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Israel Under Pressure to Justify Gaza Hospital Raid; IDF Insists More Evidence is Coming; Hamas Denies Using Al-Shifa as a Command-and-Control Center; IDF Found Body of Israeli Hostage Near Al- Shifa; Humanitarian Crisis Unfolding Across Gaza; Interview with World Health Organization Regional Office of Eastern Mediterranean Dr. Rana Hajjeh; Israeli Families Still Struggling to Recover from Horrifying Attacks by Hamas; Biden Hosts Pacific Leaders After Xi Meeting; Biden Convenes Final Day of the APEC Summit in San Francisco; China Agrees to Restore Military to Military Communications with U.S.; Refugees Describe Ethnic Cleansing in Sudan; Survivors Describe Worst Atrocities of Sudan's War; Dangers Faces by Fleeing Gazan Civilians; Gaza Ministry of Health Says More Than 11,400 People Have Now Been Killed; Sean "Diddy" Combs Accused of Rape and Abuse. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 17, 2023 - 00:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company.

Coming up here on CNN NEWSROOM, Israel under pressure to justify its raid on Gaza's largest hospital that it claims is a headquarters for Hamas.

U.S. President Joe Biden rallies his country's Pacific allies one day after his face-to-face meeting with China's Xi Jinping.

And from mass graves to slavery and rape, survivors describe some of the worst atrocities of Sudan's brutal war.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Michael Holmes.

HOLMES: But we begin with Israel's war with Hamas. Israel releasing images that it says show a tunnel shaft used by Hamas. It's on the grounds of Gaza's largest hospital, which has been under siege for days amid growing outrage. Now, CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of this Israeli military video, which also shows a nearby building from the Al-Shifa complex.

The Israel Defense Forces have faced mounting pressure to justify their raid on the hospital, which Israel says conceals what it called a Hamas terror headquarters and tunnel network. So far, the proof that Israel has called concrete has been less than overwhelming. But the IDF insists more evidence is coming and that it is carrying out a careful operation that could take weeks.

The army also releasing images of weapons it says were found at the hospital complex. Hamas has repeatedly denied using Al-Shifa as a command-and-control center, calling the claims from Israel and the U.S. baseless lies, fabricated narratives, and distorted information. The United Nations Human Rights Chief called on Israel to grant international investigators access to Gaza to investigate the competing claims about the hospital.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army says troops recovered the body of a 65- year-old Israeli grandmother near the hospital. She had been kidnapped during the Hamas rampage on October 7th. No details were released on how she died. The Israeli Prime Minister telling CBS, it's possible other hostages were held at Al-Shifa.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We had strong indications that they were held in the Shifa Hospital, which is one of the reasons we entered the hospital. If they were, they were taken out.


HOLMES: A grim picture is emerging of the humanitarian crisis inside the hospital and throughout Gaza for that matter. A warning, our next story contains graphic images that could be disturbing. CNN's Nada Bashir with our update.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voiceover): It's a scene that should be filled with innocence. But these drawings, sketches of houses paint a picture of all these children have lost. Home for the displaced, now makeshift shelters in central Gaza. Lives in limbo with nowhere to go.

In the south, as more children are buried another warning. Leaflets dropped by the Israeli military on Thursday, telling civilians in Southern Gaza to move and find shelter. A foreboding signal that Israel's ground incursion could soon extend its punishing reach.

ATYA ABU JACAL, DISPLACES IN KHAN YOUNIS (through translator): Now, they are asking us to leave. Where do we go? We want to understand where exactly we should go.

BASHIR (voiceover): The U.N. rights experts on Thursday warned that grave violations committed by Israel point, in their words, to a genocide in the making.

As darkness encompasses doctors in the south, already grappling with the impact of Israel's intensifying bombing campaign, there are growing fears over what could come next. Desperate scenes from the north of Gaza almost entirely destroyed by Israel's unrelenting airstrikes show just how dire the situation can quickly become.

DR. NAHED ABU TAAEMA, DIRECTOR OF NASSER HOSPITAL (through translator): We have lost contact with our colleagues, patients, and everyone inside the Al-Shifa medical complex.

BASHIR (voiceover): Israeli forces say they are still active in and around the Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza's largest, claiming to have found an operational tunnel shaft at the hospital complex. With no access to the complex, CNN is unable to verify either side's claims.

Israel says its military operation at Al-Shifa will take time, raising fears over the safety and security of more than a thousand patients and medical staff now trapped inside.


DR. RICK BRENNAN, REGIONAL EMERGENCY DIRECTOR OF WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We are looking at options for medical evacuation, but there are a lot of security concerns, there are a lot of logistics constraints. Our options are rather limited.

BASHIR (voiceover): Allegations of people at Al-Shifa being interrogated and even stripped are beginning to emerge. While doctors are detailing the harrowing decisions they are being forced to make, including amputating limbs to stop the spread of infection. But with the communications blackout cutting Northern Gaza off from much of the outside world, CNN has no ability to verify these accounts and has reached out to the IDF for comment.

No videos have emerged from staff at Al-Shifa Hospital since the raid began in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

These are some of the last pictures to have been shared with the world. Premature babies in intensive care. There is no way to tell if all are still alive. Their cries, some of the last sounds heard before the voices of those inside Al-Shifa were silenced.

Nada Bashir, CNN, in Jerusalem.


HOLMES: Dr. Rana Haja is with the World Health Organization's regional office for Eastern Mediterranean. She is the director of the program management, and is with us from Beirut. Thanks so much, Doctor.

The World Food Programme has spoken of what they call "the immediate possibility of starvation because of food shortages and distribution issues." How dire is that food situation?

DR. RANA HAJJEH, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REGIONAL OFFICE OF EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN: Yes. Good evening, Mike. The situation is really catastrophic. Extremely, extremely dire from food, from water, from overall health situation.

We have not been able to get much supplies to Northern Gaza in terms of either food supplies or medical supplies. As you just mentioned, the communication, we've been getting some. We have an office in West Bank, and we've been getting some information about how bad the situation. We do not have, right now, staff on the ground in Shifa, but they are able to communicate with them whenever we can have some network connections.

In Shifa, in particular, from the patients -- I mean, we have already lost about 40 patients. Three of the babies that we know of. 35 premature babies are still hanging onto life as far as we know. But also, many other patients who were on life support also machines in ICUs and others could not survive because of the lack off of power.

So, I mean, whether it's food, whether it's water, they don't have access to clean water, which, of course, you know, they can die from hunger and thirst, but also, all the issues related to very poor hygiene and the spread of severe infections in these areas.


DR. HAJJEH: Basically, Shifa Hospital right now is under occupation.

HOLMES: And the Palestinian Red Crescent says its people can't even get to wounded people in the courtyard of the hospital because of the fighting, 30 yards away, the courtyard. When it comes to Gaza's hospitals and medical facilities, more broadly, the Palestinian health industry says, all inpatient medical facilities in Northern Gaza are effectively out of service. That's 24 of them. And that is extraordinary when it comes to trying to help the wounded.

DR. HAJJEH: Yes. Shifa in particular, the information we have, because Shifa is a complex. There are multiple buildings. And even if people try to move between buildings, they are attacked. So, there are wounded people on the ground.

We have seen this before. I mean, even people who were ordered to evacuate on their way from North Gaza to South Gaza have reported many, many dead people on the way. But all the health care in North Gaza, which is actually the majority, 60 percent of hospitals in Gaza, were actually in the north.

So, the few south ones that are also still functioning are partially functioning and they cannot, you know, manage the significant burden. But it's a humanitarian catastrophe.

HOLMES: Yes, yes.

DR. HAJJEH: Probably unprecedented scale that we have at least seen here in our region, despite the many emergencies we experienced in our region.


HOLMES: There are, of course, daily calls for a ceasefire, a pause for a massive ramping up of aid getting in. And yet, here we are. The World Food Programme says only 10 percent of food supplies have gotten in since the start of the war, compared to what's needed. How dismayed, how disheartened are you at the inability of the world to deal with what guards and civilians are facing in the humanitarian sense and be able to effectively help them? How frustrating is that?

DR. HAJJEH: It's beyond what words can describe, as a humanitarian and as a public health professional. It pains me. It pains all of us to see what people in Gaza, just civilians, innocent civilians, babies, women, children are -- have to go through. And we have condemned repeatedly. We have called for stop of ceasefires, at least a humanitarian pauses since the beginning of the crisis. All our calls have gone to deaf ears. It is -- I really -- I mean, I've been through many emergencies through my career in the region, we have never seen anything like that where we have become completely desensitized to the suffering of human beings who are just like us, like our children, like our relatives, our parents.

And we just call, yet again, on the International Community to please look and listen and listen to all these people who are suffering. Make sure they have access to supplies. We do have supplies. They are waiting on the border on the Rafah border in Egypt. We have barely gotten 1 percent of medical supplies into North Gaza. It's a complete siege.


DR. HAJJEH: And we cannot understand even the purpose of the siege except to increase suffering of people and to push them out. But at a very, very high cost that I hope humanity and the world all over can remember.


DR. HAJJEH: And can really see the huge cost that our people in the occupied Palestinian territories are bearing.

HOLMES: A very dire situation. Dr. Rana Hajjeh, thank you so much there in Beirut for us.

DR. HAJJEH: Thank you.

HOLMES: Now, in Israel, scores of families are still struggling to recover from the horrifying terror attacks by Hamas last month. And with around 240 people still held hostage by the militant group, the nightmare that began on October 7th is far from over. CNN's Nic Robertson talks to two survivors about their experiences and how they're doing now.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voiceover): Uri and his father, Yonathan, are survivors of Hamas' brutal October 7th attacks. They've taken refuge in Israel's seaside resort, Eilat.

Uri is 12 years old. He wanted to tell his story. He is the first child we have spoken with since Hamas' horrific, brutal attacks.

ROBERTSON: How many people close to you are missing still?

YONATHAN, KIBBUTZ ATTACK SURVIVOR: Uri said around 20. Uri said around 20. Kibbutz Nir Oz suffered a really hard blow. A quarter of the kibbutz is either killed or missing.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Their home was here, in Nir Oz. Pre October 7th population, close to 400 people. YONATHAN: We heard like a war outside our window. A war. They were shooting at houses. RPG on houses, grenades on civilians. Nothing. We didn't say anything. We kept quiet.

ROBERTSON: They were incredibly lucky to survive Hamas' brutal attack. The family was saved by this lock on their bomb shelter door. But one of Uri's brothers, Yoav (ph), was at a sleepover in another house on the kibbutz.

Will you wear it for your brother?

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Uri nods.

YONATHAN: Very much. He was crying in the safe room because of that.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Hours later, it would be Uri watching his father cry.

YONATHAN: It was around, I guess, 5:00 at the afternoon, that was the first time we saw Yoav (ph) again and I broke down.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): They'd all been rescued by soldiers, brought to the big kibbutz safe room. Reunited after seemingly endless hours of grueling separation.

YONATHAN: I collapsed. I broke down that moment. Uri said it was the first time he saw me cry that time.

ROBERTSON: It's a big thing to see your father cry.


How is your father doing now?

YONATHAN: He says that he thinks I'm OK. He doesn't see any worries on me. It's a good disguise, I guess.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): When Palestinian Islamic jihad released a hostage video of one of Uri's friends, they didn't show it to Uri, to spare him the pain.

YONATHAN: We don't want him to see also. It's more propaganda than anything else.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): But they can't insulate him completely. Uri's best friend Eitan (ph) is one of several close friends held hostage.

URI, KIBBUTZ ATTACK SURVIVOR: He's a very good friend. And we playing soccer in the kibbutz.

ROBERTSON: What will you do when you see him again?

YONATHAN: He will hug him. And he hopes they'll come back soon.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Hamas' damaging impact, far from over.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Eilat, Israel.


HOLMES: Still to come here on the program, new details emerging about atrocities in Sudan. Refugees from the country's ongoing civil war speak to CNN about the violence committed against ethnic groups in Darfur. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. We'll be right back.


HOLMES: U.S. President Joe Biden will convene the final day of the APEC summit in San Francisco in the coming hours. His Friday agenda includes a meeting with Mexico's president, followed by a leader's retreat. During the retreat, the president will formally hand over the APEC chair to the president of Peru.

Mr. Biden set the tone for the summit when he met one on one with China's Xi Jinping on Wednesday, both leaders expressing satisfaction at the end of their lengthy talks and agreeing to continue speaking, especially when disputes arise.

Perhaps most significantly, the Chinese leader agreed to restore military to military communications between the two superpowers.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is covering all of this for us from Seoul. Good to see you, Paula. Bring us up to date on what's been happening and what's expected Friday in San Francisco.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Michael, as you say, it will be the final day. So, wrapping up this summit, and it is a summit that has been dominated by that meeting between President Biden and Xi Jinping. And of course, there are 21 economies within APEC itself. And yet, they are very dependent on really what the relationship between those two biggest economies are.

And the very fact that there was at the very least military to military communication restoration agreed upon by these two leaders would have been welcomed across the board as the other smaller countries look to see what that relationship is like.


Now, we heard from the U.S. president, Joe Biden, speaking to APEC leaders on Thursday, and he was able to really pitch his country as having more of an impact in the region. We have seen the U.S. and China competing for influence when it comes to the Indo-Pacific, whether it's or political.

And really, as the host of this APEC summit, President Biden had the chance to pitch what his country could do


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: You can count on the United States. We're delivering on our promises and we're doubling down on our progress. And we'll soon be your strong and steady partner as we continue working together to realize the Asian Pacific region. And it's free and open, prosperous and secure, resilient and connected.


HANCOCKS: And we've really seen the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, focus on the economic aspect of this summit. Certainly, he had a dinner and a meeting with some of the top business leaders in the United States, and it was from his part, in his keynote address, a pitch for an increase in foreign investments in China. Really trying to encourage some of those CEOs to either invest or invest more in his country.

He is dealing with some dire economic situations in the -- in China at this point. He's got a struggling economy. The housing market is in crisis, record unemployment. So, really, what we have seen in some of these meetings for Xi Jinping is a pitch for more investment to come into his country.

Now, he also on Thursday met with Japan's Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida. We have heard from the Japanese side, of course, there are some historical issues between these two countries, and from the Japanese side, they have said that Fumio Kishida did express serious concerns about increasing military activity near Japan and also collaboration with Russia, pointing out as well that they have said that a free and open Taiwan Strait is important, not just for Japan, but also for the rest of the region.

This is, of course, an issue that President Biden and Xi Jinping spoke about as well, during their meeting, the issue of Taiwan. And it was one that Xi Jinping pointed out was one of the most contentious issues between the two countries. Michael.

HOLMES: All right. Paula, I appreciate the update there. Paula Hancocks in Seoul for us.

Now, the United Nations says a war between Sudan's military and a paramilitary group is creating a "catastrophic humanitarian crisis." It's been going on for seven months now, and the U.N. says around 9,000 people have been killed.

In recent weeks, the paramilitary group, RSF, or Rapid Support Forces, has made a significant advance in Darfur in Western Sudan, reportedly killing more than 700 people over the course of several days. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled to neighboring Chad since the beginning of the war.

CNN's Nima Elbagir and her team traveled to Chad and spoke with refugees who detailed horrific cruelty, some describing systematic rape and being sold like cattle. A warning, the images and subject matter of this report are graphic and disturbing.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A scene all too familiar in West Darfur. Social media footage widely circulated last week showing RSF soldiers and supporting militia rounding up men.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Come on. Let's go. Pulverize them.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): Harassing them, threatening them. CNN has been able to geolocate these videos, placing them in Ardamata, an outlying district of El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, where some of the worst atrocities during the recent war have taken place.

Over the last year during the war in Sudan, the RSF have targeted members of African tribal groups, including the Masalit, who claim Darfur as their ancestral land. Many of the RSF belong to tribes, which unlike the Masalit claim Arab ancestry.

What we're about to show you is very disturbing. These are the most recent images emerging from Darfur. What you are looking at is a mass grave, filled with over a dozen bodies. Some are alive, others clearly dead.

One man can be seen throwing earth on top of another, even though he is still alive. A man off camera can be heard shouting as someone appears from beneath a pile of dirt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Hey. Get back down. Hey. That guy's alive.


ELBAGIR (voiceover): He quickly buries his head back into the earth. We don't know the fate of these men. It's also unclear whether the men seen in the ditch are the same men as those in the video running from RSF soldiers, a militia loyal to the RSF. But it does illustrate the newest, most horrific pattern of violence in the region.

Communication in Darfur has been deliberately choked by the RSF. It's been excruciatingly hard to understand exactly what's happening there.

A few months ago, we traveled to a refugee camp in Adre, Chad, where survivors and eyewitnesses of these brutal attacks were able to cross the border. One by one, brave survivors came forward wanting to share, to document what has happened to them. Describing the horrors from the City of El Geneina. Stories of rape and enslavement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): From within our family, we lost more than 40 men.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They said to my father, we're going to rape your daughter in front of you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The RSF said, leave these ones, we will find better ones to sell. These ones, let's rape them.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): Textbook ethnic cleansing. These are the hallmarks of genocide. CNN interviewed over dozens of survivors and eyewitnesses in El Geneina, where civilians were targeted and where women were being sold from slave houses.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There were RSF soldiers outside and they beat me until they forced me into the building. Inside I saw nine or 10 girls, some without clothes.

They told us they will sell us very cheaply. They said, we kill all the men. We will not leave any black skin here. You have to leave. Get out. They said they will be the only ones to sleep with us because if we have our own children, our sons will one day take revenge.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): She managed to escape, but was recaptured and brought to a different location where she was repeatedly raped.

But it's not just women being affected. Mahady (ph) who's only 16, was kidnapped by the RSF with his brother and forced to work at a farm.

MAHADY (PH) (through translator): We were eight people. We were all tied up. They would come and say, I want the strong boys. Someone came over and started to feel my arms. I was tied up and blindfolded.

ELBAGIR (through translator): You can't see them but you can feel them?

MAHADY (PH) (through translator): I couldn't see a thing. I could just feel him hitting me here. Then I heard them say, I'll buy him off you, I'll give you money.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): The word slave in Arabic is a racial slur equivalent to the N word. So, we're bleeping it out in his testimony.

MAHADY (PH) (through translator): They said this is a N-word. They hit me and said N-word.

ELBAGIR (through translator): They called you N-word?

MAHADY (PH) (through translator): Yes. They beat me and said, where did you get this N-word? They kept hitting me.

ELBAGIR (voiceover): Mahady (ph) doesn't know how much they bought him for, but he was eventually taken to another location where he was forced to work. He says his brother taken at the same time was killed by the RSF.

Survivor after survivor told CNN how the RSF spoke of wiping out the African descendant Masalit. It's Masalit ancestral land in Darfur that the RSF are currently occupying.

Part of a fertile landmass that the commander of the RSF has been strategically looking to secure for the last 20 years. Changing the demographics from African to Arab.

Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.


HOLMES: And you can watch Nima's full report on the whole story, "Going Home, The War in Sudan." That airs Sunday night, 9:00 Eastern Time, in the United States.

Well, some Palestinians are forced to put their lives on the line to flee the fighting in Northern Gaza. Still to come, one family's journey south through streets where death can wait around the corner.



HOLMES: Now, we want to give you a firsthand look at the harsh reality of civilian evacuations from Northern Gaza. People fleeing from the Israeli forces. Israel says hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have used an evacuation corridor to leave the area where the IDF is focusing its ground operation. A Palestinian journalist recorded his family's journey south, showing the dangers all along the way. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh with this story.

Another warning, some of the images are graphic.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (VOICEOVER): Gaza City, two-year- old Walid, distracted through his family's most difficult night of the war so far.

With daybreak, the Israeli military calls with an order, you have 30 minutes to get out. It was 9:30 a.m. on November the 10th. With makeshift white flags, they say the military told them to hold up. They prepare to move.

RAMI ABU JAMOUS, JOURNALIST (through translator): We stay together, we don't rush. If there are strikes or shooting, it's not at us. We walk together slowly. Slowly together. No rush. The Israeli army knows, and I am recording because the army knows.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): With a little they can carry, they head out and into the unknown. Some too frail to walk.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): Carry him. Carry him. Put him on your back.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Journalist Rami Abu Jamous is filming the forced evacuation of his family, along with more than 30 of their neighbors. His phone in his right hand and in the other his son Walid.

He speaks French with his son, looking for his wife ahead, while waiting for other elderly neighbors struggling to catch up.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): Carry him, Eyad. Put him on your back. Don't be scared. Stay on the right. Don't be scared. Be careful around this spot.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): That constant buzz you hear is Israeli drones overhead. It's been the soundtrack of Gaza for years. As they get to the other side of the street, Rami spots his neighbor, Abu Ahmad. Something's not right.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): What's going on Abu Ahmad? What's wrong? It's all in God's hands.

ABU AHMAD (through translator): My son, Ahmad.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): It's all in God's hands. It's all in God's hands.

ABU AHMAD (through translator): I told you, let's stay at home, my son. I told him, let's stay at home.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): Let's carry him. Let's carry him.

ABU AHMAD (through translator): I told you, let's stay at home, my son. Let's stay at home, my son.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): Let's go. Let's go.

ABU AHMAD (through translator): If only we had stayed at home, God. Ahmad? Ahmad. Are you breathing my son?

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): Yes, he is breathing. He is breathing. Breathing. Let's carry him. Yes, yes. Carry him. Carry him. Pray to God. Pray to God. He is still alive. There's breathing.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Ahmad was shot in the head. He didn't make it.


And around the corner, two others, a man and a woman, also shot. It's uncertain who opened fire on the group. CNN geolocated these videos and traced this deadly journey out of central Gaza City. We provided the Israeli military with details of this incident and these coordinates, but they did not respond to our request for comment.


KARADSHEH: Hello, Rami?

KARADSHEH (voiceover): We reached Rami, now in the south.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): There were no ambulances.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Like most here, they were on their own. They got to Shifa Hospital, but so did the war.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): Total panic at Shifa Hospital. Look at the dead bodies, Not even a morgue. Gaza has fallen.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Witness to it all, two-year-old Walid.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): I kept trying to make sure he's not scared and make him feel like what he's seeing around us is a circus or an amusement park. I don't know if I succeeded. Even the journey of humiliation where you take a donkey here and a horse there, I was trying to make that entertaining for him.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): I asked Rami why he decided to film.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): I just want this to get to the world so they know the injustice that we're facing. They cast doubt on everything we do. They're stronger in every way. Not just militarily, but with the information that comes out, the narrative that comes out, the news that comes out. What they say is the truth and our words are lies.

Please, just deliver our message. I don't want anything else. I don't want all those who have been killed to have died in vain.

KARADSHEH (voiceover): Rami doesn't know what they'll do now, but says he will only leave his homeland forced at gunpoint or dead.

ABU JAMOUS (through translator): My dear, my dear. Give me a kiss.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.


HOLMES: Hard to watch, isn't it?

Israel says they have tried to call people in Gaza to evacuate areas where military operations are underway to minimize civilian casualties. But there has been worldwide and growing criticism over the number of deaths in Gaza.

The Hamas controlled Gaza Ministry of Health says more than 11,400 people have now been killed. That includes around 4,700 children.

Still to come, a federal lawsuit filed against the entertainer Sean Diddy Combs, details of allegations of sexual assault and abuse. That's when we come back.


HOLMES: A former girlfriend of producer and musician Sean Diddy Combs is accusing him of rape and abuse over a period of several years.


The R&B singer, known as Cassie, whose real name is Cassandra Ventura, filed a lawsuit in federal court on Thursday. Combs' attorney denies the allegations. CNN's Jean Casarez is in New York with details.


JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a civil complaint filed in the Southern District of New York. It is filed under the Adult Survivors Act, and this is an act that allows survivors of sexual assault to file a civil claim for monetary damages, no matter when the sexual assault occurred. That window allows them to have justice, justice in the form of monetary damages.

And Cassandra Ventura, who was the girlfriend of Sean Diddy Combs, she also, according to the complaint, was an employee of his for the duration of those years, she is alleging that she was caught up in a cycle of violence, that there was abuse, it was vicious, and it was controlling. She alleges that Sean Combs raped her. She alleges that he would beat her until her face and other parts of her body were just bloody. And then, according to the complaint, she would be hidden in a hotel room, an apartment, or other location until, conceivably, those wounds would heal.

Now, Cassandra Ventura alleges that she met Sean Combs when she was 19 years old, he was 37 years old, and because of that age difference, and because of his power in the entertainment industry, that allowed for all of this to happen.

In a statement she says, "After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships."

There are, though, always two sides to every story, and in this case, in this now lawsuit, we do have a statement from Ben Brafman, he is the attorney representing Sean Combs, and he says, "For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura's persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship which was unequivocally rejected as a blatant blackmail. Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs' reputation. and seeking a pay day."

The next step in all this, the defense, Mr. Combs, will be filing an answer to the very serious allegations in this complaint. And then, it will be on to discovery and we will see what evidence there is in this case it is, at this point, will be proceeding to trial.

Jean Casarez, CNN, New York.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I will be back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM. But first "World Sport" after the break.