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Israeli Military Raid in Jenin; Omer Lubaton Granot is Interviewed about Family Members Released; Expulsion vote for Santos Tomorrow; Air Force Osprey Crashes off of Japan. Aired 9:30-10a ET
Aired November 29, 2023 - 09:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: We have new reports this morning of an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Video that is obtained by CNN shows military tanks rolling near the Jenin refugee camp. The IDF says that this was - that they were conducting counterterrorism activities in the area, that these operations are expected to continue, but said they would not provide any more details until those operations were finished.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is tracking this from Jerusalem.
Ben, what more do we know about what happened here?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm sorry, I'm not hearing Kaitlan.
COLLINS: All right, Ben Wedeman, we're struggling to - to get his connection. It's a little bit of a technical -
WEDEMAN: OK. So there were (INAUDIBLE) -
COLLINS: Go ahead, Ben.
WEDEMAN: The biggest one was in the northern West Bank city of Jenin where at about 9:00 p.m. local time dozens of Israeli military vehicles, backed up by bulldozers and drones overhead, entered the city of Jenin. They declared it a closed military area, said that they were conducting counterterrorism activities. But in the process we understand from the group Doctors Without Borders that the Israelis blocked access to local hospitals and as a result two people were killed and furthermore -- two boys, one age 14, another age nine were shot dead by Israeli forces that were operating in the camp.
The raid ended at 3:00 in the afternoon local time, but we were actually in the Jenin refugee camp for much of yesterday before that raid took place and they were telling us, the residents there, that this sort of raid has become an almost weekly -- it's weekly event, if not more.
[09:35:08] They said that since August there have been more than 30 Israeli raids into Jenin and, of course, they're expecting more after this one.
COLLINS: Two young boys shot. Obviously, a lot of questions for the IDF on that.
Ben Wedeman, in Jerusalem, thank you for that.
Kate, obviously this is something that we've been watching very closely, what is happening in the West Bank. Things appeared to calm down in other areas, other borders when it comes to Hezbollah and what we've been tracking with all of this, but the West Bank has remained a point where we've seen a lot of action happening. And it is something we are watching obviously incredibly closely.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Absolutely.
Kaitlan, we're going to get back to you shortly.
As we've been discussing, this is the sixth and potentially final day of the six-day truce agreement to get hostages freed from Hamas as they're being held in Gaza. Just this morning the Qataris telling CNN's Kaitlan Collins that they are optimistic, hopeful that they can soon announce this truce will be extended further. Now, that is huge news for the families of the 161 Israeli hostages still being held captive in Gaza. And even before then we are standing by right now for the release of ten more hostages today.
Joining me now is Omer Lubaton Granot, he's the founder of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum. His cousin, Chen Goldstein Almog, and her three children - and three of her children were held hostage by Hamas for more than 50 days, just released on Sunday, though her husband and her eldest daughter were murdered by Hamas terrorists in the October 7th attack.
Omer, thank you for coming back on. I told you in the break it's so wonderful since the last time we spoke to hear the news that your cousin and her children have been released. How are they doing since they were released Sunday?
OMER LUBATON GRANOT, RELATIVES RELEASED BY HAMAS: So, yes, thank you for having me again. I think that we are very fortunate. I think they're making progress. And from what we understand, they were held in poor condition, but they were together and Chan showed a lot of resilience. She was a very - she was very strong for her children there and all the - you know, all the kids for each other. And we are really glad to have them back home.
BOLDUAN: What does the progress look like? What is the road ahead and the process like now, do you think, or are you learning from all of the people who are helping, for them, considering her husband, her eldest daughter were murdered. They've lost their home. I mean, they've lost almost everything. GRANOT: Yes. I think that we're starting to piece together what
they've been through. And we need to understand, like you said, on this horrible day, October 7th, Chen know - Chen knowed before that Nadav was shot, her husband. She was hoping for a miracle that he is still alive but she understand that chances are low. She saw the body of her eldest daughter, Yam, and she has been through this hell of 50 long days. And now she's coming back and she doesn't have a home to return to.
Their parents, Chen's parents and Nadav's parents are also from the same kibbutz. They also are - they're displaced for almost two months. So, rebuilding would be very, very hard and they don't even know where will it be? How will it be? You know, how will they do it? Those people who were returning from captivity don't have homes to return to. It's a huge tragedy that it's only starting and it can -- there are wounds that will never heal and there is stuff that will take years to rebuild.
So, we give them time. They get the professional support they need. They have a very supportive family in Israel. I sit here in New York, but we send the help and the support that we can from here. And I think that they need, you know, time and space and do it step by step.
BOLDUAN: And, Omer, much of the information about what the freed hostages are saying about their time in captivity, much of what we're learning has been coming through the coordination that your forum has been able to offer for all of the families. And some of what we're hearing come out, I mean we just learned since yesterday that the aunt of a 12-year-old hostage had said -- who was released -- said that he was forced at gunpoint to watch graphic films of the Hamas attack. What else are you hearing from those who have been able -- those who have been released, as, you know, we've seen Hamas trying to paint a picture that they've all been treated so well?
GRANOT: I think Hamas -- this is part of the psychological and propaganda war that Hamas is trying to do, to reach the international media, to reach the people in Israel. But what we hear from the stories and from children, that the captivity is harsh, the reality is -- it's unbelievable.
There was a story about Emily. She was only nine years old. She was so scared, she only whispers still till today because she's -- and she saw that she was spent (ph) in (ph) jail. Atan Halomi (ph), the child that you mentioned, had to watch horrific videos and was threatened if he would cry, with a gun, you know, to his head. Sisters of other children told them that Hamas have told the children that their whole family has died, that nobody's wanted them back, that they don't have a home to go to. They tried to scare the children. They suffered from malnutrition. They lost weight. Sunlight was -- they didn't have sunlight or hope.
But we do know that some of them are exposed to the media and sometimes can hear radio. And we do know that some of them sent messages -- messages to the other family through the one who was released. And we get signs of life, which is -- give us some hope. And if they hear us I think our mission is to tell them that we are fighting very, very, very hard to bring them home because I don't think we, as a forum, and Israel as a whole, and the whole of the Jewish community all over the world, and we do hope the international community and the U.S. will keep and help us because we won't stop until we will see all of them coming home because there are still more than 160 people in there. It is the biggest hostages crisis ever. It's unbelievable. And we need the support of everyone who can, of every stakeholder in the area.
BOLDUAN: Absolutely. One hundred and sixty-one hostages still in Gaza. That's according to the Israeli prime minister's office just today.
Omer, thank you for coming on.
GRANOT: Thank you for having me.
SIDNER: Coming up, one issue that's uniting some lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, George Santos. A vote to expel him is expected tomorrow. The question is, will it succeed? We'll have that coming up.
SIDNER: New this morning, a House vote to expel embattled Congressman George Santos is now expected to happen tomorrow. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle brought forward resolutions this week to expel the New York Republican after very troubling findings from a hugely damning House Ethics Committee report. Santos says, though, he's not going to seek re-election and, though, slammed the report calling it biased.
CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox is live on Capitol Hill for us.
What is Santos saying about tomorrow's vote after this really damning, very long report that came out from the Ethics Committee?
LAUREN FOX, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, George Santos has continued to say he does not plan to resign or step aside, even though there is growing momentum to expel him from Congress from his own colleagues in the Republican Party. George Santos is expected to hold a press conference tomorrow morning ahead of this potential vote to expel him. And there's still a question whether or not there will be enough Republican support to eject him from Congress. But, obviously, this is a huge moment for the Republican Party, a huge moment for the new speaker, Mike Johnson, who has yet to say publicly whether he personally supports trying to expel George Santos.
But there were resolutions that were introduced yesterday, one from Democrats, one from Republicans, both of them now privileged, which essentially sets the clock for when Congress has to vote on them. So that is why we believe this could come up tomorrow. And it's going to be a huge moment for Republicans. So far leadership
has made clear that they want members to vote their conscience. They are not planning on whipping this vote against George Santos or for George Santos. They want members to make their minds up individually.
But, obviously, Sara, a huge moment. And this isn't the first time that they have tried to expel George Santos from Congress. There have been past efforts. What makes this one so different is the fact you now have that ethics report that so many Republicans say was so troubling and really helped them change their minds about now wanting to try to expel George Santos after maybe in the past voting against that resolution.
SIDNER: Yes, you did have people saying they were going to wait until the report came out, then it came out and it was so damaging that they are probably going to change, although we don't know, their vote. So, we will see what happens tomorrow when it comes to weather George Santos will be expelled.
Thank you so much, Lauren Fox, there for us on Capitol Hill.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, an urgent search off the coast of Japan right now after a U.S. military aircraft crashed. The U.S. military called it an emergency water landing. What more we are learning about what happened.
We'll be right back.
SIDNER: Developing right now, at least one person has died after a U.S. Air Force osprey aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan. This is according to a spokesperson from the Japan Coast Guard. Six people total were onboard that aircraft, but we don't know yet about the fate of the other five.
CNN's Paula Hancocks is joining us now with the very latest developments.
We are looking at what the osprey looks like, how it operates. Can you give us anything more that we've heard about what the status might be of those other five members that were on that aircraft?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, the U.S. military, Sara, has commented saying that at this point the status of the crew is unknown. They say that the search and rescue mission is ongoing at this point. So, it was just before 3:00 in the afternoon local time that Japan's coast guard was alerted to this crash. It's now close to midnight, but the search and rescue is ongoing still. We heard from Japan's coast guard that they have three aircraft, six ships at one point trying to find the five remaining crew. The U.S. military says that they have notified the families of the incident. But at this point the cause of the crash is unknown as well.
We do know that there is a debris field that Japan's coast guard has found and filmed, saying they believe that is where the U.S. aircraft went down. We also heard from Japan's vice defense chief saying that the U.S. military told him that they believe it was a, quote, emergency water landing, that the pilot had tried their best until the end and had control of the aircraft until it hit the water.
Now, of course, there have been concerns about the osprey. There have been incidents quite recently. Just three months ago in Australia there were three U.S. Marines killed and several others seriously injured when there was a crash during training exercises there. Last year, as well, there were also training incidents, deadly training incidents in California and also in Norway.
We've heard from the governor of Okinawa asking for these ospreys to be grounded until the investigation is completed.
SIDNER: Thank you so much, Paula Hancocks, there for us from Seoul, South Korea.
BOLDUAN: Coming up for us, talks are underway and Qatari officials are hopeful that the fragile truce between Israel and Hamas will be extended. We're also waiting for more hostages to be released today. We have much more on this ahead.