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Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees
Army Determined Maine Shooting Suspect "Should Not Have Weapons" After Medical Evaluation Weeks Before Massacre; IDF: Israeli Soldier Rescued From Gaza; 200+ Hostages In Limbo; Hamas Releases Video Showing Three Women Hostages; IDF: More Israeli Troops In Gaza, Warns Ground Offensive Will "Intensify"; Netanyahu Rejects Calls For Ceasefire; "The Time For War Is Now"; New Israeli Leaflets Dropped On Gaza Urge Civilians to Evacuate A "Battlefield"; Tensions Flare Along Israel's Northern Border With Lebanon; IDF: Israel Expands Its Attack On Gaza; Israeli President Compares Dagestan Riot To "Pogrom"; Israeli: Shani Louk, Kidnapped By Hamas, Found Dead; Israel: Shani Louk, Kidnapped By Hamas, Found Dead; Forensic Experts Work At Makeshift Morgue To Help Identify Hamas Victims; Antisemitic Mob Storms Russian Airport, Targets Plane From Israel; Israel Expands Its Attack On Gaza While New House Speaker Johnson Vows A Vote This Week On Stand-Alone Israel Aid Package; Police Visited Maine Gunman's Home Weeks Before Shooting. Aired 8-9p ET
Aired October 30, 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: This is according to an Army spokesperson tonight comes as "The New York Times" reports that one gun shop declined to let Card purchase a firearm silencer after he did disclose on a federal document that he had mental health issues.
Of course, though, with all of that, he was still ultimately able to obtain a cache of firearms, including rifles and a pistol and murder 18 people, which raises so many questions about the actions taken by law enforcement or, frankly, the lack thereof, and so many red flags were raised about the shooter.
Thanks so much for joining us. "AC 360" begins now.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Good evening. We begin tonight with breaking news from Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces announced it rescued a female soldier overnight in Gaza during operations. That's after the IDF initially said she had been released by Hamas.
A rescue of a hostage, as they're now calling it, would be the first since the war began. Her name is Ori Megidish. That's a photo of her reunited with her family. According to the IDF, she's been medically checked and met with her family for some time.
Also, today, Hamas released a short video showing these three women believed to be captives held by Hamas since the attack on October 7th. CNN is not showing the actual hostage video.
Israel has sent more troops into Gaza, an Army spokesman saying operations are expected to, in their words, intensify.
In a news conference today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to dismiss calls for a ceasefire.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: I want to make clear Israel's position regarding the ceasefire. Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostility with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7th. Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, the bible says that there is a time for peace and a time for war. This is a time for war.
COOPER: Netanyahu also blamed Hamas for any civilian casualties in Gaza saying, quote, "Not a single civilian has to die."
Israel today also dropped more leaflets on Gaza, urging people to evacuate what the leaflets call a "battlefield." It directs them to move to areas in the south.
More aid did arrive through Gaza's border with Egypt, though it's still a trickle of what would normally cross that border. UN relief agencies working in Gaza said that facilities are now at four times capacity. And the head of UNICEF today said the lack of clean water in Gaza is, quote, "becoming a catastrophe."
We start tonight with the breaking news on the hostage rescue. I'm joined by our Jeremy Diamond in Ashkelon, Israel.
So what more have you learned about this Israeli soldier who was rescued?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, she is the fifth person to make it out of Gaza alive after being kidnapped by Hamas earlier this month, but she is the first person to have been rescued during an IDF ground operation in Gaza.
Private Ori Megidish, she was posted in Nahal Oz, one of those Israeli communities near the border with Gaza, when she was captured by those Hamas fighters on October 7th. The IDF is declining to provide many additional details about how exactly she was rescued inside the Gaza Strip.
But one key factor here is the fact that this was a joint operation with the Shin Bet, which is Israel's internal security service.
Now, the Israeli prime minister says that this rescue is evidence that this ground operation inside of Gaza actually serves the goal of getting more hostages released, whether that is by additional ground operations that could potentially rescue additional hostages or for the simple fact that, as he said, it increases the pressure on Hamas at a time when these negotiations are still ongoing.
COOPER: What do you know about this new hostage video, which shows three women? We aren't showing the actual video that Hamas put out.
DIAMOND: Well, Anderson, this is the second hostage video released by Hamas. And like with any video of hostages, particularly those released by an organization like Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and other countries, you have to look at it through the lens of potential propaganda.
And in this video, you see three female hostages. They are Yelena Trupanob, Daniel Aloni, and Rimon Kirsht.
Aloni is the only one who speaks in this video. And in it, she addresses the Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu directly. And she addresses him quite angrily in this video.
She essentially blames him for not doing enough to get them released. And at one point, she says, "You promised to release us all," and she begins to raise her voice quite angrily, saying "Free us all now, now, now."
Now, again, we don't know under what conditions she was making these statements, and it's certainly possible that she was making these statements under duress, which is part of the reason why we are not showing this video.
But one of the things to keep in mind here is that for those families of these hostages, one of the key things that they are taking away from this is proof of life. And the reason for that is because she references a speech that the Israeli Prime Minister gave on Saturday night, and she says, "Yesterday, you said," indicting that this video was filmed on Sunday. So for those families at least giving them some hope that their family members, who they haven't seen since October 7th, are still alive.
COOPER: Jeremy Diamond, thanks very much.
For more on the rescue of the Israeli soldier and also efforts to secure the other hostages, I'm joined by Jonathan Conricus, the international spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Colonel, what more do you know about the return of this hostage? Initially, the IDF had said that she was released instead of rescued.
JONATHAN CONRICUS, INTERNATIONAL SPOKESMAN FOR THE ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES: Yes, translation is sometimes detail-oriented. And in this case, we -- it wasn't translated well. She was, in fact, rescued -- actively rescued, by Israeli security forces. This was a joint IDF and ISA, Israeli Security Agency, operation with boots on the ground.
Thanks to the operations -- the ground operations that we are conducting in northern Gaza, special forces were able to come in and, based on intelligence, get her out. COOPER: So, is it fair to say you knew her whereabouts before you
actually found her? I mean, it was actually an operation to get her out?
CONRICUS: It indeed was a special operation that was targeted in specifically getting her out. This wasn't special forces loitering around. They were in there for a job.
And I'm very happy to say, and as you can see on the picture that Private Ori Megidish is now home with her family. She is well, both mentally and physically. She has spoken with our chief of staff and with senior officers and with intelligence officers to relieve her of lots of details about her captivity and things that could be useful for the future.
COOPER: I assume you're not going to be able to answer this, but I should ask it anyway. Are there others that you know about in the same kind of way that you hope to be able to get out?
CONRICUS: I'll answer the second part. We definitely hope and intend to get all of them out, and I can't elaborate about other locations.
We're careful not to share what we know with the enemy. But I can say that we are definitely committed to get all of our 238 hostages currently held by Hamas in Gaza, all of them, to get them home.
COOPER: How has the ground operation impacted efforts to free large numbers of hostages at once? An adviser to the Qatari prime minister told CNN over the weekend that Israel's military escalation has made any hostage deal, quote -- deal "considerably more difficult."
CONRICUS: I wouldn't know. And I think that, you know, based on the events over the last few days, specifically the rescue of Private Megidish, I would argue that the reality on the ground dictates differently.
And I think that, you know, the way that Hamas has been behaving so far is that they're trying to leverage their hostages that they have, that they're holding, in order to alleviate their combat situation and the tactical situation on the ground.
We've seen it in the past. They -- first, they said, you know, a few weeks ago, if you don't stop bombing our troops and our locations, then we will execute and show it on video. They walked that back.
Since then, there's been two releases -- two statements made attributed to Hamas that there have been casualties of the hostages. And then, they, of course, made these two separate releases of Israeli hostages for what they would cynically say were humanitarian reasons.
We understand that there's psychological warfare at play. We understand that they're trying to use hostages as leverage. And what we are saying is that we're not going to fall into the traps and the mind games of Hamas. We are going to focus on getting them out by whatever way possible.
COOPER: Can you say on the operation, in general, what force -- what the IDF forces on the ground are finding? Is it as you expected?
CONRICUS: Well, there's a lot to expect, and we expect fierce resistance. We expect tunnel warfare, booby traps, IEDs, antitank mines, and snipers, and many other things.
So far, combat -- the progress is good. We are indeed engaging with the enemy, and we're able to meet every engagement and end it quite decisively. We understand that we have a long and difficult fight ahead of us in very complex terrain.
But so far, what we've been able to do is to use the various tools at our advantage, the combination of air, sea, and land warfare, and the use of special up-to-date intelligence in order to find and then target Hamas operatives. We take considerable efforts now in the ground warfare to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. And we're moving slowly and deliberately.
COOPER: Colonel Conricus, thank you.
CONRICUS: Thank you.
COOPER: Perspective now from Rami Igra. He's a former Chief of the Hostages and MIA Unit of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence services.
Rami, thanks for being with us. I wonder what you make of the rescue of this Israeli soldier by the IDF and domestic security.
RAMI IGRA, FORMER CHIEF OF THE HOSTAGES AND MIA UNIT OF MOSSAD: This rescue has great importance, and I will explain. The Hamas' move this -- today to release a video is intended to approach the Israeli public. And the Israeli public right now is hurting over the massacre, over the brutality, and over the kidnapping. And there's a movement among the -- in the public for all for one, thinking that if we release all our prisoners, they will release all hostages.
Really what Hamas wants is -- what Hamas wants, as the spokesman just said to you, the Hamas wants a ceasefire. And -- meaning, if they do have a ceasefire, then we will, as Netanyahu said, forget about what happened on the 7th and let them reestablish themselves, strengthened by 7,000 prisoners that we will release.
The government and I, too, on your program said that the only way to release the hostages, because the other thing is non-negotiable, is to release them by force whilst maneuvering in the Gaza Strip. And we have found out that this is possible. And Private Megidish is a ray of light in the middle of all of this darkness.
The Israeli Army has established a big unit that is there to gather information, track, and rescue -- not release, rescue -- Israeli hostages.
COOPER: According to the IDF, they had specific intelligence about this hostage. That's what Colonel Conricus was just saying, and it's the first time, obviously, we've heard of a rescue inside Gaza by the IDF. Colonel Conricus would not say whether they thought -- whether they had specific intelligence about others -- other hostages. But that's entirely possible.
IGRA: Yes, first of all, it's possible. Second, you have to assume that, as the force maneuver in the Gaza Strip and as Israel has invested a lot of gathering tools in the Gaza Strip in order to gather the information that would lead us to other hostages, at the end of the day, 239 or now 238 hostages, some of them, if not most of them, are going to be tracked down. And the minute that they are tracked down, the IDF will do its utmost to release them.
A word about the Qatari negotiation that you mentioned before. Today, there's also been release that the director of the Mossad went to Qatar in order to negotiate.
If you ask me, this is a non-existent possibility. The Qatari and Hamas are playing us. It's all psychological warfare. They want -- at the end of the day, as I said before, as Netanyahu has said, they want a ceasefire. And a ceasefire is not one of the possibilities in this situation.
COOPER: Why is that? I mean, there are many people around the world who say there should be a ceasefire. You hear people protesting saying ceasefire now. What's wrong with that?
IGRA: Well, I've said this before on your program, I'll say it again. The Hamas is a murderous, nazi, not only a terrorist group, it's much more than terror. It's an Islamic fundamentalist, brutal movement that has one important goal in its manifest. And that is the destruction of Israel.
Now, we have suffered a great tragedy on the 7th of October, and now they ask for -- they ask us to let them continue their endeavor. They -- we are here to eradicate the Hamas. Hamas should not be existent on the border of Israel.
They -- and a ceasefire means that we will, in a word, forget the 7th of October. We will forgive. And they will reestablish themselves with the extra 7,000 prisoners that we will release.
This is not a possibility. And I said this before and I want to say it here again, Hamas represents a threat not to Israel, it represents a threat to civilization.
What happened on the 7th of October is not only barbaric, it has not been seen on the face of this earth for hundreds of years. So, not only we, the west -- all the west has to worry that this might grow in their backyard. And we all have to show them that this is not a possibility.
COOPER: Rami Igram, appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.
Israel's expanding war effort in Gaza comes as it's fighting Hezbollah in the north. Jim Sciutto has the latest on both of those fronts.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR AND CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice over): An Israeli tank inside Gaza apparently fires on a passenger vehicle. A sniper takes up position in a window of an abandoned building. Israeli infantry advancing on the ground. And in a brief moment of apparent triumph, Israeli soldiers raised the Israeli flag over a Gaza hotel.
The outside world's vision into the extent and size of the Israeli ground defensive so far is limited. But today, the IDF said those ground forces have struck some of their first targets.
REAR ADMIRAL DANIEL HAGARI, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESPERSON (through translator): Dozens of terrorists were eliminated last night who had barricaded themselves in building, an attempt to do attack the forces that were moving in their direction.
SCIUTTO (voice over): One measure of their forward progress, CNN geolocated the video where the soldier raised the flag on the hotel, more than two miles inside Gaza, one geographical marker in a ground campaign playing out mostly out of sight.
What remains visible are Israeli strikes on Gaza and rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. Despite weeks of Israeli bombardment, Hamas is still keeping up its rocket campaign. Tonight, the Israeli Prime Minister said that his war cabinet is refusing calls for a humanitarian ceasefire.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: Calls for ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen. This is a time for war.
SCIUTTO (voice over): On Israel's northern border with Lebanon, clash is on a second front. Israeli forces trading artillery in small arms fire with Hezbollah and other militants. The IDF says, "This is an Israeli's strike on Hezbollah military infrastructure in Lebanon."
Our team found ourselves in the crossfires Sunday, as shells fired from Lebanon rained down on the Israeli town of Arab al Aramshe.
SCIUTTO (on camera): You could hear mortar and artillery fire going out. That is from Israel towards Lebanon.
We've also heard artillery fire coming from Lebanon. And the concern is soldiers telling us that there are possible infiltrations across the border from Lebanon by, presumably, Hezbollah fighters. And that's why the level of concern is so great.
SCIUTTO (voice over): The near constant exchange of fire stretches all along the northern frontier, with communities marked here in black under mandatory evacuation.
The constant sirens and threat of rocket attacks driving many Israeli residents south away from the border and closer to safety. (END VIDEOTAPE)
COOPER: Joins us now. What is the, I mean, the level of concern about this turning into a second front in the war?
SCIUTTO: It's already a low grade -- conflict may be too strong a word, but there are firefights multiple times a day across the border, Israel into Lebanon, Lebanon into Israel. And also the northeast, Israel into Syria, Syria into Israel here.
In fact, just in the last hour, the IDF saying IDF air force struck a target inside Lebanon. And some of those attacks have been deadly.
You're seeing artillery fire, rocket fire, IEDs carried across the border on small parachutes, again, by Hezbollah militants. And it is known that Hezbollah has far greater forces in the south, both in terms of personnel, but also rockets and missiles that, given the order, they can unleash.
That order has not been given yet. I think you can characterize this fire so far as sort of shots across the bow, showing what they can do, not to mention the shots that have been taken at US forces in Iraq and Syria.
The concern has been, Anderson, throughout that when Israel launches a significant ground offensive in Gaza, that that might be the trigger for something much larger. We haven't seen it, but I know that Israeli forces in the north, they're taking it very seriously.
And another sad fact of this, Anderson, is that many Israeli residents of the north, many tens of thousands have already fled their towns, either under mandatory evacuations ...
SCIUTTO: ... or just making the choice to do so because they're concerned about that danger.
COOPER: Yes. Jim Sciutto, thanks very much.
Coming up, the rise of antisemitism. This was a scene Sunday at an airport in Dagestan, a mob of men rampaging through the airport searching for passengers getting off a plane from Israel.
Our Fred Pleitgen has more on the incident that Israel's president compared to a pogrom.
COOPER: As we mentioned earlier, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech, "This is a time for war."
A number of western allies with Israel are reportedly working for a humanitarian pause. President Biden spoke with Netanyahu Sunday for the first time since the expanded ground operation began. And according to the White House, the president spoke about the need to increase aid and, quote, "meet the needs of civilians in Gaza."
I'm joined now by Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States.
Ambassador Oren, thanks for being with us. This idea of expanding humanitarian aid into Southern Gaza, assuming inspections of those vehicles is possible before they leave Egypt, why wouldn't that be something that Israel would encourage, both from obviously humanitarian standpoint, but even a tactical standpoint? Wouldn't it encourage more Gazans to head south?
MICHAEL OREN, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Good evening. Good to be with you, Anderson. This is one of the thorniest issues that Israel has to deal with both diplomatically and I think in terms of a moral perspective.
On one hand, I visit almost every day with families of the hostages. And these people come from all different walks of Israeli life. They're right, they're left. They're religious, they're secular.
They all agree that Israel should not allow this human aid corridor to go through. We shouldn't increase that aid. They certainly shouldn't agree to a pause to increase the amount of humanitarian aid going into Gaza.
They say that this is the only leverage that Israel has over Hamas to secure the hostages or at least secure some word about the hostages. That -- the Red Cross goes (inaudible) the hostages.
We don't even know exactly how many hostages they have. We think they have about 242, but many families are unsure, certain -- and they certainly don't know the physical, medical state of their hostages. And they say if you let this human aid corps to go through -- humanitarian aid corps who have been -- there's no way we're going to have that type of leverage over Hamas.
On the other hand, you're right. The scene of Palestinians in the south of Lebanon -- south of Gaza, excuse me -- lacking food, lacking basic necessities, increases diplomatic pressure on Israel and will make constrained amount of time and space that the IDF has to act in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, increases calls for a ceasefire. And it creates sort of a moral dilemma for the state of Israel as well.
And as you said, and I think you meant to made it right, it lessens the sense, the attractiveness of further Palestinians moving from the north to the south. And that's in Israeli interest because we want the Palestine's civilians out of the line of fire.
High casualty levels, again, is not good for Israel in moral terms. It's also not good in Israel tactical terms or diplomatic terms. It will constrain the time and space that the IDF needs to act. COOPER: What is the evidence that more humanitarian supplies -- or
what is the theory that, okay, not putting in more humanitarian supplies, then pressure builds on Hamas? If Hamas has all these tunnels and has all these supplies built up underground, what do they care about pressure of their -- of civilians in Gaza? Why would that encourage them or push them to negotiate on the hostages?
OREN: Because we know that large segments of that aid, even if it's inspected, is somehow going to find its hands -- way into the hands of Hamas.
Anderson, I was in charge of Hamas and Gaza situation for the Israeli government for about a year and a half. And during that year and a half, we had a crossing into Gaza known rather ironically as the vineyard of peace crossing. And that had capacity of about 1,200 large flatbed trucks of every type of food, clothing, toys, medicine, anything you wanted.
And Hamas controlled that amount of that aid actually coming in. Though we could fill the 1,200 trucks, Hamas would only let in 400 trucks because they wanted to keep the population hungry. They wanted to keep the population angry and keep the population dependent on Hamas.
We knew that even though we are inspecting the trucks on our side, we know that much of the material that Hamas uses, even the guns, the jeeps where all these new motorcycles comes from. They come to in tiny microscopic parts smuggled in in cement, smuggled in flour, smuggled in condensed milk.
People on the other side go through this -- go all through all these materials and they put it together. They put together a motorcycle. They put together a truck.
And we knew that significant portion of anything that went through, the Vineyard of Peace crossing found its way into the hands of Hamas. Similarly today, anything that goes into Gaza, no matter how much it's suspected, how much is inspected, how much international agencies will try to ensure that that aid reaches only the needy Palestinian civilians, we know it's going to find its way into those tunnels. It's going to find its way into the hands of Hamas.
COOPER: Ambassador Oren, thanks for your time.
People around the world first heard the name Shani Louk because of this horrific video. It was posted online the day of the attacks. Ms. Low is in the back of a pickup truck, being driven through Gaza, naked, face down, not moving.
The leg of a Hamas gunman is sickeningly draped over her body while people chant, "God is great" in Arabic and spit on her. Someone else is holding a (inaudible) chunk of her hair in the truck.
I spoke to her mom a few days after the attack, and she was hopeful because she had just received what she thought was some news about her daughter. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
RICARDA LOUK, MOTHER OF SHANI LOUK, CAPTURED BY HAMAS: We heard information that she is alive and that she has a bad head injury and is in a hospital. That's all we know, and that gave us hope.
COOPER: She wouldn't say where she had gotten that information. I'm sorry to report, today, the Israeli government announced that Shani Louk was found dead. She was just 23 years old.
Her remains were identified by a bone fragment from her skull. A source involved with her identification told CNN.
There are teams in Israel working around the clock to identify the victims of October 7th. For some families of the missing, the agony of grief is preferable to the torment of not knowing what happened to their loved ones.
Sara Sidner has more, but we do want to warn you, some of the images you'll see are graphic.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are Hamas militants arriving at Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7th, terrorizing residents.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Please we are going to die. We are trying to send the army, we love you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, please, he is losing lot of blood. He is going to die.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mom, hold him. Holm him, OK. The Army is here everywhere, the terrorists are everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are throwing grenades everywhere.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are throwing grenades on us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SIDNER (voice-over): The last conversation between a mother and son in Kibbutz Be'eri. Daughter Michal Pinyon shared it with us, her last memory of her mother as Hamas descended on her parents' home.
MICHAL PINYON, RESIDENT OF KIBBUTZ BE'ERI: I know after a half an hour, she was writing, help, help, and then it was quiet.
SIDNER (voice-over): The next time she saw her parents, they were in coffins. Some families have yet to say goodbye. Outside Tel Aviv at the rabbinical Shura military base, inside these containers, there are hundreds of unidentified bodies, many mutilated and in fragments.
HAIM WEISBERG, HEAD OF THE RABBINICAL DEPARTMENT IN MILITARY RABBINATE (through translator): This place is indeed pure, it's holy, it's paradise, but it's also hell.
SIDNER (voice-over): Forensic experts, dentists and rabbis are working day and night to identify the victims of October 7th.
(on-camera): The smell is completely overwhelming. I mean, completely overwhelming, even with this on. And it's refrigerated, but some of the bodies are just in pieces. It doesn't take much to be really badly affected by just looking at the horror of that.
(voice-over): Even those whose job this is are struggling.
CAPTAIN MAYAAN, FORENSIC DENTIST: You see the lack of humanity, and you see pure cruelty. During our edification process, we heard the screams and we heard the cries of the family that came and said their last goodbye.
SIDNER (voice-over): The brutality of the Hamas attack is forcing a change to burial rites here, usually very strict in Judaism.
WEISBERG (through translator): According to Jewish law, we bury the dead when they're in the ground. In this case, we bury them in their coffins because we want to respect them, but also because there isn't much left of them.
SIDNER (voice-over): Michal Levin Elad and her colleagues say this this is the worst thing they have ever seen because of the evidence of torture.
MICHAL LEVIN ELAD, HEAD OF NATIONAL FORENSIC INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT: I started crying and the other people hugged, then the -- we have these breaking moments because this is -- these are atrocious crimes. These are crimes against humanity. This is not regular murder or terror attack or bus explosion. We've seen all of this in Israel, but never anything like this.
SIDNER (voice-over): What she does know for sure is this is more death and torture than she has ever seen in her career.
Cemeteries like this one are popping up across the country.
(on-camera): This is just a temporary grave site that is being dug for the victims of the October 7th Hamas attack. You look at these graves, you can see the remnants of some of the things they loved in life. But there are some gruesome details. One of these graves, for example, has two bodies from a family buried together.
(voice-over): Families are insistent that these temporary resting places are just that, temporary.
PINYON: We don't want them to be buried in another place. They are people of Be'eri. This is their home. This is their community. They cannot be buried anywhere else.
SIDNER (voice-over): That's because so far, Kibbutz Be'eri is still under the control of the Israeli army. It's too dangerous to go back, and Pinyon realizes her family is just one of potentially 1,400 having to make this awful decision.
Three weeks in, she says they have no idea when they can go home again, and when they can finally bury her parents, Amir and Mati, in their final resting place.
COOPER: And Sara, when one realizes that so many of the people, the bodies that are in those refrigerated trucks, those refrigerated trailers, their family members don't know that for sure that they're dead. Their family members, in many cases, may believe that they're being held hostage and so they're -- for every body bag you see, there is a family who is not sure that their loved one is even dead.
SIDNER: And that's the really, really difficult part for both the forensic scientists who are there trying to identify these bodies and for the families who are in limbo. And then you really have a second limbo because once they discover that yes, indeed, this is a family member, they are buried very quickly in a coffin.
But then, they're in a temporary space where the families then have to go back and make the hard decision as to whether to exhume the body and take it to their final resting place. I mean, this is happening to hundreds of families and it has been almost -- it's more than three weeks and some of them are just still in limbo. It is torture for these families to go through this for this long.
COOPER: Sara Sidner, thank you.
Coming up, an angry mob storms an airport looking for Jews. Men screaming, "God is great". This was the scene in Russia's region of Dagestan yesterday, when a plane from Tel Aviv landed and was quickly surrounded by mobs of men. Ten people were injured, two in critical condition. A report on that next.
COOPER: A sickening scene played out in the Muslim majority Dagestan region of Russia last night. A riot targeting Jews on a plane from Tel Aviv landed on the tarmac.
An angry mob swarmed the airport, got onto the tarmac and surrounded the plane threatening passengers. Fred Pleitgen as details.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The moment an angry mob charged onto the tarmac towards a plane from Tel Aviv looking for Israelis.
(Speaking Foreign Language)
PLEITGEN (voice-over): Some of the passengers surrounded, forced to prove they aren't Jews. I'm Uzbek, but I don't know Uzbek language, this man assures. Do you want to fool us? Take his passport, a man answers.
Rumors had swirled in the Muslim majority Dagestan region of Russia that this jet was carrying refugees from Israel setting off the rampage. There are no more passengers here, honestly, a ground staff member says, as the crowd surrounds the aircraft.
Everyone immediately go back onto the plane. The crew of a different aircraft orders its passengers as the protesters charge those disembarking.
Hundreds also broke into the terminal building, some carrying Palestinian flags, leading to a total shutdown of the airport. The melee continued outside as well, rioters searching vehicles, also looking for Jews. I have a sick kid here, we only have sick kids. Let us go, the man in this bus says.
And this woman screams, we were traveling to bring our kids to get medical treatment. Let us go. What do you want from us?
Russian security forces used choppers to bring in reinforcements firing into the air to try and push the protesters back. Authorities say more than 20 were injured and more than 60 detained. The crowd throwing rocks at riot police even after they were driven out of the airport.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with his security staff, but the Kremlin blames, quote, "external interference for inciting the crowd". While it's not clear whether any Israelis were harmed, condemnation from Israel's president in an interview with German publication BILT.
PRES. ISAAC HERZOG, ISRAEL: It was like a pogrom. Thank God it was prevented at the end by the authorities. But it looked like pogrom, and it was live, and everybody was worried about it.
PLEITGEN: And Anderson, the Israeli is certainly not the only ones who are worried about it. The Jewish community in Russia also demanding more protection from the Russian government, specifically, of course, from Vladimir Putin. But it seems as though he's having none of it. Again, he laid into Ukrainian and Western intelligence services for allegedly inciting what we just saw there.
Vladimir Putin then also taking a massive swipe at the United States, claiming that the U.S., as he put it, needs chaos in the Middle East. Anderson?
COOPER: Fred Pleitgen, thanks. Next, the question over U.S. funding for Israel. What the newly elected House Speaker wants to do about it? I'll talk it over with former Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger ahead.
COOPER: Tonight, as the Israeli military expands its attack in Gaza on Hamas on Capitol Hill, the House is moving to vote later this week on a standalone $14.5 billion aid package for Israel. Over the weekend, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson said on Fox that Israel is the, quote, "pressing and urgent need".
Johnson also believes an Israel-only package will have bipartisan support, but he could be setting up a showdown in the Democrat controlled Senate. In his primetime speech from the Oval Office earlier this month, President Biden had called for one bill with roughly $105 billion in funding, the majority of it for both Israel and Ukraine, as well as other national security efforts.
Joining me is CNN Senior Political Commentator Adam Kinzinger, former Republican congressman, is also the author of a new book, "Renegade: Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country", which goes on sale tomorrow.
Congratulations on the book. Obviously, you wrote this before October 7th as you view what's happening there now. I mean, what stands out to you?
ADAM KINZINGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I mean, the joy by which Hamas committed the brutality on October 7th stands out. It wasn't like it was a professional military operation that they sadly had to do the violence. They enjoyed it. You know, the fact that Hamas spends all their money building underground networks so that they can move military equipment and not bomb shelters for their civilians --
COOPER: They've received, I mean, hundreds of millions of dollars from Qatar and other countries.
KINZINGER: Right. And now, if you were an actually good governing force, wouldn't you want to build bomb shelters and mark them for your people so that they're protected in an Israeli strike, but instead, they're putting their people out there to be hit.
It's just -- it's pure evil, it's a sad situation all around. You know, we obviously are sad for the civilians in Gaza as well, but it just -- it's sad we're in this moment. Israel has an absolute right to defend itself, and it's not a pretty process. But living in a densely populated area does not give you sanctuary from retaliation when you do what was done on October 7th.
COOPER: The new speaker, Mike Johnson, wants to separate funding for Israel from funding for Ukraine and he wants to -- the money for Israel he says should come from the IRS. KINZINGER: Right? I mean, this is -- first off, it's a really dumb tactical move. If what they're wanting to do is have these separate because there's no way that gets signed into law. If it was a straight aid maybe, but this is -- it's incredible to say that we want to support Israel aside from the offset to say we want to support Israel and then we're going to have a really deep conversation about supporting Ukraine against Russia.
Because if you actually look, Russia is supporting Iran, is buying equipment from Iran, Russia just had Hamas over to come and visit. You saw what happened in Russia in terms of swarming this aircraft. This is all related.
COOPER: It does also show what this new Republican Party is compared to the Republican Party you probably grew up in and that you, I mean, what you write about in the book is sort of this evolution that you've seen up close of the Republican Party.
KINZINGER: Yes. And it's been amazing to be able to separate myself from being in and seeing the trees in the forest and now seeing the forest to look and see, wow, there are a lot of signs. And I talk about this in the book that I didn't see, but this isn't your grandpa's, your dad's or even your older brother's Republican Party anymore.
COOPER: Do you still consider yourself a Republican?
KINZINGER: So it's a tough question. I do only in that because I don't want to give up on that fight. I mean, this country needs two healthy parties, a healthy Democratic Party, and a healthy Republican. So I'm not going to give up that title. A country needs a good conservative and a good liberal movement at any time in their lives.
So, I still have the title, but I voted Democratic last election cycle. If it's Trump against Joe Biden, I'll vote Democratic this coming one. Because, Anderson, I really believe it's down to one issue on the ballot and not taxes, not even abortion, nothing. The one issue is, do you believe in democracy or do you believe in authoritarianism? And I think that's the only thing we should be voting on.
COOPER: Because you see a legitimate slide to authoritarianism if Donald Trump is reelected?
KINZINGER: I see if he's reelected, not a slide, a sprint. Because in January 6th, we saw the guardrails, you know, of democracy held. The car hit the rails that kept you on the road. That rail can't take two hits. And now they know what they're doing.
Now they know where the tricks are in the system. I guarantee you Donald Trump will not put people around him that are loyal to the Constitution and will push back. He'll put. If you interview a hundred people, trust me, you're going to find somebody to be attorney general that simply tells you, I'll do whatever you want, Mr. President.
Those guardrails are being ripped out. And that's what I see as what would happen, frankly, if he's reelected.
COOPER: In the book, you also describe sort of the -- I mean, a lot of -- it's very personal. It's the personal messages that you received after voting to impeach the former president not just from, you know, people in your district, but from family members.
KINZINGER: Yes. So I had family that sent a certified letter disowning me. They said, I've lost the trust of great men like Sean Hannity, which is funny, but they believe that they said I was a member of the devil's army. You know, we had people that would call and threaten to kill my, at the time, five-month-old child or say he -- they wish he would die.
If you think about that -- I had my co-pilot from Iraq, Anderson. It's one of the most like intense bonds you can build who texted me and said he was ashamed to have ever flown with me and served with me. Why? Because I disagreed with his view of Donald Trump.
And he didn't like the fact that I was telling him the truth when it's so much more comfortable to believe something else. So I talk about in the book, I hopefully mince no words and saying I bear some responsibility for this and I accept my role in the party to a point. But I also recognize that we're in a really bad place.
And until we talk about it, and I think my story kind of encapsulates the slide of the GOP. We're going to have a really sick nation until they get better.
COOPER: The book is, "Renegade: Defending Democracy and Liberty in Our Divided Country".
Adam, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
KINZINGER: You got it. Thanks.
COOPER: Coming up next, why police were sent to the main gunman's home weeks before he killed 18 people in two mass shootings, and what happened when they tried to contact him. That's coming up.
COOPER: Tonight, there are growing questions for police in Maine over what they knew about the gunman who opened fire at a bowling alley and restaurant, killing 18 people last week. CNN has learned the U.S. Army asked local authorities to check on the reservists over concerns he would, quote, "snap and commit a mass shooting".
According to a law enforcement source, documents show officers went to his home on September 16th, but failed to make contact with him. The following day, an officer spoke to the gunman's brother, who warned the reservist would likely be armed if he did answer the door. Maine's governor says an investigation is underway into the wellness checks.
Last Wednesday's mass shootings were the deadliest of the year, according to National Gun Violence Archive. Of the 18 victims, the oldest was 76 years old, the youngest a 14-year-old boy who was bowling with his dad. A 48-hour manhunt for the gunman followed with parts of the area in lockdown until authorities say they found the gunman dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot.
That's it for us tonight. I'll see you tomorrow. The news continues. The Source with Kaitlan Collins starts now.