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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Dozens Of Strikes Target Hamas In Gaza Late Sunday; Israel Says No Ceasefire For Gaza Amid Hostage Talks; 14 Aid Trucks Cross Into Gaza From Egypt Today; Doctors At Gaza's Main Hospital Endure Bloody Day; Displaced Israelis Now Living at Makeshift Shelter; Manhunt Expands For Man Accused Of Killing Maryland Judge. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 22, 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 HOST: I'm Anderson Cooper in Tel Aviv with my colleague, Jim Acosta, in Washington, D.C.
This evening we begin this hour with the latest escalation of Israel's war with Hamas. Israel's military is ramping up its bombardment of Gaza. A short time ago, Israel's military reported it's conducted dozens of strikes on Hamas in Gaza in recent hours. They say they've destroyed two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon, according to an IDF post on Telegram. Part of Israel's plan to prepare for a possible ground operation into Gaza.
Israel carried out rare air strike in the West Bank. They say they were targeting a tunnel system under a mosque. The IDF says it thwarted what they called an imminent terror attack. The Palestinian Authority called it a dangerous escalation.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: And, Anderson, Israel's military now confirms that its troops clashed with Hamas fighters inside Gaza earlier today. It's just the second time Israeli forces have confirmed operating inside Gaza since the Hamas terror attack two weeks ago.
A CNN journalist has witnessed at least 14 trucks, meanwhile, crossing from Egypt into Gaza, delivering desperately needed humanitarian aid. Officials say much more is needed. An official at Gaza's main hospital says the deteriorating conditions are catastrophic, and other hospitals say they're overwhelmed by the number of dead and wounded from Israel's intensifying bombardment.
And just a few minutes ago, we learned that an Israeli American IDF soldier from Rockville, Maryland, has died in a missile attack near Israel's northern border with Lebanon. Omer Balva, we're told, was just 22 years old -- Anderson.
COOPER: I want to begin in the Israeli city of Sderot. CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is there.
So, Nic, Israel's air campaign over Gaza continues. What are you seeing?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think this evening we're seeing and witnessing the most heavy and sustained air strikes and artillery strikes on Gaza, on this northern end of Gaza I think than we've witnessed over the past two weeks. Just in the last 10 minutes, there have been about 10 huge missile strikes going in to the northern part of Gaza. Some of them quite loud enough and strong enough to rattle the doors and windows on this building and other buildings in the street here.
And they're probably landing about four -- three or four miles away from us judging the timelapse between the huge illuminations on the skyline that we're seeing and the big bangs that we're hearing here. So if we're feeling it here, three or four miles away, you can only begin to imagine the scale of the detonations there. And there were reports a few hours ago from Jabalia Refugee Camp, which is about six miles from where we're standing here, that there were casualties as a result of these strikes, strikes that the IDF say are targeting Hamas leaders. And they're describing this step-up in bombardment as a way to make it safer for when troops go in for an expected incursion -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Nic, we've been seeing over the last several days and hearing from the IDF as well that there have been a number of operations, some of them going on for many hours, in the West Bank, targeting what they say are Hamas operatives or even others. I think the mosque tunnel, they said, was a joint Hamas-Islamic Jihad cell.
ROBERTSON: Yes. Some of the operations we've seen have involved units of IDF going in and police making arrests. But the one early this morning in Jenin was different, and it was different because it was an air strike. The IDF say that they had timely and active intelligence that there were two militants in a mosque. There were tunnels in the mosque where there could be weapons stored, and that these militants were going to perpetrate an attack. It's unusual, very unusual actually, for an air strike of this kind.
It was in Jenin in a mosque there. There have been two incursions by the Israeli military into Jenin to take out militants earlier this year. After one of those operations, I went in. The firefight that was described to us by residents there was very intense firefight. A number of Israeli troops injured. So by the air strike today, perhaps reducing the footprint on the ground and therefore the possibility of casualties.
And there's another big detonation behind me in Gaza there, Anderson. And we'll probably hear the jet flying away overhead. This has just been repeat and repeat and repeat. There's another detonation there. Through this evening, really another flash, you probably were able to see that behind me there. And if we count to about 10, you'll probably hear that detonation. Sometimes just before the detonation, you can actually hear the sound of the missile going in.
You hear it there. That, I think, is what the IDF is describing as their ramp-up in the air strikes at the moment -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nic, CNN is learning that the Biden administration has been pressing Israel to delay a possible full-scale ground operation in Gaza. The goal would be allowing more time perhaps for the release of more hostages, more humanitarian aid into the south of Gaza over the Rafah border. What is Israel saying about that, or Israeli officials? Has anyone commented on that?
ROBERTSON: Yes. Israeli officials are saying, look, they want to see hostages and get hostages released. And they're sensitive to what President Biden is saying. But the calculation on the Israeli side is once aid begins to go into Gaza, particularly if it's more than the 20 trucks on Saturday, the 14 trucks Sunday, if it becomes more than that, there's a real concern that that gets into the hands of Hamas, makes Hamas stronger.
This sort of siege, if you will, the closing of borders into Gaza, is a tool that Israel is using to weaken Hamas and weaken its resolve. That becomes leverage, if you will, against getting hostages released, and of course this pressure is being felt by Prime Minister Netanyahu. I've talked to a number of Israeli analysts here, you know, who study the situation closely, and say, you know, Prime Minister Netanyahu finds it very difficult to say no to President Biden because the United States is supplying a lot of the weapons, particularly the very heavy munitions and the defensive missiles for taking out incoming rockets that Israel needs.
There was another flash, you probably caught it there, and we'll probably get another detonation. But Israel needs U.S. support so it can't deny requests coming from the United States. But then there's this upward pressure in the country, from the military, from many people here, who still feel a sense of danger because of Hamas' barbaric attack two weeks ago and really want to see action going after Hamas. So there are competing and difficult pressures on the prime minister right now -- Anderson.
COOPER: Yes, Nic Robertson, thanks very much.
Joining us now is Danny Danon, Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations. He's also a member of Israel's parliament, the Knesset, in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Appreciate you being with us. Obviously we've been saying this may be imminent now for two weeks. It does certainly feel like there has been a ramp-up. What are your expectations for the coming days?
DANNY DANON, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: We're taking our time. We know it will happen. We will not sit idly by after the atrocities committed. So we take our time. We don't care how long it will take, but we're going to go into Gaza. We're going to hunt down the terrorists, and we urge the population to move south. About 70 percent already moved south, and we want to encourage more people to move south because it's going to be a warzone. It's not going to be pleasant to be in the area once we step in.
COOPER: It seems obviously one way to motivate people to move south is to have more food, water, and medicine stationed in the south, more of those tents that we've seen and some being put up. Are you in favor of a more steady supply of trucks going in as long as they're inspected from the Rafah Border Crossing?
DANON: First of all, the northern part will be a warzone. We know that Hamas is waiting for us. For more than a decade, they build operations to wait for a ground operation in northern Gaza. So civilians who will be there will be hurt either by Hamas explosives or by our troops. So we ask them to move south. And in the south, we have the U.N. -- UNRWA and other NGOs that are waiting for them with water, with medicine.
COOPER: They have been saying that they need more. Are you in support of the idea of a more steady flow of just trucks going across every day? It was 20 two days ago, 14 on Sunday.
DANON: So today 20 trucks moved in. I think we have to speak about our humanitarian needs. We have more than 200 kidnapped Israelis.
COOPER: No, I understand that. But you just said you want people going south. I'm just saying wouldn't that entice more people to come to the south if they knew there are more supplies? We've heard reports from Gaza that there are some people who have come south and are choosing to go back north because it's -- you know, they're having trouble finding a place or finding any kind of things in the south.
DANON: So the fact that you have water in the south and you have NGOs active there, and they will stay there. So I think they will still more the presence of those NGOs, they will allow to bring more stuff into Gaza, but we have to make it clear. It's not going to be safe to be in the northern part of Gaza.
COOPER: Right. What happens -- there's been a debate in Israel for quite a while about the rules of engagement. Do you know -- are the rules of engagement clear in northern Gaza when you go in? Because obviously you have been very clear for weeks saying everybody move south. If you're a civilian, move south. We don't want you up in the north. If there are people who have stayed in Gaza City, are they, in the rules of engagement, what do Israeli troops do? Because that's one of the confusions in any kind of combat, you know, in a city as you know better than anybody.
DANON: So we fight according to international law. And we proved it in the past. The morality of the IDF is proven. But once you fight a terrorist organization that have more than 30,000 terrorists there, they will fight with us. So it's not going to be safe for anyone being there. So we will try to minimize the civilian casualties, but Hamas will do exactly the opposite. They will find ways to bring more civilians to protect them, maybe around the tunnel, around their headquarters. So I think today the civilians should take their stuff and move out.
COOPER: In terms of what the IDF forces have been doing in this interim period as reservists were called up, I assume there's been a training component or just a refresh component for reservist troops who, you know, haven't been in uniform in a while. Has that been part of what we haven't been seeing over the last couple of weeks? I mean, we've seen some images of training -- you know, soldiers going through training.
DANON: So all reserves need training once a year. So they are in good shape. But, yes, we took the 12 days, 14 days to train them again, to explain them what to expect. And we have to understand it's not a war when you fight the enemy. It's going to be very hard to locate the enemy. They're going to be in tunnels beneath Gaza. You know, they spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the tunnels. So --
COOPER: Right. This tunnel network is said to be, I mean, miles and miles long, incredibly extensive.
DANON: It's bigger than the metro system in New York City. Imagine how much money they put into it, the technology. They took the aid from the international community and they put it in the ground for the tunnels.
COOPER: In terms of fighting that, does one -- Israel has made advances in tunnel technology. I think, correct me if I'm wrong, the Israeli government has advised U.S. Customs and Border on detecting tunnels on the southern border in the United States. Do you have to actually go into the tunnels? I mean, are there -- how do you fight in a tunnel complex?
DANON: Well, it depends, Anderson, because it's so complicated. You have so many kinds of tunnels in so many locations. But you have to imagine Gaza City, beneath Gaza city, you have another city of tunnels. That's where they're hiding, not the head of the Hamas. They are cowards. They left already to Khan Younis, to the south. We know that. But you have hundreds, maybe thousands of terrorists waiting for us in the tunnels in Gaza.
COOPER: You believe leadership of Hamas has left south?
DANON: We know they're cowards. The main leadership is outside in hotels in Qatar. And the leaders in Gaza, they left already to the southern part, but we will find them. We will hunt them, and we will kill them.
COOPER: How long -- I mean, obviously it's impossible to know. But given past operations on the ground, what timeframe are you preparing people for here?
DANON: So I discussed this with my colleagues in the military, and we realized that it's going to be a long operation. And the people in Israel are ready for that. You know, more than 100,000 Israelis moved out from their homes from the south and the north. The economy is not in the best shape today, but we are ready to pay that price. So we're getting ready for a long operation. It can be weeks. It can be months. As long as it takes to eradicate Hamas, we are ready to do that.
COOPER: Danny Danon, Appreciate your time tonight.
DANON: Thank you.
COOPER: Thank you very much. We're going to have much more coming up from here in Israel. We've
been hearing a barrage of explosions right now near the Israeli-Gaza border. Back in a moment.
ACOSTA: A senior Israeli official tells CNN there will be no cease- fire in Gaza amid U.S. efforts to free more hostages held there by Hamas. This comes as tensions continue to grow in the Middle East with protests calling for an end to Israeli air strikes. The Pentagon says it's sending more military assistance to the region and ordering U.S. troops to prepare for deployment.
And joining me now to talk about this, CNN military analyst and retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling.
General Hertling, great to see you as always. So what do you think is happening right now? What do you make of -- we've been talking about an imminent incursion for a couple of weeks now. Your sense of things as to why this might be taking a little bit longer than a lot of us thought?
LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I've never talked about an imminent incursion, Jim.
HERTLING: Truthfully I knew it was going to take a long time. We're talking about, number one, Israel mobilizing 300,000 soldiers. The last time they went into Gaza, they only mobilized 70,000, which was a huge amount. But also they have not been focused on Gaza. So they're gathering intel on an area that they haven't watched closely for years. They're planning an extremely large operation in an urban environment that has high-rise buildings, tunnels, narrow streets that are rubbled, where there are millions of civilians on the battlefield caught between the warring party. Plus, add to that, hundreds of hostages.
If you have that kind of a scenario, a situation, you've got to plan for a long time. You've got to take what you have, understand what you're facing, and then develop plans that will cause the least amount of civilian casualties while at the same time accomplishing the mission. You don't do that in just a couple of days, especially when you don't have intelligence on the region. And Israel truthfully has somewhat ignored Gaza in the buildup of what's been happening there for the last several years.
ACOSTA: And Israel says they're not going to do a cease-fire even as these hostages remain held captive by Hamas in Gaza. I suppose that's what the Israelis have to say at this point.
But what do you think of Hamas releasing these hostages a few days ago, just a couple of them? Are we perhaps looking at the prospect that they may just trickle them out slowly over time to try to drag this out and prevent this large-scale incursion?
HERTLING: I don't personally, Jim, from a military perspective, believe that they're going to trickle them out. They released two to give people hope. But they have 200. So what is the two saying? Well, that makes we in the West start saying things like, oh, gee, they've released two. I'm sure if we waited a little bit longer, they'll release more. And all that time that we've waited for more releases, Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel.
So, to me, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and especially when you understand the political strategy and the objectives of Hamas. They go by a doctrine which they call the victim doctrine, that everything goes wrong, the failure of Israel to do one thing, the potential bombing of a hospital which didn't prove to be true, or the fact that they're not giving a cease-fire, all puts Israel on the wrong side. And that's what Hamas wants. They want Israel to be drawn into this so they can make them more of a bad guy.
ACOSTA: What did you think of the Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin saying earlier today that the U.S. is concerned about potential escalation in the region? Are you worried about that, that there's a lot of spillover potential?
HERTLING: Yes, most assuredly I'm worried about it. Knowing the Middle East, Jim, what you're talking about is what we've seen over the last several weeks, with other organizations, terrorist units, and even citizens getting involved and saying Israel can't do this after Israel has had over a thousand of their citizens killed. Barbarously killed. So when you hear people like the secretary of Defense, someone I know very well, say that he's concerned, so am I because this is a powder keg.
You know, if you study history, this is similar to Sarajevo in the early 1900s that started World War I. Unless people are calm and make sure that the right things are done -- and I think this is where you're getting the influence of President Biden toward Prime Minister Netanyahu -- is take it slow. Make sure you do the right things. Let's make sure we keep civilians safe, the Palestinians safe, or at least as safe as possible.
But we also know that you have to go after key Hamas targets that have as their number one objective, kill Jews and destroy the Israeli state. So with all those considerations, this is very complex, and certainly it could turn into something much uglier, and I'm hoping that's what we can defuse.
ACOSTA: Well, and we were talking about this with Fareed Zakaria in the previous hour. And that is what does a mission accomplish, what does a victory look like for the Israelis? If you go in there with a large ground incursion, you know, it gets complicated getting to that point where you can say, OK, we achieved our objectives here.
HERTLING: It does. And I've been listening to Fareed today, and he's been making a lot of sense because, first of all, you have to look at what you think your strategic objectives are. What are the end state that you're trying to achieve? That's what Israel is doing. But at the same time, you always have to consider what's the enemy's end state? What are they trying to achieve? What are they trying to suck you into? What are they trying to do?
And with Hamas, it's always been the case that they have continued to use the Palestinian citizens as a shield, either literally or figuratively, to force Israel to come in to take revenge, and they said they don't want to use that term. But it is taking revenge. It would be the same as someone saying, we can't attack al Qaeda after 9/11.
HERTLING: It just doesn't make sense. But there is the requirement to eliminate this terrorist threat, but in doing it on Hamas' home turf with millions of Palestinians is extremely difficult. So Israel has to have an end state. What are they trying to accomplish not only in destroying Hamas, which they've said multiple times, but what does Gaza look like at the end? And they have not messaged that at all.
ACOSTA: Yes. And we should note to our viewers, we have been seeing some flashes over the last several minutes. Nic Robertson's live shot and some of the latest footage we've been showing you.
And General Hertling, we're talking about Hamas, but the IDF says it struck two Hezbollah terror cells on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel earlier today. There is that end of the equation as well. Do the U.S. assets being sent to the region act as a deterrent from that standpoint, or Hezbollah is going to do what Hezbollah is going to do, and the Israelis have to respond?
HERTLING: I would say it's a little bit of both, Jim.
You know, the weaponry and the organizations and the units and the ships that we have sent, I think is providing a deterrent to larger factions. And what I mean by that is Iran. We will see. But Hezbollah is going to do what Hezbollah is going to do. Anyone that's studied this area and knows what Hezbollah has done to Lebanon in terms of destroying the government there, will know that there are no controls on that particular terrorist organization, and they are getting their messaging directly from Iran.
You also have the potential, as we've seen today, of flare-ups in the West Bank. There have been continuous killings of Palestinian citizens there over the last two weeks, too.
HERTLING: Plus as we've seen the U.S. government say, there's danger in the area, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen. This has the potential, as we said before, of being a powder keg.
ACOSTA: All right. General Hertling, really appreciate the time. Great insights as always. Thanks so much.
HERTLING: Thanks, Jim.
ACOSTA: All right. And coming up, humanitarian organizations are working around the clock to get desperately needed food and water to civilians impacted by this conflict. One of those is World Central Kitchen founded by our friend Chef Jose Andres. He joins us live, next.
COOPER: Today another 14 aid trucks crossed from Egypt into Gaza to deliver essential humanitarian aid to people there in southern Gaza. The United Nations World Food Programme says the shortage of basic supplies is pushing Gaza to what they call the edge of catastrophe. Aid organizations are trying to step up, working around the clock to try to get aid, food, water, medicine to people in southern Gaza.
I want to bring in Jose Andres, founder of the nonprofit World Central Kitchen. His organization is on the ground feeding those impacted by conflict around the world, providing thousands of meals to people.
Jose, I appreciate you being with us. First of all, I mean, look, you've worked in a lot of places. What are you able to do at this point in this region?
JOSE ANDRES, FOUNDER, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: Anderson, obviously this situation is complex, and we began doing what we do, trying to bring aid through food and water and send a message of hope. We began very quickly feeding people in Israel after the brutal Hamas attack, and at the same time we began feeding people inside Gaza.
In Israel, we do what we always do. We partner with the community. We began partnering with restaurants. World Central Kitchen teams were able to land in Israel, and we began providing meals to the different people affected by, again, this brutal attack by Hamas. So far we've done over 120,000, 140,000 hot meals in Israel. At the same time, in Gaza, we've been unfortunately before, we were able to partner with organization that mainly is about medical.
It's called Anera. You can find more information about them on Anera.org. But we've been doing a great partnership. What they do is obviously knowing the situation in Gaza very well, and because we do food, in the past we partnered to bring food. So inside Gaza, we've been doing also over 120,000 hot meals, and we've been able to deliver over a million meals in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables, and other goods that we've been distributing in different locations around south, central, and even northern Gaza.
You know, not covering all their needs, we see the need is major. You saw the trucks you said that came yesterday and today. But I'm estimating that only for food, Gaza is going to be needing, at the very least, around 200 to 300 trucks of food a day. So it's OK that now 10 and 14 trucks are coming, but obviously hopefully U.N. and other partners in the area will achieve bigger success and hopefully bring in more food because right now the situation inside Gaza, as we all know, is desperate.
COOPER: In terms of a ground operation by Israel in Gaza, would that -- I mean that would obviously severely curtail any possibility of you expanding any kind of operation there.
ANDRES: Obviously the food we've been able to do with Anera is not eternal. The food we had there in different warehouses, obviously it's going to end sooner rather than later. But yes, what we're doing is positioning World Central Kitchen teams to support the different U.N. organizations, trying to bring relief. So we are already positioning ourselves very near the Rafah, in the Mount Sinai Naif (PH), where we are going to be -- we are right now, as we speak, building a kitchen that we'll be able to do almost 50,000 to 100,000 meals a day.
We are obviously continuing feeding in Israel. We are going to be feeding in Lebanon because this event is having ramifications all over the region. We're positioning teams also in Jordan in case we need to be doing more, helping and supporting inside (INAUDIBLE). So what we are doing is what we always do. People are going to need water. We are working with Water Mission, one of the best NGOs in the world for water, to make sure that once we're able to go in, once we are allowed to go in, we can start contributing to the humanitarian aid in creative ways.
That's what World Central Kitchen does. We're bringing water filtration system so we can be getting water from the ocean and do desalination in the coastal areas. We are buying water trucks so we can start helping in this region. But right now it's a game of waiting until this conflict doesn't end and we are not allowed to go in. It's going to be hard. We're going to be there to support the people of Israel and the people of Palestine that right now they're going through such a hard, hard time.
COOPER: Ultimately, again, all this is contingent on that southern border opening up. You know, this operation on the ground from Israel could go on for weeks.
It could go on for months. I mean, there's simply no way to know. If that southern border did open up and there was this continuous flow, you know, there's questions about, you know, Israel wanting to inspect trucks that go in, which, you know, is part of the -- one of the demands that they have made through the U.S. on that southern border.
But traditionally you have operated in places -- you know, we've seen in the wake of storms and in Ukraine and elsewhere, kind of mobilizing local kitchens that already exist, trained, you know, cooks and chefs who already are there, volunteers who already are there. Even with the destruction, I imagine there are kitchens still in southern Gaza. There are places. It's just there's no, you know, fuel, very little actual food itself, cooking supplies, all of that.
So all of that is dependent ultimately on that border opening, right? ANDRES: Obviously that border opening is vital for the humanitarian
aid to go in. Obviously hopefully the hostilities will end sooner than later. But that the parties interested hopefully will arrive to a moment of peace, and then organizations like us, we do what we do. In a way, World Central Kitchen is a young organization, but we are learning. As you know, we've done more than 240 million meals in a conflict like Ukraine. Right now we are in Armenia.
The message is very clear. Food and water cannot be a weapon. I think everybody will agree with me, even in a moment that the tensions are high, that every single human being deserves to live in a peaceful environment where water and food is able to reach every single human. So let's hope that we can find a way to open that southern point, find hopefully maybe all the places that they can open because this is a real emergency.
To feed two million people inside Gaza is going to be a very big endeavor. U.N., I know and all their agencies, they're going to do everything they can in their power to do, but that's why World Central Kitchen and other NGOs are there because I think U.N. is going to need the help, all the help they can get from organizations like Anera, from organizations like Water Mission, and obviously from organizations like World Central Kitchen.
COOPER: Yes. We're talking very essential, you know, food, water, medicine. And as you said, it has become a weapon or a bargaining tool, bargaining chips, and there are so many people in need. Jose Andres --
ANDRES: It's the same in Ukraine.
COOPER: Yes, go ahead.
ANDRES: Russia is using food as a weapon. They are not letting grain be exported. Food, I think, has to be a simple understanding that every human being, food and water is a basic human right. Let's make sure that even in these very difficult times, at the very least, food, water, medicine, the fuel to make sure that generators and other basic function, that this will be something like hopefully we'll see happening sooner rather than later.
COOPER: Yes. And obviously one of the things Israel has pointed out is they believe Hamas has taken those supplies in the past, and particularly fuel, and it hasn't gone to the civilian population. There are certainly a lot of groups on the ground, the U.N. and others, who -- the hope is can be utilized and World Central Kitchen could be utilized to feed the people and get supplies to people who need it.
Jose, it's good to talk to you always. Thank you.
ANDRES: Thank you.
COOPER: Much more of our special coverage ahead. We'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: The U.N. is warning fuel supply in Gaza will run out in three days, a prospect that threatens to exacerbate an already very, very horrific humanitarian crisis as hospitals and morgues are overwhelmed.
CNN's Scott McLean has a look inside Gaza. And we want to warn you, some of the images in the report are disturbing.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Those who arrived at the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Central Gaza alive are the lucky ones. There were five air strikes this morning near the hospital. This video shows the smoke from one rising nearby. Some 110 bodies were brought here overnight and this morning, one medical source tells CNN.
The morgue is now full, the rest of the bodies wrapped in white sheets now lay outside in the heat of the day. Relatives try to identify their loved ones, finding them confirms their worst fears.
Inside the hospital children including a toddler are among the dead. Several of these victims were found with their names written in Arabic on their legs, an increasingly common marking as parents try to make identification easier if they or their kids are killed.
This hospital is located outside of the area of northern Gaza that Israel has been trying to get civilians to evacuate. On Saturday the IDF dropped leaflets telling people that everyone who chose not to evacuate from the north of the strip to the south of Wadi Gaza might be considered as a partner for the terrorist organization.
In a statement the IDF confirmed it dropped the leaflets but said it has no intention to consider those who have not evacuated from the affected area of fighting as a member of the terrorist group.
Even those who have managed to avoid the bombs are not out of danger. A trickle of aid, 20 trucks, were allowed to cross the Rafah Border Crossing from Egypt on Saturday but that is a tiny fraction of what is needed.
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL INITIATIVE: Twenty trucks of aid to Gaza will not change much. Gaza needs at least 500 trucks daily of fuel, food, medicines, and water. As a matter of fact for 14 days Gaza got nothing under the Israeli siege. And its immediate need now is 7,000 trucks.
MCLEAN: Satellite images showed dozens of trucks waiting at the border and dozens more a quarter mile down the road all unable to get in.
Aid groups say that the death toll could skyrocket because of disease and hospitals that are overwhelmed and undersupplied. With no electricity or generator this shop keeper in Central Gaza is keeping the store open by candlelight as the shelves look increasingly bare. The World Food Programme says the shortage of basic supplies is pushing Gaza to the edge of catastrophe.
The IDF says it killed dozens of terrorists overnight but vows that the number of air strikes will only increase ahead of an expected ground operation. Meanwhile, conditions for the people of Gaza worsen by the hour.
Scott McLean, CNN, London.
ACOSTA: And thousands of Israeli civilians have been displaced in the two weeks since Hamas' terror attacks. One group has mobilized to house and feed as many as they can.
CNN's Rafael Romo has that story.
JENNIFER KAHANI, DISPLACED MOTHER: We had terrorists all around us.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jennifer Kahani says she and her family woke up to the sound of explosions and missiles whizzing by.
It was the morning of October 7th in the village where they live in southern Israel, near the border with Gaza. But they soon realized they were under attack.
KAHANI: We saw helicopters overhead. We saw -- we heard gunfire near us. The terrorists were not far from where I live.
ROMO: Kahani and her 5-year-old son --
KAHANI: What would you like?
ROMO: Are two of the more than 500 displaced people from Israel's north and south, who are now living at a Jerusalem hotel turned into a shelter.
MICHAEL MISTRETA, CEO, FIRM: We take a hotel, house people inside, feed them, do activities. So we're trying to create some sort of normalcy. We'll be hosting next week 1200 people across the country.
ROMO: This Christian organization called the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, or FIRM for short, has mobilized to help displaced people who had to flee their homes.
NISSIM COHEN, DISPLACED ISRAELI: They want to destroy Israel.
ROMO: Nissim Cohen and his wife, Kamelia (PH), live in northern Israel. Their son Joseph warned them a war was coming from the south after the October 7th attacks. Now they're also among the displaced. They say they fled their village located two kilometers from the border with Lebanon because they saw missiles launched by Hezbollah intercepted right above their heads by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system.
(On-camera): From your house near the Lebanese border, could you see the missiles, the rockets flying by?
COHEN: All the missiles. I saw all the missiles. We saw the army in the border.
ROMO (voice-over): According to the Israel Defense Forces, about 100,000 people have been evacuated from communities near both the Gaza and Lebanon borders due to the heightened risk of attacks.
MISTRETA: Some of them have lost their homes. A lot of them have lost loved ones. Some of them, I met a family just yesterday, that their 18-year-old daughter, her best friend, is being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. So the trauma is really pervasive. As a group of Messianic Jews and Christian Arabs really working together to help me care for as many people as possible.
ROMO (on-camera): Many of these families share a feeling of uncertainty right now. When will the war end? When will they be able to go home? Those are questions for which they don't have an answer right now.
(Voice-over): Jennifer Kahani says her husband stayed behind with others trying to figure out how to defend their communities against further attacks.
KAHANI: We didn't just lose Jews. We didn't just lose, you know, Zionists or Israelis that day. We lost tourists that came here for a celebration of peace at a party. We lost caregivers from the Philippines and from India that were caring for elderly.
ROMO: For now, Kahani says all she can do is hug her son a little harder, pray for her husband's safe return, and hope that something like this never happens again.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Jerusalem.
ACOSTA: Tonight an urgent manhunt is expanding for the suspect accused of killing a Maryland judge. We're learning the judge, Andrew Wilkinson, had just ruled against the suspect in a child custody case, and officials say the judge was targeted because of that ruling.
Let's go straight to CNN's Polo Sandoval with the latest on this.
Polo, what are officials saying?
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: (INAUDIBLE) of this search and because of that authorities in Washington County, Maryland, have released a new photo of their suspect, Pedro Argote, hoping to generate any leads into the whereabouts of the 49-year-old man. U.S. Marshals Service also offering a $10,000 reward as they try to track down the man who they say shot and killed a state judge who just hours before the Thursday shooting had reportedly actually ruled against Argote in a child custody battle, which is why authorities are trying to track him down.
You'll recall it was on Thursday the 52-year-old State Circuit Judge Andrew Wilkinson was found shot to death outside of his home in Hagerstown, Maryland. His family was inside the house at the time of the shooting. There was some hope yesterday that this search was nearing an end when the Mercedes Benz believed to have been what Argote was driving was actually located about eight miles south of the shooting location, but today the Washington County sheriff saying that that search provided no results.
That they have no information that led them to believe that he was still in the area. The car may have been dumped there the day of the shooting potentially. So that is why authorities are looking at the larger picture here. In fact, the U.S. Marshals Service says that they -- he does have ties to Indiana, Florida, North Carolina, and here in New York as well. So that search is ongoing.
And finally, the ex-wife of the suspect, speaking through her attorney in a statement to CNN, saying that her heart aches not only for the victim's family here but also as she continues to have in her thoughts those law enforcement personnel that are trying to track down her ex- husband. Judge Wilkinson's family grieving while law enforcement on the hunt here. We heard from the sheriff this weekend.
It's overseeing this search, Jim. He says they will find their suspect. He says it's a matter of time.
ACOSTA: All right, Polo Sandoval, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
Coming up, we'll head back to Israel in just a few moments as we continue to see explosions near the Israel-Gaza border. More of our special coverage straight ahead. We'll be right back.
COOPER: I'm Anderson Cooper in Tel Aviv with my colleague Jim Acosta in Washington, D.C.
We begin this hour with Israel's military ratcheting up its bombing in Gaza. A short time ago Israel's military reportedly conducted dozens of strikes on Hamas in Gaza in recent hours. They said they destroyed two Hezbollah cells in Lebanon, according to an IDF post on Telegram. Part of Israel's plan to prepare for a possible ground assault in Gaza. That order could come at any time.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the U.S. is worried about an escalation the Middle East. The U.S. is going to deploy defense batteries like these missile defense systems throughout the region to try to protect U.S. forces.
Jim, what's the latest on your end?
ACOSTA: Anderson, CNN is learning that the Biden administration is pressing Israel to delay a possible full-scale ground operation in Gaza. The goal providing more time to negotiate for the release of hostages. Also allowing for more desperately needed humanitarian aid to reach Palestinian civilians trapped in Gaza. An Israeli official tells CNN that Israel is, quote, "not aware of calls for delay."
The White House says President Biden spent the day on the phone having conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Pope Francis, and leaders from Canada and across Europe.