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Israeli PM's Office: Families Of New Group Of Hostages To Be Released Have Been Notified; Musk In Israel Amid Backlash Over Anti- Semitic Post; Qatar: Agreement Reached To Extend Truce By 2 Days; Ballistic Missiles Fired From Yemen Toward U.S. Navy Ship; IDF: Red Cross Says It Has Received New Group Of Hostages. Aired 2:30-3p ET
Aired November 27, 2023 - 14:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GIL DICKMANN, FAMILY MEMBERS HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: We actually got confirmation my family members are not on the list for tonight. And we assumed that already.
But we don't yet know what is going to happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow since these days were just added to the deal and we tried to be not too hopeful but we try to be hopeful.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: You try to be hopeful. I know that's important that you're holding out hope for your family members. What is the latest you've heard from the Israeli government on your family?
DICKMANN: So, both of them were kidnapped on October 7th. Carmel, my cousin, was kidnapped from the house of her parents. Actually, the last one to see her was her father, who was locked in the bathroom.
And he hid there for the entire day. He saw her through the cracks in the window as she was kidnapped from the house. That's the last we know of her for sure.
And we now understand that she is considered kidnapped, in the hands of Hamas, but we can't really be sure.
Because, as you know, some other hostages were -- they have been described as kidnapped by Hamas but now their status is different. But we understand -- we believe that she is alive and kidnapped by Hamas.
The story of her sister-in-law, Yardin (ph), is actually different. She was kidnapped from the safe room in the house with her husband and her 3-year-old daughter. They were, three of them, put in a car and driven to Gaza.
And a few meters before the fence, they seized the moment and just broke out of the car, started running. And she was holding the baby in the arms and understood she couldn't run fast enough so gave to her husband and said run.
He took a last look behind his back and he saw Yardin (ph) and she was hiding behind a tree. That's the last time he saw her. And she's now also considered and defined as kidnapped by Hamas in Gaza. KEILAR: It's an amazing story of the difficult choice she made for her
daughter that you described there.
When you say the status is complicated, are you talking about maybe not being held by Hamas but being held by another group? Is that your concern?
DICKMANN: We know this is an option and we know we can't be sure where they are or where they were transferred to, so that's what makes it so complicated.
We know that there are two children who were, we thought, or at least I thought they were held by Hamas and now the news came that they are actually held by another group or we don't exactly know where.
Hamas is a terror organization. It's not like a state or it's not an army that holds prisoners in a way.
It's just they are using every trick in the book as means of psychological warfare and actually psychological terror, so that we don't know what is going on with our relatives.
And they are going to be very, very vicious to us. And during the next few days, we are trying to be prepared for it but it's hard.
And this is why we don't get our hopes up. We don't try to imagine them coming tomorrow, but we are getting ready for it as much as we can.
KEILAR: How are you getting ready for it as much as you can?
DICKMANN: We are talking about this. I was just talking today to -- Avigail, a 4-year-girl that her parents were murdered and she was there alone and Gaza held her with a couple of neighbors that she ran to. She ran to their house and she was kidnapped from there.
So we're talking to other relatives of hostages who came back asking how it is for them. It's very difficult to come back from such -- from such an experience, of course, and we talk about it amongst ourselves.
You know, the hostages' families became a big family. When there are hostages coming back and mainly kids, grandmothers and mothers, I feel as if my own relatives are coming home. And I think many Israelis feel the same way.
So we try to prepare ourselves. We try to talk about it. We try to think, what's going to happen, but don't want to get our hopes up.
KEILAR: Gil, I certainly hope that you see Carmel and Yardin (ph) very soon. I know you don't want to get your hopes up even as you prepare for the possibility that they will return.
Thank you so much for being with us today. DICKMANN: Thank you. And let's do whatever we can to bring all of them
back home. Not only Carmel and Yardin (ph) and not only women and children but all the hostages, elderly people, men. All must be returned home. Thank you.
KEILAR: Yes, there's still so many who are captive.
Gil, thank you, again.
And coming up, now that it appears this truce between Israel and Hamas will be extended for a couple of more days, certainly a couple more days here, this gives more critical time as well for humanitarian groups to deliver aid into Gaza, obviously, much needed aid. We'll have more on those efforts next.
KEILAR: The world's richest man, controversial tech billionaire, Elon Musk, in Israel today fresh off of endorsing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on his social media platform, X, formerly Twitter.
Musk is facing growing backlash for his post from November 16th, a post that accused Jews of pushing, quote, "hatred against whites." A post Musk relied to by saying, quote, "You have said the actual truth."
The billionaire's comment drew swift condemnation from human rights groups, from politicians and businesses alike.
Today, that same Elon Musk joined Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to visit a kibbutz destroyed by Hamas terrorists on October 7th.
Musk also met with the Israeli president, Isaac Herzog, and promised to do whatever is, quote, "necessary to stop hate," end quote, on his social media platform.
We have CNN Business editor-at-large, Richard Quest, here with more on this. He's live from Abu Dhabi.
That's a big promise considering what Elon Musk has done so far on X, formerly Twitter.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Yes, I mean, the problem here is to try to square that circle, if you will. Can we reconcile his tweet approving of what seems to be an anti-Semitic trope versus what he says? And the answer is, we can't.
He's given no further guidance on what he meant by approving that, so we have to take him at his word today. What he said today after he visited, he said, "actions speak louder than words."
He described what he saw at the kibbutz as being jarring and troubling, which some might describe as somewhat of an anti- -- a bit of a small statement considering the massacre that took place.
But did go on to say that when he saw the video of the way in which the Hamas killers rampaged through the kibbutz and he saw they reveled in joy at killing civilians that he described as evil.
So that is the scenario, Brianna. You have the tweet on the one hand, you have him agreeing to allow the use of Starlink on the other, and you have his comments. But he has not, if you will, squared the circle.
KEILAR: No, and look what he said about the gleefulness. I mean, we knew that from the beginning. That's not just some new discovery but maybe appears to be for Elon Musk.
How does that Starlink satellite technology play into all of this, Richard?
KEILAR: All right. We're having --
QUEST: -- to the various NGOs and the aid organizations, in the region, and he says he's going to do that -- are you still hearing me, Brianna?
KEILAR: Yes, I am. We lost you for just a second but we're back with you, Richard, so please pick up, Richard.
QUEST: Ah, forgive me.
Yes, look, basically, he wants to give his satellite technology to the aid agencies and the NGOs in the Gaza Strip. They've already, of course, as you know, done magnificent work for those in Ukraine.
Israel says, hang on, not so fast, not until we say and give approval. Tonight, it would seem that Israel and Musk have agreed in some way to give Israel approval over overarching approval for Starlink.
Which would be a major advance with the collapse of communications but it's not confirmed.
Once again, as in so many cases with Elon Musk, we're left wondering, what are the facts? What might happen and what's the reality?
KEILAR: Yes, we certainly are left wondering.
Richard Quest, thank you so much.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Brianna, right now, humanitarian groups are rushing to deliver as much aid as possible, as much as they can to Gaza before the next deadline. We're talking about food, water, fuel, other critically important supplies. CNN's Larry Madowo is joining us from Cairo right now.
Larry, Palestinian officials say about 150 aid trucks have arrived in northern Gaza since the temporary truce began some four days ago.
With this truce extension now, will the number of trucks allowed into Gaza be expanded?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is the understanding because all the information so far points to the deal being expanded and the existing terms and agreements.
So that means only up to 200 trucks can come in through the Gaza -- through the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. The Qataris, Egyptians have been trying to expand that but that's not been announced. So we assume 200 can come in.
And 137 trucks got in on Friday, 187 on Saturday. And the IDF said they allowed 200 trucks on Sunday and another 200 today. The IDF just posted a video. We cannot confirm it.
Even though a lot comes in through the border crossing at Rafah, there's a painstaking process to clear them, searching before they get unloaded then make their way across the Gaza Strip.
So sometimes, even when we see movement and trucks coming back, until the Palestinian Red Cross confirms it, we don't know how many made it.
But do know there's been a significant amount of aid coming in bringing in baby formula, food, water, cooking gas, emergency shelter items, because the rainy season is coming.
Which is all very important for so many who, after 50 days or so of fighting, have been able to go to the market, to locate families, to get their essentials.
Like this woman in southern Gaza.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SABREEN ALI-NAJAR, GAZA RESIDENT (through translation): I'm waiting in line to get flour for my children. We are calling on the Arab countries for help. We come in the early morning at 5:00 a.m., before the sun goes up, to get flour and food.
We are asking the Arab countries to support us so we can go back to our homes, because here there's no flour, no aid supplies, no food or water.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: Aid organizations say they need a much longer truce, a more long-lasting ceasefire, if you like. Because, for instance, the U.N. told us -- and we have talked about it for the past few days -- that they would need at least 200 trucks coming in every day for two months just to meet the needs of the people across the Strip, not just northern Gaza but everywhere.
And 1.7 million people displaced. It's not easy to take care of them, provide them with water, food and shelter and everything else they need in these circumstances -- Wolf?
BLITZER: So critically important.
Larry Madowo, reporting live from Cairo for us. Larry, thank you very much.
Still to come, missiles fired at a U.S. Navy destroyer just hours after it thwarted an armed attack on a commercial ship just off the coast of Yemen. New information coming in. We'll have the latest right after this.
KEILAR: The U.S. military says that a pair of ballistic missiles were fired at a Navy destroyer after it responded to a distress call from a commercial tanker ship off the coast of Yemen. This is an incident that appears to be the latest connected to Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen against the U.S.
We have CNN's Katie Bo Lillis following this story for us.
Katie Bo, what have you learned about what happened here?
KATIE BO LILLIS, CNN REPORTER: Yes, so, Brianna, let's kind of walk through the sequence of events here. On Sunday, this commercial shipping vessel that was carrying phosphoric acid, apparently with some public links to an Israel-owned company, sends out a distress call saying it is under attack.
A U.S. warship that is also operating in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia as part of a counter-piracy task force responds to that call, races to the distressed ship and finds five armed hijackers on board.
Those hijackers jump off into a smaller boat of their own. They race away. The U.S. warship gives chase and ultimately is able to apprehend these five hijackers.
Now the U.S. military has now said publicly that these hijackers are believed to be Somali, likely Somali pirates.
But it's what happened in the hours after that episode that's so concerning to the United States.
At about 2:00 a.m. local time, while the U.S. warship was still wrapping up responding to this distress call, two ballistic missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen in what the U.S. military describes as the general direction of this specific U.S. warship.
Now these missiles landed harmlessly in the ocean, about10 nautical miles away from the ship. No U.S. casualties, no U.S. injuries.
But the concern, of course, for U.S. officials is that the -- that this Iranian-backed group, the Houthis, may be seeking to escalate in the region.
KEILAR: Yes, because, what if? What if it hadn't been a miss, right? Since they are Iran backed, what does it say about Iran's interest in escalation, de-escalation?
LILLIS: This is the big question, right, Brianna. So the U.S. generally believes that Iran has sought to calibrate its response to the Israeli invasion of Gaza that has come in response to obviously this horrific attack on October 7th by Hamas.
They sought to calibrate their response to avoid a broader regional escalation.
But that said, the Houthis are one of the more sort of independent acting of the Iranian proxies. They don't always take direct orders from Iran.
And, in fact, they have launched numerous attacks, both missile attacks as well as drone attacks against U.S. forces in the region, as well as against Israel. So this is sort of the big question for the U.S.
KEILAR: Katie Bo, thank you so much for that reporting.
We do have some breaking news. I want to go to Wolf in Israel as we are watching this hostage release.
Wolf, what can you tell us?
BLITZER: Very significant, Brianna, breaking news.
I want to bring in Oren Liebermann who has got a statement for us.
Brief our viewers right now on the latest developments. A significant development.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it's a simple statement here. All it says is, "Based on information that was received from the Red Cross, 11 hostages are currently on their way to Israeli territory."
That's from the Israeli military. But it means a tremendous amount.
First, it means that 11 hostages, women and children, are in the hands of the Red Cross and making their way to Israel as we speak.
We don't know what crossing they're coming through. That's less significant. It obviously will affect the timing here. But they are on their way to Israel.
And that means the transfer from Hamas to the Red Cross has been completed. And now the next step will be into the hands of the IDF and then the
transfer to the hospitals and to their family.
It also means that sometime in the next couple of hours we expect to see the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. They, too, will after a short process head to their families.
It completes the first phase of this deal. That means 50 Israeli hostages have been released under the agreement, women and children, in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children.
But it also means -- and we heard Mark Rege, a senior policy adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, say this.
It also means that what Qatar announced, that the agreement is to be extended by 48 hours is, barring unforeseen circumstances, set to do into place.
And that means, if everything goes smoothly here, the release of another 20 Israeli hostages, women and children, in exchanges for the release of another 60 Palestinian women and children.
It is a good sign all around because it also means that humanitarian aid will continue to flow into Gaza.
So what the countries were able to put together, in touch with all sides, has at least as far as we can tell right now gone into effect. The process continues. It has been very difficult at times.
But the key part is it has not fallen apart. And we're watching the fourth day of this play out with hope that the fifth and sixth day that will continue here will also play out.
BLITZER: It looks like it's playing out -- always some sort of technical delays, at least every single time. But it's moving in the right direction right now, and that's very significant.
Oren, don't go too far away.
We're going to continue our special live coverage right after a quick break.