" Marks. Spider, we were hearing from that Colonel from the IDF talking about the political decision of when to roll in, we know that the Israeli troops are stationed all over this zone right here.

You know, with infantry, with tanks, all kinds of military equipment, as you've been describing here. When that decision comes in, I mean, what position are these forces in now in terms of that decision?

MAJOR GENERAL JAMES "SPIDER" MARKS (RET.), U.S. ARMY: All of these forces are prepared to go on order.

BERMAN: So basically, the minute they say, yes, they're ready.

MARKS: Most of these troops, I would say, have been sleeping on or next to their vehicles for the last week. They've been doing those final preparations, they are prepared to go. Clearly the this is a political decision, the military commander on the ground, has to report back and say, yes, I've got X number of troops.

Where our target folders are complete, we know what we're doing, our rehearsals are complete and we are prepared to go. And oh, by the way, I recommend we go now, the ultimate political decision that military commander can say we're ready to go. The ultimate is a political decision that's going to be made.

BERMAN: But in terms these forces tens if not hundreds of thousands. They're just waiting for the go.

MARKS: Correct. And these are not the reservists these are the active duty for folks. They're going to be doing some incredible heavy lifting initially.

BERMAN: One other thing we heard from Colonel Conricus right there, I'm just going to write the number here 210 hostages believed to be in here. How does that impact the planning for this operation?

MARKS: This is the most difficult piece of that. We have to imagine that these 210, if this is a good number, let's say it is. Or in this tunnel complex and they're constantly being moved. Nobody really knows. And to underline this, is very, very difficult because the IDF missed, they didn't get the intelligence preparation of this assault back on the seventh. So you look at the intelligence that helps build this and you realize, as Colonel Conricus indicated, this is something the IDF has not done in this level of detail before. This is incredibly difficult work. They've gotten together the numbers, they've talked to family members, they know, who's missing. So this is probably a good estimate.

They've spoken to other embassies, this is probably a good number based on their individuals that are have been held hostage as well. Where they're located is only going to be determined once you cross over into Gaza.

BERMAN: They may not know now, Spider, thank you very much for all of this.

MARKS: Thank you.

BERMAN: Next the parents of one of the U.S. hostages join Anderson on whether they are hearing anything from the U.S. after the release of the two women.


Plus the King of Jordan says there is no military solutions to this crisis hear what he says we'll solve it. And new information on a briefing President Biden just received. This is CNN special live coverage


COOPER: As we continue to bring you the latest developments from this fast moving conflict there is some comforting news, two American hostage news, as you probably know had been released Judith Raanan and her teenage daughter Natalie are now in the care of the IDF.

The U.S. citizens were visiting relatives in the hall on a Kibbutz in Southern Israel when they were taken hostage during the horrific attacks by Hamas on October 7. President Biden spoke with the two Friday evening. Our Priscilla Alvarez joins us now with details. What have you learned?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Anderson, the White House released a video of that phone conversation that President Biden had with those hostages just yesterday. And in that video, President Biden told them that his administration had been working hard to get the hostages out of Gaza.

And also that he hoped to get all of them out. Now officials have confirmed to CNN that they expect and believe that there are still Americans held hostage by Hamas when asked how many officials have characterized that only as a handful and it is a complicated endeavor, Anderson for multiple reasons because it is an act of war zone. And also because of the group that they're dealing with, which is Hamas. There are subgroups.

[20:20:00] They sometimes hold people in different areas. So it's still unclear where the hostages are exactly and in what condition they're in, but it is clearly still a priority for this administration. In fact, just yesterday, President Biden held a call with Prime Minister Netanyahu and in that call, they also discussed the ongoing effort to get hostages released that are being held by Hamas, Anderson.

COOPER: What is the White House doing about a Palestinian Americans who are at the southern border crossing with Israel, with Egypt, the Rafah crossing, waiting? They've been waiting for really soon for two weeks, but or more than two weeks, but they are still there. They're not being allowed across into Egypt. Do we know what the holdup is?

ALVAREZ: This is a topic of discussion with U.S. officials and their counterparts overseas. It's something that had come up as well for Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was involved in those high stakes shuttle diplomacy across the region over the last several days.

And an internal government memo that I reviewed earlier this week showed that the U.S. Embassy in Cairo is tracking that there are more than 100 U.S. citizens that they know of in Gaza and their family members or were they called associated family members who are trying to get out.

But it is a complicated effort. And one, two, that is complicated by the Rafah crossing and whether they can cross whether they are permitted to by Egypt or by Hamas. So it is still something that the administration is working on. It's something that the President in a statement today went on to mention again.

Which is that, his administration is working around the clock to try to get those Palestinian Americans out of Gaza. But there is no clear end in sight on that front, Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Priscilla Alvarez, thank you. Joining me now is Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg, whose son Hersh was taken hostage at the Music Festival the day that Hamas attacked. John, two hostages were released last night, both Americans. I'm wondering, when you learned about what were your thoughts?

JON POLIN, SON ABDUCTED BY HAMAS: Well, first of all, I'm really happy for them, those hostages their loved ones. And they got the outcome that we're now hoping that the other 201 is hostages get. And they were both women. They're people who lived full time in the United States.

And we're here on a visit. So I'm not surprised that the first two. I just hope that there are many more to follow, including our son Hersh, who is 15 days in having his arm blown off. And we hope getting antibiotics and medical treatment.

COOPER: Jon, Rachel, I mean, Hersh has a severe wound, as Jon was saying, I mean, part of his left arm was either shot or blown off his hand is gone. Do you feel there's been enough attention on those who are being held hostage who have severe life threatening medical conditions, because there are a number of people that we know about? RACHEL GOLDBERG, SON ABDUCTED BY HAMAS: Well, clearly, there is not enough attention. First of all, there's no information. You know, we know about this. But a lot of people don't know what's happened to their loved ones. And I think that we've been rightfully worried about, you know, the babies and the children and the grandparents who are there. And also, there are many wounded people. They're grievously wounded.

COOPER: There was a teenage girl believed to have been kidnapped, who's fed I believe, with a feeding tube needs a wheelchair, which the gunman who took her left behind, there are others with serious medical conditions, the Red Cross, which is called obviously for all the hostages to be released, which Hamas has the power to do.

And other groups have the power to do for hostages with severe life threatening injuries to be at least prioritized in some way. Is there any indication that might, I mean that there's being thought given to that?

POLIN: Let's not even talk about the kind of what would drive anybody to do this. And, yes, our son is there in his condition. I see the pictures that you referred to of the young woman in a wheelchair who is taken. Let's not even go to what kinds of people do this.

What I would say is, until there are people around the world that keep talking about Foreign Ministers of every country, until they are holding their hands all together and shouting for help, for medical treatments, then no not enough is being done. Not enough attention is being paid to this.


Remember, there hostages from something like 30 countries, I keep saying this isn't an Israel Palestinian issue. This isn't an issue of conflict. This is people a global issue, people from 30 countries held hostage not getting the treatment they need. And I'm not hearing nearly enough noise in the world to support these people should be getting.

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

GOLDBERG: I want to bring in. I mean, I just think that time is running out, not just for Hersh, but I think time is running out for the remaining 200 plus people who are still there. I think that it's such a vulnerable community of people. When you have elderly people and you have children, and you have babies, I just and many injured people, wounded people.

I just think we don't have time, like it's been two weeks. Now is the time for the courageous people who are putting in tireless efforts. You know, behind the scenes, however, they're doing it keep going. Let's get these people out.

COOPER: Jon, anything else?

POLIN: You know, I continue to think about what Hersh is going through. And we're here every day and we're not sleeping and we're working tirelessly. He is someplace far worse than us right now. And my thoughts are with him and my messages continue to be to him. Stay strong.

Know that not only are we doing everything we can for you that the world is behind you and the world is behind the other hostages. We need to be making more noise, but the outpouring of support that we are getting from so many people from so many places in the world, gives me some level of hope.

And I just hope that Hersh has some sense of some small fraction of the global goodwill of people who are pulling for him and pulling for the others.

COOPER: Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg, thank you.

POLIN: Thank you.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

COOPER: Still ahead, a new CNN forensic analysis on that deadly Gaza hospital blast, the new clues to what did and did not cause the exposure.



COOPER: I'm Anderson Cooper live in Tel Aviv. Tonight a new CNN forensic analysis confirms that the deadly blast at the hospital complex in Gaza did not come from Israel. Joining me now is Jeremy Diamond in Ashkelon. So Jeremy, what do you know?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, our investigations team has conducted a really thorough analysis using dozens of videos taken from social media, but also live broadcasts and footage filmed by a freelance journalist working for CNN, inside the Gaza Strip.

In addition to that their satellite imagery and they also spoke with several explosives and other military experts who analyze these very images. And CNN's analysis effectively suggests that this blast at this hospital inside the Gaza Strip was caused by a rocket launched from Gaza a rocket that appears to have broken up mid-air.

And then at least part of that rocket fell down on that parking lot outside the hospital, causing the explosion that has killed hundreds of people over there. Now these weapons and explosives experts who CNN spoke with, they all agree that this is the most likely scenario.

Now at the same time, a definitive conclusion on this simply can't be reached without recovering physical evidence from the site, which is very difficult given the limited access that journalists have to the Gaza Strip and also the fact that that territory is indeed controlled by Hamas.

Now, I want to take you through two key moments here, because one of them is from this live broadcast that was being broadcast on Al Jazeera, where you can see the rockets that were being fired around the same time as this blast occurred. One of those rockets appears to burn out in the sky before crashing into the area where the hospital is.

The second piece of evidence, Anderson is the crater. And this is a key piece of evidence that the Israeli Defense Forces have also pointed to, as they tried to make the initial claim that this was not them that this was caused by a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The crater that was caused by this explosion was three by three feet wide, about one foot deep. And all of the experts that CNN spoke to agreed that this is not consistent with the kind of crater that you would see from a bomb that would be dropped from an aircraft. And they also said that it is not consistent with any kind of artillery fire on that kind of a position.

Now, all of this doesn't change the fact that Palestinian officials continue to insist that Israel is responsible for the strike. Israel, of course, denies that and has pointed to this very same rocket scenario. What it also doesn't change is the anger, the eruption of anger that this hospital blasts has caused in the Arab world, in the Middle East.

We have watched these protests over the last couple of days at U.S. embassies and Israeli embassies in the region. And ultimately, you know, the majority of this hospital blasts has really become quite a touch point, Anderson. And I don't think that that is going to change despite this latest analysis, Anderson.

COOPER: Right and Israel it also put forward what they say were intercepts between two Hamas operatives, in which they discussed this as in as long as Jihad rocket and that U.S. intelligence in the National Security Council put out a statement saying that their analysis also backed up Israel's claim. Jeremy Diamond, thank you, John, back to you.


BERMAN: All right, Anderson, world leaders representing 34 countries arrived in Cairo for what's called a peace summit calling for the protection of civilians in Gaza. King Abdullah of Jordan forcefully denounced the Israeli bombing campaign referring to it as a "collective punishment of a besieged and helpless people".

King Abdullah also called it a war crime. With me now Max Boot is Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Palestinian Foreign Policy Analysts, Rula Jebreal. And Max, when you get a statement like that, from King Abdullah of Jordan, one of the leaders of one of the countries that Israel has a working relationship within the region, Mohammed el Sisi in Egypt very similar thing. Is Israel getting anything close to what it wants or could expect from those nations?

MAX BOOT, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Well, I don't think Israel necessarily expects public vows of support from Arab allies, but it may very well be a different story behind closed doors. I mean, I think King Abdullah has genuine cause for concern here for his own nation.

Obviously, if this war spreads, Jordan is on the frontlines, they could be caught in the crossfire. But you'd have to look at it from the Israeli perspective, they've been attacked. This is the single worst attack in the history of Israel. What are they supposed to do say, we're not going to bomb.

We're not going to invade, you can get away with this, what would happen to Israeli security in the future, if its enemies around the region got the message, they could attack and commit these heinous atrocities with impunity.

This is a very tragic situation where Hamas is dragging the people of both Israel and Gaza in the entire region into this horrible war caused by their barbaric attack. But having been attacked, I don't think Israel has no choice, but to respond in military fashion.

BERMAN: Rula, we've seen the reaction on the Arab Spring, we've seen the reaction among some European capitals right now with these large pro-Palestinian demonstrations. What changes when and if it seems inevitable Israeli troops, ground troops go into Gaza?

RULA JEBREAL, VISITING PROFESSOR AT UMIAMI: I think what they're worried about these leaders, whether Sisi, who, you know, is the President of a country very impoverished, 100 million people that had basically, he outsmarted the Muslim Brotherhood, and he doesn't like Hamas.

Yet both he and King Abdullah are they condemned the attack, but they are telling the Israelis what kind of answer would be acceptable? And what kind of answer would unleash hell across the Middle East? They even are pointing out to the fact that they themselves warn both the Israelis and the Americans that absent a political solution, not only for Gaza, but for the West Bank.

King Abdullah has been pleading with the international community to stop the settlement and the annexation, subjugation of Palestinians for a long time. And especially he's been pleading during to not overrode the status of the religious sites, that Aqsa Mosque, or even the churches in Jerusalem, they've been under attack.

So they're looking at what's happening. And they said, we told you this is going to happen. Can you please put on the table something other than not only you can answer it, but something else that is not, you know, carpet bombing of civilians, basically using the food. I mean, what they're worried about is the use of food and water as a weapon of war, starvation as a weapon of war.

BERMAN: Is a ground invasion, unleash hell, as you say?

JEBREAL: Ground invasion will be a disaster, a catastrophe. It's what even Tom Friedman warned about when it comes to, you know, it to remind us of 9/11. People were angry, were emotional, were very scared, and they overreacted. But once you overreact, it will plunge the whole Middle East in an unprecedented catastrophe, which means you might have people in Lebanon answering back.

You might have the militias in Syria, the Iranians and other answering back, you cannot predict the outcome. That's why these leaders are ahead of time telling Israel. They didn't tell Israel don't respond. They tell Israel don't do a ground invasion, because this will in a very strip, you know, territory, you have 2 million people and you know, the casualty will be in huge numbers.

BERMAN: So Max, what about that in the Thomas Friedman argument, which essentially a part of his argument is that what Hamas most wants?


BERMAN: Is an Israeli ground invasion.

BOOT: That may be the case, although you're also seeing Hamas doing things like releasing a couple of hostages, perhaps in a bid to avert an Israeli ground invasion. And yes, there's no question there is a definite possibility of this invasion turning into a quagmire.

But look, I think from the Israeli perspective, John, they don't have any other choice, because basically, ever since Hamas, took control the Gaza Strip, Israel has basically tried to live with that. They've occasionally responded to Hamas rocket attacks, with Israeli air attacks, a couple of ground incursions in 2008 and 2014.

But they were never trying to overthrow Hamas, because they thought they could kind of live with Hamas, deter Hamas. And that would be the least bad option. But this was called the mowing the lawn strategy, essentially trying to decrease the threat from Hamas without trying to end Hamas. But I think what happened on 10/7 show that that strategy is not working. This is the worst attack Israel has ever suffered.


They can't live they literally cannot live with Hamas who control the Gaza Strip. And you can't destroy Hamas from the air. They've tried that many times. It causes a lot of collateral damage, but it does not root out the terrorist organization. So I think they have no choice but to go in on the ground -- . But it's a very dangerous scenario.

BERMAN: -- do what, once they're there on the ground?

BOOT: Well, that's a great question. I think there's certainly going to go after Hamas infrastructure, after Hamas fighters, after Hamas leadership, trying to break their grip on the Gaza Strip. I think the big question is what happens next, who takes control the Gaza Strip after the invasion?

There is no good answer to that. And I think it is important that Israel should make concessions to the Palestinian Authority, they should bolster the Palestinian Authority. And I think, you know, a lot of the things that really says are absolutely correct, but and I think it has been a tragic mistake for Israel not to do more for the peace process for the two state solution.

The things they've been doing, the creeping annexation of the West Bank is terrible. But let's keep this in perspective, John. Hamas is not interested in a two state solution. They are not going to be mollified with Israeli concessions. Their goal is genocide. Their goal is the eradication the State of Israel.

That's why Israel has to fight Hamas. But at the same time, Israel needs to do a much better job of making concessions to the Palestinian Authority than working with a moderate Palestinians. Because what Hamas offers is a horrible deal not only for Israelis, but for Palestinians as well.

BERMAN: -- war.

JEBREAL: -- Oh, my God.

BERMAN: I know, so the Middle East peace 30 seconds.

JEBREAL: Ultimately, look the Israel in 2006 went to Lebanon and the whole game was to degrade and basically destroy Hezbollah. They never succeeded. The Americans has the same goal with basically the Taliban, the Taliban is back in power. It's easy to say, I'm going to do this.

And I am no way defending what these people did. What I'm saying it's easy to in a situation where we see that settlements are increasing the professed goal by the Israeli government themselves. And we saw it on television, that it's not only Hamas, they're going after.

They're going after civilians, they're telling us this in words and deeds even you know, Bibi Netanyahu, the President of Israel, Hertzog soldier after soldier. So with Arab, you know, population 400 million people are hearing we don't care about Palestinian lives and that will create for America will jeopardize America's national security.

This is not anymore seen as a war on Hamas, this scene whether we want Americans to hear it or not, they have to hear it now and intervene now and pressure Israel now because what they're hearing this is an American war. They're giving 14 billion to the Americans to basically bomb you know, Gaza to oblivion, and they're doing nothing to even rain the settlers.

Even rain you know, or even stop the settlement or even help the Palestinians in the West Bank, where in Hamas doesn't exist from being killed day after day after day. And I think they are seeing also the use of water and food as a weapon of war, starving a population all of them as a collective punishment and this will radicalize a generation of not only Palestinians of Arabs and Muslims.

BERMAN: Rula Jebreal, Max Boot, thank you both very much. Coming up CNN's Clarissa Ward washed as aid trucks finally did enter Gaza today, 20 of them as World Health officials warn of the growing humanitarian disaster you're going to see what she witnessed. Plus, well the world has been watching Israel a major development in Russia's war on Ukraine what Ukrainians did that may have changed this path.



COOPER: There were 20 trucks that carried aid into Gaza from Egypt today across the Rafah border crossing most carried medicine and medical supplies, seven carried food or water none as we mentioned earlier carried fuel.

Palestinian officials in Gaza say what they received was not nearly enough. Clarissa Ward has been reporting from the Egyptian side of the border and is more on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So now it's been two weeks of no aid, relentless bombardment mass displacement. 20 trucks is obviously just a drop in the ocean. But officials are saying that they're hopeful that this is the start of something more sustained, more continuous.

The U.N. believes in hopes that potentially tomorrow or on Monday that more of their trucks could go through today those 20 trucks were Egyptian Red Crescent trucks they drove through the Rafah border crossing. They unloaded that aid, which was food, water, medicine.

Palestinian trucks then loaded the aid and drove it through to the Gaza side. Now there's a meeting today of Arab leaders here in Cairo. It's called a conference of peace. President Sisi, the Egyptian President spoke in the last hour or so he said, this is a welcome sign. But it's not enough.

We need to build on this and establish a sustained humanitarian corridor. We need a humanitarian ceasefire as well. And beyond that, we need to work on establishing some kind of a peace process a two state solution so quite a long list of things that need to happen.

Right now there seems to be consensus, at least on that first step of trying to establish a more continuous or sustained humanitarian corridors. The hospitals at this stage are barely functioning. The fuel supplies according to one U.N. person who I was speaking to will be out or depleted in two or three days.

So that is a vital resource that is desperately needed, and negotiations ongoing to try to get at least 100 trucks in every single day in what would be the beginning of a continuous corridor and hopefully eventually also, the establishment as the Israelis had previously mentioned.

And also President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have some kind of humanitarian zone where some of the 900,000 displaced people inside Gaza could find some refuge and some respite. We are still though a long way from that.

COOPER: 900,000 displaced people. Clarissa Ward, thank you. Coming up, Ukraine's war on Russia getting a significant boost this week after the U.S. secretly delivers a new weapon to Ukraine that may be used on the battlefield, next.



BERMAN: We will continue to bring the latest out of Israel tonight. But that's not the only conflict unfolding on the world stage. Intense fighting continues in Ukraine where U.S. long range missile system made a surprise appearance on the battlefield this week. With us now is Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, General, great to see you.

We're talking about the ATACMS and you can see here what they look like in real life here we also have the specs and with this missile system, Ukraine was already able to strike two Russian airbase is inside Russian held territory in Ukraine but right about here and here. What kind of a difference, can the attack was make, General?

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), FORMER ARMY COMMANDING GENERAL OF EUROPE AND SEVENTH ARMY: Well, there are going to be limited numbers of these ATACMS the army attack called missile system. That's what the attack stands for. The ones that were used the other day against Berdiansk and Luhansk, John, were cluster munitions.

They have a range of about 150 miles, other ATACMS will go farther, but these are the ones the Ukrainians need on the battlefield right now. Here's why. We've talked a lot about cluster munitions, the ammunitions that have a round with about 80 -- size cans inside of them.


That spread out over a large area one of those attacks on missiles has over 600 of the same kind of cluster bomblets. So when you're talking about shooting it at an airfield, which is what the Ukrainians did this week, it will cover a very large area. And it also speaks highly of Ukraine's targeting methodology.

And what I mean by that is they were allowed to target some things within those occupied territories, with the assistance of special operators from the Ukrainian military that determine when helicopters were going to be at that base. There were estimated 14 helicopters destroyed by these attacks on bomblets at those two bases.

And what are interesting about this are those helicopters that the Russians used for close air support had been wreaking a little bit of havoc because they fire what are called ATGM anti-tank guided missiles from a very long distance away. So as Ukraine was going up against defenses, they could be engaged from far beyond their visual capability, but also far beyond their ability to fire back.

So if you destroy not only the Russian helicopters, but also affect their air defense systems and their electronic warfare systems, which she's attacking was did it gives the Ukrainians a significant tactical advantage on the battlefield.

BERMAN: And they can do it from inside the territory that they hold into the Russian occupied territory parts they couldn't hit before General Hertling, thank you so much for that terrific explanation.

HERTLING: Thanks, John.

BERMAN: We're getting more breaking news from Israel. Still ahead, the IDF says it will enter the Gaza Strip, as CNN witnesses a huge military buildup near the border. Plus, we are just getting word of an Israeli strike on a mosque.