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Situation for Gaza Hospitals Grow Dire; Pro-Palestinian March in London; Megan Rapinoe Bows Out. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired November 12, 2023 - 03:00   ET




LAILA HARRAK, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from the United States and all around the world. I'm Laila Harrak.

Hospitals in Gaza facing a dire situation, one, Al-Shifa Hospital, is almost out of essential supplies as heavy fighting goes on around it.

And tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators march in London, demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

And the end to an historic career, Megan Rapinoe bows out of professional soccer, what she calls the worst possible outcome.

The Israeli military has offered to evacuate infants and other patients from Gaza's largest hospital sometime today. While the Hamas- controlled health ministry in Gaza said three new born babies have died since Friday night at Al-Shifa Hospital after nearby shelling knocked out a generator supplying oxygen to the neonatal unit. A Gaza health official tells CNN the other infants were hand-carried to the operating rooms, which still had oxygen, unlike other hospitals across Gaza. Al-Shifa is nearly out of food, water, medicine and fuel. IDF says it's been engaged in heavy fighting with Hamas nearby but denies the hospital is under siege.


LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, SPOKESPERSON, IDF: We are also trying to coordinate the safe removal and transport of the remaining patients that are still inside the hospital. I want to emphasize, we haven't struck the hospital and we are not surrounding it or applying any pressure on it. We have troops in the vicinity, but we have not been engaging with the hospital or any parts of it.


HARRAK: Well, CNN's Paula Hancocks is our former Jerusalem correspondent and knows the region well, and she joins us now from Seoul with the very latest. Paula, tell us more about what's been happening.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Laila, we've spoken to people within the hospital itself and also a senior health official telling us about moving those babies from the neonatal department, which was not functioning anymore, to a separate part of the hospital.

Now, we did hear from a senior official saying that three had lost their lives after a generator had been knocked out by a shell falling in the region. In fact, we were told at one point they were having to have doctors actually artificially respirate these babies to try and keep them alive. It is something that we have been hearing concerns about in recent days, the lack of electricity meant that incubators were unable to be powered.

So, at this point we're finding clarification or asking for clarification from the Israeli military, who had said on Saturday that they would be willing to evacuate those babies and take them to a safer place. At this point, we understand within the hospital they've been taken to an area where there is still oxygen.

But we're hearing from people within the hospital that the situation is catastrophic, Doctors Without Borders saying that it is a catastrophic situation. There are further calls for an immediate ceasefire to be able to get patients to safety.

And we spoke to one freelance journalist within the hospital as well who said the situation is dire when it comes to food, water, medical supplies and electricity, also pointing out that there were dozens of bodies that were waiting to be buried outside in the complex.

Now, those that CNN has spoken to say they do not feel that it is safe enough for them to be able to evacuate, that they feel that they are trapped within this hospital. It is the largest hospital in Gaza. And certainly the fact that people cannot get out of this hospital, the fact that ambulances are unable to reach those injured to bring them into the hospital, means more pressure is being put on hospitals elsewhere, which are already overwhelmed.

We understand at this point the Al-Ahli Hospital is really one of the few functioning and able to take patients in at this point.


But as I say, it is a status of being overwhelmed in many of these hospitals.

So, certainly, the call is strengthening for there to be an immediate ceasefire in order to be able to help some of these patients, and not just patients. The latest figure we have is 400 patients were being treated, but also potentially some 20,000 internally displaced people were sheltering in the complex and in the compound itself, hoping that that would be a safer area than other parts of Gaza City and Northern Gaza.

Now, Israel itself saying that they're not targeting the hospital but there has been ongoing intense fighting with Hamas operatives in the vicinity, and we have heard Israel say a number of times that they believe that Hamas uses hospitals, including Al-Shifa, to be able to hide command centers under the ground of these structures. That is something that CNN is unable to independently verify. Laila?

HARRAK: Paula Hancocks reporting in Seoul, thank you so much.

And Jordan's government says it has air-dropped medical aid to Gaza for the second time. The Jordanian Air Force used parachutes to deliver supplies to the country's field hospital there, while this comes five days after its first delivery. Jordan worked with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to make the drop, saying in a statement they hope to help medical personnel provide treatment and critical services to people in Gaza.

Dr. Paul Spiegel is director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health. He's worked extensively with groups, like MSF to coordinate emergency responses for humanitarian crises. He joins me now from Baltimore, Maryland. Sir, a good day.

The situation in Gaza, in general, and at health care facilities in particular is desperately urgent. As a doctor, you have responded to humanitarian emergencies around the globe. How are you thinking about this moment?

DR. PAUL SPIEGEL, DIRECTOR, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HUMANITARIAN HEALTH: Yes. Well, indeed, it is critically urgent. I've been in many other situations that are not similar but also urgent. I think the difference here is the intense bombardment and the lack of a release valve, meaning people are not able to leave the country or the territory, as in most other situations where they are able to do so.

HARRAK: Now, as you outline there, there is a precedent, I understand, but this is also a very unique situation. As I started out our conversation, you are a recognized expert. When you consider the situation in Gaza today and in the face of the calamitous health situation that is worsening by the day, by the minute, the need for aid so great, so overwhelming, so insufficient, are there alternative ways of thinking about how to deliver medical aid to civilians trapped in the enclave?

SPIEGEL: Yes, there have been various discussions, some by sea. In the past, there have been hospital ships that are able to do -- provide such support. Usually they're governments, such as the U.S. or China or Turkey. So, that's one possibility.

The issue is will they be secure and protected. And then the second issue that is still I don't believe worked out sufficiently is, people can go there from Gaza, but then what happens when they are treated and ready to return?

HARRAK: Those are some of the options being considered, and I think also maybe field hospitals in Egypt, although I believe that country is reluctant to go down that route in a significant way.

It's interesting. I mean, I'd like to know your perspective as a humanitarian, as a doctor. It just seems like everybody just is saying, well, there's nothing we can do really here.

SPIEGEL: It is a difficult situation. Before I answer that, if I can, in terms of the field hospitals, that is the more traditional way that we generally respond. There are field hospitals that can come up very, very quickly, and then they can take care of people. The question is, will -- I mean, there could even be a possibility of the Israelis doing something like this, which is I think much more unlikely than the Egyptians. But all of it comes down to the political decision of a country to allow people to cross out of Gaza territory into something like Egypt.

HARRAK: And, Doctor, what happens when places of healing are weaponized and become a danger zone? I mean, is it something new? Have you seen this somewhere else also happening at this scale in other conflicts around the globe?

SPIEGEL: There have been, yes. I mean, there have been examples, for example, in Iraq, both in Mosul, for example, where the -- there was such intense bombardment and many, many civilians were killed.


However, early on, generally, people do their best -- the combatants and the supporters, like the U.S. and others, to be able to ensure there are the equivalent of humanitarian corridors. This hasn't happened in the same way, as in many other situations, which I think is making the situation worse, combined with the first thing that I mentioned in terms of civilians are not able to leave the territory.

HARRAK: How much of a litmus test is this, and also in terms of, are there any options to deliver humanitarian medical aid to people in Gaza?

SPIEGEL: Firstly, this is a litmus test in terms of the humanitarian system, because the system is very much challenged. We have what's going on in Gaza. We have what's going on in Sudan, which does not get much coverage, many, many other situations across the board. And the humanitarians aren't able to address all of these situations.

But, clearly, the numbers of civilians that have been affected by this, the hospitals that have been attacked, it means that it's not currently been possible to provide sufficient medical aid.

HARRAK: Dr. Paul Spiegel, thank you so much for talking to us.

SPIEGEL: Thank you very much.

HARRAK: London saw its biggest pro-Palestinian demonstration so far on Saturday. Counter-protesters also turned out, and police say they arrested dozens of people.

CNN's Clare Sebastian reports.


CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Organized and in one voice, tens of thousands of people took to London's streets demanding a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas War.

This march is beginning now in Central London, but the final destination is the United States embassy in South London. And that is the key here, the anger that we're hearing is mostly directed toward western governments and in particular the United States for its support of Israel.

The conflict now in its second month seeing Gaza under unrelenting Israeli bombardment in the weeks since Hamas launched its October 7th attack on Israel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In one month, there's over 4,000 children die. This is not normal.

SEBASTIAN: And as people got ready to march in solidarity with Palestinians, others were marking a second historic war.

Armistice Day, the day commemorating the de facto end of World War I. It was a crossover some branded insensitive. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak initially attempted to stop the pro-Palestinian rally from going ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Armistice Day is supposed to be about the end of the war. And this is exactly what people are here for. We want to see an end of the war in Gaza and this is what we're supporting.

SEBASTIAN: A heavy police presence had been promised in London Saturday, and they did face challenges. Far right counter-protesters disrupted a two-minute silence observed for Armistice Day before clashing with police in Central London. Police say they detained dozens of those counter-protesters following scuffles.

For the pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathering outside the U.S. embassy at the end of their march, emotions were starting to show.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to say, I'm Jewish, and I fully support this march and everything that's going on today. Why can't we all stand up for the Palestinians?


SEBASTIAN (on camera): So, despite the controversy in the lead-up to this event, it has remained very organized, pretty peaceful. But the scale of it reflects what we're increasingly seeing, this growing public mood that despite the horrific attacks of October 7th, the response may have gone too far.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.

HARRAK: The families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza are calling on the Israeli government to do more to bring their loved ones home. Thousands of people held a rally on Saturday in Tel Aviv. Israel's former president was also in attendance. The families are demanding that the international community and the Red Cross ensure medical assistance for the hostages. More than 200 people were kidnapped and taken into Gaza following Hamas' attack on October 7th.

And Qatari's prime minister says negotiations to release more hostages in Gaza are moving in a positive direction. He spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday. Qatar, a key U.S. ally, has close ties with Hamas and is acting as a broker of sorts as hostage negotiations continue.


The prime minister told Blinken that Israel's continued bombardment of Gaza isn't helping those talks.

As CNN reported earlier, negotiators are working toward a deal that would entail a days-long pause in fighting in exchange for a large group of captives walking free.

And Israel's defense minister is sending a strong warning to Lebanon after an intense day of cross-border fire, saying, quote, what we're doing in Gaza can also be done in Beirut.

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports from Lebanon.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The low- intensity war between Hezbollah and Israel along the border is heating up with each side striking deeper into the other's territory and using heavier weapons.

Hezbollah Leader Hassan Nasrallah speaking on the occasion of the group's Martyrs' Day, said his militants have begun using attack drones for the first time against Israeli positions and have fired also for the first time an Iranian-designed Burkan missile, a short- range ballistic missile with an explosive payload of 500 kilograms or more than half a ton.

Saturday was perhaps the most intense day of cross-border fire with more than 30 individual incidents. Lebanon's official news agency reported that an Israeli drone struck a vehicle near the town of Zahrani 40 kilometers or 25 miles north of the border, the deepest such strike since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Referring to dozens of recent attacks by pro-Iranian militias on U.S. forces in Syria and Iraq, Nasrallah said if the Americans want to stop those attacks, if the U.S. doesn't want this to become a regional war, it must stop the war on Gaza.

Commenting on the situation along the border, Saturday afternoon Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued an ominous warning, what we're doing in Gaza, he said, we can also do in Beirut.

I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Tyre, Southern Lebanon.

HARRAK: Still to come, President Joe Biden honors the military veterans who served their country. The message the U.S. commander-in- chief shared at a Veterans Day ceremony is just ahead.

And how the New York City mayor is reacting after we learned the FBI seized his cell phones and iPad as part of a campaign finance investigation.


HARRAK: An investigation under way after a U.S. military aircraft crashed into the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on Friday. The status of the crew is unclear. Authorities are not saying whether anyone was killed or describing the type of aircraft involved, but they stress the accident occurred during a training exercise and was not related to the Israel-Hamas war.

During this Veterans Day weekend in the U.S., President Joe Biden acknowledged those who served in the United States military.

CNN Senior White House Reporter Kevin Liptak is traveling with the president and has more on Biden's message about the men and women he called heroes on Saturday.

KEVIN LIPTAK, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden hailed American veterans as the steel spine of this nation during his remarks Saturday at Arlington National Cemetery. There in the memorial amphitheater, President Biden ticking through notorious battles in American military history and hailing the veterans of those battles as heroes.

Listen to a little bit of what he said.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: From Belleau Wood to Baghdad to Gettysburg to Guadalcanal, from Korea to Kandahar, and beyond, each one linked in a chain of honor that stretches back to our founding days, each one bound by a sacred oath to support and defend, not a place, not a person, not a president, but an idea, to defend an idea unlike any other in human history. That idea is the United States of America.


LIPTAK: Now, this is a personal topic for the president. His son, Beau, enlisting in the Delaware National Guard, and the president recalling the day that his son told him that he wanted to enlist, saying, dad, it's my duty. Of course, Beau Biden passed away when President Biden was vice president, and he has attributed that death to potential exposure to toxic burn pits.

In his remarks on Saturday, the president ticking through some of the steps he's taken to help veterans, including expanding health care to those veterans who have been exposed to those potential toxins in the air in war zones.

Now, of course, this is all occurring against the backdrop of conflicts in Ukraine and in Israel. President Biden has made clear that he doesn't expect U.S. boots to be on the ground in those conflicts, but certainly there are American servicemen and women who have been deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean for what the Biden administration hopes will be a deterrent against Iran as that conflict unfolds.

Kevin Kiptak, CNN, traveling with the president in Wilmington, Delaware.

HARRAK: With the risk of a government shutdown looming at the end of the week, the speaker of the house has laid out his plan to keep it funded past Friday. But as CNN's Annie Grayer reports, there's no guarantee he can even get it approved by his own party.

ANNIE GRAYER, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled his plan on Saturday for how he wants to keep the government open past the November 17th funding deadline. His plan breaks government funding into two parts, fund some of the government until January 19th and the rest until February 2nd. It would keep funding at its current levels and there would not be additional funding for wars in Israel or Ukraine.

Members of the right flank wanted Johnson to take this two-step approach to government funding but wanted Johnson to add spending cuts to his plan, which we do not see so far.


So, we're going to have to see how this plays out this week when it is expected to get a vote on the House floor. And the other unknown here is how the White House and the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, is going to react to this plan.

Annie grayer, CNN, Washington.

HARRAK: While we do know now how the White House has responded to Speaker Johnson's plans, and it has some harsh words for him. The White House press secretary said, quote, this proposal is just a recipe for more Republican chaos and more shutdowns, full stop. House Republicans are wasting precious time with an unserious proposal that has been panned by members of both parties.

And former U.S. President Donald Trump was back on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Saturday. His visit came just days after he skipped the third GOP primary debate in Miami. Much of Mr. Trump's speech focused on his advocacy of peace through strength, as well as on the legal charges he's facing. He says he wants his trial in Washington, D.C. on election subversion charges to be televised live.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I want everybody to see all of the horrible things that took place, all of the horrible charges and all of the things that were done with respect to a very corrupt election. And let's let the public decide, because I want cameras in every inch of that courthouse.


HARRAK: Well, Trump's rally is one of several trips he's making to the Granite State this month. It's part of a strategic effort by his campaign to ensure he doesn't lose momentum heading into the 2024 election year. Well, it seemed to be business as usual for a New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday despite the federal investigation into fundraising for his campaign. He appeared at the city's Veterans Day parade just days after the FBI seized his cell phones and iPad as part of that investigation.

CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New York City Mayor Eric Adams made his previously scheduled appearance at a Veterans Day parade here in Manhattan over the weekend. However, he did not add to previous statements in response to the seizure of his electronic devices.

According to several sources speaking to CNN, the mayor had just wrapped a speaking engagement last Monday evening when he was approached by federal agents with a search warrant in hand. Those agents asked that he hand over his two phones and also his iPad. According to an Adams spokesperson, the mayor quickly complied.

A spokesperson for the mayor maintaining that the mayor has not been accused of any wrongdoing and they are fully cooperating with the investigation. The FBI has not released any comment regarding this particular and very significant development.

However, a campaign attorney, Boyd Johnson, did say that after hearing of this investigation that was launched by federal authorities into campaign funding, that it was discovered that an individual within the campaign had recently acted improperly and that that behavior was immediately and proactively reported to investigators.

So, that spokesperson declining to say exactly who that person was, as Adams maintains he has nothing to hide. But it certainly underscores the seriousness of this investigation now that Adams is, in some way, shape or form, a stakeholder in this after he was approached by federal agents.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.

HARRAK: Pope Francis has removed the leader of the diocese of Tyler, Texas, a bishop who reportedly accused the pope of undermining the catholic faith. While the Vatican announced on Saturday that conservative Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was being removed, he had become an outspoken critic of Pope Francis.

Strickland had challenged the pope's leadership over social media and even dared Francis to fire him during an interview in 2020, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Strickland was reportedly asked to resign on Thursday, but declined to do so.

Still ahead, French President Emmanuel Macron says there's, quote, unbridled anti-Semitism in France following the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Plus, a meeting of Arab and Islamic leaders ends with strong words against Israel, but no consensus on action. What those leaders do agree on, ahead.



HARRAK: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and Canada and all around the world. I'm Laila Harrak and you're watching CNN Newsroom.

French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on people to stand up against what he calls the resurgence of unbridled anti-Semitism. In a letter published in a French newspaper, President Macron wrote that more than 1,000 anti-Semitic acts were committed in the country in just one month, saying members of the Jewish community are experiencing legitimate anguish, while this all comes as the French president this week called for a ceasefire, saying it's the only solution to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Dozens of Arab and Islamic leaders have issued a joint declaration, accusing Israel of committing war crimes and, quote, barbaric, brutal, and inhumane massacres in Gaza. While among those attending, what was called the joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Riyadh on Saturday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is the first -- it's the first time an Iranian president has visited Saudi Arabia in 11 years. And it shows the influence that Hezbollah, backed by Iran, could have in a conflict.

While the summit ended with calls for an immediate ceasefire, they also rejected Israel's description of the war as self-defense and are demanding the International Criminal Court to investigate what it calls crimes against humanity in Gaza.

Joining me now from London is Sanam Vakil, a director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House. A very good morning. Thank you for joining us.


Did the leaders gathered to agree to any concrete measures or actions?

SANAM VAKIL, DIRECTOR, MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAMME, CHATHAM HOUSE: Good morning. Thank you for having me. The summit was a very large gathering of two different entities really designed to put pressure and show unity. They came up with a more watered-down resolution, calling on the war effectively to come to an end, push for a ceasefire, investigate Israeli war crimes.

There was a bloc of countries that was looking to pressure -- to end diplomatic ties with Israel, to call for an oil embargo, and these sort of measures did not go through, really showing that the region is divided and those countries, like the UAE and Bahrain, as well as Egypt and Jordan, that do have ties with Israel, want to continue to use those ties to impact direct dialogue, ceasefire, and possibly at the end of all of this a political outcome.

HARRAK: So, it sounds like in the end they went for the lowest common denominator. Does what was agreed at this joint meeting match public sentiment in some of these countries? VAKIL: Well, no. Effectively, there has been a huge amount of pressure, protest, demonstration, anguish across the Middle East about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, and this summit, in effect, is also sort of an exercise for people across the Middle East to see their governments are trying to collectively push for ceasefire and humanitarian relief. Neither of these summits together or independently will be able to achieve that, but it is more about unity and multilateral pressure above all.

HARRAK: So, to continue on that subject, I mean, looking at the regional responses, and as you also outlined, the crisis seems to be deepening and popular support for the Palestinian people in the region is surging. What do you make of some of the regime's reactions in their handling of the situation? And speak to what is the risk that they're facing.

VAKIL: Well, I think across the region, there is a real awakening that the Israeli-Palestinian issue must be resolved. Many say it's like the UAE and Bahrain that recently normalized ties with Israel, are clearly being put in an uncomfortable position, perhaps being criticized for not having done enough to address Palestinian self- determination.

Saudi Arabia and Israel and the United States were in the process of broader negotiations. This very much delays the timetable for that kind of normalization and makes Saudi Arabia a really central player in supporting Palestinian self-determination, but ultimately also linking that to normalization with Israel.

I could keep going. Qatar is playing a very important role in trying to negotiate the release of the hostages. And within Israel, that is becoming much more of a priority at the popular level. There have been weekly protests in Tel Aviv from Israelis demanding that the government prioritize that. So, Qatar's role is also very important here.

HARRAK: And speaking of self-determination, we've heard the Israeli prime minister addressed the question of who should control or rule Gaza after this war, or rather who should not. Did this come up during this joint meeting? I mean, what is the general feeling on this topic?

VAKIL: I mean, I think that there are many views as to how this should go forward. What is very clear is Arab states themselves will not be managing Gaza, which has been an idea that was floated in the public domain. Ultimately, I think most Arab states would like to see the Palestinian authority be responsible and be the legitimate body, both in the West Bank and Gaza. They're no fans of Hamas, in general.

However, ultimately, the empowerment of the Palestinian Authority has to come from Palestinians themselves. It's also worthwhile noting that there haven't been elections either the West Bank and Gaza. So, that process of leadership and that process of institutional support for the Palestinian authority also needs to be built up.

HARRAK: Sanam Vakil in London, thank you very much for this conversation. Thank you. [03:40:00]

Well, Arab and Jewish volunteers are joining forces to help Israel's Bedouin community. One volunteer told CNN she wants to teach the younger generation that living together is a good thing. That's still ahead.


HARRAK: More than a dozen Bedouins were killed by Hamas on October 7th, according to community leaders. The Bedouin are a nomadic, Arabic-speaking society, many living in Southern Israel. And some told CNN they feel abandoned, like they're not part of Israel.

Here is Ed Lavandera.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In a community center 25 miles from the Gaza Strip, a remarkable sight has played out almost every day since the October 7th attack, Arab and Jewish hands together packing relief and food supplies. Many of these boxes will be delivered to residents of Israel's Bedouin society.

The Bedouin are a traditionally nomadic Arabic-speaking community. They're Israeli citizens and many live in the Negev Desert in Southern Israel.

Shir Nosatzki is the director of an organization called Have You Seen the Horizon Lately, which organizes this relief effort.

SHIR NOSATZKI, DIRECTOR, HAVE YOU SEEN THE HORIZON LATELY: When Hamas attacked on October 7th, they didn't only murder Jews, they also murdered Muslims, Bedouins, Arabs, citizens of Israel.

LAVANDERA: Bushro El Vosges is the principal of a Bedouin school. She's here volunteering with her students.

BUSHRO EL VOSGES, BEDOUIN SCHOOL PRINCIPAL: We come here to teach them that living together is a good thing. This is the most important, to help teach them values of life.

LAVANDERA: On the morning of October 7th, Bushro woke up to the sound of rockets, a moment she calls a black nightmare. Community leaders here say Hamas fighters killed 17 Bedouin civilians as well as two Bedouins serving in the Israeli military. There are also six Bedouin civilians and one soldier still missing.

So, Talal says say here in this village about 40 kilometers east of Gaza, this was where the first rocket landed on October 7th.


Talal Al Koran showed us the shrapnel from the Hamas rocket as he told us of the moment when four family members were killed. About 50 of Talal's family members live in this village surrounding an olive tree grove. As rockets fell from the sky, the family scattered to find protection.

Talal says he was standing here on the phone when the rocket strike hit his family members, where that white structure is down at the bottom of the hill.

I saw it, I heard a boom, and suddenly there was no building, like it was never there.

This is what the wreckage of the aftermath looked like. Inside, his four young cousins were killed.

I really miss them, he says. They were really like my brothers. It's difficult to accept, but there is nothing I can do. I must accept it.

Bedouin Israelis mostly live scattered across what are known as unrecognized villages. They're not allowed to build permanent structures, so they don't have bomb shelters, like many Israelis. Talal says, in many ways, he feels like a part of Israeli society. He works in the health ministry. But when it comes to security, there's a longstanding issue that makes his family feel isolated.

He says that because this area and this unrecognized Bedouin village is not protected by the Iron Dome and the sirens, the warning sirens, that it makes them feel abandoned and like they're not part of Israel.

Which is the goal of delivering these relief supplies for Bedouin families, who have been deeply traumatized by the October 7th attack.

NOSATZKI: We're packaging not just dries and pasta, but we're packaging trust and hope.

LAVANDERA: You have Arabs and Jews working together. That must make you smile in this difficult time?

NOSATZKI: It is. It's the only thing that makes me smile these days. And it's a really rare light in a terrible, terrible darkness.

LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, in the Negev Desert of Israel.


HARRAK: Megan Rapinoe's soccer career ended a little earlier than expected. Just ahead, what the U.S. star is saying about the injury that forced her out of her final match before retirement.



HARRAK: American soccer star Megan Rapinoe was forced to bow out of the last professional match of her career just minutes into the contest while she thinks she tore her Achilles tendon when she slipped on the pitch on Saturday in San Diego. After training staff looked at her, Rapinoe limped away. She later said she's proud of her career, adding, quote, even though it was a tough night, it was still amazing.

The 38-year-old is retiring after earning Olympic gold in two World Cups with the U.S. National Team.

University of Virginia Running Back Perris Jones is recovering after undergoing spinal surgery on Friday. Jones was injured Thursday after he was hit catching a pass while playing against the Louisville Cardinals. The Virginia player received treatment at the University of Louisville Medical Center, and the school says the sixth-year senior was walking briefly Saturday morning. He will remain under observation in Louisville.

Now, for weeks, several states along the gulf coast have been grappling with severe drought. But now, some heavy rain is set to swoop in.

Here's CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It has been a very dry last two months across much of the southern tier of the U.S., but especially states like Mississippi and Louisiana, that have had over 80 percent of their area under extreme drought category.

And a lot of cities across the southeast, you're talking pretty significant deficits. Just since September 1st, again, Lake Charles, Louisiana, looking at over half a foot below where they should be right now, Jackson, Mississippi, similar numbers, Chattanooga looking at over eight inches of a deficit just since September 1st.

But relief is on the way. We have a stationary front. It's positioned right along the gulf coast. And that's going to be feeding a lot of moisture back into all of the gulf coast states as we go through the next several days.

Now, widespread totals along the gulf coast expected to be three to five inches. But there will be some spots that could pick up six, seven, even as much as eight inches of rain just as we go through Wednesday of the upcoming week. And that's because it's going to be multiple days of rain.

Take New Orleans, for example. You've got rain in the forecast all the way through Wednesday. That's going to keep those temperatures on the cool side but it's a lot of moisture that's going to keep getting pumped back into a lot of the same places.

This, however, unfortunately, will also increase the risk for flooding, at the same time helping with a lot of drought conditions in this area.

HARRAK: Well, first, it was hit by a deadly Category 5 hurricane, and now the Mexican beach resort city of Acapulco is dealing with massive piles of garbage. Not only a nuisance, they're also dangerous. And officials are counting on thousands of soldiers to help get things cleaned up and keep disease from spreading.

CNN's Michael Holmes reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice over): Famed for its beaches and hotels, the whiff of garbage now overpowers the sea air in Acapulco. Two and a half weeks after Category 5 Hurricane Otis whipped through the coastal town, killing dozens and demolishing thousands of homes, the government says recovery efforts are under way, though some residents say the smell of rot suggests there is much more to do.

NELLY CASAMUBIAS, RESIDENT: There are a lot of problems. The smell of rubbish is intensifying a lot, the health problems, too. So, it's very important and urgent to help the whole port.

HOLMES: Mexican officials say they have deployed nearly 10,000 National Guard troops to Acapulco to maintain security and help with the cleanup.


Even before the hurricane, the resort city was in slow decline because of violent crime from drug cartels. Many businesses that weren't damaged in the storm were looted in the aftermath.

The government says providing security and getting food, water and power to the area have been top priorities, and it's working on ways to remove those piles of garbage.

ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, MEXICAN PRESIDENT: They're fumigating to avoid diseases, and everything is going to be cleaned up. They're looking for new rubbish dumpsters, and there is a cleanup plan.

HOLMES: But health experts warn the festering mounds could attract rodents and pools of undrained water could breed mosquitoes, which spread disease. The government has pledged $3.4 billion to rebuild the city with the goal of reopening 35 to 40 new hotels by next April or May. Residents hope that means making the streets safe and habitable again, not just for visitors but for those who survived the storm.

Michael Holmes, CNN.


HARRAK: More than a billion people of different faiths are celebrating Diwali, which marks the triumph of good over evil. While called the Festival of Lights, Diwali is largely observed by Hindus although Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists also join in. It's one of the biggest festivals in India but is observed wherever there are large South Asian diaspora as well.

During Diwali, homes, businesses and public spaces are lit up with oil lamps as people exchange gifts and eat sweets. Fireworks also light up the skies.

Happy Diwali to all of those celebrating.

Well, that wraps up this hour of CNN Newsroom. I'm Laila Harrak. Kim Brunhuber picks up our coverage after a quick break. Keep it here.