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President Biden To Visit Israel on Wednesday; Hamas Releases Hostage Video Of Franco-Israeli Woman; Relief Convoys In Egypt Head Toward Gaza Border Crossing; Israel at War; Rise in Violence in West Bank after Hamas Attacks; Muslim Victim: Attacker Blamed Me for Israel Violence; CNN Journalist Flees Gaza Home with Family Amid Airstrikes. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 17, 2023 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, welcome to viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm John Vause at the CNN Center in Atlanta where it's just gone 1:00 a.m. here.

U.S. President Joe Biden will make his second visit this year to an active warzone. Traveling to Israel Wednesday a dramatic show support, which comes at a crucial moment. More than a week after a surprise attack by Hamas militants who murdered more than 1,400 people in Israel and Israeli ground offensive in Gaza is believed to be imminent, and eight days near constant Israeli airstrikes have left Gaza facing a humanitarian crisis like never before.

And White House officials are increasingly concerned about a regional escalation. U.S. Secretary State Antony Blinken announced the President's visit during a marathon diplomatic mission across the Middle East.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: He's coming here at a critical moment for Israel, for the region. And for the world. The President will reaffirm the United States solidarity with Israel and our ironclad commitment to its security. President will hear from Israel what it needs to defend his people as we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs.


VAUSE: According to Blinken, the U.S. and Israel will work on a plan for humanitarian assistance to reach civilians in Gaza. Officials from the United Nations as well as a groups on Gaza is being strangled by Israel's week-long siege and never ending airstrikes, which Palestinian officials say have killed more than 2,800 people.

And Israel ground operation into Gaza is expected to start at any moment. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will not stop until Hamas's military and government capabilities are destroyed.

Meantime, Israeli authorities believe nearly 200 people are being held hostage in Gaza. While Hamas representative says they may have between 200 to 250. The group has released its first hostage video, 21-year- old Mia Schem. CNN has made a decision not to show that video, which has Schem talking about an arm injury and that she was taken to Gaza.

It's unclear when the video was recorded or if she is still alive. Schem's mother says she is grateful though to have seen that video is what she told CNN's Anderson Cooper.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: How does your daughter look to you?

KEREN SCHARF SCHEM, DAUGTHER TAKEN HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: Say that she's been through pain, she's in pain. She's injured. She looks a bit terrified. But she is alive and stable.

COOPER: Does it help to see her?

SCHEM: Of course because until now, I didn't know if she's dead or alive.


VAUSE: CNN's Katie Polglase is following all of these developments, she joins us live from London. So the hostage situation is one issue that Biden and the White House is looking at. Apparently, it is top of his list according to national security adviser. What else is Biden hoping to achieve once he arrives in Israel?

KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: Well, John, clearly the main aim here is de-escalation of all kinds and the fact that this visit has been made. While there must be clearly some quite considerable security risks for the U.S. president to be visiting Israel at this time. And the fact that the decision has still been made for him to visit shows how urgent that need for de-escalation is.

And we were hearing yesterday reports that Israel had ordered the evacuation of 28 villages near the border with Lebanon because of an exchange of fire with Hezbollah, the militant group backed by Iran in Lebanon, this kind of dispute this indication that the conflict is spreading beyond the borders of Israel to neighboring countries is a major concern for the U.S., they do not want this to become a regional conflict.

And if you listen to exactly what Secretary of State Antony Blinken was saying yesterday about this visit, he makes that claim that idea of de-escalation very clear. One of the things he said ahead of Biden's visit was to underscore that this visit will be our crystal clear message to any actor, state or non-state trying to take advantage of this crisis to attack Israel. Don't. That is what Blinken said ahead of Biden's visit and that is very clearly the intention here they are concerned about the spread. And also there is of course then the question of how involved the U.S.

would be if there's conflict then spreads.


We're already hearing reports of 2,000 troops deploying for medical reasons. We're also hearing that the head of U.S. Central Command is in Israel, talking to the head of the Israeli army. All of this still up for debate. While of course, the humanitarian situation on the ground, especially in Gaza, with civilians are unable to get out is worsening and worsening.

And of course, that crossing into Egypt, the Rafah crossing, we are still talking about it's still not open. There are still debates, including from Blinken, potentially Biden will get involved in those debates as well to make it be opened to ensure civilians can get out of Gaza. All of that is still a dire urgent need as Biden arrives tomorrow. John.

VAUSE: Katie, thank you. Katie Polglase there update from London. Appreciate it.

Gaza is no stranger to war and desperation. But this time it seems so much worse. In the immediate short term concerns a groups are warning of an imminent public health crisis if supplies of water and fuel remain cut off. Here's Salma Abdelaziz has more now on the growing desperation inside Gaza, and a warning some images in her report are disturbing.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): This is what life looks like in places Israel told families to flee towards for their safety, where constant bombardment has reduced homes to rubble and wiped out entire families, this survivors say.

I lost all my relatives. 15 people, this man says. We were not on the front line or anything. We were just sitting at home. What have we done wrong?

The U.N. warns there are no safe places. About half a million people fled here to southern Gaza after an evacuation order by the Israeli military. But families desperate for refuge are still trapped in the war zone. The dead and injured flooding a healthcare system on the brink, civilians are caught in the crossfire with the death toll mounting just over a quarter of those killed or children, according to Palestinian officials.

And a week-long siege is strangling the Enclave. The U.N. says amid fears food, fuel, water and medical supplies be soon run out. Some two million people are crammed into this 140 square mile territory. Now many of them pushed into an even smaller corner of the Enclave. About half the population are children.

There are not enough shelters to house the sheer number of civilians, and even those who do find spaces in overwhelmed schools turned refugee centers. It is little comfort to the youngest victims. There is no one to protect us, this little girl says. There's no one to come save us. How are we supposed to live? How? Answer me.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed to annihilate Hamas after a terror attack by the group left 1,400 killed in Israel. But with Hamas, so deeply embedded within Gaza's population rights groups fear a bloodbath.

LYNNE HASTINGS, UN RESIDENT COORDINATOR FOR OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY: What we're seeing right now, the direction that Israel is going to be is going in. They have said they want to destroy Hamas, but their current trajectory is going to destroy Gaza.

ABDELAZIZ: Hamas does not answer to the people of Gaza. No elections have been held here since the group seized power in 2007. Still, it is these residents that will pay the price and with a potential ground incursion expected that cost is unfathomable. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


VAUSE: Be'eri is an Israeli kibbutz which residents once described as beautiful greenfields, bright red sunsets and a closer community who would share everything. It was a kibbutz life including meals, but its proximity to the Israel-Gaza border made it a prime target for Hamas Jihadist just over the weekend ago. More than 120 people were killed in the slaughter and others taken hostage. CNN's Erin Burnett spoke with Israeli forces who now there, their stories may be difficult for some of our viewers to hear.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR (voiceover): Men came at dawn through the main gate to this town of just over 1,000 people burning, shooting, slaughtering. Now this kibbutz is a mass grave and still an active fighting zone. We're told terrorists have still been found hiding.

This day, IDF guns pointed at Gaza just beyond the barbed wire. One soldier we saw on duty there has served 25 years in the Army.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we saw here nothing can prepare you for this kind of brutality of evil, pure evil. So you asked me how do I feel? Determined. Very determined.


BURNETT: Determined because hear you breathe the crime through your nose, your mouth. The presence of human death hits us.

BURNETT (on camera): This family that lived here were the Haddads (ph), their names on the outside. On the floor inside, we saw a bus pass for one of them. And this is their home. Completely charred, destroyed.

BURNETT (voiceover): This is the front garden. Everything is now dead. BURNETT (on camera): I'm standing inside someone's home where they

were celebrating, exercise bike behind me. Everything burnt and destroyed. In the kitchen, even on the refrigerator, the charred remains of all the pictures that somebody would have just had on the outside of their fridge, the medicine, the medicine containers that you would label by day to make sure you took the right pills every day. All of that just part of the normal life left behind.

BURNETT (voiceover): Home after home after home. Here someone was a bike rider. Here someone loved gardening. That life now gone. Now bulletproof vests worn by Hamas and zip ties lie outside this home, evidence Hamas was ready to tie up many more victims. And still, it is the children that no human can comprehend. We learned the feet of one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We opened the door we saw a baby girl and four months old. The entire room is upside down. And the baby lying on the on the floor. Her hands --

BURNETT (on camera): Burned?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. She was so beautiful. So beautiful. It was her pajama shot in the head.

BURNETT (voiceover): He says they carried her outside like an angel. An infant and children's toys and drawings are scattered everywhere and bury.

BURNETT (on camera): In this house, you see children's homework, children's books, the deck of cards just spread out here along the ground. There was clearly fighting inside this house outside this house Arabic graffiti, name of a brigade, Agusan (ph) brigade, Arabic writing splain all the way along the outside, bullet holes in the glass as we walked in.

The words also say Allah Akbar and victory only there is no victory here. Only death. And hate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since Saturday morning we're dealing with a holy mission. Not less.

BURNETT: A holy mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A holy mission. Yeah. Holy, not less.


VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN. It's not just the U.S. president heading to Israel. The U.S. military is sending a rapid response force to the waters of Israel's quakes more details in a moment.



VAUSE: Welcome back everyone. The head of U.S. Central Command has arrived in Tel Aviv to meet with the Israeli military's Chief of Staff and a U.S. Marine rapid response force has also been deployed to the region, but of a show of force intended to bolster U.S. presence in Middle East. CNN's Oren Liebermann reports now from the Pentagon.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (on camera): A Marine rapid response force is headed towards the waters off the coast of Israel. According to a U.S. defense official familiar with the plans as the U.S. commits a growing number of military assets to the region that are converging near Israel, even as the Biden administration is trying to avoid becoming directly involved militarily in a very hot conflict.

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently on the USS Baton, an amphibious assault ship in the Gulf of Oman, according to Navy officials, but according to that U.S. defense official, it's moving towards Israel. It's unclear if it'll join other Navy assets in the Eastern Med or if it'll remain in the Red Sea, off the coast of southern Israel.

But again, there are a growing number of military assets there. USS Gerald R Ford carrier strike group is already in the Eastern Med. And the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group will arrive in that same area within just a couple of weeks here, it's already moving that way. According to CNN reporting from over the weekend.

The key here is that as the U.S. is trying to show support for Israel, and offer a strong message of the terms for Iran and Iranian proxies in the region, in particular, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the U.S. is still trying not to become directly involved in this conflict trying to walk a very fine line there.

At the same time on Sunday night, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued orders for a group of about 2,000 troops to prepare for the possibility of deployment directly to Israel, offering another option for President Joe Biden as he considers how much support how to offer that support, and whether the U.S. should become directly more involved.

Now, it's crucial to note here that those 2,000 troops that might be preparing for the possibility of deployment, Israel would not be combat troops. Instead, they'd be support. So logistics, planning as well as perhaps medical assistance. We're looking for more details from the Pentagon here in the coming days there.

But all of this as the U.S. becomes more and more involved here in a conflict as Israel promises a prolonged perhaps difficult campaign and the next stage of Israel's operations expected here with a growing force on the border of Gaza. Oren Liebermann, CNN in the Pentagon.


VAUSE: Earlier I spoke with the IDF spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus about Wednesday is visited by U.S. President Joe Biden to Israel and any potential impact on the IDS planned ground offensive in Gaza.


LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF SPOKESPERSON: What I understand from public statements, the statement made by Secretary Blinken, the President is here to show his support for Israel and that he stands with Israel, our right to defend ourselves. And of course, any enhancement of our operations is part of our right to defend ourselves.

I think the President also said that Hamas needs to be destroyed. And that is exactly our military aim. We want to dismantle Hamas and make sure that never again, will any terrorist organization in Gaza have the ability to perform the atrocities that Hamas did on the seventh of October.

VAUSE: With regards to the military operations in the exodus for the north of Gaza to the Ssouth that we just talked about moments ago. That did seem to be fairly clear message to Hamas, that a big operation was on its way. Can you say how long is specifically where those operations will take place in the north around the Gaza City? And what are the risks for See those who stayed in that area and is a danger of telegraphing your punches if you like to her must be relevant to what's coming down the line?


CONRICUS: Yes, three good questions in one. Listen, it is generally not wise for a military to be advertising its intentions. And we are aware of the fact that we have just advertised our intelligence by telling civilians in northern Gaza to go south. Why have we done that, because we want civilians out of fighting, and we don't want them to be killed. So there's a balance here between achieving a military objective and minimizing civilian damage.

And in this case, which is very evident, and you cannot argue with it, we have chosen to, you know, that the sanctity of life and helping Palestinian civilians to go south and not be stuck in an area that there will be significant combat activities, there is a risk. And we will have to mitigate this risk with the tactics, the weapons and the time that we use when and if will operate.

And there is tremendous, you know, desire in Israel, to see Hamas defeated, to see the scourge and the terror gone from Gaza. But Israelis, of course, also want the IDF to operate it smartly, and in a way that doesn't expose our troops to undue danger in an environment that already is amongst the most dangerous on any battlefield.

VAUSE: And very clearly, one of the other reasons why President Biden is coming to the region, coming to Israel, and the Secretary State Antony Blinken has been there is concerned that this conflict with Hamas in Gaza could spread and erupt into a much bigger regional confrontation with activists for Iran in particular warning of, you know, if there are any more Palestinians ability to kill this continues, that there will be consequences for Israel. What's your response to that? CONRICUS: Well, I read it the same way. I mean, I see that President Biden and Secretary Blinken, many American statements are made exactly in order to prevent a regional escalation. The common denominator, or let's say the reason, or the power that could escalate the Middle East into regional escalation is Iran. They have their tentacles. They have their proxy organizations around Israel, Hezbollah in the north Hamas, Islamic Jihad in the south and lots of proxies in Syria and Iraq.

And if they decide so then maybe they would want to throw more of their proxies towards Israel. That would be unwise, and definitely not something that would serve the interests of the people of the region. Maybe it would serve Iranian interests, but definitely not the people of the region.

And I think that's a very strong message that the U.S. is delivering to Iran. If you're thinking about doing it, don't. What we are saying is we are prepared along our northern border in the south, whoever threatens us and whoever challenges our safety and security of our civilians, we will defend and we will make sure that they don't have the ability to do so.


VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, aid organizations are warning the Gaza is on the brink of collapse. What does that mean? More on that.



VAUSE: Just on 27 minutes past the hour, welcome back, everyone. I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN Newsroom. More details now from Southern Gaza where the Palestinian Interior Ministry has reported Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 28 people early Tuesday.

This happened in Rafah where the border crossing is between Egypt and Gaza, and many Palestinian civilians have gathered to try and escape the territory and gain entry into Egypt. An IDF spokesperson says he is not aware of any specific strikes in that area.

Right now, truckloads of humanitarian assistance are going nowhere on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza. The Rafah crossing is under Egyptian control. And they seem willing to allow the convoys to cross into Gaza. So why is it then that there's a parking lot of good intentions within spitting distance of humanitarian catastrophe in the making. Aid from Jordan, Turkey, the UAE, the UN and the Red Cross has also been airlifted to the border crossing. But for now, the Rafah crossing remains closed.

To Geneva, Switzerland and Dr. Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the World Health Organization. Thank you for being with us.


VAUSE: I want you to listen to Egypt's Foreign Minister speaking over the weekend about the situation in Rafah and the crossing there which is on that Egypt-Gaza border. Listen to this.


SAMEH SHOUKRY, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: Rafah crossing officially is open on the Egyptian side has been open all along. And the problem that arose was -- that it's been subjected to aerial bombardment, whereby on the Gaza side, the roads are not in a state that can receive transit vehicles.


VAUSE: This seems to be about a lot more than just bad roads and logistics. What are the political problems here when it comes to an agreement to open the border allow the humanitarian supplies in? Why is it taking so long?

HARRIS: We have been calling for humanitarian access since the essentially more than a week ago. We've been since really the beginning of hostilities. But once it became clear after the terrible atrocities on the seventh of October, the terrible atrocities in Israel, and then the escalation of hostilities, it became clear that humanitarian corridor access was required.

And we have positioned our supplies as have so many other aid agencies to get it ready and I'll direct general spoke with the President of Egypt and had an agreement that it would be open that side. But as you've reported, the Rafah crossing is still being bombed and it is still not safe and the other side is not open.


So it is terrifying, really distressing waiting game with all of us only wanting to help.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: And the wait is the hard part. Just waiting to get this stuff into there knowing that it is needed so badly. And you mentioned that many aid groups and the WHO have been surging supplies to the region. And that's what they do ahead of an earthquake, a natural disaster, whatever you like or hurricane or whatever and in wartime.

But the aid which is there right now even when the humanitarian assistance actually gets over the border it doesn't scratch the surface of what's actually needed right now during the crisis?

HARRIS: Well, you're right about that. We positioned, for instance, 78 cubic meters of health supplies that is enough for the basic essential needs for 300,000 people immediately. But everything has been used for Gaza. So that's going to be used up very quickly as well. That is why it's critical to get there.

This is for people like pregnant women, disabled people that the numbers are for instance, the numbers of disabled people in Gaza are huge. And we know that there are $84,000 pregnant women and many of them are delivering every day. Babies don't care about bombs, they come when they come. And so it's absolutely critical that they get there as quickly as


VAUSE: And one of the reasons why there are many handicapped people or people with disabilities in Gaza is because they've seen conflict so many times.

This time though it seems a humanitarian crisis came in a matter of days. When I was there, it would happen within maybe a matter of weeks. Why is it so different this time?

HARRIS: So for instance there is also -- you've got so many injuries from the airstrikes. And so you've got large, large numbers of people who need care. And I'm really speaking about the hospitals.

You've also got the hospitals being attacked themselves. So we've documented more than 44 attacks on hospitals and a lot of the hospitals -- several of the hospitals are actually dust due to the physical damage, the bombing. Added there you've got a complete cut off of the supply. So nothing's coming in, none of the medical supplies and hospitals did their best to keep on going with their fuel reserves and the supplies are in the market. Our teams were purchasing materials in the market and getting them as best as they could to hospitals.

That was difficult because just trying to transport things within Gaza is now so difficult because the roads are so damaged and so full of rubble.

So things -- you've got an outside effect -- the bombing and the escalation that's making more and more people have greater need. But you've got nothing coming in to meet those needs.

VAUSE: You know, one thing to be stated here. The militant group Hamas which runs Gaza carried out a despicable attack on defenses of Israeli civilians, many women, many children -- it was abhorrent.


VAUSE: -- is to place blame directly on the people of Gaza, the Palestinians who live there and they argue why help them. You know, what is the point? You know, just -- you know, there's almost this attitude especially on social media, some say, especially on Twitter, the trolls on Twitter say you know, they let them suffer. What do you say to those people?

HARRIS: I see please don't let hate triumph humanity. Anger after terrible loss, after brutality is a normal human reaction but it doesn't achieve anything. It doesn't protect, other people from that level of horror and atrocity.

Now really -- now it's really, really the time where we have to let humanity triumph over hate.

VAUSE: That's a very good place to finish. Dr. Margaret Harris, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. We very much appreciate it.

HARRIS: Thank you.

VAUSE: It's been ten days since Israel declared war on Hamas and began an unrelenting air campaign on Gaza. There has been a smaller but notable surge in violence in the West Bank. 60 Palestinians have been killed.

CNN's Becky Anderson has details.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: 12-year-old Abdul Rahman can't sleep at night. His sister Rabia says he's too scared to be alone. His home in the village Qusra (ph) just south of Nablus (ph) was attacked by Jewish settlers.

You can see them here in this video, lobbing rocks then firing at the property, shattering the windows. And inside, the floor littered with glass. Scars (ph) of bullets scraping the walls. A bleak emptiness.


ANDERSON: Four local Palestinians were killed in this attack. On the way to their funerals the following day, two other locals, Ibrahim and his son Ahmed Radi (ph) also shot dead.

Images of the lost plastered the wall in Qusra. Hani Odeh is the mayor here. His community lives in fear, he says, constantly attacked by Jewish settlers. And he says it's getting worse.

HANI ODEH, MAYOR OF QUSRA: The situation is so, so bad. You can't even describe it. We're living in a devastating psychological state. None of us can sleep.

ANDERSON: Torched cars, water pumps, electricity line ransacked. Hani tells me settlers roam freely here, often under the protection of the Israeli police. Their aim he insists, to drive Palestinians from their homes and ultimately from the occupied West Bank.

In Israel's current government, far right national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a former settler leader himself previously convicted of supporting terrorism and inside disappointing terrorism and inciting anti-Arab racism.

Others denying Palestinians' very existence.

Well you and I have been talking. I am just getting an urgent update on my phone here, local sources. Settlers stormed Mount Al-ama (ph) in the town of (INAUDIBLE) and protected by the occupation forces.

ODEH: The policy is clear, it's no secret. They want to displace this area. We just have to defend ourselves and defend our land. We will die here. Where else will we go?

ANDERSON: A short drive away, and in full view of an encroaching settlement, we meet Ibrahim and Ahmed's family -- daughters and sisters mourning their loss. Yet stoic and proud.

KHITAM WADI, HUSBAND AND SON KILLED IN SETTLER ATTACK (through translator): My husband loved his land. He defended his land. And we will continue to do that so long as we are alive.

ANDERSON: Tell me about Ahmed (ph).

WADI: Ahmed was just like his dad. A hero, a brave man with a strong heart.

As long as there is someone like Ben-Gvir supporting you and encouraging you to carry out attacks, of course, violence is going to increase.

ANDERSON: In the shadow of that violence, life goes on. For some, like these women, intimidation making them more intent on staying. But for others, like Ravia (ph) and little Abdul Rahman (ph) this time it is too much.

They moved to Qusra six years ago, escaping settler violence that took away their father's life, now being driven out of their home again.

Becky Anderson, CNN -- Qusra, in the West Bank.


VAUSE: In a moment, growing trouble at the Israel-Lebanon border, fighters of Hezbollah raising fears of a widening war in the Middle East. Details in a moment.



VAUSE: The terror alert in Brussels remains at the highest level after the shooting of two Swedish nationals. The gunman fled on a scooter. Authorities say a motive remains a mystery.

The shooting happened as Belgium was hosting Sweden in a Euro 2024 football qualifier. The match was suspended. 35,000 fans were evacuated. Belgium's prime minister called the deadly shooting a cowardly act and has urged greater public vigilance.

As Israel goes to war with Hamas, it's also dealing with the reality that the conflict could spread across the region. The IDF says they're now striking Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanon at this hour. Skirmishes with the group are becoming more common on the Lebanese border.

CNN's Ben Wedeman has our report.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A guided missile makes a direct hit on an Israeli tank. The video released by Hezbollah's media wing, underscores the dangerous and sometimes deadly standoff between the groups fighters and Israeli forces on the tense border between Lebanon and Israel.

Since Hamas' surprise attack on Israel a week and a half ago, sporadic strikes and counter strikes have flared along the rugged mountainous frontier. There have been deaths on both sides combatants and civilians.

The tensions have been enough to rattle nerves and prompt Israel to impose a four-kilometer-deep closed military zone on its side of the border. But still not enough violence perhaps to precipitate an all- out war so far.

Hezbollah fought a more than month-long war with Israel in 2006 and since then, with Iran's help has grown only stronger.

In the southern town of Cana, the group's supporters stage a small rally in support of Gaza. Repeating the usual slogans of "death to Israel. Death to America".

Our history shows slogans aren't enough for us, Hezbollah's parliament member Hussein Jeshi tells me. We have plenty of experience with the Zionist enemy, they know our power well.

Iran, Hezbollah's backer and ally has warned if Israel continues with what it calls its aggression on Gaza, the conflict could expand.

United Nations peacekeepers have picked up their patrols along the border. But they can only do so much.

Hezbollah Monday, put out more videos showing their men shooting out Israeli surveillance cameras. There is a no man's land along the border, in some places there is a wall.


WEDEMAN: But in others, you can peer right down into Israeli towns like Metula. Clearly visible, ours really troops running from house to house.

For years, an unwritten understanding was in place, whereby a certain amount of cross border fire between Israel was tolerated. But with the war in Gaza, about to enter perhaps its bloodiest fees yet, that understanding is starting to erode.

Ben Wedeman, CNN -- southern Lebanon.


VAUSE: Court documents reveal new details about a stabbing attack in Chicago which left a six-year-old Muslim boy dead and his mother seriously wounded. She and told police their landlord, Joseph Czuba, told her he was angry with her about the situation in Israel. When she responded with peace, she says Czuba attacked her and her son with a knife. Authorities are prosecuting the attack as a hate crime.

And CNN's Whitney Wild has details.


WHITNEY WILD, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRESPONDENT: A six-year-old boy, Wadea al-Fayoume, laid to rest today.

YOUSEF HANNON, VICTIM'S UNCLE: He WAS a very kind kid. He liked to jump up and down. When he was dead, he was less worse (ph) than his mom. Mom, I'm fine. You know what, he is fine. He's in a better place.

WILD: Police say Wadea was brutally stabbed to death by his landlord just outside of Chicago, allegedly for being Muslim.

OUSSAMA JAMAL, FORMER PRESIDENT, MOSQUE FOUNDATION: Their landlord, in an act of hate, shouted threats and unleashed violence.

WILD: The boy's mother, Hanaan Shahin, was also stabbed more than a dozen times and is still being treated in the hospital. She was unable to attend her son's funeral today.

The landlord, 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, appearing in court today. Czuba allegedly entered the room he rented to Shahin and her son Saturday morning, stabbing the six-year-old 26 times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The female claiming that the landlord has the child in another room, and apparently is either stabbing or has stabbed the child.

WILD: Authorities have now opened a federal hate crimes investigation. The local sheriff saying in a statement both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.

Outrage erupting over the brutal crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He paid the price for the atmosphere of hate.

WILD: Illustrating why federal officials are worried about growing threats aimed at American Muslims and American Jews since the Hamas terror attack in Israel.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: Countering terrorism remains the FBI's number one priority and We will not tolerate violence motivated by hate and extremism. We are going to continue to do everything in our power to protect the American people.

WILD: A six-year-old's funeral, more evidence that threat is all too real.

His father said the conflict in the Middle East should cause no violence on American soil, saying quote, "I hope that my son will be the bullet that will resolve this issue.

Czuba was ordered to be held without bond today. His next court appearance is October 30th.

Whitney Wild, CNN -- Bridgeview, Illinois.


VAUSE: Still ahead, a closer look at what is for many Palestinians in Gaza, their darkest hour.

And for one of our own CNN journalists who joined that mass exodus from northern Gaza to the south, his firsthand report on trying to keep his family alive on a dangerous and harrowing journey.



VAUSE: Sometimes for those reporting the stories, it just gets personal. And so it's been for a member of our own CNN family.

Ibrahim Dahman is a CNN journalist, living with his family in Northern Gaza. Like hundreds and thousands of others, he made that journey to the south. He takes us now along with his family as they evacuate their home.


IBRAHIM DAHMAN, CNN JOURNALIST: I'm with my family fleeing airstrikes in Gaza.

My son is terrified.

I tell him, don't be afraid, son.

But the truth is I'm afraid too.

My name is Ibrahim Dahman and I'm a CNN journalist. For years I have covered the stories of people in Gaza. I never thought that I would become part of the story.

Last week, I was in Gaza City when I was told to evacuate.

I don't know where to go. Where?

But where do I go? My home, my family and my life are here.

Like so many others, I don't have anywhere else to go.

We reach a nearby hotel. There are journalists, families and people on their own. We're now among the displaced. 1.1 million people told to evacuate Northern Gaza.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don't strike hotels, right?

DAHMAN: They don't strike hotels, no.

I know dep down, no building is safe. We watch airstrikes and the sound of explosions keeps us awake at night.

On our third day, a nearby building is hit.

The man was injured in the explosion.


DAHMAN: He is my father's cousin.

Thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I must get away from the hotel. The situation is very difficult.

DAHMAN: We load our car and head south to Khan Yunis.

Seconds after we left the hotel, they fired a rocket that heavily damaged the entire area.

Now, we're in Khan Yunis. There are still airstrikes, but it is safer here.

It's only a matter of time until we flee again. I hope one day we can return home.


VAUSE: Right now Ibrahim, his wife and his two boys are alive, they're well. They clearly worried about their own safety and they're also kind of terrified right now.

Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause.

Please stay with us. CNN NEWSROOM continues after a very short break with my friend and colleague Rosemary Church.

See you back here tomorrow.