Return to Transcripts main page

The Lead with Jake Tapper

Right Now: Expecting Release Of Additional Hostages; Israel Says It's Assessing Hamas Claim That Youngest Hostage And Family Members Are No Longer Alive; CNN Exclusive With Five Families Of American Hostages; CNN Speaks With Families In West Bank After IDF Raid; Source: Israeli-American Abducted By Hamas On October 7 Is In The Hands Of Red Cross Officials; Season Two Of Anderson Cooper's Podcast Debuts Today. Aired 4 -5p ET

Aired November 29, 2023 - 16:00   ET



BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Her husband, former President Jimmy Carter made a rare appearance there to attend the service at their family church.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: Rosalynn Carter is being buried in a private service. She passed away on November 19th at the age of 96, just days after she joined her husband in hospice care. Her memorial service in Atlanta yesterday drew every living first lady and hundreds of others who paid their respects.

SANCHEZ: Thanks so much for being with us on "NEWS CENTRAL" today.

THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER starts in just a few seconds.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: The terrorist group Hamas is still holding as many as nine Americans hostage. When will they be released?

THE LEAD starts right now.

More hostages just set free including two Russian women. But with the U.S. continuing to play such a pivotal role in negotiations, why are so many Americans still in the hands of Hamas? Some of their families sat down for a CNN exclusive with me this afternoon.


EMILY WESOLOWSKI, NIECE OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE KEITH SIEGEL & FREED HOSTAGE AVIVA SIEGEL: There are so many other hostages that have not yet been released, and time is of the essence. And they -- more needs to be done, and the work needs to continue swiftly.


TAPPER: Plus, what we're learning about talks underway to extend the pause in fighting, so more hostages can be released. And the urgency to verify this horrible claim Hamas just made that the

youngest hostage that they kidnapped, a 10-month-old baby and his family are now dead.


TAPPER: Welcome to THE LEAD. I'm Jake Tapper.

And we start today with our world lead as we are watching and we are waiting for this six group of hostages who return to Israel. Sources tell CNN that at least one American is expected to be included in today's release. Two other hostages, both Russians who moved to Israel, were also freed today. CNN's teams were on the ground as the van carrying the two women was met by a cheering crowd holding Israeli flags.

Today is day six of the temporary pause of fighting. And the deal between Israel and Hamas to pause fighting is set to expire in just a few hours. But top Qatari officials tell CNN that negotiators are working towards another extension of this pause, and they are quote, very optimistic a deal will be announced.

Israel has probably previously said that they would agree to a longer pauses as long as ten hostages are released each and every day.

Today, the Israeli military confirmed that they are investigating a new claim made by Hamas that the youngest hostage Hamas kidnapped, 10- month-old baby Kfir Bibas, and his family members, are no longer alive. The terrorist group claims, without providing evidence, that Kfir and his four-year-old brother Ariel, and their mother Shiri were killed in an Israeli airstrike. All three were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th from kibbutz Nir Oz.

A statement from the Bibas family says, quote, we're waiting for this information to be confirmed, and hopefully refuted by military officials, and perhaps their skepticism is driven by the claims of a different terrorist group early in the war, they claimed a female hostage had been killed only for her to be released later in the war, very much alive.

Today, I sat down with five families of American hostages still being held captive in Gaza. We talked about the efforts underway right now to get all of the rest of the hostages out. We'll air some of that conversation in moments.

But we're going to start today with CNN's Jeremy Diamond. He's in Ofakim, in southern Israel, and CNN's Clarissa Ward, she's in Tel Aviv.

Jeremy, the convoy carrying the two hostages, the Russian Israeli women released today drove right by your location.


And listen, over the last six days, we have watched as 83 hostages have been freed by Hamas, some of them as part of this framework agreement between Israel and Hamas. But those last two women that we saw were not part of that framework agreement. They are Russian Israeli citizens, free to appear as a side agreement between Hamas and the Russian government.

But the scenes of absolute jubilation as these two women, very much Israeli citizens, came right through our location, were something to behold. We have watched, of course, over the last six days as we have seen scenes of families being reunited with loved ones, held after 50 days or so of captivity.

But tonight, we saw what was effectively the Israeli community as a whole welcoming these people home. We have seen these scenes. And we just understand that those Russian women have now arrived at a hospital just moments ago.

We are still waiting to see, Jake, what the fate is of those ten Israeli women and children who are set to be released today as part of that broader framework agreement. We expect that that would happen tonight, but so far, no sign that they have been handed over to the Red Cross.

TAPPER: So you're seeing images of them right now live on the right side of the television. We believe that these are images of these hostages being released this evening. It is 11:05 p.m. in Tel Aviv, and we believe that these are images of the hostages being released. As we -- these are the two Russian women. I am being told in -- being released.

Clarissa, as we watch these images of the two Russian women, Israeli officials previously said that the Bibas family was not in Hamas custody. They've been taken by Hamas, but handed over to a different terrorist group. I believe the PFLP. Now officials are looking into this claim by Hamas, the three members of the family, including ten- month-old Kfir have been killed. Has the IDF commented on all on this?

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So far, Jake, they have really only said that they are assessing the accuracy of the information that they hold Hamas totally responsible for the fate of these hostages. We have also heard from an Israeli television, from a family member, a cousin of the Bibas family that said that they were approached by the Israeli military to make them aware of these claims in this interview. This cousin said quite firmly, that their belief is that Hamas is 100 percent responsible for keeping them alive. I believe that his words were that they took them out of Israel alive, it is their responsibility to return them to Israel alive.

This, of course, on the heels of this claim from Hamas that Shiri Bibas, the mother and her two sons, Ariel and Kfir, who as you mentioned is just ten months old, were killed as a result of the Israeli air strike.

This is a story, Jake, that, of course, has galvanized the world's attention. But, also, really has really galvanized attention here in Israel. We saw an event recently where people released red balloons into the sky. That is obviously a reference to the fact that these two little boys both have both bright red hair. So, this is a story that people all over have been following very

closely, have been shocked by in terms of just how young they are, and, obviously, desperately want to believe that this information is incorrect, that it's some kind of psychological warfare or simply misinformation. At this stage, Jake, we don't know yet, and it may be sometime before we do know concretely because there is so much misinformation, and frankly, there's not a lot of clarity coming from Hamas at all as to the whereabouts, and who is in possession of which hostages who are still inside Gaza of those 159 that the IDF estimates are remaining in Gaza, Jake.

TAPPER: Right, and we already saw that false claim made earlier in the war about one hostage dying. And she was just released a few days ago very much alive.

Jeremy, where do negotiations stand right now on extending the current pause, which is due to expire in just a few hours?

DIAMOND: Well, Jake, there has not been any announcement yet of that truth being extended. We can assume that those negotiations are still ongoing, hopefully perhaps in their final stages at least for the families of hostages who still remain in Gaza, who are hoping that this truce can be extended in order to get their family members out.

I can tell you that earlier today, I spoke with a U.S. official, as well as a senior Israeli official who both told me that things were on track. That there was good progress being made. We also heard a spokesman for the Qatari foreign minister tell our Kaitlan Collins that he was hopeful there could be an agreement to extend that truth.

But one thing has been made abundantly clear to me by that senior Israeli official, which is that Israel is focused on getting all women and children home before they move on to a next phase of a potential agreement with Hamas that would see the release of men and a Israeli soldiers also released -- effectively, if there is an extension for one day, perhaps two days going forward, it would still be very much focused on those women and children who are still believed to be held captive inside of Gaza.

Now, there is questions about how we move forward here. Enormous questions about the price that would have to be paid by Israel to get those men and Israeli soldiers.


But the Israeli officials say that there is not a matter for now, they want to see all of those women and children get back home first before they move to the next phase.

TAPPER: All right. Clarissa Ward and Jeremy Diamond in Israel, thanks so much.

As the world watches to see if this temporary pause in fighting can be extended, so more hostages can be released. For those who still have family members being held hostage by Hamas, the stakes could not be any higher. And just a few minutes ago, I sat down with five of those families,

five American families, with an exclusive -- for an exclusive interview. They were gathered in D.C. to push lawmakers here, and the White House to do everything that they can to try and help to bring back these Americans to home -- to their homes.


TAPPER: One of the first things I want to say, because you are Americans, is we were honoring Rosalynn Carter yesterday. We were talking about the hostage crisis because of Jimmy Carter. And that was a hostage crisis that we had where Americans were taken hostage. We have another hostage crisis right now. And we have Americans in this country who are actually rooting for the hostage-takers.

And it's absolutely mind-blowing to me, and as people who have loved ones who are taken hostage, I can't imagine what it's like for you. And I'm just wondering what you think, and what you feel when you see people -- I'm not talking about people marching for Palestinian rights, that's a separate issue, but specifically marching to support Hamas. As we know, those are two different images.

What is that like?

RONEN NEUTRA, FATHER OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE OMER NEUTRA, IDF SOLDIER: This shouldn't be a political issue. It is a strict humanitarian issue. You have 240 abducted right now, 160. This should be any person looking at this issue, they should sympathize think about, it could have been your son, it could have been your daughter, your mother, people taken from their beds, people taken from their houses. It's -- it's not the same.

ADI ALEXANDER, FATHER OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE EDAN ALEXANDER, IDF SOLDIER: I think it's a lack of education. Whatever is going on, protest-wise, and to see the Hamas as a freedom fighter is fundamentally wrong. That's what I think.

RUBY CHEN, FATHER OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE ITAY CHEN, IDF SOLDIER: It's not an Islam issue. Islam, if you talk to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, I'm sure he will tell you, Islam is not about raping women, beheading kids, burning people alive. So I think that people should understand the facts.

ORNA NEUTRA, MOTHER OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE OMER NEUTRA, IDF SOLDIER: To me, it's just sad and scary really that people choose to take a side or not even look at what the issue really is, or see our children, our wives, fathers as people for what they are. They don't even bother looking at the story. They just make the judgment based on lack of facts and lack of education. It's just scary to me.

R. CHEN: Unfortunately, we have moved to a place where people want to simplify to evil and good and then make the decision based upon that. It is a complicated issue. And, yeah, you need to spend time to understand that people are formulating an opinion.

TAPPER: Another round of hostages are going to be released today, and we are told that families have been notified. Sadly, none of you were notified. Another day gone by. No word of your loved ones. And I'm just wondering, I know you're happy for ones who had loved ones released, but for those of you that have word of Omer --

O. NEUTRA: It's really tough. It is really tough. We are happy to see anybody being released. But, for me, personally, Omer is a man, he's my son, he's 22 years old. He's not in the conversation yet. And it's really bad.

R. CHEN: Maybe, Jake, to visualize --


R. CHEN: -- no time, tick-tock, tick-tock.

TAPPER: What is that? Why is there no time? What do you -- what does that symbolize to you?

R. CHEN: It symbolizes that after 54 days, we have no idea on the physical condition, as well as sign of life. This is against any international law. Even in times of conflict, the people walking this planet, it is basic principles that are agreed upon. And in this case, the Hamas terrorist organization has decided not to abide by those principles. We have the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders wanting to go in, and they are not allowed in.


The question is, why?

TAPPER: Did you guys meet with the Red Cross? What did you have to say to them?

LIZ HIRSH NAFTALI, GREAT AUNT OF 4-YEAR-OLD RELEASED HOSTAGE ABIGAIL EDAN: The first thing that we said was that we want to have signs of life. We also want to know if people who are in Gaza, who were hostages, are healthy, what their condition is. They are the first people that see these hostages.

We have hostages who are coming back initiated. They have lost lots of weight. They are dirty. They have no light in them. They have been in the dark in so many ways.

They're not healthy.


NAFTALI: And the Red Cross is -- their responsibility is to transfer them. There responsibility is also to be the voice, and to tell us what is happening. While we understand their fragile position, whether they need to be on the ground, we want them there. They do good work. We also want them to advocate for the folks that are still in Gaza.

TAPPER: So, on my show yesterday, we talked about accounts that we have heard from loved ones of hostages that have been released. A little boy kept in solitary confinement. We saw a little girl, a little Irish Israeli girl clearly the light has gone out in her eyes. Talked about being kept in the box, she thought she was kept away from her family for a year. She thought it had been a year.

Another child shown videos from October 7th. These are a handful of accounts. This is how the kids were kept. We also heard about women being kept in cages. It's awful.

R. CHEN: On one hand, it is sick, devastating, I think that --

TAPPER: It's depraved. I mean, it's barbaric.


TAPPER: Inhumane. Yes.

HAGIT CHEN, MOTHER OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE ITAY CHEN, IDF SOLDIER: I use the word holocaust. My family is a Holocaust survivor. We feel like it's all over the Holocaust again happening to us.


TAPPER: I asked this group if they thought President Biden was doing enough to get their loved ones were released. This is a group of Americans. Their response to that question is next.



TAPPER: And we are back with breaking news. Israel says that the sixth group of hostages has been freed by Hamas in exchange for some Israeli prisoners, Palestinians. The sixth group is now in the hands of the Red Cross. The hostages are still in Gaza, and they are currently on route to Israel.

The IDF says that this new group includes ten Israelis and four Thai nationals. We are still waiting to see if one of those Israelis is a dual American Israeli citizen, as was expected today. Let's go back to more from our exclusive interview with five American families that had loved ones kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th.

We sat down in Washington earlier today as these families are trying to push U.S. lawmakers and the Biden administration to do more, to do everything that they can to bring their loved ones home.


TAPPER: As we sit here, the Israeli military is assessing claims made by Hamas that the youngest hostage, ten month old Kfir Bibas and his mom were killed. Hamas is claiming that they were killed by an Israeli airstrike. Obviously, whoever kidnaps a baby and a mom, they are responsible for what happens to them regardless of how they were killed. I'm wondering if any of you want to comment on this awful news. Again,

we don't even know if it's true, right?

R. CHEN: I think the family came out with a statement saying that they are looking at the facts and hoping for some good news. But that's part of the psychological warfare that Hamas is doing, going back to Liz's comment about the International Red Cross, they need to be witness. They are the conscious of the international community and need to speak up and be vocal about what they are seeing, and calling them out for these types of actions that they are doing.

R. NEUTRA: The whole world needs to speak up. We don't feel that the international community is pulling the way they should be. It's a humanitarian crisis at the highest level and they don't seem to be enough outrage out there.

R. CHEN: The different nationalities being held hostage today.

WESOLOWSKI: I think, you know, we have seen the success with the release of some hostages over the past several days. And the U.S. government, Israel, Egypt, Qatar are working together. I am very grateful for that. That is how aunt Aviva, how Abigail, had been released. But there are so many other hostages that have not yet been released. And time is of the essence.

TAPPER: Do any of you think that President Biden is not doing enough? And he needs to be doing more? It's okay if you feel that way. If I had a loved one in captivity, I would probably think that nobody is doing enough.

R. NEUTRA: We have heard President Biden expressing the hostages as a top priority. We are still sitting here 54 days later with eight of us, eight families still waiting for their loved ones.

ADI ALEXANDER: I think the Biden administration, they do more than enough since the first day.


But the math should not fool us, which means if every day, ten people are being released, it does not mean necessarily the two weeks from now the remaining 140 something hostages will be out. So, that's the main concern.

TAPPER: You talked about how you don't think you're getting enough support from the world. I'm sure that you know one of the reasons that is, and there are probably many reasons, but one of the reasons is that because many people in the world think that the IDF's response has killed too many innocent Palestinians. The IDF says they are going after Hamas and Hamas embeds with the population. And they are not trying to kill civilians. But Hamas goes where the population is. That's the reason.

Do you think that the IDF should be focusing more -- not just the IDF, that Netanyahu should be focusing more on the hostages, getting them, out saving them? The time for going after Hamas should come later? R. CHEN: At the beginning of the conflict, I think the Israeli

government was more focused on going after Hamas. I think that the fact that the families have come together, we each feel collectively that we have 240 new family members. And I think the success of the families being together, and being able to unite around the hostage issue, and getting the people of Israel behind us has changed the perception of the government of Israel.

NAFTALI: The hostages have been 54 days, somewhere in the dark in Gaza. It is and immediate need. The immediacy of getting these hostages out, a young man like Hirsh, who got his arm blown off, he doesn't have days to wait.


NAFTALI: So, little people, big people, mothers, brothers, young women who we know have not been being treated well in Gaza, they need to get out.


NAFTALI: And so, when we talk about it, none of us are talking about it politically, we're talking about it as a human crisis. And so, for me, the issue of how we finish with the work of Hamas, and getting rid of them. Let's put it aside for a second. Let's focus on getting these 150 folks, people, our family, our relatives out, and getting them safe. That should be everyone's priority right now.

TAPPER: All I can say is that I hope your loved ones get home soon. I know for the ones of you that have men being held hostage who are not top priority, it's women and children and older people being prioritized. People in the IDF, they will be last on the list. I am so sorry for that.

R. NEUTRA: It's not to change the equation, right? Who said that? Where is it coming from? We believe collectively that anybody from any group should be released. It should be a mixed group from now on. Yes, we 100 percent agree that children being the sensitive souls that they are should've been released first.

But from now on, there should be a consideration of men and women, old and young, soldiers and civilians. They all should come out.

O. NEUTRA: They are all the same. It should be a representation of each and every group coming out.

TAPPER: What do you want anybody watching right now to know about your loved one? What should somebody who's watched this and is sitting at home afterwards, what should they know about him?

YAEL ALEXANDER, MOTHER OF ISRAELI-AMERICAN HOSTAGE EDAN ALEXANDER, IDF SOLDIER: Edan is an American kid. He graduated last year from high school. He loved parties. He's got tons of friends. He's a professional swimmer.

He loved the good life. He's a real foodie. Like he knows all of the restaurants, like we've been concerts everywhere. Like -- he's amazing.

ADI ALEXANDER: He doesn't belong there.

YAEL ALEXANDER: He doesn't belong there.

ADI ALEXANDER: He belongs with us, with the family, as simple as that.


TAPPER: Tell us about Omer. What do you want people to know about Omer?

R. NEUTRA: Omer is a kind person, when he comes to the room, he just captured everybody's intentions because of his size and kindness. He loves playing basketball. He admires the NBA, the NFL, he's just an American kid. He belongs at home.

TAPPER: What about Itay? What do you want us to know about Itay?

R. CHEN: He's a very talented kid. He sings. He dances. So, he's typically the life of the party.

He has been with the boy scouts until the age of 18. So, he mentors young kids. And maybe the most important part, he and his older brother playing NBA 2K. So, I get my ass whooped by my eldest sons, so he needs his youngest -- younger brother to come back so that he can go and play with him in NBA 2K.

TAPPER: Emily, tell us about your Uncle Keith. What do you want us to know about him?

WESOLOWSKI: My Uncle Keith is a really gentle, kind father and grandfather. He grew up in North Carolina that is where I am from. And family is just everything to him, and he needs to be returned to be with his grandchildren and wife, and his children.

TAPPER: I want them all home soon. Thank you for talking to us.


TAPPER: And my thanks to the Naftali, Chen, Neutra, Alexander, and Wesolowski families for taking their time today talking about such a horrible subject, dealing with such an agonizing ordeal.

Coming up next, deadly force beyond the borders of Gaza. Israel's military raiding the West Bank. It appeared to result in two children being shot killed.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: An explosion of violence in the occupied West Bank this week, where years of a drawn out bloodshed have only intensified since October 7th. Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp last night. Today, the Palestinian ministry of health says the IDF killed two Palestinian children.

CNN's Ben Wedeman speaks with the mother there who says her son died after Israeli forces shot him and refused to let them seek medical care. We must warn you, this report contains some disturbing video.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Israeli forces with bulldozers and jeeps entered the camp under the cover of darkness. This has become a routine. This is the usual aftermath. Wreckage and rubble as roads plowed down to the dirt. Once the damage in repaired, there's another raid. And it's the same thing all over again.

For almost two years, a low intensity war has been raging in the occupied West Bank. Residents here in Jenin's refugee camp said that they are having more than 30 Israeli military incursions since August of this year. The camp is home to militants, who Israel has accused of involvement in attacks on Israelis.

But here, those whom Israel calls terrorists are seen as fighters against a decades-long military occupation.

Wadi Mkaskas is not a fighter. He works for the local government.

This is the kids' room.

But last week, Israeli soldiers took over his home during yet another raid.

As he shows me, around the remains of what was the family's life crunched under our shoes.

Brutal, that's how Wadi sums up the soldiers' behavior.

Scars of battles past pockmarked the camp's walls. Debris on almost every corner.

Um Sami shows me spent cartridges on the floor of her house, saying the Israeli troops used this room to fire down into the street.

They took my husband, found his hands and pushed him outside into the cold, she says. They kept him there from six in the evening until five in the morning.

Eventually, the soldiers let them go. They took away her recently married son after ransacking his bedroom, searching for weapons.

Eighteen year old Mahmoud Awil Hedji (ph) was shot last Thursday evening through his bedroom window. His mother, Khitam (ph) holding a bloodstained towel recounting how Israeli soldiers would not allow medics to take them to the hospital. I was sure we were going to the hospital, she says. We went

downstairs, a second officer was there and made the medics put the stretcher down. Mahmoud bled to death in front of his home.

Tuesday night, Israeli forces raided the camp again, sparking gun battles with militants. In the process, Israeli troops killed at least four people, including this eight year old boy. Then they left.


WEDEMAN (on camera): And in addition to that eight-year-old boy, Israeli troops shot dead a 14-year-old, two others died because Israeli forces prevented ambulances from reaching the hospital. At this point, the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank is approximately 450 killed this year, that is, 100 of them at least for children -- Jake.

TAPPER: CNN's Ben Wedeman, thank you.

Coming up, I'm going to speak with two members of Congress about how much persuasion, if any, the Biden administration has in negotiations to get more Americans out of Hamas custody.

Also ahead, an alleged murder for hire plot and the man accused of trying to assassinate a Sikh political activist in New York City.

Stay with us.



TAPPER: Breaking news, an American citizen has been freed in today's hostage exchange. A source confirms to CNN. Let's get straight to CNN's MJ Lee.

MJ, what do we know?

MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Jake, this is very good news to report. I'm told by a source familiar that Liat Beinin, a dual Israeli American citizen, is now in the hands of Red Cross officials. She's been released from captivity by Hamas in Gaza. This would mark, Jake, the second successful release of an American citizen since the beginning of this truce.

Beinin and her husband have been missing since their kibbutz was attacked on October 7th. According to her father, she is a high school and physics teacher, and she's also a tour guide at the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem.

Remember, Jake, the White House has side all along that they believe there are three American women and children who would be released as a part of this initial deal.

[16:45:03] We, of course, saw four-year-old Abigail Edan who was released on Sunday. Now, we, again, of course, have confirmation of Liat Beinin having now been transferred to the hands of Red Cross officials.

So, now, we are waiting on the status of the second American woman. No word from the White House administration on her condition or her whereabouts, or even whether or not she might be released.

I can tell you, Jake, that the news of Liat Beinin now being in the hands of Red Cross officials, of course, this is good news, but as far as the White House is concerned, which right now is not commenting on this name, there's not going to be a sigh of relief until they know that she is actually physically in Israel and in safety -- Jake.

TAPPER: MJ, what do we know about the role of the U.S. in negotiations right now for more hostages to be released?

LEE: Well, the hostage release, of course, has been such a focal point for this White House, and basically the reason that U.S. officials have been pushing so hard for this current truce to be extended as because a longer truce means more hostages getting out. We were just talking about the second American citizen woman whose condition we don't know anything about, not to mention there at least seven other unaccounted for Americans who are still in captivity, who are still believed to be held hostage by Hamas.

That would come in the next stage of the negotiations for additional hostages to be freed. But where we are at right now is that women and children are being freed, our reporting is that there could be two additional days at least of hostages from Hamas that could get two days of additional pause in fighting. But after that, there are going to be discussions about the men, the IDF soldiers, sort of the next category of people that U.S. officials and, of course, Israeli officials very much hope to see released, Jake.

TAPPER: Okay. To recap, MJ Lee, one of the nine Americans held hostage by Hamas, Liat Beinin, 49 years old, a youth educator in Israel, she also gives tours of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance site there, a mother of three, has been released. A source familiar tells MJ Lee, our White House correspondent, her husband Aviv is still in the hands of Hamas.

So, that is some good news, although eight dozens of others, innocent people, kidnapped by the terrorist group Hamas, remain kidnapped in Gaza.

We'll be right back.



TAPPER: "All There Is", the podcast from CNN's Anderson Cooper, covers the subject that impacts us all but isn't always easy to talk about. And that subject is grief. In the first season, you might recall, Anderson explored his personal

journey with grief after the death of his mother in 2019, as well as the grief he experienced after his father's death, and the loss of his brother to suicide at a young age. In the second season of his podcast, which is out now, Anderson continues this journey, with his listeners, to learn how we can all try to live with grief. He spoke with several different guests, including President Biden.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The basement in my house is still filled with boxes of stuff belonging to my mom who died in 2019, and to my dad and brother who died decades ago. There are photographs and letters and notes have been sitting here, waiting for me to find the courage to sift through them, for nearly a year. I had started to go through the boxes last year, in the first season of "All There Is", but I had to stop. I found it overwhelming.

All this stuff brought up a lot of pain and sadness I buried long ago as a kid when my dad Wyatt Cooper died, and then again when my brother died by suicide. But it turns out, grief doesn't stay buried forever.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have never shared anything like this before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I lost my father when I was 10.

COOPER: As a reminder of that, this spring, when I started listening to more than 1,000 voice mails I had received during the first season of the podcast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had to grieve the person that I was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to endure it. We have to get through it.

COOPER: It took months, but I listen to all your calls. More than 46 hours of messages and they move me profoundly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lost our son eight years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want you to know my son's name, Ian Alexander Lahikainen.

COOPER: I learned the names of your loved ones. I heard your pain and your love. And I don't know how to explain it exactly, but it awakens something inside me. And I realize now for the first time that I've never really allowed myself to grieve.

And in burying that pain, I've also buried my ability to feel joy. I don't want to do that any longer. I can't. I want to feel all there is. So that's why I'm doing another season of this podcast. I need to talk with others living with grief, and learn from them, how I can, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the impulse, at least for me, was just sort of, how do I -- how do I fix? How do I manage that? And not enough that works with grief. You can't manage it, you can't push it away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was at a grocery store, feeling like nobody could see me, and I was just screaming inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It felt like this unraveling of our family, like to be the only one left and I had no one I could -- I could really call and talk to and remember when this happened.

COOPER: In the first episode, I talked with author Francis Weller about what grief can actually do for us in our lives.

FRANCIS WELLER, AUTHOR: We're told to backup, to get over it, to rise above it. But we're never really taught how to be with it.

COOPER: And in the next episode, I'll talk with President Biden at the White House about his grief and how he has come to live with it.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's critical people understand that they're always going to be with you. Your mother is in your heart every single day. Your brother, in your heart. You had there every single day. And there will come a time that you can sort of welcomed that, that you have that, that you had that. That it was there.

COOPER: There's a lot I don't understand about grief, but I do know that talking about it is the only thing that makes me feel less alone in it, and I hope it does for you as well.

The new season of "All There Is" starts Wednesday, November 29th, wherever you get your podcasts.


TAPPER: I know there are a lot of people experiencing grief who find immense comfort in Anderson's podcast. You can download the premiere of season two of "All There Is" right now wherever you get your podcasts.

The big news this hour, a second American hostage now in the care of the Red Cross. The ongoing efforts to get even more Americans released from the terrorist group Hamas, that's next.