Return to Transcripts main page
Israel Agrees To 4-Hour Daily Pauses In Gaza Fighting; 65 Aid Trucks Enter Gaza As Red Crescent Pleads For Fuel; U.S. Forces Under Fire In Middle East As America Slides Towards Brink. Palestinian Islamic Jihad Says It's Prepared to Release 2 Hostages; Holocaust Survivors Gather in Los Angeles for Kristallnacht Anniversary; France Hosts International Humanitarian Conference for Gaza; Daily Life Continues in West Bank Amid IDF Raids; Footballer's Father Freed; Male Chinese Leaders to Women: Stay Home, Have More Babies; Senator Joe Manchin Says He Won't Run for Reelection; New Details on Possible Witnesses in Classified Documents Case. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired November 10, 2023 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, everyone for joining us for another hour of CNN Newsroom. I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company. And we do begin in Gaza where Israeli forces continue their assault against Hamas targets in the Enclave. You're looking at a live picture coming from Gaza and you can see the smoke from Israeli strikes billowing in the background.
The IDF says much of the fighting has been focused on locating and destroying the maze of tunnels that Hamas has built beneath Gaza. Meanwhile, as the Israeli offensive continues, an estimated 80,000 people evacuated from Northern Gaza on Thursday. That's up significantly from the 50,000 that Israel says left the day before.
The IDF says it will continue to open the safe passages as they call them each day for several hours as it has been doing since last weekend, in fact, but the Prime Minister stood firm on his most basic demand regarding Hamas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: One thing we haven't agreed to is a ceasefire. A ceasefire with Hamas means surrender to Hamas, surrender to term and the victory of the Iran's axis of terror. So, there won't be a ceasefire without the release of the Israeli hostages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Elliott Gotkine is covering all of this for us from London. Good to see Elliott. These daily pauses Israel is announcing, how new is this compared to what's already been happening? And what real effect will it have on what is a dreadful humanitarian situation in Gaza?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Michael, I suppose we can see this as a kind of formalization and slight expansion of what's anyway been happening on an ad hoc basis, all of this result of pressure from the Biden administration.
So, what Israel is now going to be doing is saying everyday there's going to be these four hours, in its words, tactical localized pauses, which are going to allow for Palestinian citizens in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where Israel's attacks are focused on where it's concentrating its ground forces to enable those civilians to leave the area and to head to the relative safety of the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
In addition to that, they are going to identify a particular neighborhood each day where there will be no fighting, enabling people living there to go out. And if they can find it to get food, medicine, water and other necessities that they may not have been able to try to go and get hold of up until now.
So this is, as I say, more of a formalization and a slight expansion, they are opening up a second evacuation corridor as well. So there'll be two corridors down which Palestinian civilians will be able to head south.
Now, this falls short, despite this coming about because of pressure from the U.S. is still falls short from what the Biden administration would have wanted, which is a more meaningful humanitarian pause, and it falls way short of the immediate ceasefire that is being called for, again by the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, and Qataris, and also many aid agencies and the international community, which is for a total cessation of hostilities.
Now, the hope is that with these localized -- tactical localized pauses, as Israel is calling them, there will be more aid trucks able to get in to provide humanitarian assistance. The U.S. is hoping that will jump to around about 150 trucks from just over 100 every day providing more humanitarian aid, but still around a third of the amount that was going into the Gaza Strip before this war began.
But as you were just saying with that clip from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's position remains that there can be no actual ceasefire until those 240 or so hostages are released. And I don't think the release of the latest hostage video by the militants of Islamic Jihad, the smaller militant group in the Gaza Strip showing an elderly lady in a wheelchair and a 13-year-old boy speaking to the camera, saying how they missed their family and friends and saying that if anything happens to them, it'll be on BB's head.
I don't think that video is going to soften Israel's position. If anything, Michael It may harden it.
HOLMES: Yes, yes. And now obviously, the Gaza is the focus for the Palestinian death toll in the West Bank claims has been more settled attacks, the idea of operations and so on, how great is the concern about the West Bank, potentially becoming another front in a way for Israel?
GOTKINE: Michael, I suppose this has always been the concern that Israel concentrating its forces and its efforts on the Gaza Strip on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following the October the seventh commit -- atrocity that it committed. And at the same time, we've been talking about concerns about a front opening up on the north with Lebanon and the Iranian proxies of Hezbollah.
And of course, the other concern is what's going on in the West Bank. And we heard from (INAUDIBLE) Doctors Without Borders, talking about a dramatic increase in violence in the West Bank. We know that there. According to the Palestinian health ministry, there are another 14 deaths in Jenin after clashes with Israeli forces.
And since war broke out, there have been 176 Palestinians killed in the West Bank. So there are concerns that violence is increasing there. We don't know how many of those 176 were civilians and how many were militants. But Israel's position is that it is that these things are happening because of clashes with militants who are attacking them, or who are preventing them from carrying out raids or home demolitions, which they are trying to carry out.
And so that is that as a result of those when they come under attack, they respond and that is what's leading to rising violence. But we've also seen rising violence from Israeli settlers themselves as well against Palestinians in the West Bank, and there is a concern that it is a tinderbox and that it could explode as well opening up effectively another front in what's already a war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
HOLMES: Well, appreciate the update. Elliott Gotkine in London, thanks.
Now the Red Crescent in Gaza says it received another 65 humanitarian aid trucks on Thursday delivering badly needed food, water and some medical supplies but not fuel, which the Israeli government says would be stolen by Hamas and use for rocket attacks.
The Red Crescent now saying more than 828 trucks have crossed into Gaza since the start of the war. But that is a drop in the bucket compared to what's needed and what was coming in before this conflict began.
Joining me now is Janti Soeripto the president and CEO of Save the Children US. Thanks so much for making the time. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah says the majority of hospitals in Gaza 18 of 35 have stopped functioning, 71 percent of all primary care facilities have shut down for one reason or another.
What is your assessment of the humanitarian situation right now in Gaza? And how much worse could it get?
JANTI SOERIPTO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, SAVE THE CHILDREN, U.S.: Yes, thank you, Michael. Look, it is an absolute horrific humanitarian catastrophe that's been unfolding in front of our eyes over these past four weeks.
As you say, vast number of hospitals are completely out of commission. The few hospitals that are there don't actually count run at full capacity because they like fuel for their generators. The incubators will stop working soon, there is no electricity. You've seen the pictures of doctors operating by the light of their phones. I've heard stories, only yesterday, of women now giving birth to children in overcrowded hospitals, or having to have C sections without anesthetics. So it is incredibly grim.
HOLMES: Yes, no, I was going to ask you about that. So I'm glad you mentioned amputations without anesthetics on children. Just that I mean that that is just defies belief. UNRWA is saying, you know, just another example of hardships in general, one shower per 700 people, one toilet per 500 people, that two is unthinkable, what is the situation with food, drinkable water and the risk of disease?
SOERIPTO: Exactly. And those are the other things that have worked. So water has been running out, as we've said, without fuel, you cannot run your desalination plants. Water struck infrastructure has been damaged as well.
So, even with the trucks now trickling in with bottled water, but of course that's not going to last very long. So people are constantly. I think there's -- you have to spend six hours in line to get half a loaf of bread for your family.
People are already drinking brackish water, you know, that will soon lead the huge risk of waterborne diseases, lack of hygiene, of course, the shower example, which can lead to diseases or infections with an already weakened, vastly weakened population.
HOLMES: I know you don't do politics, but I did want to run this by you because it really struck me. Israel's ambassador to the U.N., said in an interview on CNN this week, and I'll just quote him, he said there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In coordination with the U.S. and the U.N., we allowed a number of trucks entering Gaza now with food and medicines to reach almost 100 trucks a day.
No humanitarian crisis in Gaza, he said. How frustrating is that for you as a humanitarian leader?
SOERIPTO: Yes, beggars belief. Frankly. It really, really, really does.
And we see the images, we see the devils of destruction, the rubble everywhere we have 25 colleagues trapped in Gaza with their families, they show us their vlogs and their firsthand eyewitness accounts, is an unbelievable skill destruction and deaths. Over 4,000 children have died in the last four weeks is unconscionable.
HOLMES: Yes, I mean that number itself, and it's not twice but close to twice the number of kids who have died in Ukraine and, you know, a year and a half of war. SOERIPTO: That's right. That's right.
HOLMES: Yes. Israel has told people to go south of the Wadi Gaza that line there. And yet we see deadly strike south of that line. Where can Gazans go right now and have some semblance of safety, let alone resources to survive?
SOERIPTO: Nowhere. There are no safe places in Gaza. And our colleagues are telling us that every day, every day, whether it's in the north or the south, in shelters, in their home, in hospitals, there is no safe place, nothing is the conflicted.
And the idea that also that people with disabilities, the sick, the wounded, the injured, elderly people, that they can pick up and leave for people who are stuck in a hospital or bedridden. The idea that they can pick up a leaf to go where is, again, is it's just unbelievable that that has even offered as an option.
HOLMES: We're seeing Israeli, IDF saying they're going to have this sort of, you know, for our pauses for, quote unquote, humanitarian reasons. Does that move the needle at all?
SOERIPTO: Yes, that's frankly also ridiculous notion. That doesn't move the needle at all. What can you do in four hours? You can't get enough supplies in trucks are crossing the Rafah crossing. Now, that alone takes hours. And also without fuel, you cannot get the supplies in those four hours to the places where it needs to be because our staff are essentially moving supplies with donkeys or sometimes carrying it on their backs.
HOLMES: Janti Soeripto with Save the Children, appreciate your time and the work that your organization is doing.
SOERIPTO: Thank you so much Michael.
HOLMES: The U.N. says the war could set the Palestinian economy back decades in both Gaza and the West Bank. The organization says the number of Palestinians living in poverty has risen by 300,000 since the start of the conflict last month, it finds poverty has risen 20 percent in the West Bank and Gaza and employment. Not surprisingly, when you look at the images on your screen, there is down more than 60 percent in Gaza alone and the Palestinian GDP has fallen more than 4 percent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDALLAH AL DARDARI, DIRECTOR, REGIONAL BUREAU FOR ARAB STATES, UNDP: Not just Gaza, for the Palestinian economy to lose 4 percent of GDP in one month, that's not comparable to any conflict we have seen before. The Syrian economy used to lose 1 percent of GDP per month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: The U.N. predicts an 11 to 16 year setback for Palestinians in what it calls human development that includes things like health education, growth and business. Well, CNN had an opportunity to get a firsthand look at the situation on the ground in a part of Northern Gaza.
Our Oren Liebermann went there embedded with an Israeli military unit, and to be transparent, Oren reported from Gaza under Israeli Defense Forces escort at all times and as a condition for journalists to embed with the IDF. Media outlets must submit footage filmed in Gaza to the Israeli military for review.
CNN did not submit a script to the IDF and had editorial control over the final report. As you're about to see the area is a far cry from what it used to be before this war.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Through the breach, we enter northern Gaza at the Erez border crossing. The land here once fertile, farmland is buried, and the trees that might have provided enemy cover destroyed. In the distance smoke from an Israeli airstrike is a stark reminder that this is day 34 of a war that may stretch much longer.
On Thursday, the IDF Chief of Staff and the head of the country's Internal Security Service entered Gaza and promised strength through cooperation.
Everyone is doing everything said General Herzi Halevi just so you can be as strong as possible.
Along our path in northern Gaza, the signs of civilian life I have given way to the constant hum of drones and the distant echoes of artillery.
Our time with the IDF began at the coordination base for the border crossing the first international media to visit the site. The terror attack on October 7 hit hard here, the scars of machine gunfire and RPGs still visible. The base was mostly empty on the holiday, but not entirely.
The IDF says nine soldiers were killed here and three kidnapped. It took 12 hours for Israel to regain control of the base. Now it's one of the main gates to Gaza.
A month into the war, more than 10,000 Palestinians have been killed and Israeli attacks on Gaza, according to the Hamas controlled Palestinian health ministry there. The IDF says 35 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the strip since the start of the incursion. The October 7 attack by Hamas and Israel killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
We stop at an overlook near the town of Jabalya.
LIEBERMANN (on camera): One of the things uncovered here on this hill near Jabalya is a meeting point of three different tunnels. And you can see if you take a look that's one, two, three, they came together here and let Hamas move underground quickly below the feet and out of sight.
LIEBERMANN (voiceover): Colonel Tall (ph), the tank commander said there were many explosives here there were many trenches. There were a lot of weapons and ammunition. We found here a storage site with many explosives against tanks, RPGs. Even from a distance the scale of the destruction is stunning. Apartment, buildings, homes, neighborhoods decimated.
Colonel Tall (ph) says the area is almost completely evacuated. We don't see civilians in our eyes. We see sometimes terrorists but the majority of civilians haven't been here in a while. They've all gone south in the direction of the heart of the strip.
As we talk, we hear rocket fire and see the trails of the launchers, triggering red alerts and Ashdod. After about 90 minutes inside northern Gaza, we make our way out hugging the border wall for safety. Even here so close to the exit and stop briefly so the dust clears, we can make sure the way ahead is safe, in the distance once again, the smoke from another struck.
LIEBERMANN (on camera): Israel has said they have effectively encircled Gaza city in northern Gaza and the IDF said on Thursday they will deepen their ground operations. They're a big focus as we've seen, as shifted to the tunnels as the IDF tries to get at those and destroy Hamas is underground infrastructure. Oren Liebermann, CNN in Tel Aviv.
HOLMES: U.S. troops and their allies come under new attacks in the Middle East despite Washington's warnings to Tehran. When we come back, Iran's Ambassador responds on CNN, to U.S. accusations that his country played a role in those strikes.
Also still to come. We'll take a closer look at the growing international concern that Israel's war with Hamas could expand across the region. We'll be right back.
HOLMES: U.S. troops and their allies are taking more fire in the Middle East as the war between Israel and Hamas grinds on. A U.S. official says those forces came under at least four new missile and drone attacks in Iraq and Syria since Wednesday, three U.S. service members suffering minor injuries.
The attacks came after U.S. fighter jets hit this weapons storage facility in eastern Syria on Wednesday. The U,S, says that belonged to Iran's Revolutionary Guard and its allies, whom Washington blamed for a series of earlier strikes on its troops in the region.
There have been at least 46 such strikes since mid-October, according to U.S. officials, but Iran claims it was not the decision maker in any of those attacks. Iran's ambassador to the UN spoke with CNN's Phil Mattingly on Thursday, the ambassador saying that groups that attacked the US and coalition forces make their own decisions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMIR SAELD IRAVAN, IRANIAN AMBASSADOR TO U.N.: I told you that we have some cooperation and collaboration which are there, but we are not directing them. As the same argument we have, as the United States says about they're supporting the Israeli. The United States says that we are providing any assistance this is oil needs for the war. We have the same argument that we are saying that we are going to provide any support they need for the defense against the occupier forces.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials, including the President have made very clear statements to Iran publicly about their concerns about an expansion of the conflict in the region. And we're also told that they have tried to they have sent messages to Iranian officials privately through intermediaries. At the U.N., have you had any conversations with your U.S. counterparts about not expanding the conflict?
IRAVAN: No, I have not any data conversation may come bit my counterpart in the United Nation. But as it is very clear that we have told the United States that these attacks is related to the level of the support from the Israelis crime, but about expanding of the new front of the war, we insisted that we are not going to expand this war front also.
And we are trying to keep calling and serve resistance but it has two sides. One side we are given -- going -- we are telling to our allies in the region that keep calm, but the other side also should do the same and keep calling the Israeli aggression. I think that as long as the ceasefire is not taking place, maybe any possibility may happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats are alarmed about the backlash in the Arab world because of Washington's support for Israel. According to a diplomatic cable obtained by CNN, the diplomats told the White House the U.S. could lose the Arab public for an entire generation because of Washington support for Israel's actions in Gaza.
Meanwhile, Yemen's Houthi rebels who are backed by Iran are claiming a missile attack in southern Israel. A Houthi military spokesperson says the fighter has launched a number of ballistic missiles at various Israeli targets, saying quote, the Yemeni armed forces will continue operations in support of our people in Gaza until the Israeli aggression in Gaza stops. Early this week, the Houthis warned of further strikes.
The Israeli military reporting a civilian building was hit in the city of Eilat but the IDF said it was still looking into the incident.
Joining me now is Robin Wright, a contributing writer for The New Yorker. She's also a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. It's great to have you, Robin. There's much discussion about the risk of broader regional conflict Israel-Hamas was spilling over. What might that look like regional spread?
ROBIN WRIGHT, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: A couple of different options. One is the fact that Iranian backed militias have been targeting U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Syria. These troops are there because of their ongoing campaign against the return of ISIS. But the militia groups have attacked Americans 41 times and they're now 56 American troops who suffered injuries including traumatic brain injury, so there's that front.
There's a second front that is possible, not necessarily probable at the moment and that is on Israel's northern border with -- where Hezbollah is based and that's Iran's largest proxy militia.
And it has an arsenal that is far larger several times larger than what Hamas has in the way of weaponry. And of course, this there's a third more remote front with the Houthis in Yemen, who have twice now been engaged with U.S. forces in whether it's U.S. -- shooting down their missiles and rockets fired at Israel, or the Houthis in Yemen fire or shooting down an American drone. So there there's a real concern for an escalation.
HOLMES: Right. When you talk about Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, what do you think Iran strategy is regionally in the broader context of Israel's war with Hamas? What does it want? And I guess, importantly, not want out of what's happening?
WRIGHT: Well, for all the dangers of an escalation, because of some unintended consequence, I think Iran has so far indicated that it does not want a larger war with the United States, even though its proxies have engaged with U.S. forces kind of sending a message we don't want the Americans in the region or home. Your continued presence will come into price. It's been clear over the last month that it is not willing to engage in a larger, you know, an escalation that brings the United States and Iran into direct confrontation.
HOLMES: Yes, I was fascinating. I was reading some of your stuff today, you wrote about a week or so ago, about, you know, political polarization, among other things, among nations, among political parties, within nations, on the streets, and so on. What could all of that lead to that non kinetic if you like, impact?
WRIGHT: Well, it puts a lot of pressure on leaders in the Middle East who have either engaged in the Abraham accords with Israel, recognizing relations diplomatically. And it also puts pressure on them not to engage any further than in Jordan, where the king is one of the United States closest allies. There's a very strong pro- Palestinian sentiment.
And of course, the United States has relied on Jordan for whether its intelligence or help with Israel. It's been, you know, a groundbreaking ally now for more than half a century. So there are real dangers of how this plays out on the ground, among the public's in the region. And I think beyond elsewhere in the world. HOLMES: Yes, exactly. And leads me exactly to this because I we don't
have long, and this probably isn't a simple answer. But you also wrote about how China is positioned to take advantage of what's happening with Israel-Gaza, and also Russia-Ukraine, how might that play out in the real world?
WRIGHT: What do you think about it? China is the only country that's not involved in a major war right now. Russia is absorbed in Ukraine, it's costing it a lot in the way of its arsenal. The United States is involved in both helping arm Ukraine and arming the Israelis and trying to meanwhile, can build its arsenal and Goba (ph) on its merry way in terms of its long term agenda in Asia and beyond.
HOLMES: Yes, always fascinating, Robin. I could talk to you for hours. Robin Wight. Appreciate it. Thank you.
WRIGHT: Thank you, Michael.
HOLMES: Well, more than a month into Israel's war on Hamas, the fate of the hostages, of course still uncertain what U.S. and Israeli officials are doing to secure their release? We'll have more on that when we come back.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Now according to Israeli leaders and the White House, the pauses in fighting in Gaza that Israel started allowing last weekend will now happen on a daily basis.
We're told there will be four-hour breaks in bombardments so that civilians can try to get out of northern Gaza, you see some of them there doing it.
However Israeli leaders stress that these period pauses are not a ceasefire and there will be no ceasefire until the hostages are released and Hamas is destroyed. Israel Defense Forces says about 240 people are being held by Hamas.
Now meanwhile, the armed wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad says it is prepared to release two Israeli hostages on humanitarian grounds. A 77-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy.
The announcement coming as Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials met in Doha to discuss hostage negotiations on Thursday. Qatar has been acting as a mediator in the discussions over the release of hostages still being held by Hamas.
CNN's Becky Anderson with more from Abu Dhabi
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, here's what we know. A diplomatic source familiar with these Qatari negotiations confirmed to CNN that a meeting on Thursday between CIA director William Burns, the Mossad head David Barnea, and Qatari officials in Doha discussed a proposed plan to release up to 20 civilian hostages, in return for a three-day humanitarian pause in Gaza.
Now, the source told CNN the plan also includes access for further humanitarian aid into the enclave.
Why is this all significant?
Well this certainly appears to suggest that progress is being made. CNN has been reporting for some weeks that there is no prospect of Israel agreeing to a sustained pause in fighting, or temporary ceasefire without a substantial number of hostages being released. That is according to one senior U.S. official.
In public, Israel's prime minister and his defense minister have been categorical. No ceasefire deal without the release of all those held in Gaza.
Well a pause fighting would enable HAMAS to compile and hand over a list of all hostages. This has been a major sticking point in any progress today, what have been extremely complicated talks made all the more difficult, mediators say, by the intensity of the Israeli assaults, since it launched its second phase of this war two weeks ago.
What is not clear is how long of a pause Israel will be willing to agree to, and what would amount to an acceptable number of hostages released.
The Israel Defense Force says the military's current count of hostages being held by Hamas, is 239. That number includes both Israeli and foreign nationals.
Now these multi-party negotiations which also include Egypt have also centered around exchanging hostages held in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. And it's not clear whether this current proposed plan includes a prisoner exchange.
Becky Anderson, CNN -- Abu Dhabi.
HOLMES: A show of support in Los Angeles: Holocaust survivors and Jewish leaders gathered to mark the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht and to stand in solidarity with the victims of October 7th attack by Hamas militants in Israel. One Holocaust survivor speaking of the disturbing trend of anti-Semitism he's seen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL KESTER, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: I've lived in this (INAUDIBLE) for the last 75 years, a good life, a happy life. Now at the age of 98 I feel somewhat disappointed, saddened about the tremendous increase in anti-Semitism throughout the world and in this country. I had hoped that in the 21st century, I would never experience
anything that even faintly resembled what I experienced in the first half of the 20th century. I regret to say I was wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass, took place in 1938 when Nazis unleashed a wave of attacks against Jews in Germany.
International organizations and aid groups called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza on Thursday, warning the situation there could quickly spiral out of control. The plea came at an international humanitarian conference for Gaza in France intended to coordinate aid and determine how to help those impacted by Israel's ground and air offensive. French President Emmanuel Macron opening the conference in Paris saying the work needed to be done to bring a halt to the fighting.
The Palestinian Authority prime minister saying the anguish of his people far predates the start of this war.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH, PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The path of pain for the Palestinian people did not start on October 7th. Their path of pain is 75 years old.
In the refugee camps, in the diaspora and in the West Bank in Jerusalem and under siege in war in the Gaza Strip. What Israel is doing is not waging against Hamas, but against the whole Palestinian people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: In the West Bank, raids have become a daily occurrence as part of Israel's counter terror offensive. For Palestinians living there the violence and the restrictions and settler attacks are something they've been dealing with for years, except now they say it is getting worse.
CNN's Nada Bashir with our report. A warning: it does contain graphic images
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yet another Israeli incursion into the Occupied West Bank, yet more violence. Palestinians here in El Ama'ari refugee camp taking cover from incoming tear gas fired by Israeli forces.
IDF raids have become a daily occurrence here. Israel's military says it is targeting armed Palestinian groups as part of its counterterrorism operation.
But the number of casualties among Palestinians is growing with each passing day, with more than 170 killed in the last four weeks alone, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
In downtown Ramallah daily life continues. But the impact of Israel's often violent security tactics are felt by all.
"The occupation has always been an issue, it affects us economically, and it affects our daily lives too. Each and every day, Palestinians are killed or injured here. There are Israeli raids every day too, and people are still being forcibly evicted from their homes."
The signpost of Israel's decades-long occupation are evident here, from the concrete separation walls, to checkpoints and watchtowers. And a dual leader and political system which according to U.N. Rights experts privileges Israelis and illegal settlements over a more than 3 million strong Palestinian population.
In other words, U.N. and other human rights experts say a system of apartheid.
Mariam Barghouti (ph), a Palestinian journalist and analyst living in the Occupied West Bank tells me Israel's repressive tactics were intensifying long before the beginning of the war in Gaza.
MARIAM BARGHOUTI, PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST: I think it's wrong to try and see it as restrictions getting worse, they have reached the climax of repression and the climax of violence, it's not just getting worse. We're reaching points of no return.
And Palestinians have warned against this since 2021 and these warnings were not taken seriously. In the West Bank there is no capability to fight back. Israel has access and control over movement, entry of resources, and the narrative.
BASHIR: But just as violence in the Occupied West Bank intensifies, so do Israel's airstrikes on Gaza.
The Israeli government has made clear its intention to rid Gaza of Hamas in its entirety. Signaling that Israel will seek to establish overall security responsibility over Gaza, for an indefinite period of time with indications that a system similar to that in the West Bank could be on the table.
But such proposals have been characterized by the Biden administration as a mistake.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: We Must also work on the affirmative elements to get to a sustained peace. These must include the Palestine people's voices and aspirations at the center of post- crisis governance in Gaza.
It must include Palestine-led governance, and Gaza unified with the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority.
BASHIR: But even under the Palestinian Authority's leadership in the occupied territory, Israel security presence is pervasive. Palestinian homes, frequently raided, torched, and bulldozed.
Palestinian families, in a constant cycle of mourning. And hopes for a viable Palestinian state slowly eroded.
Nada Bashir, CNN -- in Ramallah.
HOLMES: When we come back here on the program, a father kidnapped in Colombia heads home. The reunion for an international football player's dad and his loved ones. That is when we come back.
HOLMES: The father of one of Colombia's most celebrated football players is back home after being kidnapped by a long-time guerrilla group. Luis Diaz's dad Luis was held captive for nearly two weeks before he was finally set free.
Stefano Pozzebon with the latest from Bogota.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: Cheered just like his son after scoring a (INAUDIBLE) goal, Luis Manuel Diaz, the father of Liverpool striker Luis Diaz was freed on Thursday after 12 days of captivity.
Diaz and his wife Cilenis Marulanda were kidnapped last month in their hometown of Barrancas in northeastern Colombia. Marulanda was released alone within a few hours. But a few days later, the National Liberation Army, Colombia's oldest active guerrilla group, confirmed they were behind the kidnappings.
"We deployed 150 men with aircraft and intelligence capability. We are optimists."
It prompted a massive military operation and marches demanding his release. Diaz Sr., a well-known figure in the community spoke to CNN last year saying he wanted to open a soccer school for underprivileged children in Barrancas and keep living in town to spike the security risk linked with his son's fame.
POZZEBON: Northeastern Colombia is one of the poorest regions in the country with documented presence of criminal groups that profit from trafficking over the border with Venezuela. On Monday, the kidnappers demanded security guarantees in order to free their hostage and the Colombian army stepped aside.
Thursday morning, Diaz was finally handed over to two Catholic bishops, and a commission from the U.N. A few hours later, he was home.
Welcome news for the Diaz family, but the kidnapping of the father of one of Colombia's most popular football players lays bare the hurdles to secure a durable peace for the country.
Seven years after signing a historic peace deal with left wing guerrillas, Colombia is far from pacified. This month, rebel groups suspended negotiations with the Colombian government, and the National Liberation Army appeared to defend their tactic of ransom kidnappings to finance their armed struggle. Even President Gustavo Petro, a former rebel who was elected pledging to open talks with guerrilla groups, had to concede that some of his hopes for negotiations were premature. While the march to bring Diaz back home ended with a success, the future of Colombia's peace process remains far from decided.
Stefano Pozzebon, CNN -- Bogota.
HOLMES: A new ruling by the Vatican Doctrine Department will allow some transgender people and children of same-sex couples to be baptized in the Catholic Church.
The new rules say a person who identifies as transgender can be baptized like any other adult as long as they're quote, "no risk" of causing scandal or disorientation to other Catholics.
Baptisms also allowed for children of same-sex couples, as long as the child is likely to be taught in the Catholic faith. The Vatican also wrote, quote, "The church is not a tollhouse, it is the house of the father where there is a place for everyone with all their problems."
China is undergoing a huge change in its policy of gender equality. The nation's male-dominated leadership now wants to turn back the clock with even President Xi Jinping calling for Chinese women to start raising larger families.
As CNN's Will Ripley now reports, it is the unexpected fall out of a population bust after China's controversial one-child policy.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: China's communist rulers face a looming population crisis, a crisis some say, they helped create. Now they want women to help solve it by staying home and having more babies.
The one-child policy, decades of forced abortions, and other draconian measures imposed on the Chinese people, preventing an estimated 200 million births may be backfiring, experts say.
For the first time since the post famine years of the 1960s, China's massive population is shrinking. It may be too late to turn things around. 1.4 billion people, living longer, getting older, aging faster than the social welfare system can keep up.
China's birth rates also falling fast. Far fewer babies, a baby bust that could cripple future growth. Adding to Beijing's biggest economic challenge in four decades, youth unemployment skyrocketing. Many Chinese young people struggling to find decent paying jobs, unable to financially support themselves, never mind their aging parents. Marriage, children -- forget about it.
The male-dominated government says the solution is simple. A return to traditional family values.
XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): We should actively foster a new type of marriage and childbirth culture.
RIPLEY: Speaking the Chinese Communist Party's annual Women Congress. President Xi Jinping focused more on family and fertility than women in the workforce.
XI: Firmly listen to party's instructions and follow the party.
RIPLEY: Sparking fears of a state-sponsored time warp where women's rights take a back seat to boosting Xi's vision.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women who will serve as reproductive tools at that time and now the party wants more people so that the party can do similarly abusive things but just in the opposite direction.
RIPLEY: Propping up the patriarchy in a nation notorious for suppressing, arresting and silencing feminist voices.
Voices on Chinese social media, the comments not struck by state censors seem to have a cynical take on so-called traditional family values. One user writing, "Seeing what my mom is going through, I have no desire to get married or have children."
The kind of feeling some fear could ignite calls by the ruling elites to make sure Chinese young people do exactly what the party wants them to do.
RIPLEY: You know the sad irony of China's one-child policy? During this period sons were traditionally favored more than daughters by some families. And that has now resulted essentially in a shortage of women. There are 34 million fewer women than men in China.
Will Ripley, CNN -- Taipei.
HOLMES: Well, a shocking day for Democrats as West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announces he won't be running for reelection. What it could mean for his party, and what he might be doing next.
That is when we come back.
HOLMES: In a surprise development, Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he won't run for reelection next year. It's a major blow to Democrats hoping to sink his feet in deep-red West Virginia, a state Donald Trump handily won in 2020.
But Manchin isn't quitting just to spend time with his family, he's hinting about a possible run for the White House.
Manu Raju with the latest.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Joe Manchin making a decision that will shake up the United States Senate and has huge ramifications in the battle for control of the chamber by announcing he will not run for reelection in West Virginia.
He would have a difficult time winning against Jim Justice who is the sitting governor, someone who is running in the Republican primary and the front runner for the party's nomination. Polls have shown that Manchin was struggling against Jim Justice but by Manchin stepping aside it will be much harder if not impossible for Democrats to win that seat, to keep it in their hands.
That means if the seat flips red, Democrats will have a much tougher time keeping the majority. Right now it's 51-49. If one seat goes to the Republican side, it's 50/50. Also Manchin is a central player for so many years in the Senate, given his conservative politics and the fact that he is a swing vote on so many key issues.
And just in Biden's first few years of offices being a central player in some of the president's key legislative achievements, whether it's Inflation Reduction Act or the Infrastructure Law, or playing a key role in the bipartisan gun safety legislation.
But that doesn't mean that he's beloved by Democrats. In fact he has been on the outs for Democrats for some time. Many progressive, liberals angry of him not agreeing to change senate filibuster rules which would allow them to pass a whole suite of Democratic legislation, also a whole range of issues he has pushback on them on which has made him a pariah among the left.
That is also calls a potentially Manchin running a third-party candidate in the presidential race. He suggested it in his announcement video that he's going to try to galvanize, the movement of people both sides of the aisle, where they can figure out a way to work together.
What does that mean? Will he run for president in a third-party ticket? He does not address that. That speculation will only continue but he says is time for him for a new chapter in, 76-year-old Democrat who has had a huge impact on West Virginia and the politics here in the Senate.
Manu Raju, CNN -- Capitol Hill.
CNN is learning more about the witnesses who could be called in former president Donald Trump's criminal trial for mishandling classified documents. CNN senior crime and justice reporter with that story.
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: We're now getting a picture of just how many witnesses, or the types of witnesses who may be called to testify against Donald Trump at his upcoming trial on the handling of documents in Florida.
So this is exclusive new reporting from Paula Reid and I here at CNN. And what we've learned is that there are notable figures around Donald Trump, from this White House, people who may be former intelligence official, Secret Service agents, political advisers, and others, who are very likely possible witnesses against Trump at that trial the prosecutors will call.
But there are also lower-level workers, staff members at Mar-a-Lago, even contract employees who were coming in and out of his Florida resort property, who could be witnesses in this case, and could build this picture, the prosecutors want to tell a jury about on how unsecure these documents were that Donald Trump had after the presidency.
Those people include a plumber, a maid, a chauffeur, a woodworker even. And we have heard what some of these people were seeing. So the maid was someone that was cleaning Donald Trump's bedroom suite, and that when Trump found out that she was a person of interest to investigators and would be speaking with investigators for this possible case, he went ballistic. That is what one source told us.
The woodwork or for instance, that person was putting crown molding in Donald Trump's bedroom, and when he was putting it into the bedroom, when he was installing it, he noticed stacks of papers that relying around or stack of papers that appeared so suspicious to him, that he thought might be some sort of top secret or classified material.
He didn't actually know what he was seeing, but this is the sort of story that prosecutors may want to put on the witness stand, and have that person tell just to show how suspicious it was. How things were lying around the resort, and how the national security material was ultimately found there was being handled by Donald Trump and others. A very important aspect of their case going forward.
That's just a glimpse into what may be seen in this trial. Right now the trial is set for May of next year, but it's unclear if that date is going to hold. The federal judge overseeing this case in Florida is looking at potentially moving that date, and other dates in the case.
There are a bunch of deadlines on hold right now and we are waiting for that judge to say when that trial actually will take place, and there's a possibility that these witnesses may not be telling the story to the public or to the jury until after the presidential election.
Katelyn Polantz, CNN -- Washington.
HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. I will be back with more CNN NEWSROOM in just a moment.