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Israel Warns Of Ground War In Gaza Strip; Forensic Analysis Shows Hospital Blast Not From Israel; Video Released Of Biden Speaking With Freed Hostages. Fears Intensify Of Wider Regional War As Anger Erupts; Daughter's Chilling Call To Father While Being Taken Hostage; Synagogue Leader Stabbed To Death In Detroit Home. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 21, 2023 - 19:00   ET



ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to our continuing coverage of "Israel at War." I'm Erin Burnett in Israel alongside my friend John Berman in New York.

The head of the Israeli Defense Forces told his commanders tonight that, quote, "We'll enter the Gaza Strip." Not a question. A definitive statement. A spokesperson for the IDF tonight saying they are increasing airstrikes to Gaza to minimize risk to troops for the, quote, "next stage of the war." Increasing, I should say they've been running at some days as more than 200 strikes and they're going to increase off that number.

CNN's team on the ground here saw dozens of tanks, armored personnel carriers, as well as bulldozers massed at the border. And we have seen those bulldozers, massive military ones, designed for an urban incursion they will be facing. This video represents just one of several groupings that our team witnessed. Altogether, CNN saw hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles.

This comes as the World Health Organization warns that the limited amount of supplies allowed to cross into Gaza from Egypt today is not enough. It was about 20 trucks. They say they need 100 every day. The director general also saying that the hospitals inside Gaza are already at their, quote, "breaking point."

Twenty trucks, as I said, entered Gaza earlier today. Food, water, medical supplies were in them. No fuel, as that is deemed too controversial as to whether Hamas will siphon that off and take that for military purposes.

Of course, that fuel is desperately needed to run those hospitals. Generators which are hours away, a day away from possibly running out.

Nic Robertson joins me now Sderot, Israel where he has been since this all began. And of course, Nic, it's just to take a pause here, it was two weeks ago today that these horrific attacks happened. What is the very latest where you are tonight?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, for the very latest there's fighter jets in the sky. We've been hearing explosions coming from the northern end of Gaza. We've been seeing flashes in the past hour or so. And through the past 24 hours, a noticeable uptick in the amount of strikes, Israeli strikes going into Gaza, compared to I would say the 24, 48 hours prior to that.

That period, a couple of days prior to the hostage release early yesterday, was relatively quiet. Noticeably it has picked up today. We've been driving along the border trying to sort of compare and contrast what we're seeing now today compared to what we were seeing a week ago. That frenzied activity of the very fast and quick military build-up, that's not there. There you heard another heavy detonation coming from Gaza.

That frenzied activity for a fast build-up isn't there. It's more settled. I think more roads are controlled. The security is tighter the closer you get to Gaza. A grouping of tanks that we've seen that were getting ready to, it appeared, to move forward five or six days ago. They're gone. But it's hard to know if they're moving forward further and closer to Gaza, or have they been pulled back on a pause.

I found what was interesting today. The areas where we have seen a massive back from the frontline, a few areas where we've seen massive rows of tanks and heavy armored fighting vehicles. All parked up in fields without troops by them. They're still there. They're still in those locations. That potentially means that the IDF has a lot more reserves that it can call upon in terms of armored vehicles when it needs them.

But it also signals that perhaps it hasn't got -- it hasn't moved all of its force yet towards Gaza. More heavy detonations there. It's just hard to say from the limits of what we can see about what's going to happen. But obviously everyone is aware that the humanitarian aid, the hostages, they play on Israel's calculation of when it can do what the IDF says it seems to be getting ready to do.

BURNETT: I mean, and they've been so clear, right? And it's interesting, Nic, because you talk about that being ready to go. That sense of, they're prepared and they're ready. And to stay in that stance for an extended period of time, of course we all know is not possible. But, you know, you have soldiers busing in and busing out from where they're sleeping at night. You have the Julis Air Base nearby where we were the other day.

Thousands of pallets laid out where they're sleeping. So they're waiting. Not living their normal lives, not going to work, ready to go. Tonight the IDF says we'll be entering Gaza. That's two days after Prime Minister Netanyahu said you will soon see the inside of Gaza. It's sort of this -- I don't know, there's something going on here on the timeline. They keep saying, get ready, we're going, we're going. And then something is not happening. What is your sense of the timeline here?


ROBERTSON: Yes. I think it's a very difficult time for Prime Minister Netanyahu. And look, we've heard from politicians, whose government ministers saying the green light has been given to the military. But the politicians still have a hand in this because we know again in the past few hours or so Hamas's military wing have said, look, we've got another couple of hostages. And we've heard from the prime minister's office and the IDF both saying that this is just propaganda coming from Hamas.

We know that a couple of hostages were released yesterday. We know that it took a couple of days to sort of formulate the plans and make that actually happen and work. So there's a lot of pressure. How many different nationals are being held by Hamas? I think the number is over 30 now. 210 hostages held by them. Hamas has got a huge amount of leverage. And it's trying to leverage the humanitarian aid situation as well over the Israeli governments.

It's a different calculation that the Israeli government has had to make than it's ever made before. But it seems to me the intent is absolutely there to go in. It's merely the precise timing of when.

BURNETT: Right. Right, it is. And of course if they are going to do a hostage or two every day or two, you could extend this -- you could extend it indefinitely. And that, of course, is not something Israel can do in terms of an incursion.

All right, Nic, thank you very much, in Sderot as I said where Nic has been since the very beginning.

Well, there's a new CNN forensic analysis tonight, and it's very important because this is about that hospital bombing that everyone watching knows about and has seen so much coverage of. There has been such intense emotional reaction to around the world, particularly here in the Middle East.

Well, this forensic report that we have shows that Gaza, that the bombing in the hospital in Gaza was not from an Israeli strike. So it's not the U.S. intelligence saying it. It's not the IDF saying it. This is CNN's forensic analysis.

And I want to go to Jeremy Diamond in Ashkelon, Israel, because, Jeremy, I know that we pursued this incredibly doggedly to try to get an independent view of what happened here. Which is so important. What are you learning?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Erin. Our investigations team has really done an extensive analysis of this blast that occurred at a hospital inside the Gaza Strip. And the conclusion is effectively that CNN's analysis based off dozens of videos and speaking with weapons and explosive experts is that this blast, this analysis indicates that this blast was likely caused by rocket fire inside Gaza, that the evidence is not consistent with an Israeli airstrike.

I want to take you through what this analysis is based on. First of all it's dozens of video from social media, from live broadcasts, as well as a video filmed by a freelance journalist working for CNN inside the Gaza Strip as well as satellite imagery, and these conversations with experts, with dozens of years of experience, explosives and weapons experts. And effectively the conclusion is that it is likely -- this blast was likely caused by a rocket launched from Gaza.

That that rocket likely broke up mid-air and that part of it landed at the hospital. And one of the questions that we've had is why was this explosion so large, and that was one of the questions from folks who believed that it was more likely caused by an Israeli airstrike. These weapons and explosives experts say that it likely ignited fuel from the parked cars in the parking lot where this rocket appears to have landed as well as fuel potentially that was at this hospital.

Now one of these videos is video from an Al-Jazeera broadcast. And you can see this rocket going up in the sky being launched, and appearing to burn out in the sky before crashing, it appears, at the hospital.

Another important piece of evidence here and this is something that Israeli officials have also pointed to within 24 hours of this blast occurring was the size of the crater in the hospital parking lot. We actually had that freelance journalist working for CNN go to the site of this blast. And what he examined is a crater that is three by three feet wide. About one foot deep.

Now all of these experts that CNN spoke with say that that is more consistent with a rocket and certainly not consistent with a bomb being dropped from an aircraft, nor is it consistent with artillery fire to that location.

So again, this is the analysis of CNN. The only thing that we need to note is that we cannot have a definitive conclusion ab out this in large part because of the difficulty of accessing the site and recovering any kind of physical evidence, shrapnel, for example, from this blast location which could lead to a more definitive conclusion of things.

What is clear though, regardless, is that Israel is standing by its conclusion that it was a rocket that was fired by Palestinian militants inside the Gaza Strip and Palestinian officials, as well as much of the Arab world, they are sticking to their belief that this was caused by Israeli fire.


Ultimately, what is clear regardless of who was responsible, hundreds of people appeared to have died from this blast. And the broader Middle East world is up in arms about this blast regardless. This has been a major touch point in this war. And regardless of the conclusions, it will remain so going forward -- Erin.

BURNETT: Yes. It certainly will remain so, but I do think it's significant, not just that the crater is very different than would be from an Israeli airstrike, in addition to the other evidence, but also, as Jeremy points out, that it's not consistent with artillery fire either because when we drive here along this border, you know, we see a lot of artillery. There is a lot of artillery at work. And significant to make the point that it also would not be that.

John Berman, back to you in New York. JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Thank you so much, Erin. We're going to jump

off from what you were talking about with Nic Robertson. These last- minute preparations that are being made by the Israeli forces.

With me now, CNN military analyst, retired Mayor General James "Spider" Marks.

Spider, great to see you here.


BERMAN: This is the restricted area right now where the Israeli military is massing. We have seen satellite images of tanks lining up, literally lining up here, preparing to go. I can show where that is, this is not privileged, top secret information. The Israelis have made very clear where this is happening. Those pictures were taken from up here. We can also assume there might be tanks preparing elsewhere in this restrictive zone.

So, Spider, what are they doing now and what are they getting ready to do?

MARKS: Yes. At this particular point, John, what they're doing is what we call precombat checks. Individuals and teams are getting ready to go. There's a lot of silence. There's a lot of focus. This is business. Nobody is messing around. They're also doing rehearsals. What's going to take on the ground. They've got to scheme a maneuver, they have a plan. They're using what we call sand tables.

And they're trying to figure out what they're going to do. They're going to refine that. But simultaneously, they're doing intelligence collection.

BERMAN: Well, talk to me about the intelligence collection right now. What different types of intelligence they're using?

MARKS: Yes. What they're probably using, I would imagine, is they're probably drones. They want to get the drones up in the air. They want to get the very latest because those plans will be altered based on --

BERMAN: IMINT, these are drones?

MARKS: Yes. Imagery -- imagery, intelligence. And the thing that they can do at their level, you know, the individual operators can fly drones. They can get intelligence that's going to affect them in a very tactical way. They're also probably putting special ops teams, very small teams across into Gaza. There's lots of chaos, there's a lot of smoke, there's a lot of haze, there's a lot of stuff going on so they can infiltrate folks to put eyes on targets as best they can.

So I would imagine that's taking place as well. And they're also tracking the cell phones of all the Hamas leaders.

BERMAN: Signals intelligence.

MARKS; Signals intelligence. Exactly. Correct. And that's why there's targeting taking place right now in southern Gaza because that's where a lot of the Hamas leadership phones are located.

BERMAN: Yes, we were talking about that right here. This is the imagery from Rafah. You can see where some of those things were taking place. We have some video here also of the trucks coming over right there.

But as you were looking at that, you think that they made those strikes because they were following signals intelligence.

MARKS: Absolutely. And you look at where Hamas is located. They're not completely and exclusively focused in the north.

BERMAN: Got it.

MARKS: They're throughout Gaza.

BERMAN: Let's go back, I want to talk about these tanks that we preparing to go in. When they do make that decision to go in, whether it's this weekend or a few days from now, what paths do you think they'll take?

MARKS: Yes, I think what's going to happen, and it's more than just tanks. These are combat arms teams so you've got infantry that's mounted. You got armor forces. You've got artillery, et cetera. And it's going to be preceded by good intelligence. I think what they would probably do. Look, the Mwadi, Gaza coming through here.

BERMAN: That's a river. A marshland, yes.

MARKS: That's the wetlands. That's the wetlands. I think what they would do is they would enter in from here. They come in on multiple axis of advance. They'd come in from the north, of course, they come in and also Israel has a Navy. They've got what's called corvettes, which are smaller attack ships. They've got 45 patrol boats. They've got 10,000 sailors on active duty.

I would also anticipate activity that would look like this because what Israel wants to do, you want to secure this combat zone. You want to secure the perimeter. And then you go all these units will link up. Go to the same place. Link up. Then you begin the operation to go after very specific targets. And those targets, John, are really the political and military leaders of Hamas --

BERMAN: The people.

MARKS: people. They want to go after them and I think they would have probably have either a kill or capture mission. In this particular case, I would imagine it's a kill mission. The second thing they want to go after is the tunnel complex which is extensive, as you realize.

BERMAN: I can show you. I'm going to lose this, that this is a map of what the tunnels look like in 2021.


That is some time ago. They probably expanded and redone, but you could see some of the tunnel imagery that was there then.

MARKS: That is the most difficult task that they have to take on. This is urban terrain with a subterranean piece. And Israel has got to identify, they have to deny and they have to destroy those tunnels. That is a manned combat sock. That's going to draw people into it. This is going to be a difficult, difficult fight.

BERMAN: All right. Spider, thank you so much for explaining all this. Don't go far because obviously, you know, more things could be happening very, very soon. Thank you very much.

We're going to dig into the situation with the hostages here. More than 200 possibly being held in this area, including whether Israel would listen to the U.S. urging the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces, to hit pause on operations now. Plus, as conditions deteriorate in Gaza, aid groups say the first trucks to drop off supplies, that it's not enough. And fears of a wider regional conflict are growing as more U.S. interests are under attack.

Stay with us. This is CNN's special live coverage.



BURNETT: American mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan are en route home. They're on their way back home to the United States. They were hostages. They were released on Friday by Hamas. And they were the first two hostages to be released since the October 7th attack.

Earlier today, President Biden spoke to them on the phone from the Oval Office. We have some video of that particular call released by the White House.




BIDEN: I'm so glad you're home, or not home. But glad you're out.

RAANAN: Thank you so very, very much.

BIDEN: Hey, Nat. How are you? God loves you.

NATALIE RAANAN, AMERICAN FREED BY HAMAS: I just want to thank you for your support for Israel.

BIDEN: Look, that's been long serving. I'm just so grateful to get you out. We've been working on it a long time. We're going to get them all out, God willing. I just want to say --

N. RAANAN: Yes, God willing.

BIDEN: I hope you're both not only feeling good but in good health as well.

N. RAANAN: Yes, sir. Yes, we are. And thank you very much. God bless you.

BIDEN: God bless you guys.


BURNETT: The release was the result of negotiations between the government of Qatar and Hamas. Now, the IDF says there are 210 people being held hostage in Gaza right now. And I just want to emphasize that 210. It's gone up steadily. In fact it's gone up by even seven I believe in just the past day. So that number has been inching up.

Joining me now is Aviv Ezra, the senior diplomat for the Israeli consulate in New York.

And Aviv, I very appreciate your time tonight. So President Biden has seemed to signal that he wants a pause or some sort of a slowdown, perhaps linked to hostages. And I say this, Aviv, because Friday he seemed to say he wanted Israel to delay the ground invasion after the release of the two Americans. Maybe because, you know, there's obviously more Americans in there or hostages overall.

Let me play for you what he said.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: How was your call with the freed Americans?

BIDEN: It went well.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Should Israel delay the ground invasion until you can get more hostages out?



BURNETT: Yes. So he said, should you delay the ground invasion until you get more hostages out. He was walking up into Air Force One as you saw, Aviv. He replied yes. Now the White House immediately clarified that statement saying Biden didn't actually hear the actual question. But then tonight he said this.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you encouraging Israelis to delay invasion?

BIDEN: I'm talking to the Israelis.


BURNETT: So the question was asked directly. And instead of saying no, they can do what they want or ignoring it, he says I'm talking to the Israelis. Aviv, reading between the lines, it sounds like that the White House

is pushing for a delay. Do you think that's the case?

AVIV EZRA, SENIOR DIPLOMAT FOR THE ISRAELI CONSULATE IN NEW YORK: Well, thank you, Erin, for having me. I think the first thing that needs to be said is that the support coming from this president, this administration, from the secretary of state, from the National Security adviser, from all of them when it comes to the moral justification of Israel's move and the fact that America is behind us as portrayed in his visit, as portrayed in two of his speeches, as portrayed in the fact that he's not just talking the talk but also walking the walk by two aircraft carriers that are on the way, by the package that's supposed to be introduced to Congress. I think he's sending a very, very strong message that America is behind Israel.

Now in regard to the specification and the back and forth, we are in constant conversation and talk with of course all our partners on all level of the executive branch in the United States. And I have to say that this is also with the legislative branch of support coming from the Hill, the House side and the Senate side, and the package that is supposed to be coming, God willing, when there is a speaker, that will be a very strong message to all the world.

BURNETT: So I'm going to ask you because Hamas has said it's continuing dialogue with friendly countries about the release of foreign nationals. So friendly countries obviously include Qatar because they had negotiated one release. But I know the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry said they were speaking to Hamas, as well as potentially others.

But the foreign nationals is what I wanted to ask you about, Aviv. Do you think that there is any chance that Israeli hostages are released? I mean, is this something that the Israeli government is trying to work on directly or not?

EZRA: Well, we picked this war. We were not in any way shape or form in a move towards Gaza. October 7th is an event that was imposed on us. Butchering Israelis as you have seen every day and reported every day from Israel.


Now there are two goals for our return into Gaza in this sense. The first and foremost is of course to crush and eradicate the military threat of Hamas. But the second as you mentioned is making sure that all hostages come back home. Now we're talking about children. We're talking about women. We're talking about elderly, Holocaust survivors. We're talking about kids with special needs. This tells you exactly who we're dealing with. And in this sense we will do anything that we could do to get them back home.

BURNETT: Well, obviously the one big thing, I mean, and I'm not saying it makes sense. But obviously some would say, you know, the invasion could be delayed. But with the number of hostages they have, that could become an indefinite reality. So do you feel that there's an acceptance that at some point, presumably in the very near future, Israel will go in, even though there of course will be at that time many, many hostages still in Gaza?

EZRA: Well, you're describing the complexity of the event and you're 100 percent right. When we had the one captive, Gilad Shalit, at the time, they held him for five years and we had to release more than 1,000 prisoners. By the way, Yahya Sinwar, which is now the one heading the entire operation in the Gaza Strip, was one of the people that were released at that hostage deal. It will be very, very hectic to go in.

But we will do what we have to do in order as I said to accomplish these two missions. One, to eradicate Hamas that they will no longer be a threat to our citizens and our communities. And B, to make sure that we could release as many hostages as possible.

BURNETT: Aviv Ezra, I appreciate your time. And thank you very much for being with us on this Saturday night.

Next, Carl Bernstein joins us on the growing fears, and these are the real fears around the world, of a much wider war. Plus, as the United States warns of lone wolves and attacks, a synagogue leader in Detroit was found stabbed to death outside her home. An absolutely horrific story. And we'll take you there.



BERMAN: It appears tonight that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could escalate into a broader regional conflict. Israel's National Security adviser predicted that the US would get involved if the Gaza war escalated to the point where Iran or Hezbollah in Lebanon join in.

With me now is legendary journalist, Carl Bernstein.

Carl, we have a map up here that I think illustrates the situation for Israel. Every country there in red, Iran is one of them is either Iran or has Iranian proxies operating with inside. Egypt is highlighted because inside Sinai, there are some militants there targeting Israel.

But you can see every country there, forces that are loyal to Iran there and that could cause problems for Israel. What are your concerns?

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, the map illustrates it, but it is not just the map. It's the people in those countries.

Because at the moment, the Arab Street in all of those countries is on the verge of erupting, it has erupted just this week in such a way that the leaders of those countries, who ordinarily are seen as, most of them as "moderate," including Saudi Arabia have been trying to have a dialogue with the United States.

There are people in the streets this week who are saying, no, we don't want a dialogue. We want to see the Palestinian cause embraced by you, our leaders in such a way as it actually supports Hamas. And those leaders look at what those demonstrators have been saying many of them in the Arab Street, "Death to the Jews, Death to Israel."

We're moving from a movement that we've had for a good while of accommodation of these countries, many of them not Iran, obviously, with the State of Israel. We're moving away from that now and that's one of the great concerns in the White House now is that the Arab Street, and I've talked to a lot of people about this in the White House, and people who are in contact with people in some of those countries that the Arab Street right now is pushing the dynamics of what is happening to a point where those leaders are no longer saying as we've seen in their statements and their declarations, they are talking about the Palestinian cause, not about what happened from Hamas to Israel.

BERMAN: It is interesting, and you saw Secretary of State Antony Blinken travel to Saudi Arabia, to Qatar, to Cairo, to Bahrain, to Jordan, you know, just UAE blanketing the region, every almost possible country you can imagine right there, talking to leaders, but you're suggesting that has limited capacity to change the situation?

BERNSTEIN: Well, it has capacity to change what's going on is the capacity to change the situation for the worse, what he had said to those leaders, is now being obviated by what's happening in Gaza, that the cause of Gaza, the people, the Palestinians in Gaza, their plight has been taken up in the Arab Street in such a way as to say no more of this, no two-state solution. We want to see Hamas succeed. That is the message in those demonstrations.

It was very significant that in many of those countries, those demonstrations were not shut down by the leaders of those countries.

BERMAN: Because they sometimes are.

BERNSTEIN: But let me go to one more thing about this particular moment in that clip that was shown a few minutes ago of President Biden being asked about what's going on with his discussions with the state of Israel. We don't know what's going on at this moment, except that there are significant discussions back and forth between the president and Netanyahu and that the all-important attitude that Biden has been stressing, but we don't know the specifics is restraint.


Restraint, especially Israeli forces as you go into Gaza. How can it be made more surgical perhaps? But the fact that we don't know means that this attitude of us trying to restrain Netanyahu. We don't know if it's succeeding or not. We don't know what that message is and it's kind of unusual. We would know, ordinarily, from sources, what's going on? We don't at this critical moment.

BERMAN: It seems inevitable that Israel will go into Gaza with ground forces, does the way or degree to which they do that -- what -- how will that influence the reaction on the Arab Street that you were talking about?

BERNSTEIN: Well, inevitably, it will? I don't -- I don't think there's any question about that, but I think there's a bigger question that there are people around the president who want Netanyahu to somehow say in some way that yes, we see the day where there can be a two- state solution by moving so far away from that possibility.

And I'm going to say, I don't think it's likely that we're going to hear that while the troops go in, but there are people in the White House who want to see Netanyahu say something to this effect, to try and defuse the situation that is not working to the Israelis' benefit in terms of what we are hearing around the world today. That's really the huge problem for Jews all over the world, for Israel, that no matter how righteous what Israel is attempting to do in the face of these horrific barbaric attacks, the tide in the Arab Street, the tide among too many people in Europe elsewhere, in terms of how they view Israel today is not working to the Israelis advantage, even after this horrific attack.

BERMAN: Carl Bernstein, thank you very much for being with us. Appreciate it.

BERNSTEIN: Good to be here.

BERMAN: So coming up, the chilling call from a daughter to her father as she and her brother were being kidnapped by Hamas and the parents' heartbreaking reaction.



BURNETT: I'm Erin Burnett live in Tel Aviv, and the other day I had a chance to speak to the parents, Ilan Regev and Marie, whose son and daughter, both their son and daughter, Itay and Maya were kidnapped by Hamas more than two weeks ago. They were at the festival. They had been on vacation actually with their mother for three weeks in Mexico. They came back the night before because they were so excited to go to the festival.

So they literally landed here in Tel Aviv at 11:00 PM. They got to use one of the family cars and they drove down together straight to go to the festival, the brother and sister.

And during this conversation, Ilan, their father played for me and this is the first time he had played this call since he received it, he had not listened to it even though his phone recorded it, but he wanted everyone watching to hear it.

He wanted them to hear the heartbreaking call from his daughter, from Maya as she and Itay were being kidnapped here is that moment.


(ILAN, ITAY AND MAYA REGEV speaking in foreign language.)



MAYA REGEV, DAUGHTER: I've been shot. I've been shot, Dad. I've been shot.

ILAN REGEV: Where are you?

MAYA REGEV: I don't know. He is killing us, Dad. He is killing us.

ILAN REGEV: Where are you? Please send a location. Hide. Find a place to hide.

MAYA REGEV: Dad, I love you. We are in the care. We can't leave.

ILAN REGEV: I'm coming your way. Send a location. Send a location. Send a location.

I felt she was dead. I felt both of them dead. My son -- both of my child in the car and that she says, they kill me, they kill me, I love you, Pap. I love you, Daddy.


BURNETT: John, you know, they wanted to play that call and you know, as I said he -- Ilan did not realize that his phone recorded it because you wouldn't think your phone would record a conversation. He has a Samsung and he was showing me this -- the record button, so he had no idea that the conversation was recorded and then he'd realized it a few days later and he didn't listen to it till then and Maria had never heard it.

They're divorced. They were together. They -- obviously, they wanted to be together for this.

I don't know, John. I mean you know, they want everyone to see that. They want everyone to like, I use the word trespass on their grief because they want everyone to know what they're going through.


And to not forget, but it is excruciating to even watch a parent going through that. I know you as a father and me as a mother, right? It's --

BERMAN: It is beyond -- it's beyond excruciating. It really is. I mean, the word doesn't even begin to cover it. But well, I can't ever put myself in that position. I can understand the reason why he felt it necessary to play it because over these last two weeks, there's been so much going on and so much chaos. There have been moments where I think the world has forgotten that there may be 210, as many if not more, hostages inside Gaza right now.

His children, maybe two of them and the idea of that, if I'm him, the idea of the world not recognizing that or seeing that must be just as excruciating as hearing his daughter's voice there in that moment of agony and terror.

BURNETT: Yes, it is. I mean, because what is it worth living without your children, right, with life? And that's how they feel and to be faced with, as you say, the reality that the world -- the world has not focused on it in that way, and does not focus on it in that way. It does make sense, but of course it is hard for anyone to watch, but that is nonetheless what they wanted us to see -- John.

BERMAN: It is very hard, Erin, and I know how it would have been hard for you to be in that room, but it is important and thank you for that reporting.

We'll come back to you in just a bit.

There is breaking news here in the United States. A synagogue leader in Detroit found stabbed to death outside her home. We have new details tonight.

Plus, Anderson Cooper will be with us live and he's going to interview an Israeli official with the IDF, the Israeli Defense Forces to get the latest on the situation on the ground. That's just minutes away.



BERMAN: Tonight, a tragic story out of Detroit. The leader of a synagogue was found stabbed to death outside her home. With us now, CNN national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem and CNN correspondent, Polo Sandoval.

Polo, why don't you explain what we know about what happened there?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So John, because of the recent rise in anti-Semitic incidents, this is certainly going to beg the additional question, again, question, as to whether or not her role in a local synagogue there may have made her a potential target.

Now to be crystal clear here, Detroit Police say that the motive still has not been established. They are not ruling anything out during the early portion of this investigation. In fact, the police chief just recently is saying, pleading for patience saying that this understandably raises some important questions, and he wants to give his investigators some time to examine every single aspect of it.

Here is what we know at this point. Samantha Woll, according to the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue of Detroit found dead outside of her apartment this morning, not far from downtown Detroit. What homicide investigators have said so far, said she was stabbed multiple times. She was found unresponsive outside of her apartment. The blood trail that was located at the scene suggests that she was potentially attacked inside of her home.

Meanwhile, there is a wealth of tributes right now there are pouring in regarding Samantha including from Michigan's own attorney general, Dana Nessel, writing on social media that "Woll would often use her faith and also her activism to improve her community."

And then there's also MoReno Taylor. I want you guys to hear a portion of our interview with him earlier today. He actually worked alongside Woll in the Nessel campaign. He fought

back tears, as he told us a little bit about a friend that he called Sam.


MORENO TAYLOR, WORKED WITH SAMANTHA WOLL: We got to know each other very well, and it is honestly a devastating loss. You know, as someone who has sisters, this is just kind of one of those things you can never really -- never really prepare for.


SANDOVAL: Detroit's mayor also with an additional tribute. In fact, he was with her just a couple of weeks ago, as he celebrated the opening of the synagogue that was definitely a labor of love for Woll.

And this committee now, as you can imagine, left not just grieving, but also an important question about the circumstances about what may have made her a target.

BERMAN: Look, just to reiterate, we do not know yet many of the details surrounding this, but Juliette, when you do look at this, what would be the concerns in terms of overlap of, you know, internal security concerns and this type of attack?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right. So we don't know this specific case, but we don't have to be blind or dumb to what's going on in the world. So obviously, that is going to be a focus of the police chief who said rightfully, understandably, this crime leaves many unanswered questions. So he is leaving open the possibility that we all would think right now, which is the sort of lone wolf or targeted attack against someone who's a leader in the Jewish community.

We know last week, DHS and FBI said beware of the lone wolf phenomenon -- what we call the lone wolf phenomenon. There is no concern or sort of like a Hamas type of attack, it would be a targeted attack against an individual.

We know the rise of anti-Semitism over the course of the last two weeks and then something as important why patience is being asked. If it's not a hate crime, there's a horrible crime that occurred and so the police chief wants to leave open that possibility.


KAYYEM: If it is hate crime, it is not -- it impacts the community, it impacts the Jewish community in ways that they will be more scared than I think they have been over the last two weeks for obvious reasons.


But also, it is a diverse community in Detroit -- Arabs, Muslims, Jews and Christians -- and it's just a very -- it's an area that I think has prided itself on diversity and on inclusion.

In fact, she was involved with a lot of those very inclusive efforts and so if you're a police chief, and this is about to be a hate crime, a target hate crime against a Jewish leader, with all of this going on, he also has a lot of community engagement to do, calming down and another things that are going to have to happen.

BERMAN: And you want to be sure, and you could feel the pain in the voices there.


BERMAN: Juliette and Polo, thank you both very much for that.

We have more breaking news from Israel. Still ahead, the IDF chief-of- staff says that Israel will enter the Gaza Strip. Could military movement be coming soon? Anderson Cooper is live in Israel with the latest.