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The Lead with Jake Tapper

Blinken Meets With Israeli PM Netanyahu In Tel Aviv; Israel To Hamas: No Electricity, Water, Or Fuel Until Hostages Are Returned; White House: 27 Americans Killed, 14 Still Missing After Hamas Attack; Protests Over Israel-Hamas War Erupt On U.S. Campuses. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired October 12, 2023 - 16:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we start today, of course, in the Middle East, where America's top diplomat delivered an in-person message to the Israeli people who are grieving and wounded. He said the United States will never back down from its support of Israel.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is now on his way to meet with other U.S. allies in the region. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, and Jordan after standing side by side with Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu today.

Secretary Blinken also met with families of Americans killed or taken hostage by Hamas, a group the U.S. has labeled terrorists.

The White House says at least 27 Americans have been killed and at least 14 others remain missing.

In its efforts to eliminate Hamas which brutally attacked Israel last Saturday, the Israel defense forces are currently pounding Gaza with airstrikes today. Since Hamas embeds itself within the Palestinian population, this is tragically resulting in hundreds of innocent Palestinian casualties. More than 1,400 have been killed so far, civilian and Hamas, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Israel has also cut off electricity, food, water, and fuel supplies to Gaza. Israel officials say none of those supplies will be restored until all hostages being held by Hamas are returned home.

Today, independent Democratic senator -- I'm sorry, Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said that such would be an international law violation.

Today, we are also getting a horrific new look at the atrocities Hamas committed on Saturday. We want to warn you some of the images you are about to see are graphic and incredibly disturbing. One of the images we're going to show you is so upsetting, I'm even going to give you a few moments warning so you can prepare yourself to look away.

It will be the photo of a corpse of a baby, a baby murdered by Hamas. It's not clear where and when this innocent young human was killed, but it was Saturday. And it's one of the many children the terrorists killed in their rampage on Saturday such as in kibbutz, one of the first places they reached after reaching in Israel. Video shows them breaching a gate and entering on motor bikes. Just after 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, a bloodbath followed.

The kibbutz was mostly destroyed, more than 100 people slaughtered, most of them innocent civilians. The victims include 8-year-old Emily. She was having a sleepover with a friend. Her father waited two days before learning the awful news.

His reaction before learning she was dead tells you a lot of the depravities of which Hamas is capable.


THOMAS HAND, 8-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER KILLED BY HAMAS: They just said, we found Emily. She's dead. And I went, yes! I went yes, and smiled because that is the best news of the possibilities that I knew.


TAPPER: Another one of the victims, a French Israeli soldier named Elie who was killed fighting off Hamas. These are photos of his family and colleagues during his funeral earlier today in Jerusalem, around the same time the invasion of Be'eri began, Hamas opened fire on a music festival under way here, outside Re'im. The festival was supposed to be an all night dance party celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkoth. People came from all over the world for the party. But as dawn broke, gunfire began.

Survivors say there was nowhere to hide in the empty field. Some jumped into passing cars. Others survived by hiding under bodies, bodies of individuals who had been killed by Hamas bullets and grenades.


LEE SASI, NOVA MUSIC FESTIVAL SURVIVOR: I saw so many things that I can't even explain. I saw guts. I had flesh all over my body. We had to bury ourselves under these dead corpse to protect ourselves from these grenades that were hitting and from the rifles and from the RPG.


TAPPER: An Israeli rescue service says it later found at least 260 dead bodies at the festival site. An unknown number of other attendees were taken hostage and have not been heard from since.


It took the Israeli defense forces more than two days of intense fighting to clear Hamas out of Kfar Aza, after the Saturday invasion. When the IDF could finally take stock of what the terrorist group left behind, there was frankly not much left. The IDF went house to house, collecting the dead in body bags. The soldiers say men, women, the elderly, children, all of them were brutally murdered. Actions they said were nothing short of a massacre.

And that brings me back to the photo that I warned you about a few minutes ago of the baby killed by Hamas. Here's your last chance to look away, but I don't think you should look away.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed this photo to Secretary of State Antony Blinken today. It's one of the photos the Israeli government is now sharing with the public so the world can see what Hamas did. They also shared two other photographs that are worse than that one, if you can believe it. We're not going to show you those photos, but we will continue to tell the stories of the innocent victims of this war.

Let's bring in CNN's Erin Burnett who's live in Israel and co-hosting the show with me.

Erin, let's start with the scope of the humanitarian crisis because we're talking about hundreds of civilians killed in Israel, hundreds now killed in Gaza, many others trapped without food, without water or power, all because of these brutal attacks by Hamas.

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR, "OUTFRONT": I mean, Jake, it was an unbelievable tragedy. And as you speak, it is in your voice and in your heart, too. I know it is just a profound grief that is here and also a rage. And it is affecting obviously people in Israel, those innocent people who were killed and slaughtered, who were massacred. Those are the fair and right words to use. It's now also affecting people in Gaza.

I mean today, Jake, we were just a few miles from that border. And it almost becomes a background noise, the thuds of explosions in Gaza. And on the other end there, of course, people who were affected, and as you said no food, no fuel, no electricity. Israel says that's going to continue until the hostages are returned, and obviously, we still have no word on those hostages at all. People desperately hoping against home they're still alive, they could get them back.

But you hear that in the background. As we move further south along that border, Jake, of Gaza. And there's now I would describe it as sort of a bit of a buffer zone that the IDF is creating where they're really massing some of those troops. As you move south, you hear more and more artillery, you hear more and more rocket back and forth and you see that buildup. And they're continuing, Jake, to flood the zone.

And you see convoy after convoy. You see special forces, IDF groups going in, counter terror units we saw, all of them going in with heavy machinery, the bulldozers, the tanks, the armed personnel carriers, all of that continuing to move in. And you think about that, this mass and complete transformation of the readiness of this country all because of these horrific acts that we saw on Saturday morning, and that picture of that baby that as you say no human being can look at that and ever take it away from their eyes.

TAPPER: Yeah, I mean that's an image that's going to be with me the rest of my life. There were some really emotional moments on the ground in Tel Aviv as Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with both Hamas attack survivors and family members of Americans who were either killed by Hamas or kidnapped.

BURNETT: Yes, and those were obviously emotional moments for the secretary of state, very important. And I'll say, Jake, one thing talking to anyone here. They make a very specific point of saying thank you to the United States. There is a great gratitude for what the United States is doing, in particular the supplies that are coming in related to that Iron Dome. I mean, that -- these Iron Domes are fired up every few moments at different places in this country it feels at this point. And that help from the United States is direly needed and appreciated. The support is appreciated by so many.

But, Jake, I will say the grief, it is unbelievable the grief. We've been talking to people and I know you have as well, right, missing their children. One father missing both of his daughters, a mother missing both of her daughters, and they are praying that they are going to come home. And then those who have lost those they loved, lost friends.

I saw a woman today right near where that festival happened, so we're basically right over the ridge. She just burst into tears talking about seeing her friend die, or I talked to a former IDF general who ran out with his pistol that morning into settlements and kibbutzes with a group of men killing terrorists. He saw countless terrorists and was killing them, members of Hamas. And he saw them, Jake, a mother holding her baby shot to death, saw someone beheaded.

These are things that were happening and one important, Jake, as I hand it back to you that he pointed out is some of those people who were coming over who breached that wall were people who worked in those kibbutz and settlements, people who knew the people who lived there.


That some of these people did know where they were, they did know the people that they were so -- they were able to see horribly slaughter.

BURNETT: Erin Burnett in Tel Aviv, we'll check back with you in a few minutes.

The horrors inflicted on Israel over the weekend, by Hamas resulted in a fierce retaliation by the Israeli Defense Forces almost immediately since Hamas embeds within the Palestinian population. That means tragically, hundreds of civilian casualties both Israeli and Palestinian as a result of what happened Saturday. The Israeli military buildup continues for an expected ground incursion into Gaza.

And CNN's Clarissa Ward has been to kibbutz that was attacked by Hamas on Saturday, and now it's a staging ground for the Israeli military. Clarissa, tell us more about what we're seeing.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this was the kibbutz area, one of the scenes of some of the grossest atrocities that took place on Saturday. And I think it's sort of interesting in a symbolic level that the Israeli military has now taken it over and repurposed it. It is now a staging ground for an artillery brigade.

When we arrived there yesterday, we could see many soldiers, tanks. We heard outgoing artillery. It's clearly a staging ground as I said but also for support, communications. I would note that the posture of the soldiers was relatively at ease. One didn't have the sense walking around that some kind of a ground offensive was imminent in the sort of coming hours.

But clearly, the building up the forces along the Gaza envelope is fueling the expectation of imminent ground offensive. And I think we're seeing that as well-being borne out in terms of the incessant bombardment, which you and Erin had just referenced on Gaza. Today, the U.N. coming out saying that 2,500 housing units have been destroyed, 23,000 have sustained moderate to minor damage, and the rate of displacement has increased by more than 30 percent in the space of just 24 hours. They're talking about having hours left only in terms of fuel supplies.

So the humanitarian situation in Gaza is rapidly approaching an alarming level, and the question then becomes how long can Israel wait before making its move? But can it make a move before it has secured some kind of a humanitarian corridor? We heard Secretary of State Antony Blinken talking about this again today, the importance of providing people who want to flee the violence, ordinary civilians, with a way out. So far that has not been agreed upon. And as a result we continue to see a growing intensity in terms of the desperation of the situation there, and a growing anxiety on this side of the border as well as to when there may be some further movement, Jake.

TAPPER: All right, Clarissa Ward, thank you so much. Stay safe.

Let's go now to Meirav Leshem Gonen whose daughter Romi was attending the Nova Music festival where Hamas killed at least 260 people and took others hostage.

Meirav, I'm so sorry for what you're going through. As of now, you don't know exactly what happened to your daughter.


TAPPER: But you were on the phone at some point as this attack unfolded. Tell us what she said. Tell us what you know.

GONEN: Yes. What we know from half past 6:00 until two minutes to 11:00, 10:58, is that Romi she was at the party and half to 6:00 she called me and said, mommy, there are a lot of missiles here. We don't know what to do, we don't know where to hide, where we can go. A lot of rockets falling on us, and we don't know what to do.

She was with her best friend, Gaya (ph), and they were looking for a place to hide. But this is an open space. You don't have anywhere to hide. No shelters, no nothing. And they were trying to get to Gaya's car. It took them about an hour to get to the car, and then they tried to leave with Gaya's car, but they couldn't because there were so many cars around and the traffic was jammed. And later on, we -- we found out that all the terrorists already

arrived to Israel and then started closing all the roads from north to the place of the party. And they finally went from the car and go to the bushes trying to hide, moving from bush to bush. And we all this time talked with her, and we heard the shooting around them.


And they're hiding, kids with no weapons, no nothing.

At some point just before 10:00 a very good friend of Gaya came back. She was already out-this area but he came back to take them, to rescue them. And his name is Ben, Ben Shimoni, and he was taking another boy with him.

The four of them tried to leave the area. They didn't get much -- much further when I got a phone call from Romi at 10:15 crying, shouting, saying, mommy, we were shot. They shoot the car. We cannot move. The car does not start.

We cannot move -- all of us are badly wounded, badly injured. Gaya is not talking to me. Ben is not talking. Phil and I are wounded, Phil was telling me his name and gave me his mother's number so I can call her.

And Romi so afraid. She was saying, mommy, I'm going to die. And I said, no, you're not going to die. We are coming back and we will find a way to take you out of there.

And she was asking, mommy, how can you take me out of here? Please, come and take us. Please tell somebody. Tell the army, tell the police. Tell them to come.

I tried to call the police. We tried to see how air force can maybe take a plane or a helicopter to try and rescue them. And there was nothing to do. I was -- I could only lie to her and tell her that we were doing everything. It's not a lie, we try today everything. But I knew we cannot help them.

TAPPER: Yeah, is that the last time you heard from her?

GONEN: Yes. The last time I heard from her was the shooting around them. We were talking slightly. She was fading away, and we heard the shooting around them, and then a lot of people talking in Arabic, shouting in Arabic.

Somebody tried to start the engine but couldn't do it, and then somebody hung the phone, and that's it. That's the last thing I heard from my daughter.

TAPPER: Has -- you were at the news conference this week asking the Israeli government for answers. Have they reached out, have they told you anything?

GONEN: We just know that Romi's cellphone is in Gaza. That's what we know and what the representative of the government knows. What we are focusing now is to -- you know, to be united and bring our kids back home and do all the necessary actions to bring them back home. You said before don't look away. That's what I am asking, what we are asking from our government, from the whole world. Don't look away.

TAPPER: Exactly. How old is Romi?

GONEN: Romi's 23. She's my third one. I have five kids. Romi is in the middle. She's the glue between the bigger kids and the smaller, the younger one.

She's wonderful. She's vivid. She's so alive. She's so wonderful.

Everybody's fallen in love with her. It's easy to fall in love with her. She's so wonderful.

She's such a good friend. She's such a -- she's such a good person. She will never hurt anybody.

TAPPER: She's beautiful.

Meirav Leshem Gonen, stay in touch. We'll keep telling --

GONEN: Can I ask one thing, please?


GONEN: Can I have one minute of asking something?


GONEN: We want to ask the whole world -- we want to ask around the whole world to come and help us because it's not just us. There are a lot of Americans inside Gaza. We need you with us to bring everybody back home. This is as you said a war crime, a crime against humanity.

And we need the leaders -- we need the leaders from Qatar that can push Hamas. We need the leaders from (INAUDIBLE) to push Hamas. We need all of us to fight this, I don't know, evilness, I have no word for that.

So, we ask you to spread all the things you just said, and I was so proud of the force you give to us, the strength you give to us. And I just ask you please continue to do that and please help us bring everybody home.

TAPPER: We want them all home.

Meirav Leshem Gonen --

GONEN: Thank you.

TAPPER: -- thank you so much and we'll stay in touch with you.

GONEN: Thank you.

TAPPER: And I want -- with every fiber of my being I want Romi home for you.

GONEN: Me, too. Thank you very much.

TAPPER: Thank you so much.

Coming up, a 25-year-old young woman from California, a 27-year-old young man who was a captain with Israel's military -- the stories behind the American citizens killed by Hamas, that's coming up.



TAPPER: Welcome back.

Erin Burnett is co-anchoring in Tel Aviv with me -- Erin.

BURNETT: And, Jake, as you know, the death toll for Americans in these horrific terror attacks here in Israel has gone up. Today, the White House confirming that number has gone up to 24 Americans confirmed dead, Jake, and that still means 14 Americans are missing, still unaccounted for. People hoping that their loved ones are going to be found alive, and we are learning the names, stories of some of these people who so needlessly were killed on Saturday.

Here's CNN's Erica Hill.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beaming smiles, every day joy now forever frozen in time.

EYAL WALDMAN, DAUGHTER DANIELLE KILLED IN HAMAS ATTACKS: She's amazing, I person, and each and every one that have met her have loved her. She has done nothing, wrong and nothing bad to anyone.

HILL: Eyal Waldman's 25-year-old daughter Danielle, was born in California. She and her boyfriend, Noem, recently moved into a new apartment. They adopted a dog, and we're building a life together.

WALDMAN: They went to a party, to celebrate peace and love.

HILL: Danielle and Noem never made it home from the Nova Music Festival.

WALDMAN: She told me the last meeting, that she and Noem have decided that they would get married. Unfortunately, we will bury them together.

HILL: Aryeh Shlomo Ziering was a captain in the IDF's dog handling unit. The dual citizen spent his summers at camp in the U.S. His aunt, Debby Ziering, describes Aryeh as a fun loving athletic kid, who's passionate about protecting his country. Captain Ziering was 27.

Igal Wachs' ex-wife says he moved back to Israel two years go to care for his mother. On Saturday, Hamas attacked the village where they lived eye.

LIAT WACHS, EX-HUSBAND AND HIS BROTHER KILLED IN HAMAS ATTACKS: Igal and his brother were part of the security team, the patrol team in the -- in the village.

HILL: Igal and his brother Amit, both Israeli Americans, were killed.

RANAE BUTLER, SIX FAMILY MEMBERS KILLED IN HAMAS ATTACKS: My brother was Johnny (ph), everyone called him Johnny, Telmali (ph) is my sister in law. She was running from the council of the area of a bunch of villages. She was such an uplifting, just quality human being.

HILL: Ranae Butler's brother, Johnny, and his young family, along with her mother, Carole Simintov (ph) were murdered at the Nir Oz kibbutz on Saturday.

BUTLER: A great loss, such a big, beautiful time we had. Half of our family is gone. This is our life. This is our love. I had 14 nieces and nephews. I have 11 now.

HILL: A family shattered, as countless more wait for word on their loved ones, and wonder whether they will ever be whole again.

Erica Hill, CNN, New York.


BURNETT: And it is just so impossible to comprehend, the loss of these families and parents.

Eyal Waldman, you saw him in Erica's piece there, I spoke to him, Danielle Waldman's father, the loss that he felt. He had found that his daughter died two hours before we spoke, and I met him in his apartment here in Tel Aviv, a father who felt that he had to speak out, even though what he was suffering and realizing it happened in his life is so truly incomprehensible, to all of us.

We will be right back here on THE LEAD.



TAPPER: And you're looking live over Gaza, where it is nearing midnight. The dark sky is a reminder, that Israel has stopped supplies and food water and fuel to Gaza, until Hamas releases the hostages it took over the weekend.

Two American lawmakers who just returned to Israel join me now, Republican Senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst, and Democratic Congressman from California, Jimmy Panetta.

Senator Ernst, you met with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday. Israel was clearly not prepared for that, day and for several days after, Israelis are furious. Do you sense that Israel, and the military, are ready for what comes

next, for this next major attack, for getting their hostages back, for everything following?

SEN. JONI ERNST (R-IA): Well, thank you Jake. And, here we stand as a bicameral, bipartisan delegation, that visited Israel, in those short days after the Hamas attacks. And, the weight in the room, when we met with Prime Minister Netanyahu, was very heavy.

But, I do believe that they are prepared for the upcoming weeks, months, whatever it takes, for them to work out the deals with hostages, as well as make sure that they are destroying Hamas. So again, it was a very heavy, a very somber meeting that we had, with the prime minister. Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, through these horrible terrorist attacks. But we stand unified, in solidarity with Israel.

TAPPER: Congressman Panetta, the original purpose of your trip was to discuss potential peace agreements, in the Middle East. And then the attack happened, the terrorist attack on Saturday. You, and the rest of the delegation there, quickly had to shift focus.

What are you sharing with fellow House members upon your return? Peace certainly seems elusive now.

REP. JIMMY PANETTA (D-CA): Yeah, it was funny. We started this trip going into the Middle East to talk about peace. Unfortunately, we left the region, talking about war. And, it kind of makes you think, is that the long story of the Middle East? And we are trying to do everything we can to change that narrative.

And that's why we wanted to go there, to have those discussions. And I can tell you, prior to this happening, being on the ground in Saudi Arabia, it was very, very positive, our discussions with leadership there. However, once this invasion, this bloodthirsty attack happened. Obviously, the discussions changed.

But I can tell you, what I found positive to me, once when we got to Israel, and had the conversations about the events, they talked about what I think is very important in this position, and that's relationships. And, they talked about the personal calls that they had been receiving, from Arab leaders, in the region, about the event.

So, the fact that they are having those types of discussions, gives me hope that yes, there may be a pause on the normalization process now. I do believe that we will be able to continue, and make sure that it gets done, subsequently.

TAPPER: But, Senator Ernst, I mean, calls from Arab leaders are nice. But, you know, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE -- they need to step up to the table, and be part of the solution, right? I mean, if there's going to be some sort of life, and country and human rights for the Palestinian people, in Gaza, and the West Bank, they need to be part of the solution.

[16:35:03] And with respect, I'm not sure that they have been as much as they could.

ERNST: Well, absolutely, Jake. And, that's one thing that our delegation stressed, as we met with each of the Arab nations, and their leadership, was that we would hope for a more forceful response from their leadership, against these violent acts of terrorism.

Yes, innocent Israeli women children, elderly. We have not seen that yet, we did see UAE revise their statement a bit, and become more forceful. But what we should be doing is focusing on Iran, as well. We know that 93 percent of the funding that is used by Hamas, in these terrorist attacks, comes directly from Iran.

So we need to be serious about Iran, and its terrorist proxies, and make sure we call out Hamas, for the terrorist actions that they are taking against innocent civilians in Israel.

So, yes, we need to force them to step up to the plate. They need to be engaged, and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

TAPPER: Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Democratic Congressman Jimmy Panetta, thanks to both you. Appreciate it. And welcome home.

We want to continue to bring personal stories of the war in Israel. Next, a mother desperate for any word, any word about her missing son.



TAPPER: New images into CNN, show a whole blocks in Gaza reduced to rubble as Israel continues its retaliatory strikes, for the brutal attacks by Hamas. And some are in Gaza right now, are people who were taken from Israel, as hostages by Hamas. So many families, searching for answers about what exactly happened to their loved ones, seized by Hamas during the terrorist attack on Saturday.

With me now is one of those individuals, Natalia Ben Zvi, who has not heard from her son Sagiv (ph), who is 24, since she spoke to him on Saturday, as he was leaving that music festival, attacked by Hamas.

Natalia, I'm so sorry, going through this. It's unimaginable. We are showing pictures of your handsome son right now. It sounds like he was already on his way home, when you first talk to him, before the nightmare scenario began.

Walk -- walk us through the timeline, of what you know.

NATALIA BEN ZVI, SON WAS KIDNAPPED AND IS PRESUMED TO BE HELD HOSTAGE IN GAZA: I spoke to him on, after the first alarms went off, in Israel, all around. And, I told him please be careful, open the windows, and listen if there is a -- that's a short time alarm, around the place he was in. So, asked for him to open the windows and drive carefully. And, he needs to put the cars, and protect his head, or whatever we need to do, in situations like this. TAPPER: Yeah.

BEN ZVI: And, ten minutes after that, we lost contact. What I started worrying, I called the police, immediately. And we didn't know yet that there was any invasion, into Israel, and atrocities that started. We thought that, it is only alarms, and yeah, we are used to it, unfortunately.

And then, I after calling him, and his friends Ronnie Detrovski (ph) that, they were together, celebrated and danced. It's loving and wonderful festival, with people from not only from Israel, not only Jews, people who love each other.

He was that kind of boy. He liked people, he was a people boy. He is, I'm sorry.

TAPPER: Yeah, don't use the past tense.

You say --

BEN ZVI: Yeah.

TAPPER: -- his phone was located in Gaza, have you heard from the Israeli government at all?

BEN ZVI: Yeah.

TAPPER: Has anyone been in touch view to provide any information?

BEN ZVI: No information was provided. We provided the information, we gave them all the information, the pings approaching Gaza and in Gaza, and, I think that they are still checking, it's chaos, like -- We I know you saw the pictures, I know you saw what's going on.

It's devastating. I cannot even -- you know, it's hard for us as a people to understand how this evil can occur. Like, what is it? Is it a satanic evil? What is it? What happened here?

And, I am afraid, I am afraid. And I am trying to be very -- I am putting my emotions inside a drawer (ph) right now. I am trying to do everything I can do for my son, to locate him and bring him safe home.


BEN ZVI: And, not for only him -- for all the kids, and for all of the families, that are in the same position as I am.

And, we told him, but nothing still. They are checking, I know they are checking, they are doing the best. I think didn't think -- I do think that they are trying, but this is overwhelming.

TAPPER: I have to say, I don't -- I don't want to, I don't want to speak for the Israeli people. But I have heard, and seen a lot of anger, from Israelis at your government, not only for the intelligence failure, and not only for the delay in the reaction from the IDF.


I guess a lot of forces were on the west bank, but also just the inadequate response, in terms of the hostages. And, I mean, you should have heard from the government by now. There should be more of an outreach, to people like you, can I just talked to a another woman named Meirav who's daughter also it seems, was probably taken hostage. Her phone was located in Gaza.

Again, I assume, and I hope that they are doing everything they can, but it must be frustrating.

BEN ZVI: Yeah, it is frustrating. But, I think that the festival has to be, to understand what is happening, was where. And but -- the second goal will be, after everything will be over two, to investigate what happened. It is not the time to, this is not the time to start yelling, or -- we know that something bad happened.

TAPPER: No, I know, but I just think they should be reaching out to you, and giving you answers, and.

BEN ZVI: I think, I think that -- yeah, you are right, you are absolutely right. They are trying to build up the system right now, because they couldn't -- they just -- they didn't think that anything like this can happen.

TAPPER: Yeah, I hear you.

BEN ZVI: So, I hope that I they are keeping the -- up. And we will, what is the word, what's the word? They will do everything they can, from now on, I hope so, really.


BEN ZVI: I hope so because.

TAPPER: I hope so, too, Natalia.

BEN ZVI: It's lives, it's people.

TAPPER: Yeah, Natalia Ben Zvi, please stay touch with us.

BEN ZVI: I have to say one thing, please, please.

TAPPER: Yes, say it, go ahead.

BEN ZVI: It -- is an American citizen. And, he is doing everything he can, with the State Department, and senator, the senator of New York, who puts on the list, the American list. So, I will appreciate any help from you, and from any one who you can, because we heard that what Hamas did. And, I am -- I am afraid. I am really afraid.

TAPPER: Natalia Ben Zvi, thank you so much, Stay in touch with our team. We want Sagiv back, we want him back for you.

BEN ZVI: Thank you so much, Jake. TAPPER: The attacks by Hamas have led to an uproar on several college

campuses. And now, some of the students are getting called out over there inappropriate celebration of the death of innocent civilians. We're going to go ahead live to one protest.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Some are protesting the atrocities committed by Hamas, some are advocating for Palestinian rights. Some are crossing the line, from advocating for Palestinian rights, into gleefully rooting for atrocities against Jewish civilians.

CNN's Nick Watt is on the campus of UCLA, as some students feel the existing undercurrents of antisemitism on college campuses is rising to the surface.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A so-called day of resistance, on campuses across the country, called by National Students for Justice in Palestine, which hails the Hamas terror attacks as a historic win for the Palestinian resistance, across land, air, and. See

JULIA JASSEY, CEO, JEWISH ON CAMPUS: That's the justification of the murder of Jews, as we have seen throughout history under a different name.

WATT: At San Diego, one pro-Palestinian protester said this.

PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTER: We're not for any lives lost, no matter what, Palestinian or Israeli.

JASSEY: We found that 57 percent of Jewish students in the U.S. have experienced or seen antisemitism. That was before this occurred. Now we are seeing the levels rise, the incidents rise, the complaints rise.

WATT: At Harvard, a statement released within hours of the attacks begins: We, the undersigned student organizations, call the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.

Some have recanted after a backlash, that included a billionaire hedge fund boss, asking Harvard to name members of the groups that signed so none of us inadvertently hire them.

Last night, their names and faces emblazoned on a truck in Harvard Square by a conservative organization. Such intimidation is counterproductive, said Harvard Hillel, a Jewish student group.

JASSEY: The conversation about what is and isn't productive discourse is something that we're seeing really taking shape. WATT: A major UPenn benefactor has called on other alums to close the

checkbook after what he said was college leaders' apparent failure to condemn the views of some speakers at a recent Palestinian literary festival on campus.


Even after the Hamas attacks, college officials have condemned antisemitism.

Los Angeles Tuesday, a pro-Israel rally, just a stone's throw from the UCLA campus, the Cultural Affairs Commission of UCLA, a student group hosted Monday, we honor the Palestinians on the front lines, taking their land and sovereignty back. They say, this is not antisemitism. Judaism is separate from the political movement of Zionism.

JADEN PENHASKASHI, UCLA STUDENT: These are UCLA organizations, and they have the permission to say these things. It is absolutely absurd.

WATT: I mean, you're holding in Israeli flag. Is that something you would be okay doing on campus?

ROEI HATZOR, UCLA STUDENT: Oftentimes on campus, I feel scared to hold a, flag if I'm not with a big group. There is a lot of antisemitism on campus, and it is always, felt at all times.


WATT (on camera): We are now on the UCLA campus, where a pro- Palestinian rally is about to begin.

Listen Jake, this tension is only going to get worse, over what happened, and what will happen in the Middle East, and over where that line is, between standing up for Palestinian human rights, and glorifying murder -- Jake.

TAPPER: Nick Watt, thank you so much.

Another live look over Gaza tonight, we have seen more blasts, and at times smoke billowing, more evidence of this war raging on. We're going to go back live to our teams, on the ground, in the region. That's next.