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Israeli PM Reiterates No Ceasefire Unless All Hamas Hostages are Released; Two Hostages are Set to Release due to Humanitarian Reasons; U.S. Secretary of State is in India for Talks on Foreign Policy and Defense. CNN's First Hand Look Inside Northern Gaza; Population in China is Shrinking as Male Leaders Advise Women to Stay Home and Have More Babies; SAG-AFTRA Reviews Tentative Deal which Ended their Four Month Strike. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 10, 2023 - 03:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers joining us around the world. I'm Max Foster, ahead on "CNN Newsroom."

Israel agrees to daily humanitarian pauses to allow civilians in Gaza to evacuate south. Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, no ceasefire until the hostages are released.

A closer look at Israel's ground operation in Gaza, our report from inside the territory as we travel with the IDF.

And SpaceX launches a Falcon 9 rocket with a spacecraft that's bound for the International Space Station.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from London, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Max Foster.

FOSTER: Beginning this hour in Gaza, where Israeli forces continue their ground assault against Hamas targets in the enclave, 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 heats up, an estimated 80,000 people evacuated from northern Gaza on Thursday. That's up significantly from the 50,000 people that Israel says left the day before. The IDF began to open the safe passages last weekend and now says it'll do so for four hours each day. But the prime minister stood firm on his most basic demand regarding Hamas.


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 terror, and the victory of Iran's axis of terror. So there won't be a ceasefire without the release of the Israeli hostages. (END VIDEO CLIP)

FOSTER: Elliot's with me again this morning. There's been some movement on this, hasn't there, because he had suggested there might be pauses. Now there are pauses and there are negotiations going on in the background as well, aren't they, from Qatar?

ELLIOT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Right. So I think the U.S. sees this and has said that this is a step in the right direction. But I suppose you could ask the question, you know, when is a ceasefire not a ceasefire? And the answer, I suppose, is when it is a tactical localized pause as the Israelis are calling it.

And what they're doing is really formalizing what they've been doing on a kind of ad hoc basis, as you say, since last weekend, opening up these safe corridors to enable civilians in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, where its operations are focused in terms of attacking Hamas and their infrastructure and commanders, and enabling them to move to the relative safety of the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

They're also going to be opening up a second evacuation corridor. And there'll be during that four-hour window, an area or a neighborhood will be designated to be free from fighting for that period of time to enable residents to leave their homes and to get water, food, medicine, if they can actually find any that's available during that period of time.

So the U.S. says a step in the right direction. It's not quite the humanitarian pause along a kind of two, three day pause of fighting that they wanted. And it's certainly not the total ceasefire that we heard again from the Emirati and Qatari leaders calling for yesterday and also aid agencies and many in the international community are calling for. So it's not a complete ceasefire.

And Israel's position, as we heard from Netanyahu, is simply that there can't be one until those 240 or so hostages are released. And then we also saw that latest hostage video, didn't we, from Islamic Jihad, the smaller militant group in the Gaza Strip, an elderly wheelchair-bound lady and a 13-year-old boy talking to the camera, saying how they miss their family, how they're being treated well, and how if anything happens to them, it'll be on Netanyahu's head.

FOSTER: What about the view within Israel? Does he have the support for the way he's handling all of this?

GOTKINE: So he personally has, I think it's about a quarter of the population now supporting his approval rating has been plummeting. He is widely blamed, or at least held responsible for what has happened.

FOSTER: Intelligence failure.

GOTKINE: Well, not just the intelligence failure, but the military failure as well in terms of the actual operations. So that's in stark contrast, I should say, to the Israel Defense Forces, how they're perceived and in terms of some of the other NGOs that have been working to deal with the 1,400 people that were killed during that Hamas rampage on October the 7th.

So an interesting poll came out from the Israel Democracy Institute, which is an NGO and it's showing rising numbers, rising proportions of Israelis, 38 percent now are saying that they would advocate for negotiations with Hamas, indirectly presumably via the Qataris or Egyptians, in order to free the hostages.


But they're on the same page when it comes to a ceasefire. They say that fighting, most people, the largest amount of people, 38 percent, say that fighting should continue while those negotiations for the release of the hostages are ongoing.

FOSTER: Is the assumption that those negotiations would be based on a prisoner swap, if you want to call it that.

GOTKINE: That's how things have happened in the past. You'll recall a single Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was held by Hamas for somewhat five years or so, was eventually released for 1,000 prisoners. One imagines that the demands for a total release of the hostages would be much greater, perhaps, for all the Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

There are negotiations happening. They were happening in Qatar with the head of the Mossad, the head of the CIA, and Qatari officials as well. We don't know the specifics. There's a lot of talk and I guess we'll have to wait and see what actually happens in terms of releases. There may be some prisoners, some, excuse me, some captives released by Islamic Jihad or Hamas in order to get some kind of pause in hostilities. We, you know, we don't know the specifics, but at some point one of CMZ's negotiations will go into overdrive and there will be some movement there.

FOSTER: OK, Elliot, thank you.

Conditions across Gaza, absolutely dire. The UN's Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says the amount of, excuse me, aid getting into the territory is just a fraction of what people actually need there. The office says the drinking water brought into Gaza serves just 4 percent of its residents. Shelters are also becoming increasingly overcrowded. To give you an example, in U.N. shelters there are 700 people per single shower unit.

The daily pauses and fighting will give civilians in northern Gaza a chance to seek safer surroundings, but the dangers and hardships are never far away as CNN's Salma Abdelaziz explains.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you are among those still in northern Gaza, this is what life looks like now, the heart of a battle zone.

May God protect us, this man says. Those who do not have the means to leave, we will have to stay where we are. It's as if they've sentenced us to death.

The Israeli military continues to call on all residents of northern Gaza to move south. It is the forced exodus of an entire population, Palestinians say.

But some are unable or unwilling to heed the warning. Thousands of them are taking shelter at Gaza City hospitals. Among them, patients that can't be moved, families too afraid to travel through bombs and bullets, and medical staff loyal to a duty of care.

Dr. Mohammed Abu Namuz says he has sent his family away, but he will stay behind. What can be done? There's no other way out of this. There is no safety, he says. That's why it's best if I get my family out, so I can focus on treating patients.

On Wednesday alone, as many as 50,000 people made the perilous journey south via the time-limited corridors set up by the Israeli military.

REAR ADM. DANIEL HAGARI, ISRAELI MILITARY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): They're moving because they understand that Hamas has lost control in the north and that the south is safer, a safer area where they receive medicine, water and food. They understand it's an improvement.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): But the south is not safe and hardly an improvement. Israeli airstrikes level homes here too. And the conditions for the estimated 1.5 million now cramped in this corner of the enclave are described as inhumane. Thousands of the displaced are living on the street.

There is no aid, no water, the toilets are closed, she says, and no bakeries. We get a single loaf of bread every three or four days after waiting in long lines for half a day.

And U.N. shelters are overcrowded. At one site, at least six people must share a single toilet, the U.N. says.

And as for humanitarian assistance, it is so far a drop in the ocean of need.

VOLKER TURK, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: This is the gateway to a hellish nightmare. And then I see in front of me the lifeline that would bring relief and humanitarian assistance, which until now has not been enough. Woefully inadequate.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The conditions are so dire that this family says they decided to leave a UN shelter and move back into the ruins of their bombed-out home.

We're still afraid of course for our children, but it's the lesser of two evils, this father says. At least it's better than being surrounded by disease, hunger and fear. At least here, our children are at home.

With three out of every four Gazans internally displaced, the UN estimates. Home is what so many dream of here, but many fear that sense of normalcy will never return.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.



FOSTER: The authoring of Palestinian Islamic Jihad says it's prepared to release two Israeli hostages on humanitarian grounds, a 77-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy. This announcement comes 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 held by Hamas, CNN's Becky Anderson has more now from Abu Dhabi.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR, CONNECT THE WORLD WITH BECKY ANDERSON: Well, here's what we know. A diplomatic source familiar with the Qatar-led negotiations confirmed to CNN that a meeting on Thursday between CIA Director William Burns, the Mossad head David Barnier, 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, both 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 in the fighting would enable Hamas to compile and hand over a list of all hostages. This has been a major sticking point in any progress to date. And what have been extremely complicated talks made all the more difficult, mediators say, by the intensity of the Israeli assault since it launched its second phase of this war two weeks ago.

What is not clear is how long of a pause Israel would 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's 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.


FOSTER: 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 opened the conference in Paris, saying the work needed to be done to bring a halt to the fighting. The Palestinian Authority Prime Minister said the anguish of his people far predates the start of the war.


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 and Jerusalem, and under siege and war in the Gaza Strip. What Israel is doing is not waging against Hamas, but against the whole Palestinian people.


FOSTER: Joining us from Cairo, Richard Brennan with the World Health Organization, where he serves as regional emergency director of the Eastern Mediterranean. Thank you so much for joining us. Obviously, you're absolutely slammed with trying to deal with this right now. Just, I mean, we've heard a lot about the health situation in Gaza, but just for people to get a real sense of how, of the trend and how bad it's become. Can you give us an example of some of the illnesses you're dealing with and how they're escalating?

RICHARD BRENNAN, WHO REGIONAL EMERGENCY DIRECTOR FOR EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: Yeah, well, of course, the big issue right now is traumatic injuries. We've had over 10,800 deaths, over 26,000 injuries amongst the Palestinians.

Important to point out, around two thirds of those have been amongst women and children. And these are very, very complicated injuries requiring, you know, extreme specialized care. What your report had described earlier around the overcrowding and really incredibly unsanitary conditions in the camps that have been set up, the collective centers, that is just nightmarish, to be honest.


We have, and that comes with the risk of infectious diseases. So we're already seeing increases in viral disease, in respiratory infections, terrible skin infections like scabies. And now we're seeing cases of measles and mumps. And that is because of the overcrowding. It is because of the fact that so many, you know, turtles are overflowing, flowing where they do exist. It is because of lack of access to clean water.

It is because of the fact that there's no waste management now and rodents and insects now are breeding. And even in health facilities now, we don't have access to basic disinfectants and clean water and so the risk of wound infections in those settings is skyrocketing as well. So it's a really tough mix.

FOSTER: And once a lot of these illnesses begin they obviously spread and it reaches a tipping point doesn't it where it's completely out of control. How close are you to that?

BRENNAN: Well, it's an excellent point. And of course, this is one of the big issues that we're concerned about is disease outbreaks. And we know disease outbreaks cross borders as well. So this is a public health risk, not just in Gaza, it can potentially be for the neighboring countries and beyond. So, what are we doing about that?

Well, we're trying to put in mechanisms, disease surveillance mechanisms, very nimble mechanisms, so we can try and track disease trends, pick up indications of disease outbreaks, put in disease control mechanisms, trying to increase access to clean water and sanitation. Very, very, very difficult across almost 200 of these settings.

Trying to scale up the vaccinations now. Vaccinations stopped, of course, since the start of the war and getting the message out to people as well about steps they can do to protect themselves and protect their families. But, you're right, the risks of disease outbreaks is very great.

FOSTER: Is this something Israel really needs to consider? As you say, these diseases can jump borders, they're not aware of borders. Is Israel creating a situation where effectively a disease incubator is being created in Gaza and could easily spread to Israel?

BRENNAN: Well, that's true. I mean, we'd be particularly concerned about diarrheal disease outbreaks spreading. So, and some of these people, patients are moving from Gaza into Egypt and so on. This is a concern that we have to address at the border crossings. This is something we always do with population movements. We try to put in the surveillance and control measures.

But our biggest concern right now, of course, is for the people affected right now in Gaza at the moment, innocent women and children caught up in this horror. And they're suffering unnecessarily. There's a lot we can do if we get the ceasefire, if we get the unhindered access to those in need, if we can protect the infrastructure, such as the hospitals and the collective centers. And of course, we're also advocating for the release of the hostages. And while they are in captivity, they get access to decent healthcare as well.

FOSTER: OK, Richard Brennan, I really appreciate your time joining us from the World Health Organization.

Ukrainian troops put up a stiff fight meanwhile to make sure they're not encircled by Russians. We'll have the latest on the grueling battle for the town of Avdiivka.

Now, we're also going to tell you what CNN has learned about who could be called to testify at Donald Trump's trial for mishandling classified documents. That story ahead.




FOSTER: Ukraine says its troops are holding the line in the key eastern city in the face of Russian attempts to encircle them. Officials say Ukrainians repelled seven new attacks on Avdiivka on Thursday. Russia has been trying to lay siege to the city for more than a month in a possible attempt to turn the tide of the war.

Further south, Ukraine says one person was killed on its balcony in artillery attacks on the city of Kherson. Two other people were wounded on Thursday when Russia reportedly hit apartment buildings and other civilian targets.

A non-profit group is trying to help Ukrainian children deal with the psychological trauma from the war. On Thursday, it opened a new center in western Ukraine for children who moved there from frontline areas in the east and the south. The non-profit called Ukraine Children's Action Project says about five million children from those regions are displaced because of the fighting. And many of them are now dealing with serious psychological effects of what they saw in the war zone.

In the last hour, a co-founder of that non-profit spoke with CNN's Michael Holmes. He asked Dr. Irwin Redlener whether the war in Israel is taking attention away from what people in Ukraine are facing.


DR. IRWIN REDLENER, CO-FOUNDER, UKRAINE CHILDREN'S ACTION PROJECT: We're actually very, very worried about it. And that is even exacerbated by the fact that the world's attention is very distractible and there are crises all over the world and especially what's happening in the Middle East. That said, we have about two- thirds of the Ukrainian child population that since the beginning of the war have been displaced. About half of them outside the country is refugees, and another half of them are in Western, relatively safer parts of the country to avoid the direct impact of the battlefields.

But on the other hand, too, we know, Michael, that children are also being exposed to bombing and missiles and other terrifying events that are affecting how they're feeling and what their attitude is about the future. But, you know, I should say the Ukrainian children are phenomenally resilient, as are their whole families. And this is people that don't know Ukraine would be, I think, really surprised at the courage, the resiliency and so on.

But there are kids now that are not just psychologically traumatized, but many of them have had their education severely disrupted. I mean, schools in Ukraine were closed for almost two years from the pandemic before the war started.

Now we have another two years of interrupted education for many of the kids. And Ukraine and the countries that they're going to as refugees are doing a lot to help them deal with school. But there's going to be a tremendous need to remediate education.

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Huge amount of need. Now, you've already done a lot of work in Ukraine, a variety of programs since the Russian invasion, but your organization is now setting up this new support center. What essentially is its mission?

REDLENER: So a lot of -- a lot of the children who were displaced from the eastern war-torn areas are moving to, have moved to Lviv. So this is a new center that is for child and youth resiliency and enrichment. And it provides, as you can probably see in the clips there, a lot of activities for kids to help them keep their spirits up, to get back into the stream of normalcy, of a normal child's life.

And we're very excited about this. And hundreds of children showed up for the opening yesterday and we're already engaging in activities. So we're excited about this and we hope it becomes a model for more programs like this going forward.


FOSTER: U.S. officials are in India this hour for a series of diplomatic meetings focused on foreign policy and defense. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met Friday in New Delhi with their Indian counterparts. They'll both meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the coming hours.


Afterwards, Blinken will head to Prague in the Czech Republic, whilst Austin remains in India for additional talks.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum says it is deeply concerned, or disturbed rather, by eyewitness reports of ethnic targeting in West Darfur. The statement came after CNN geolocated disturbing videos. They show members of African ethnic groups who appeared to have been rounded up by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

More details from CNN's David McKenzie and a warning. His report contains some graphic images.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The evidence of alleged atrocities in Western Darfur keep on piling up. On Wednesday we brought you these videos, geolocated to the outskirts of El Geneina in Western Darfur. It shows Rapid Support Forces and other aligned militia, we believe, rounding up people from largely African ethnicities in that city, in some cases abusing them physically, in other cases racially abusing them verbally.

We don't know what exactly happened to these individuals who look terrified in the video. This is all taking place here in El Geneina, in western Darfur, in the region we believe close to an army base where the RSF attacked in recent days.

And I want to show you this disturbing image, which shows these 12 bodies. We've blurred some of those bodies, but you get a sense of the atrocities that have been happening in that region. We've managed to geolocate this image to the same area of some of those videos but we do not know yet whether it's the same individuals you see in the videos that are in the still image nor do we know exactly when this image was taken.

The U.S. Embassy in Khartoum has said they're deeply disturbed by the eyewitness accounts of ethnic targeting happening in West Darfur. Thousands have been streaming over the border into Chad in recent days, according to Doctors Without Borders, but there's no sign of the violence abating. And the RSF, who denies any involvement in ethnic killings or targeting in a response to our query, says that they will be pushing on to another major center in that region.

David McKenzie, CNN, Johannesburg.


FOSTER: Now in a blow to congressional Democrats, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says West Virginia is a deeply Republican state that Donald Trump won handily during the 2020 election and losing Manchin's seat could make it difficult for his party to keep control of the Senate in 2024. But Manchin's not retiring to spend more time with his family. He says he plans to travel the country to see if there's an interest in mobilizing the middle and bringing Americans together. That comment is raising speculation that Manchin could be contemplating a third-party bid for the White House.

CNN 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 has the story.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SR. 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, people from his White House, people who may be former intelligence officials, Secret Service agents, political advisors, and others, who are very likely possible witnesses against Trump at that trial that prosecutors would call. But there are also Lower-level workers, staff members at Mar-a-Lago,

even contract employees that were coming in and out of his Florida resort property, who could be witnesses in this case and could build this picture that prosecutors want to tell a jury about on how unsecured 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's what one source told us.

The woodworker, for instance, that person was putting crown molding into Donald Trump's bedroom, and when he was putting it into the bedroom, when he was installing it, he noticed stacks of papers that were lying around or a stack of papers that appeared so suspicious to him that he thought they 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 that 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 at 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, there's a possibility that these witnesses may not be telling their story to the public or to a jury until after the presidential election.

Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Next, CNN goes inside Gaza as Israel tries to push ahead with its military offensive. What we found there are ghost towns and devastation as far as the eye can see. Coming up.

Plus Palestinians say more than 170 people have died in Israel's West Bank raids in the last four weeks and the violence only intensifying there are the latest on that.


FOSTER: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. I'm Max Foster, in London. You're watching "CNN Newsroom."

And now CNN had an opportunity to get a firsthand look of the situation on the ground in Northern Gaza. Our Oren Liebermann went there and embedded with an Israeli military unit to be transparent. Oren reported from Gaza under Israeli Defense Force Escorts at all time as a condition for journalists to embed with the IDF. Media outlets had to submit footage filmed in Gaza to the Israeli military for review. CNN didn't submit its 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 the war.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Through the breach, we enter northern Gaza at the Erez border crossing. The land here, once fertile farmland, is barren, 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 Herzl Alevi, just so you can be as strong as possible.

Along our path in northern Gaza, the signs of civilian life 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 gun fire 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 in 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 in Israel killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians.

We stopped at an overlook near the town of Jabalia.

(on-camera): One of the things uncovered here on this hill near Jabalia 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 it let Hamas move underground quickly below the feet and out of sight.

(voice-over): Colonel Tal, the tank commander, says 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, decimate.

Colonel Tal 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 launches, triggering red alerts in 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, we stop briefly so the dust clears and we can make sure the way ahead is safe. In the distance once again, the smoke from another strike.

(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 there. A big focus, as we've seen, has shifted to the tunnels as the IDF tries to get at those and destroy Hamas's underground infrastructure.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, in Tel Aviv.


FOSTER: Meanwhile, in the West Bank, raids have become a daily occurrence as part of Israel's counterterrorism offensive for Palestinians living there. The violence and restrictions are something they've been dealing with for years, except now they say it's getting worse.

CNN's Nada Bashir has our report and a warning it contains graphic images.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Yet another Israeli incursion into the occupied West Bank. Yet more violence.

Palestinians here in the Al Amari 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 counter- terrorism operation.

But the number of casualties amongst 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 signposts of Israel's decades-long occupation are evident here from the concrete separation walls to checkpoints and watch towers, and a dual legal and political system which, according to U.N. rights experts, privileges Israelis in illegal settlements over a more than three million-strong Palestinian population. In other words, U.N. and other human rights experts say, a system of apartheid.

Mariam Barghouti, 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 BARGOUTI, PALESTINIAN JOURNALIST AND ANALYST: I think it's wrong to try and see 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 in 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 (voice-over): 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 Palestinian people's voices and aspirations at the center of post- crisis governance in Gaza. It must include Palestinian-led governance and Gaza unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.

BASHIR (voice-over): But even under the Palestinian Authority's leadership in the occupied territories, Israel's 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.


FOSTER: 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 suffered minor injuries. The attacks came

after U.S. fighter jets hit the weapons storage facility in eastern Syria on Wednesday. The U.S. says it 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. At least 56 U.S. troops have been injured in those attacks.

Now, still to come. The Vatican is out with new rules on baptizing Catholics in the LGBTQ community. Those details, just ahead.

And China's male leaders, including the president, are calling on women to help create a baby boom. Just ahead, why women say it could set them back years.


FOSTER: Protesters clashed with police outside socialist headquarters in Madrid, Spain on Thursday.


Demonstrators are angry with acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez after his socialist party cut a deal with the Catalan separatist party in order to form a government.

A law granting amnesty to those prosecuted over Catalonia's attempt to secede from Spain was included in the deal. Protesters held signs calling Mr. Sanchez a traitor. It was the seventh night of protests in the Spanish capital. Other protests took place in Barcelona and Valencia.

A new ruling by the Vatican will allow some transgender people with children of same-sex couples to be baptized in the Catholic Church. Barbie Nadeau is in Rome with the details.


BARBIE NADEAU, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): The Vatican has announced a crucial change in rules for LGBTQ Catholics. Transgender people and babies born to same-sex couples can now be baptized in the Catholic Church in some cases, as long as they continue their religious education and do not cause, quote, "scandal or disorientation to others."

The change is a 180-degree turn from previous rulings, in which the Vatican often seemed to slam the door to the LGBTQ community. Pope Francis has spoken positively on LGBTQ issues in the past, saying the church is open to everyone, including members of the gay community. He also said criminalizing homosexuality is an injustice.

POPE FRANCIS, LEADER OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: This is not right. Persons with homosexual tendencies are children of God. God loves them. God accompanies them. Criminalizing people with homosexual tendencies is an injustice. NADEAU (voice-over): The new rules are welcomed by Catholics in the

LGBTQ community, but they offer conservatives in the church another point of contention.

Before the new baptism decision was announced, conservatives led by U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke warned that too many changes can lead to confusion. The new rules still mean homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of the church, but they do offer an opportunity for inclusion in an ancient institution that often seems slow to change.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.


FOSTER: China's male dominated leadership seems to want to turn back the clock. With some interpreting President Xi Jinping's recent remarks as a call for Chinese women to start raising larger families. As CNN's Will Ripley reports, all of this is the unexpected fallout of a population bust after China's controversial one child policy.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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 rate 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 (voice-over): Speaking at the Chinese Communist Party's annual Women Congress, President Xi Jinping focused more on family and fertility than women in the workforce.

XI (through translator): Listen to party's instructions and follow the party.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Sparking fears of a state-sponsored time warp, where women's rights take a back seat to boosting Xi's vision.

YAQIU WANG, RESEARCH DIRECTOR FOR CHINA, HONG KONG, AND TAIWAN, AT FREEDOM HOUSE: Women will serve as reproductive tools at that time, and now the party wants more people, so the party can do similarly abusive things, but just in the opposite direction.

RIPLEY (voice-over): Propping up the patriarchy. in a nation notorious for suppressing, arresting, and silencing feminist voices.

Voices on Chinese social media, the comments not scrubbed 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 elite 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.


FOSTER: After almost four months on the picket lines, Hollywood actors are going back to work, but first they have to ratify an agreement their union hammered out with the major studios, details on the historic deal after the break.


A Commander, the first manned space flights to circle the Moon, has died. Former NASA astronaut Frank Borman passed away in Billings, Montana on Tuesday. NASA described Borman as an American hero and one of NASA's best. He also played an integral role in the Gemini space program, conducting the first ever rendezvous in space. After retiring from NASA, he became chairman of Eastern Airlines. Frank Borman was 95 years old.

A Dragon spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station. SpaceX's 29th robotic cargo mission successfully lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday evening. Besides supplies and food, it's bringing part of a system that will test laser communications from the space station to Earth. The Dragon is scheduled to rendezvous with the ISS on Saturday morning.

The world has a brand new island. It was formed by an undersea volcanic eruption just days ago, according to Japan's meteorological agency. It rose up from the Pacific Ocean near the Japanese island of Iwo Jima around 1200 kilometers south of mainland Japan. Now the agency says it has been recording volcanic activity in the area since last year.

England's Victorian era is hardly synonymous with rock music, but a little-known citizen of that time unknowingly helped sell millions of Led Zeppelin albums many decades later. Historians have tentatively identified the man on Led Zeppelin's four as Lot Long, a Thatcher who died back in 1893. The original black and white photograph was recently found in a book of Victorian photography from 1892. It's worth noting that Led Zeppelin sold 37 million copies worldwide. It's perhaps the best known for the song, Where am I going? Stairway to heaven.

In the coming hours, the National Board of the SAG-AFTRA Union is expected to review the tentative deal that ended the Hollywood Actors Strike just over 24 hours ago. After that review, the union is set to release full details of the historic billion dollar contract. Brian Todd has more on what we know about the agreement so far.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For nearly 4 months stars like Jessica Chastain, Bob Odenkirk and others walk the picket lines with their lesser known colleagues during an actor strike that raised serious questions about whether the movie and TV industry as we know it could survive.

But tonight, a sigh of relief Hollywood actors have reached a tentative agreement with the major film and TV studios to end the strike.


FRAN DRESHER, PRESIDENT, SAG-AFTRA, ACTOR: There is so much language in this contract that covers so much new ground that has never been in any of the contract before.

TODD (voice-over): Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed and it still has to be ratified by the actors union members but according to a statement released by the union the deal will give actors the famous and obscure a historic pay increase.

SARA FISCHER, CNN MEDIA ANALYST: You have to remember SAG-AFTRA represents a 160,000 workers and these are not necessarily big-time rich actors. A lot of these folks are just starting out and living paycheck to paycheck.

TODD (voice-over): The agreement also gives actors better residuals for streaming programs. But at the center of the strike was the use of artificial intelligence, which Hollywood actors and writers have feared could someday replace them, or at least part of their work.

The deal calls for actors to be able to have consent and compensation when an A.I. likeness of them is used.

DUNCAN CRABTREE-IRELAND, CHIEF NEGOTIATOR, SAG-AFTRA: They're intended to be protections that not only will make sure that our members have the right to control the use of their image and likeness today. But as the technology develops and grows in the industry, we'll continue to provide them with that kind of control. And it's so essential because it's really their persona that's being used.

TODD (voice-over): The actors and writers walkouts, the first time both entities had been on strike simultaneously in more than 60 years, proved incredibly costly over the course of the last six months.

In September, California Governor Gavin Newsom estimated the loss for his state's economy was more than $5 billion. Now the key question.


When will we see new episodes of popular shows like Max's "The Last of Us" or "The White Lotus," both from CNN's parent company, Warner Brothers Discovery.


Analyst Sarah Fisher says some shows might come back as early as the first quarter of next year.

FISCHER: It's going to be hard to start production immediately. They're going to have to wait a few weeks in order to get schedules, vendors, sets moved. And then once that starts, things will move pretty quickly.

TODD: While the actors are getting historically higher pay with this new deal, one industry analyst says there could be less work overall to go around for them in the future because he expects the studios and streaming services might start to reduce the numbers of T.V. shows and movies they order to save money.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: It took a while, but they got there. I'm Max Foster. I'll be back with more "CNN Newsroom" in just a moment.