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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Israeli Foreign Minister Plays Audio At United Nations Of Hamas Gunman Bragging To Parents About Killing Jews; IDF: Israeli Navy Clashes With Hamas Divers; IDF Says Fuel Will Be Sent To Gaza Civilians But It Will "Not Allow" The Fuel To Reach Hamas; Biden: Humanitarian Aid Isn't Getting Into Gaza Fast Enough; Report: Mark Meadows Received Immunity To Testify To Special Counsel In Federal Election Subversion Probe; WHO: Six Gaza Hospitals Forced To Shut Down Due To Lack Of Fuel; Daughter Of Released Hamas Hostage Waits For News On Missing Father; CNN Visits Israeli Community Near Gaza Border Where Hamas Paragliders Killed 20 Residents; ABC News: Meadows Received Immunity To Testify To Special Counsel In Election Subversion Investigation; House Republicans Hosting Another Secret-Ballot Vote After Rep. Tom Emmer Dropped Out Of Race. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 24, 2023 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: Could we see Meadows, make a similar deal, now that you are seeing this happen again, and again, and again?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it certainly raises a lot of pressure on Meadows and in other -- some of the other defendants.
We know, of course, Erin, at this point, Meadows is still contesting that indictment. He is still challenging that indictment in the appeals court -- in the federal appeals court there in the 11th Circuit.
So it is possible that at some point between now and whenever that case gets to trial, that Mark Meadows will have some kind of terms with the DA in Georgia.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Evan Perez, and thanks very much to all after you for being with us tonight. AC 360 starts now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: It is 3:88 am here in Tel Aviv with the news right now and for the day ahead unfolding really on three fronts: the momentum towards sending troops into Gaza, the effort to bring out more hostages and then more than just the two pairs that we've seen so far, and the pressure on Israel to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. Most notably, fuel to power generators especially at hospitals, six of which closed today, according to the World Health Organization, when the fuel ran out.
Now, there are developments in all three of those areas. We're going to have reporting on it throughout this hour.
First, though, two new items. One, on what the IDF says was a thwarted Hamas amphibious raid on Tuesday. The other is a phone call, which was played today by Israel's foreign minister for the UN Security Council.
Now the recording was recovered by the IDF. CNN has independently translated it. We can't confirm the veracity of the audio itself or when it was recorded or how it was obtained by the IDF.
The foreign minister says it was made by a Hamas gunman on a phone he took from a woman he had just killed. The gunman is speaking to his father in Gaza with his mother listening in.
(HAMAS GUNMAN speaking in foreign language.)
COOPER: A proud murderer bragging to his proud parents. CNN's Jim Sciutto is here with me.
What more do we know about this audio?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Well, in a war that's already full of astonishing moments of the depravity of what was witnessed on October 7th, this is one of those moments.
As you listen to this audio here, this came from the Israeli foreign minister playing this to the UN Security Council. As you noted here, in an attempt, it seems to show the depth of the depravity behind these acts.
We'd already heard the witness accounts of what happened and who had happened to, including women and children. This gets to the mindset behind that had one of the attackers involved here. And that seems to be part of the intention of what they were playing.
As you noted, I should note that CNN cannot independently confirm where and how this was recorded, but have a listen to how he portrayed this to the Security Council today.
ELI COHEN, ISRAEL'S FOREIGN MINISTER: I would like to listen to this recording.
(HAMAS GUNMAN'S conversation with parents in foreign language.)
COHEN: This is a terrorist of Hamas. What he said there in Arab, telling to his mother and father, that he's proud that there's blood of the Jewish that he murdered.
SCIUTTO: And what struck me listening to this audio here, and you and I have covered too many terror attacks, we can barely account for all of them. We will often see the depravity itself as it's played out. We don't often get a vision into the mindset of the people playing it out.
And what you hear here is just the depth of the hatred to the point where this attacker -- a young man would brag about it to his parents. And his parents would respond with pride. COOPER: We've seen a new level of personalization in this terror
attack. You know, In Christchurch in New Zealand, when the gunman slaughtered people, he live-streamed it.
COOPER: We now have, in Nir Oz, Bracha Levinson, a 75-year-old woman murdered in her living room, and Hamas gunman accessed her Facebook account, live-streamed those images to her friends and family. They got alerts on Facebook, friend requests, and live-streamed that.
So we are -- the documentation on the slaughter, the self- documentation by the gunmen themselves is truly extraordinary. And we're -- that is just now coming out.
SCIUTTO: It's performative, too, right?
SCIUTTO: You know, they want credit. They want to advertise it to the world.
COOPER: Yes, and tell their parents to share in the sick joy of it.
What about the cell of Hamas divers that we heard about?
SCIUTTO: So it's remarkable in a number of levels. First of all, when you think of Hamas, clearly, a terrorist group. We see that they carry out horrendous acts of terror, but it's a terrorist group with military capabilities.
And what we saw on October 7th, for instance, they don't have an air force in the way we might imagine it. But they were able to invade from the air with those motorized ...
SCIUTTO: ... paragliders, right?
And in this case here, they don't have a Navy. They don't have ships. But this was a naval -- navy special ops operation that the IDF says was carried out today, you know, in effect, sort of Hamas "SEALs," if you can imagine that.
But divers were able to at least attempt to enter Israel from the sea. IDF was able to get them. And it's not the first time we've seen this.
Back in 2014, there was a similar attempted attack where they entered by sea. And beyond the capabilities, it shows their -continuing ambition, because Gaza, as we've been reporting every day, is under punishing air assaults right now.
But Hamas, it appears here, was still attempting to strike out -- strike out of Gaza and get into Israeli territory. COOPER: And we should also point out that Hamas is attempting to
strike out of Gaza every single day. We don't notice it as much because Israel has an iron dome system.
So -- but there are thousands of rockets that have been fired into Israel over the last several weeks. It is just that they're not killing all the civilians they would like to kill because of the Israel defenses.
SCIUTTO: This shows that they're willing and able at least to attempt, not just from the air attacks via shelling and rockets, but also ...
SCIUTTO: ... via a ground operation and a fairly sophisticated one. Again, intercepted by IDF, but one that was -- that shows that the sophistication of their capabilities.
COOPER: There's a -- according to a US official, there's a US Marine Corps Lieutenant General James Glynn who's come over, who's obviously very experienced, and I believe in particularly in urban combat.
COOPER: Is that correct?
SCIUTTO: Experienced in Fallujah. He commanded Marines in Fallujah.
And the reason this is important, when I speak to military officials, the message that American commanders seem to be giving the Israelis is we've seen this kind of war that you're contemplating here in Gaza. Urban warfare with a terror group infiltrated throughout.
We've seen it in Fallujah, and it was bloody and it was long, and we outgunned them, but it was difficult.
And in effect, part of the message is you don't want that kind of war, right? And that that's going to -- it's going to take a long time. It's going to have enormous costs.
It seems that the recommendation is something more like a combination of air strikes and smaller special operations raids as opposed to a full-on kind of blitzkrieg attempt. And Glynn is a perfect person to deliver that message because he commanded US forces in Fallujah.
COOPER: Jim Sciutto, thanks so much.
For more on all of this, as well as American deployments in the region and the arrival, as we mentioned, of this three-star general, we're joined by former retired US Marine Corps General and CENTCOM Commander Kenneth McKenzie.
General, appreciate you being with us. First of all, just -- an audio like that was played at the UN today, what is your reaction when you hear that? KENNETH MCKENZIE, FORMER RETIRED US MARINE CORPS GENERAL: So, two
things. First of all, it accurately captures the horrific nature of the attack. I mean, that's very clear. It's stark, it's ugly, it's frightening. So that -- I think it's a good memorial of that.
But it also speaks to the difficulty of the operation that the IDF is contemplating to go into Gaza. These are people that are going to be fighting in Gaza.
There are going to be people who will hide behind civilians. There are going to be people who will do everything they can to fight and fight very hard against the Israelis within they elect to come in.
And I know that's why the IDF right now is carefully calibrating the nature and scope of its attack to accommodate this.
COOPER: I've talked to some former military officers who were in Iraq, who, when asked about the comparisons to Fallujah or Mosul, said that they think what Israel is or has ahead of it in Gaza City, if they choose to go in, is maybe even more complicated than what the US faced in Fallujah and what US and Iraqi forces faces in Mosul because of the civilian population.
MCKENZIE: I think that's an accurate assessment, Anderson. I believe, first of all, Hamas is better equipped. They have better equipment.
They've had a long time to work at the problem. And they're going to present a multidimensional threat to the IDF when they come in.
You're going to be fighting on the surface of the earth. You're going to be fighting underneath the surface of the earth and sewers, and then in the elaborate tunnel system that Hamas has had years, decades to perfect.
Then above the surface of the earth, Hamas is going to be flying small drones against the Israelis. Now the Israelis will have better and far more capable drones they'll be flying themselves.
And the Israeli Air Force will be on top to provide precision fires. But it's going to be a very hard go. And I believe it's accurate to say this will be one of the most difficult urban combat problems any modern military has ever faced.
And just one more observation. When you get into an urban environment, many of the technical -- technological advantages of a technically- superior force are partially erased because you're at such very close range with your opponent.
We prefer to have a little standoff. You're going to be fighting room to room, up and down stories in a single building. It's going to be a very, very close battle. And that tends to then actually devolve on the quality of small unit leadership.
Who are the small unit leaders? Who are going to be able to keep their soldiers in the fight going forward? It's going to be a tough go.
COOPER: I've read accounts of so-called tunnel rats who fought for the US in the US Army during Vietnam and the Marines around Cu Chi and other places. I assume tunnel warfare has evolved a lot in the sophistication of these tunnels. How do you fight in tunnels?
MCKENZIE: You eventually got to go down in them. Now I'm sure the Israelis will use robotics. I'm sure they'll use all the kinds of sophisticated techniques to get down into the tunnels.
But you'll eventually going to have to go down there. And I would expect that's where many of these hostages are going to be held.
Although I would note at least from my observation, the hostages are clearly important. That's very important to us all.
But Hamas is going to use the entire civilian population of Gaza as hostages in this attack. They're going to attempt to manufacture mass casualty events, so they can play that out in the information space against the IDF.
The IDF is going to work very hard to mitigate those opportunities through careful consideration of collateral damage when they strike targets. But the simple fact of the matter is, on this battlefield, civilians are, in fact, going to die despite the very best efforts of the IDF.
And they'll try to minimize that. I know they will. I know these leaders. I know the capability of the force that's going to go in.
However, it goes in, whether it's broad front attack, whether it's a pinpoint raid by special operations forces, whatever the scope and scale of the attack is, the Israelis will attempt to minimize casualties. At the same time, Hamas is going to work relentlessly to maximize civilian casualties in every way that they can.
COOPER: What's different also about the comparisons to Fallujah and Mosul is just the presence of cameras and social media and the fast -- I mean, information moves faster than it did even -- you know, as recently as the fight in Fallujah and Mosul.
So we did something. You talked about a multidimensional fight. That is another dimension to this, isn't it?
MCKENZIE: It is. The ubiquity of personal communications, the Internet, the web, the ability to reach out there, but not only the technical changes. But we've seen a difference in the approach to information.
Like I'll tell you for most of my career, the event was what was important. An event occurred and you talked about the event.
In the world today, and particularly we see with Hamas, there's no relationship with the truth necessarily with what they're saying. I believe the Israelis will seek to have a relationship with the truth. That means you're always going to be slower because you want to check
your facts. It also means you're occasionally going to be wrong and you'll acknowledge that you're wrong when that happen as the Israelis have and as we have many times over the past few years.
But I think Hamas has no requirement to have a relationship with the truth or even have an event occur in order to spin something into the vast and infinite web. And they'll use that. They will -- that's another tactic they'll use relentlessly.
They're using it now and they'll use it in the future.
COOPER: General McKenzie, it is really good to talk to you. Thank you so much.
I want to talk more now on the hostages and the effort now underway to secure their release in larger numbers, and the two yesterday and two on Friday.
CNN's Clarissa Ward has the latest on that. She joins us now from Cairo.
So what do we know about these negotiations?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So this is a very delicate dance that's going on now, Anderson, with multiple parties involved, the Qataris playing a very prominent role and trying to broker some agreement.
Basically, Hamas is asking for a pause that they say would allow them to consolidate all the different hostages that they have into one place and that they would then release them in exchange for fuel and in exchange for aid.
Israel has said, "No way you're getting a pause because if we give you a pause, you'll be able to regroup and consolidate your own forces." Then the Americans are saying to Israel, "Please, can you avert or at least delay a ground invasion, because we're worried that that would have a negative impact on these hostage negotiations."
Source telling CNN that they believe maybe the Israelis, you know, will delay somewhat, but they don't think that time frame will slip beyond a few days.
So clearly, we're getting to, like, a very crucial stage with these hostage negotiations, but there's still a huge amount of daylight between the various different parties that are involved.
The IDF today dropping leaflets over Gaza, imploring ordinary Palestinians living there to provide information about hostages' whereabouts.
We know that they've also been conducting some limited raids across the border, presumably some of those with the design of trying to locate some of those hostages, but no sense yet of when this deal might actually come together. And it's a deal that is expected, if it did come together, to net the release of dozens of hostages.
So far, of course, we've only seen those two Americans -- two American women and also the two elderly Israeli women. This is a much more ambitious negotiation. And as a result, it's also a lot more complex, Anderson.
COOPER: So, the dispute is over fuel. And I mean, that is something that Hamas is saying they want. I assume they are saying that is for hospitals and other needs for civilians. Obviously, the view of the IDF is that that fuel may very well be diverted by Hamas.
WARD: This is interesting because we've seen the Israeli position move back and forth just in the course of one day, Anderson.
Earlier in the afternoon, the head of IDF came out and said that they did believe that fuel should be able to get to civilians, and they were going to come up with some kind of mechanism that would prevent it from being taken by Hamas.
And then a few hours after that, we saw a spokesperson for the IDF come forward and say, actually, no fuel is going into Gaza because we believe that Hamas is going to use it for their own military aims.
And then on the other side, you have humanitarian organizations like the UN agencies that deals with Palestinian refugees, UNRWA coming out and saying, "If we don't get fuel by tomorrow evening, we will have to completely stop our operations inside Gaza.
We're hearing the same thing from the hospitals as well. The generators, they will be literally out of fuel. They will turn off the incubators -- more than 100 babies across Gaza in incubators. The ventilators, et cetera, they will all turn off with devastating consequences.
The UN also said that already eight hospitals are no longer operational because they have run out of fuel. Two other hospitals have also had partial outages or have had to cut off part of their operations because of the fuel prices.
So fuel definitely seems to be very much at the center of the hostage negotiations, and it's certainly very much at the center of the desperation in terms of getting aid to people inside.
COOPER: Clarissa Ward, thank you, from Cairo.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has been coordinating the handover of the freed hostages. You've been seeing that.
Earlier tonight, I spoke with Fabrizio Carboni, the ICRC's Regional Director for the Near and Middle East.
Fabrizio, what's the latest you can tell us about the ongoing efforts to release hostages? I know obviously there's a lot you can't say. FABRIZIO CARBONI, ICRC'S REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE NEAR AND MIDDLE
EAST: Look, I mean, the most important thing for us, it's first to reach out to Hamas and be clear on the obligation.
I know that for the time being we hear a lot about negotiation and very transactional approach, but it's also important to remind all the parties in this case, especially Hamas, that he has a unilateral obligation to protect the people.
He has under its control who are hostages that we should have access to them, that those people should be entitled to communicate with their family. And the ones who are hostages should be simply released because it's not acceptable and it's not allowed.
As simple as this, that's the starting point at least for us as a humanitarian organization.
COOPER: There have been lots of concerns raised by Israeli officials about humanitarian supplies being taken from relief agencies, used by Hamas, fuel that should go to a hospital perhaps being taken. Is that something the Red Cross has -- the International Committee of the Red Cross has had problems with in Gaza? Can you -- is that something you would call out?
CARBONI: Yes, for sure. I mean, you know, we are -- as many other humanitarian organizations confronted to these challenges all around the world, you know. And I think we have the systems in place to be sure that -- to be sure, to do whatever we can to make sure that the assistance we bring goes to the right person.
If today we bring medical supply, we go to the hospital and we see where it goes and to whom it goes.
In our case, when it comes to fuel, we mainly provide it to a pumping station, to hospitals, so that the risk of diversion is quite low.
I understand the concern. It's a legitimate concern. But in my view, it doesn't justify the fact that we would not be allowed to bring, in this case, fuel.
Now, what we try to do is also to focus on people. And I think one of the main challenge we have in conflict, especially in a conflict the one we're facing today in Gaza, which is emotionally very -- I mean, emotions are really high in both party. And I'm not judging if it's right or wrong, have a narrative of survival.
And when you are in a conflict with all parties have a narrative of survival, it's really hard to make the case for simple basic humanitarian values.
But that's why it's important, I believe, to have an organization like the ICSC who could just take a step back and remind that, yes, it's painful. Yes, you want revenge. Yes, you're afraid. But nevertheless, you need to preserve a space, a space of humanity. And it sounds a bit naive when we see what's happening around us. But
it sounds naive, but it's not, because the reality of conflict is so brutal that if you don't preserve this small space of humanity, the day after will be way more difficult.
COOPER: Fabrizio Carboni, thank you so much for being with us and for what you do.
CARBONI: Thank you very much.
COOPER: Love that term, "trying to preserve a small space of humanity," not an easy thing to do in a war.
Ahead tonight, a potential big development back home. New reporting that former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was granted immunity by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who's reporting it, and what it could mean for the former president, but later in the hour.
Next though, from here, my conversation with the daughter of one of the two women who was freed by Hamas last night, how her mom is doing.
And as we go to break, some of the names and faces which we'll be showing you throughout the hour, the many others taken like her mom and dad from a kibbutz called Nir Oz.
COOPER: Today one of two women released by Hamas last night spoke about their ordeal. Yocheved Lifshitz is 85 years old. She was taken on October 7th from a kibbutz Nir Oz along with a woman named Nurit Cooper who was also released last night and their two husbands who remain captive.
YOCHEVED LIFSHITZ, RELEASED HOSTAGE BY HAMAS (through translator): I was put lying on a motorbike on my side while they flew with me through the plowed fields towards Gaza in the field.
They exploded the fence. The special one they built with $2.5 billion, and it didn't help at all.
Hordes broke into our homes, hit people. Some were taken hostages. It didn't matter if they took elderly or young. It was a painful act. Then they got us to a hatch of a tunnel.
As I was lying on the side of the motorbike, legs here, body there, the Shabaab hit me with the sticks. They didn't break my ribs, but it was very painful and made it hard for me to breathe.
COOPER: The woman by her side during that press conference on her left, that's her daughter, Sharone. We spoke first last night on this program. She was at London's Heathrow Airport on her way here. She got here this morning.
When we spoke again this morning, she just returned to the hospital where she found her mom sleeping peacefully.
COOPER: How is your mother doing?
SHARONE LIFSHITZ, DAUGHTER OF YOCHEVED LIFSHITZ: My mom is looking okay. We've seen her. It seemed that she did get basic medical care.
The nurse has said she's very sharp and very communicative, and she wants to tell everybody what she knows. She's really the first person that have been with other people there. And I think she's very aware that she can pass on information.
I know that she was with some children, it seemed, and then she would have done quite a lot of work with them. I don't think she tried of sitting in a corner. She ...
COOPER: So she will be able to help families ...
COOPER: ... with information about their loved ones.
COOPER: That's huge.
LIFSHITZ: This is a wonderful moment. But it's also -- I'm sitting here talking to you not just to rejoice about my mom's return -- wonderful as it is -- but to remind everyone that we are still in this situation, that there's over 200 people missing, and that we want them back.
We need to make sure that the governments of the world, that Qatar continue to do its work, that we all work together. We stay focus. We bring these people home.
My mom is back and that's a ray of light, an amazing, beautiful bright ray of light. But there's a lot of darkness.
You've been to the kibbutz. You have seen what we are facing. People are going to funerals every day.
Only from our kibbutz, there are still about 77 people missing.
COOPER: This is a kibbutz of some 400 people?
LIFSHITZ: Yes. So at least we're talking about around one in three to one in four persons that is killed or missing.
COOPER (voice over): Sharone Lifshitz knows them all -- Bracha Levinson, Adina and David Moshe, Carmela Dan and her granddaughter Noya, just to name a few. LIFSHITZ: My father taught Noya the piano. My mom, you know, she will
come and make her cookies. She was one of her kibbutz grandchildren.
We are all interconnected. It's like Bracha -- she has a smile for me that is so beautiful, and so loving, and so loving together and so are many other people. I knew them all my life, and they changed my nappies.
I know that my -- for my mom and dad, they would say, look after the kids. And to lose Noya and to lose all these kids that will break my parents' house.
COOPER (on-camera): Your mom and dad would've wanted the children to be released first.
COOPER (voice-over): Sharone's father, 83-year-old Oded Lifshitz is still missing. They believe he's being held hostage.
LIFSHITZ: My father and mother got separated early on. My father, it seems, was injured, and we don't know more about him. So, we're still in the dark.
COOPER (on-camera): He was a well-known journalist, a peace activist.
LIFSHITZ: He cared a lot about people. He wanted a very different path for this country.
COOPER (on-camera): I've read that your dad in retirement would belong to an organization that would pick up people from Gaza who needed cancer treatment and drive them to a hospital in Israel, drive them back and forth for their --
COOPER (on-camera): -- for their appointment.
LIFSHITZ: Yes, and he will bring some grapes and he will bring some cookies and will bring some bottles of water to make sure that if they don't have enough provisions and he will talk to them because he spoke Arabic so he could communicate with everyone.
And he participate in, what you know, in being a human, yes. He participated in being a human. And I think that's something for all of us to take from it, that I really do believe that we should also participate in the little acts of kindness that makes the difference.
COOPER (on-camera): Even now?
LIFSHITZ: What's the alternative? What's the alternative? You know, the bloodshed? I don't enjoy any death. Not for anyone. I don't see -- it doesn't make me feel better. It just makes me so sad, that in our world we are creating so many stories of trauma and destruction.
COOPER (on-camera): And that's something that comes from your parents. That's something you learn from them.
LIFSHITZ: And from the community. My father was very practical. He fought in wars. He wasn't -- he thought that you should work always for peace, but you should defend yourself. He wasn't, you know, he wasn't --
COOPER (on-camera): He wasn't naive.
LIFSHITZ: -- naive, no. And he believed firmly in peace because he saw war, he saw what it does. And I think peace is worth working towards and see other people as human. Fight when you need to fight to protect yourself, but never for revenge, never for your ego, just for protecting.
COOPER (on-camera): And do you think your father still feels that, even though he's being abducted?
LIFSHITZ: Yes, I don't think he's got another capacity in him. I think he thinks that this has come to that because of mismanagement by governments. Because we are looking at the story rather than the humans. Because there's two nations that are not working towards living together.
COOPER (voice-over): Sharone is still shocked by the brutality of the October 7th terror attacks.
LIFSHITZ: It was beyond anything we ever imagined.
COOPER (voice-over): And like her mother, critical of Israel's failure to prevent the massive loss of life.
LIFSHITZ: We have not been prepared. We have been destroyed. And the army did not come for seven, eight hours. This is exactly what Israel was built for, isn't it? To protect the Jewish people. It totally failed in that this time.
COOPER (voice-over): When her mother was released, she shook the hand of a Hamas gunman, which has been criticized by many in Israel.
LIFSHITZ: She was shaking the hand --
COOPER (on-camera): Yes.
LIFSHITZ: -- of the Hamas person. It's very typical of my mom. She loves the human. So, you know, she --
COOPER (on-camera): She loves human being --
LIFSHITZ: Yes, but she also, --she will talk, you know, she'll come off the plane and she made three friends and she just -- she's always curious about people. And I know that, you know, when I saw it, I thought, yes, of course she did. She acknowledged them as a human being. Horrific as everything is. She kind of couldn't stop herself or --
COOPER (on-camera): Even though these people holding her hostage, she's the kind of person who sees them as a human beings.
LIFSHITZ: I don't think -- I mean, that -- it's -- she's -- that image speaks for itself, doesn't it?
COOPER: Coming up, earlier tonight, we briefly mentioned the paragliders that Hamas used to terrorize and attack Israelis from the skies on October 7th to get deeper into Israeli territory than they would have otherwise.
Coming up next, a new video on that, part of our continuing investigation into how this terror group was able to pull off the attack.
COOPER: CNN has received new video of how Hamas was able to use paragliders as part of its ground sea and air attack on October 7th to kill so many Israelis, so many fronts, so quickly. Jeremy Diamond and his crew visited a community near the Gaza border where Hamas gunmen used paragliders, killed 20 residents.
They were the first U.S. news crew to gain access to this area since the attack. We want to warn you some of the video is graphic.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On that day, Hamas delivered death on paragliders. As seen in this exclusive video obtained by CNN, Hamas Militants landed here in Netiv HaAsara, killing 20 people in this community of just 800.
HILA FENLON, NETIV HAASARA RESIDENT: This is Yaakovi and Bilha Yinon, that used to be like an American style wooden house.
DIAMOND (voice-over): Now this is all that remains.
(on-camera): They were at home that fateful Saturday morning when Hamas terrorists burned their house to the ground, firing a rocket propelled grenade or a shoulder fired missile here. Yaakovi's remains were found charred inside. All they found of Bilha were her teeth.
DIAMOND (voice-over): Hila Fenlon has called Netiv HaAsara home since she was a child, living within a few hundred feet of Gaza.
(on-camera): And now we can see here that there's smoke from Gaza.
FENLON: Gaza is very close to us.
DIAMOND (voice-over): Now, after surviving the October 7th attacks, she wants the world to know what happened here.
FENLON: It's a small community. Everybody knows each other. We know every person that lost his life here, and there were 20 of them. We had -- we went to three, four, five funerals a day when eventually they brought them to be buried.
DIAMOND (voice-over): This is her first time inside Nurit and Alon Berger's home since the attacks. Her first time seeing where her friend Nurit was killed.
FENLON: I can't take it. Sorry. It's too difficult for me.
DIAMOND (on-camera): This is where Nurit Berger lived her final moments. She died after these Hamas terrorists attacked this house from the outside. And as she was sitting there dying, her daughters, her three daughters, and her husband, they went into this room.
We're told that they left this door slightly ajar, hoping that the terrorists wouldn't think anyone was in here, because the door wasn't closed. And they hid, here. In this corner, two of the daughters injured by shrapnel and by bullets.
(voice-over): For 40 minutes, they didn't make a sound, waiting for the men who murdered their mother to leave their home.
FENLON: I feel responsible to tell their story because I know today, I mean it's been two weeks today after that damn Saturday, that our life turned into this. And I believe the world forgotten already.
DIAMOND (voice-over): Today telling that story looks like this.
(on-camera): So everywhere you go, you have to travel with security.
FENLON: Everywhere. For the last -- I mean, for the last two weeks, this is how it is. If you want to enter your home for 1 minutes, you have to have somebody securing the house.
DIAMOND (voice-over): And when you're this close to Gaza, you have only seconds to react. The sounds of war are not all that fills the air in this frontline community. A mother's whales and a father's prayer for their 17-year-old son.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking Foreign Language).
DIAMOND (voice-over): Every parent's worst nightmare come true.
DIAMOND: And Anderson, this is very much a community that is still in mourning and also one where many really haven't yet taken the time to really process what they have been through. Many of them are keeping busy. As you saw, some are volunteering to patrol the town, helping to get people to their homes to get their belongings.
But really, most of this town is not living in their homes. Right now, it is an idea of staging ground, like so many of these towns that were the sites of the massacre preparing for the next phase of Israel's military campaign against Hamas. Anderson?
COOPER: Jeremy Diamond, thank you.
We're going to have more ahead on the conflict between Israel and Gaza, including a conversation with the son of a Holocaust expert, now a presumed hostage in Gaza.
Next, however, we want to go to Washington for more on a report on a possible immunity deal for the former president's final chief of staff, Mark Meadows. More on that ahead.
COOPER: We're going to continue our coverage of Israel at war in a moment, but right now a separate major story breaking involving an immunity deal for Mark Meadows, the former president's last chief of staff, and a key figure at the center of the special counsel's investigation into the January 6th attack and allegations of election interference.
Paula Reid joins us now from Washington with that. So what is the latest?
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a massive development in the special counsel's investigation. We'd previously reported here at CNN that Meadows had testified before a grand jury, but now we're learning more about what he reportedly has told investigators.
Now, according to reports, he told investigators that in the weeks following the 2020 election, he says he told Trump that these claims of widespread voter fraud were baseless. And he told investigators that he believed Trump was being, quote, "dishonest" with the public when claiming there was votive fraud.
He also said that he had never seen any evidence of fraud that would have kept now President Joe Biden from the White House, and agrees with the assessment that this was the most secure election in U.S. history.
Now, Anderson, this is a huge break, of course, from Trump's public rhetoric about the election, but also from what Meadows has said publicly, including in his own book. And reportedly investigators were quite interested in talking to Meadows about whether he believes some of the claims in his book, including his claims that the election was stolen. And he reportedly told them that he does not believe that everything in that book was true.
Now, that's something that defense attorneys could have a field day with those inconsistent statements. But the fact that the prosecutors have secured these kinds of statements, this kind of cooperation from Mark Meadows, this is a major development, perhaps the biggest development in this investigation in months.
He's not just a witness, he is the witness. He is former White House Chief of Staff, and he can provide these insights into Trump's actions, into his state of mind in the weeks and months following the election that almost no one else can.
Now, going forward, it is likely that this trial, this particular case, the January 6th prosecution, is expected to go on in March and will likely be, Anderson, the only trial that Trump faces before the presidential election.
COOPER: Yes. A big development. Paul Reid, thank you.
Now, to the other breaking story in Washington, the chaos ran in the Republican race for House Speaker. That today got even more chaotic, if that's possible. Manu Raju joins us now from Capitol Hill. So what's going on there now?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, right now they're voting on yet another possible nominee for their party that three weeks to the day after Kevin McCarthy was ousted in historic and unprecedented fashion as a sitting speaker in the middle of this term. The House Republicans have been unable to get behind a single nominee. Three of them so far have seen their bids collapse, including Tom Emmer just today.
But right now, they're voting to see if any other nominee can bring them to the 217 votes that they need to get elected speaker and move this chamber out of a state of paralysis. And in talking to a number of the members, they are flatly frustrated.
They are angry at their inability to get their act together and get this House reopened. Worried about the impact this could have on their ability to hold on control of the House. And also worried that some Republicans may cut a deal with Democrats to reopen the chamber.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MIKE WALTZ (R), FLORIDA: We need to get our act together. As we say in the Army, get our head out of our rear. My fear is if we keep doing this, somebody is going to end up siding with the Democrats, as the original eight did. But this time it's going to be for, you know, basically handing away our majority and that's not what we were elected to do.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), CALIFORNIA: Every member's tired of this. Every member's tired of those eight. That is why we're where we are.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RAJU: McCarthy continued to blame the eight Republicans who voted him out of the speakership. Democrats joined in that effort. Of course, that was initiated by Republicans. But Anderson, it is still uncertain whether any of those five candidates in the room who will be nominated tonight by their conference could actually get the votes on the floor to be elected speaker. That is still an open question as House Republicans remain in a total state of disarray. Anderson?
COOPER: While there's a war going on. Manu Raju, thank you.
Next, an expert on the Holocaust is now a presumed hostage in Gaza with a heart condition. I had my conversation with his son, Alex Dancyg, who is disappointed, to say the least, in the response by Israel's government.
COOPER: Yocheved Lifshitz, the 85-year-old freed hostage, was critical today of the IDF for their failure to prevent and respond quickly to the October 7th attack. Certainly, a lot of people in Israel believe the government should be held accountable.
Our next guest, Matty Dancyg, and 13 members of his family survived the attack on the kibbutz Nir Oz, where Ms. Lifshitz was from. His father, Alex, was taken, though, and is a presumed hostage. His father's an expert on the Holocaust. He has a heart condition.
I spoke with Matty earlier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Your dad, Alex, is 75, what do you want people to know about him? He's one of the leading experts on the Holocaust. He's devoted his life to the study of the Holocaust and to the Jewish population, and the Jewish history in Poland. He just -- he sounds like a remarkable man.
MATTY DANCYG, NIR OZ SURVIVOR, FATHER PRESUMED KIDNAPPED BY HAMAS: He is. Yes, he's a remarkable man. He knows a lot. He's a great teacher. He's done a lot, a lot of exceptional work in Poland and in Israel on the subject of Holocaust, like you said. And he's done a lot in the subject of dialogue between Israeli and Polish youth and more.
Yes, many, many people are his students and admire him because they know -- they learned a lot from him. I learned a lot from him and he's the best conversation man that I know because he knows so much. And he also is very -- he speaks very interesting way -- in an interesting way.
So, yes. And he also loves his family and his grandchilds. And yes, he's not deserve to be there. I think the government of Israel, they made a big, big failure and they should do whatever they can to bring him back and bring all those hostages back.
COOPER: It was one of the things we heard from Mrs. Lifshitz today the disappointment, the anger at the Israeli government and the failures, the intelligence failures by the IDF to respond on that day and also to have advance information, the intelligence failures on that. This upsets you greatly as well.
DANCYG: Yes, yes. I was there. I was in Nir Oz with my family inside the shelter holding the handle of the door and shaking from fear and terrified because I know what's happening. I know I hear the shooting. I know what's happening. I know that people send messages that are burning alive. And they just slaughtered us like nothing, like we were nothing.
No one was there for hours and hours. For eight hours, no one was there to help us. We were left alone. And these people that were kidnapped, these people should be the first priority. They should be back home as soon as possible. They can't desert us the second time. They deserted one time is enough.
COOPER: Do you have confidence that this government in Israel is making the right choices, that this government is prioritizing your dad and the other hostages?
DANCYG: I will say this, I can't ignore the fact that this government failed, and they failing for a long time, for the last few months, they are destroying everything that's good in Israel. And this is just a continuation of this horrible government.
I think Netanyahu and his friends should resign immediately and bring back the keys to people that we can trust and can do something good in this country of Israel.
COOPER: Matty, is there anything else you want people to know about your family's situation, about your dad?
DANCYG: My dad is sick and he has medicine he should take and he have trouble to sleep. He gave his life -- more than 50 years, he live on the border. On the border with -- the state of Israel wanted us to live on the border. He wanted him to live on the border.
And now they should pay back for all these years. Yes, it's like what I said, they just need to bring him back and bring everybody back.
COOPER: Matty Dancyg, I'm so sorry for what you're going through and your family's going through. I wish you the best and I hope they all come home soon.
DANCYG: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: CNN's coverage in Israel continues. The Source of Kaitlan Collins starts now.