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U.N. Chief Criticized Israel's order to Gaza Residents on Evacuation; COP28 First Draft on Fossil Fuel Ban Agreement now Underway; 350 People Killed in a Series of Floods Around East Africa. Israeli Civilian Yuval Castleman Killed by a Reservist After Responding to a Shooting against Hamas Perpetrators; Senate Republicans now Deals on the Ukraine-Israel Aid Package; Veteran Hong Kong Journalist Reportedly Missing in Beijing. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired December 05, 2023 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world and to everyone streaming us on CNN Max. I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead. From the north to the south, Israel expands its military operation to the whole of Gaza. Constant bombardment and increasing risk of disease, hospitals there are struggling to keep up.

Plus unprecedented flooding in East Africa, we will show you how climate change is a harsh reality that some face every single day.

ANNOUNCER: Live from Atlanta, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Thanks for joining us. The U.N. Secretary General is criticizing Israel's order for residents of Gaza to evacuate, saying there is nowhere safe to go. Israeli forces have moved their ground camp into southern Gaza in an effort to root out Hamas militants. And the U.N. relief agency says the number of civilian casualties in the territory is rising rapidly. The IDF tells CNN that a ratio of two Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza for every Hamas militant is, quote, "tremendously positive given the challenges of urban combat."

According to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza, nearly 16,000 people have been killed in the enclave. The Israeli military reports its war objective in northern Gaza is nearly completed. Defense Minister Yoav Galant says the entire area, including Gaza City, will soon be broken. A video posted on social media shows the Israeli military detonating explosives and destroying a large building in central Gaza housing the Justice Ministry and courthouses.

So let's go live now to Paris where CNN's Melissa Bell is following all these developments. She joins us now. So Melissa, what is the latest on Israel's military movements? MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's very difficult to know exactly

what's happening inside the Gaza Strip because of the lack of internet access, entirely broken down, another blackout, very difficult to get information out. And yet we're trying to get an idea of what's been happening as a result of these expanded Israeli operations inside the Gaza Strip.

Now, what we've been hearing is specifically heavy fighting in the north of the Gaza Strip, with the IDF now saying that it believes that it can entirely break this situation around Gaza City and in the north of the Strip.

We've been hearing from those inside the Kamal al-Adwan hospital complex, which is in the north of the Gaza Strip, that have been speaking despite the blackouts managing to get through to CNN to speak about the situation there. Heavy gunfire, artillery, a sense that the hospital is now being closed in on. This is what the IDF says about its operations.


REAR ADM. DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESPERSON: We are pursuing Hamas wherever Hamas is hiding, in the North and in the South. Every rocket launcher, weapons depot, command and control center, senior commander, underground infrastructure and any hideout where our hostages may be held. Our war is against Hamas, not against the people of Gaza.


BELL: But of course, as long as Israel insists that it is in the hospital complexes, for instance, that the Hamas fighters are hiding, very difficult to see what respite there can be for the civilians that are so desperately seeking refuge. Not just there in the north of the Gaza Strip, where we've been hearing about those intense bombardments and artillery fire and military movements, but also of course now in the south of the Gaza Strip, adding to that sense that there is nowhere right now that is safe.

CHURCH: What is the humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza right now?


BELL: It's been desperate, Rosemary, for some time, but of course, the fact now of the breakdown of negotiations between Israel and Hamas over the hostages on Friday, the ramping up and the spreading of the military campaign throughout the Gaza Strip can only worsen what had been a fairly desperate situation even to begin with.

Bear in mind that it is now, Rosemary, 1.9 million people that are internally displaced by this conflict. Most of them having been told to head to the south and the extreme pressure now is on the Rafah government to the south of the Gaza Strip. This is what the World Health Organization is warning of.


DR. RICHARD BRENNAN, REGIONAL EMERGENCY DIRECTOR, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We're hearing of 200 people sharing one toilet. So with toilets overflowing, open defecation, these kind of conditions are ripe for the spread of disease. And we're seeing increased numbers of respiratory infections, of diarrhea. We've had over 1,100 cases of jaundice, which would make us concerned about the spread of hepatitis, as well as terrible skin infections, scabies, and head lice and so on.


BELL: A situation that was set to deteriorate the World Health Organization, but also the United Nations agencies, all of those that are still able to operate within the Gaza Strip, had been warning for some time of what were likely to be desperate situations getting even worse.

And this is what we've been hearing from the head of one U.N. agency speaking just a short while ago is, look, every time you think that things cannot get worse, they have steadily been civilians inside the Gaza Strip and again with the breakdown of those negotiations very difficult to see what hope there can be that any of them at this stage will be allowed out. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Our thanks for that live report from Melissa Bell. I Appreciate it.

Well with criticism of the Israeli bombardment growing a Brigadier General insisted the Israeli military make sure cities and buildings in Gaza are clear of civilians before launching any strikes. Our Jeremy Diamond gained exclusive access to the IDF's Tank Corps to learn about their methods on the battlefield.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Israel expands its ground offensive into southern Gaza --

BRIG. GEN. HISHAM IBRAHIM, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: I think it's no more question if the tank is relevant or not relevant for this war.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Brigadier General Hisham Ibrahim, the head of Israel's Armored Corps, says tanks will once again be central to Israel's urban warfare strategy.

IBRAHIM: Our tanks are everywhere in the urban area. When you attack, you have in the beginning the tanks firing and the attack first and then just the infantry come and be close with the tank.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Israeli tanks were at the tip of Israel's offensive into northern Gaza in late October, clearing the way for infantry troops to move into dangerous and densely populated cities.

DIAMOND: So you're using the tanks to clear the area so that infantry troops can move in?

DIAMOND (voice-over): Ibrahim says this kind of coordination is a lesson learned from Russian failures in Ukraine.

IBRAHIM (through translator): We saw that where the Russians fought only with tanks alone, they were more vulnerable. This combination of combined power overcomes almost every problem on the battlefield.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Israeli tanks are pushing through, not around, residential buildings, producing entire neighborhoods to rubble to minimize the risk to Israeli troops.

DIAMOND: But that also means that you have to destroy a lot of residential buildings.

IBRAHIM: Yeah, that's exactly what we do. We're firing for the buildings. We destroyed but we make sure that this building is empty from citizens and we just destroy what we had to destroyed.

DIAMOND: We've seen a lot of civilians die in Gaza.

IBRAHIM: We make sure before that we attack Gaza that the citizens go south. No, this is wrong.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Israeli tanks have also become a top target.

IBRAHIM: They have RPG and they want to destroy the tanks because for them, this is the wind picture.

DIAMOND (voice-over): In a series of propaganda videos, Hamas fighters are seen ambushing Israeli tanks. But General Ibrahim says these fiery explosions often show the tanks' anti-missile systems in action.

DIAMOND: How many tanks have gone out of commission?

IBRAHIM: Zero. Zero. We have tanks that we expect to last maybe a few days to fix them and they go back to the battlefield. But destroyed, zero. Zero.

DIAMOND (voice-over): His troops, though, are paying a heavy price.

EITAN, ISRAELI MILITARY RESERVIST WOUNDED IN GAZA (through translator): The first RPG that was fired hit the tank, penetrated it, and I got hit by the shrapnel.


DIAMOND (voice-over): During a visit to wounded soldiers, General Ibrahim says his corps has suffered more casualties per capita than any other.

IBRAHIM, (through translator): This is because we are on the front line. The Tank Corps is the Corps that is winning this war. This is our war.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Jeremy Diamond, CNN, near the Israeli-Gaza border.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: The manager of one of the few operating hospitals in Rafah says things have turned catastrophic. He says they are running low on medicine and personnel and don't even know how to treat some of the patients seeking help.


DR. MARWAN ALHALMS, MANAGER, AL-NAJJAR HOSPITAL (through translator): First aid clinics are struggling to provide assistance to those with chronic illnesses and those shelters like schools we have sent doctors to and nurses. But there is no sufficient medicine to treat the refugees.


CHURCH: He also fears the spread of disease due to lack of drinking water and damaged sewage systems. The World Health Organization is also worried about major outbreaks in the area. WHO officials say they can't afford any further decline in Gaza's health system, but already there are growing reports of increased jaundice, skin infections, respiratory infections and more.

Joining me now is Juliette Touma, Director of Communications for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: As Israel expands its military operations across the whole of Gaza now, the world is seeing increasingly distressing images of children losing loved ones and complete devastation in the area. How would you describe what's happening in the enclave right now?

TOUMA: It's the horrors we saw the first few weeks when you and I first spoke. It's repeating itself again and it's massive. The volume is quite high, the speed and velocity the same. The number of casualties reported already in the past three days since the (inaudible) is exponential. People are literally -- literally being pushed to the south to an area that is teeny and tiny and they have nowhere to go and no place is safe across the Gaza Strip.

CHURCH: And what is the latest on efforts to get humanitarian aid into Gaza and can it ever get to the levels required or ever to the levels before this war?

TOUMA: The short answer is no. Since the war began, we have never not in one day reached the same levels of supplies coming into Gaza that we had before the war. You see, Rosemary, before the war, 500 trucks came every single day to Gaza. We've never not in any single day during the war reached even close to that. The highest we got was 200. So that's just to give you and everyone the perspective.

Aid should come in. We are being restricted. We said last night that we're being strangled, that the aid operation in Gaza is being very much restricted, with really not. Our ability to deliver and to give is being put in question here. And that's unprecedented and that's quite dangerous, especially as we have two million people, two million people relying on that various systems.

CHURCH: And what would you say are the biggest challenges right now for your organization? And what more do you need to get the job done on the ground in the midst of the rubble and destruction and just the heartache?

TOUMA: We are currently hosting 1.2 million people in our shelters. They are overcrowded and only in the past few days we had around 60,000 people coming to our shelters. But we cannot take people anymore. Our shelters are overflowing with people. I was in Khan Younis myself. I visited one of those shelters and literally people are on top of each other. They don't have enough supplies. So we need a flow of humanitarian supplies.

At the level that we had before the war, those supplies need to be unrestricted, unconditional, and they need to come in with fuel if we are to continue to deliver assistance to people in need across the Gaza Strip. But we also need to go back to the pause, and for that pause to turn into a long-term humanitarian ceasefire. This has got to happen, and the fighting and the bombardment, they have got to stop. They have got to stop.


CHURCH: And as the U.N. Secretary General has said, there is nowhere safe to go in Gaza. So what is your greatest concern for all those Palestinians who were told by Israel to evacuate to the south but now find themselves under fire with nowhere safe to go?

TOUMA: It's not just that there is no safe to go. I mean, place to go. No safe place to go. It's also there's nowhere to go. People are literally being pushed, Rosemary, to a triangle to the south of the Gaza Strip, where it is already overcrowded. These are also people who have been displaced multiple times.

So they have left mostly their homes in the north or in Gaza City. They've sought refuge. in Khan Younis and other parts of the south and now they're being called to go further south. So the question is where next, where do they go next?

CHURCH: Yeah that is the problem. Juliette Touma, many thanks for joining us, we appreciate it and salute the work that you do. I Appreciate it.

And if you would like information on how to help with humanitarian relief efforts for Gaza and Israel, please go to and you will find a list of vetted organizations providing assistance. That's at

And still to come, hundreds killed in torrential rains and flash floods across parts of East Africa. Regional leaders are telling COP28, the situation lays bare, the harsh reality of climate change.

Plus, the president of the COP28 climate summit is having to defend controversial comments he made about fossil fuels. More on that after a short break. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Carbon emissions are expected to set a new record in 2023. Scientists with the Global Carbon Project say global emissions could rise 1.1 percent this year when compared to 2022. That's 36.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

The good news is that the U.S. is expected to cut its emissions by 3 percent while the E.U. could reach a 7.4 percent reduction. However, China is up 4 percent and India shows more than an 8 percent increase. Coal and oil emissions are also growing significantly in both these nations.


Well, the first draft of the COP28 Climate Summit's agreement is calling for the phasing out of fossil fuels. The draft does offer several options, including the choice for parties to phase out in a quote, "orderly way." Another option would allow nations the possibility to rapidly reduce fossil fuels, in this way leaving plenty of room for negotiators to water down the language in the final text.

Meanwhile, the President of the COP28 climate summit is defending his dedication to fighting global warming after saying there is quote, "no science in phasing out fossil fuels." CNN's David McKenzie has more.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well these comments that have come to light from the COP president are certain to add to the controversy surrounding these critical climate change meetings. It was already a controversial set of meetings here in Dubai because it's hosted in an oil-rich nation and presided over by a man who is also the head of the state-owned oil enterprise.

And now Sultan al-Jaber, the COP president, hit back at the allegations and said that in fact he was taken out of context. He said that everything they do here is underpinned by the science and that it's inevitable that there will be a transition away from fossil fuels.

SULTAN AL JABER, COP28 PRESIDENT: We did not in any way underestimate or undermine the task at hand. We understand fully the urgency and we understand the responsibility that we have taken on board.

MCKENZIE: I spoke to the head of the Greenpeace delegation. They said it's now game on. They're hoping in the next week or so that there will be firm language on phasing out or phasing down from fossil fuels to help our boiling planet.

David McKenzie, CNN, Dubai.


CHURCH: Joining me now is Mark Howden. He is the Director of the Institute for Climate, Energy and Disaster Solutions at the Australian National University. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, let's start with that controversial comment from the president of the COP28 climate summit, Sultan Al-Jaber, who last month said there is no science behind demands for the phase out of fossil fuels. He now says he was misinterpreted and is strongly defending his commitment to climate science and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. So what is your reaction to this and are you convinced he was misrepresented?

HOWDEN: Look, I can't comment on whether he's misrepresented or not, but my assessment of the interview was that was exactly what he meant.

And in contrast to what he indicated, there's plenty of science. So for example, the International Energy Agency has put out their net zero pathways, which was widely publicized at the time. He would have known about that.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change documents hundreds of scenarios which are consistent with 1.5 degrees and which maintain sustainable development.

And so there's plenty of science there if you want to look for it.

CHURCH: Right, and of course the problem for Sultan Al-Jaber is that he also previously said the phase out of coal, oil and gas would take the world back into caves. So of course the question has to be, should an oil rich nation be presiding over a group of countries charged with the job of fighting climate change?

HOWDEN: Well, I'll address the caves comment first. And in contrast to the comments made by the Sultan, letting climate change rip, so having high levels of emissions, high levels of climate change is the sort of scenario that does result in massive economic damages and affects the livability and security of our homes. If you think of our homes as our caves. So quite the opposite of what the Sultan says.

And in fact, a sensible stage and equitable and rapid transition to renewables is actually the scenario which provides prosperity, which provides energy security and which provides livable homes.

CHURCH: Right. And let's look at that. The Sultan is now saying that the phase down and the phase out of fossil fuel is inevitable and essential and needs to be done in an ordered, fair, just and responsible way. So What would that phase down and phase out look like? Could you describe that to us?

HOWDEN: Well, interestingly, the definitions of phase out and phase down are not set. They're interpretable in whatever way you want them to be, and nor does it include a timeframe for the change.

So what the science says, we have to remove fossil fuels effectively by around, about 2040, down to net zero, which is effectively a phase out, if we're to keep to 1.5 degrees. So I would call that rapid. [03:25:00]

I would hope that we do it in a sensible and staged and strategic way. I don't see disorderly transitions as being into the benefit of anyone, but we do need to act rapidly if we're to avoid the worst damages of climate change.

CHURCH: And of course, it is worth mentioning that the fossil fuel industry nearly quadrupled registrations at the climate summit since last year, according to a watchdog report. Why do you think that's the case?

HOWDEN: My interpretation is that the fossil fuel industry is starting to see this as a real threat to their future profitability and they're mustering their forces to prevent the changes that may impede the expansion of their industries.

In contrast, some companies in that domain, energy companies have started to switch to renewables and in the process actually making pretty good profits. And in fact, renewables are the best value way of getting secure energy into our systems.

CHURCH: And what's your expectation of what gets achieved at COP28 and any talk fest like this? Do you think it will end in success?

HOWDEN: It very much depends on what success means and different parties have very different views on that and so almost polar opposite views, I guess.

What I think is going to happen is there'll be some significant discussions about the text but we won't necessarily land on conclusions with the phase down and phase out which are going to satisfy those people who want to avoid going exceeding 1.5 degrees by any substantial amount.

I suspect that there will be a lot of talk about alliances, there will be a lot of side events and side shows that look really good. And that to some extent does have the risk of taking the attention away from the key issues which are negotiating the text, which then applies to all countries in terms of reducing their emissions and adapting to climate change.

CHURCH: Mark Howden, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your perspective on this issue. I Appreciate it.

HOWDEN: Thanks very much.

CHURCH: Well speaking at COP28, East African leaders have been describing the harsh realities of climate change taking place right now in their countries. More than 350 people have been killed in torrential rains and flash floods across the region. CNN's Lynda Kinkade reports.


LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Wrapped and submerged by water. This was the scene in recent weeks as heavy rains inundated the Horn of Africa, causing unprecedented flooding and landslides.

Hundreds of people have been killed, more than one million now without homes. Displaced, many saw their possessions swept away in seconds, a trail of devastation left behind. After the floodwaters swallowed her home, one resident returned recalling the horror.

FATIMA HASSAN GUMO, LOCAL RESIDENT (through translator): The waters have ruined everything, my house and the toilet. It rained from the morning until the evening. By 8.00 p.m. we had to pack and flee.

KINKADE (voice-over): The heavy rains in East Africa follow the worst drought in four decades. And whilst there's been some respite in parts of Somalia where the water has begun to recede, Displaced families and others are still facing the risk of disease after floods destroy toilets and drinking wells.

Speaking at COP28 in Dubai, Somalia's president says climate change is a reality they have to deal with every day.

HASSAN SHEIKH MOHAMUD, SOMALI PRESIDENT: I must note that today's victims of these devastating floods are sadly the survivors of yesterday's droughts. Only a year ago, Somalia apparently averted famine following consecutive failed rainy seasons. What's transpiring in my country today is not unique to us.

KINKADE (voice-over): With vast areas of farmland decimated by the floods and livelihoods wiped away, there seems to be no break as meteorologists say parts of Kenya will experience rain into the new year.

Lynda Kinkade, CNN.


CHURCH: Millions of people in central and eastern India are also facing severe flooding. Police say at least six people have died and many others have been rescued, including a half dozen pregnant women. It's due to tropical cyclone Michaung. A satellite view shows how massive the storm is. Schools will remain closed and planes grounded for now. But the cyclone is expected to lose strength quickly over land.

And still to come, we are hearing new witness accounts of Hamas atrocities committed on October 7th. And Israel is begging the world not to avert its gaze.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, as the war rages in Gaza, it's difficult to get a full accounting of Palestinian deaths. On Monday, the Israel Defense Forces said it believes that two Palestinian civilians have been killed for every Hamas militant. And over the weekend, the Israeli Defense Minister announced the military has taken out thousands of terrorists in the enclave. An IDF spokesperson praised the 2:1 ratio earlier.


LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF SPOKESPERSON: If you compare that ratio to any other conflict in urban terrain between a military and a terrorist organization using civilians as their human shield and embedded in the civilian population, you will find that ratio is tremendous -- tremendously positive and perhaps unique in the world.


CHURCH: The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza says More than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed since the October 7th attacks on Israel. The group does not distinguish between civilians and militants.

Multiple U.S. officials tell CNN negotiations over the release of additional hostages in Gaza appear highly unlikely to resume anytime soon. The White House has said there's one American woman and seven men unaccounted for after the October 7th Hamas attacks. U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says securing their release is of paramount priority.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: There are still intensive discussions among us, Israel, Qatar and Egypt about how to best get traction on a strategy that will get all the hostages out. But of course for the United States, the paramount priority is getting the American hostages out and we are talking to the president about all of his options in terms of securing the release of American hostages. Beyond that, I'm not going to comment because we need to be able to have those sensitive diplomatic discussions behind closed doors.


CHURCH: The Israeli military says it won't wait for the end of the war to start investigating potential failures in preventing the terror attack. Among the issues to be studied is Israel's decision to move reinforcement troops from the Gaza border to the West Bank in the days before the massive assault. Israel's Channel 11 reported Sunday that more than 100 reinforcement combat troops were relocated on October 5th to coincide with the Jewish High Holy Days.


Well, Israel is demanding the world pay attention and condemn what it calls systematic gender-based violence by Hamas. Authorities say Hamas militants committed brutal assaults against women and girls in the October 7th attack. Hamas denies the allegations saying they are unfounded lies. But Israel is investigating possible war crimes using witness testimony and forensics to build their case.

Jake Tapper has the story. A warning though, his report contains extremely graphic descriptions of rape and sexual violence. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GILAD ERDAN, ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: On October 7th, Hamas perpetrated rape and sexual violence exploiting these unforgivable crimes as weapons of war.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR, "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" (voice-over): Nearly two months after the October 7th attacks, the international community is finally beginning to investigate and recognize reports of brutal and inhumane rapes and sexual assaults by Hamas terrorists, torturing and terrorizing the people of Israel.

For weeks, Israeli police have been collecting eyewitness testimony, video and forensic evidence detailing countless accounts of rape and sexual assault perpetrated by terrorists on Israeli women and children. And for weeks, there has been very little outcry or condemnation from the international community, including from the United Nations.

ERDAN: Sadly, the very international bodies that are supposedly the defenders of all women showed that when it comes to Israelis, indifference is acceptable. To these organizations, Israeli women are not women. The rape of Israelis is not an act of rape. Their silence has been deafening.

TAPPER (voice-over): But Monday, the United Nations held a gathering hosted by Israel, examining sexual and gender-based violence committed during Hamas' attack on Israel. Hamas has denied committing any rapes or sexual assaults.

SHERYL SANDBERG, FOUNDER OF NONPROFIT "LEAN IN": There are exactly no circumstances that justify rape. None. Rape is targeted. Rape is terror. Rape is torture.

SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): Doesn't just strike fear in the hearts of Israeli women. It strikes fear in the hearts of every woman and girl around the globe. Their bodies are not worth defending.

TAPPER (voice-over): The chief superintendent of the Israeli police read numerous accounts of the atrocities witnessed by survivors and first responders.

YAEL RICHERT, ISRAELI POLICE CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT: Everything was an apocalypse of corpses. Girls. without any clothes on, without tops, without underwear. People cut in half, butchered, some were beheaded. There were girls with a broken pelvis due to repetitive rapes. Their legs were spread wide apart in a split.

A witness from the rave party testified. We heard girls that were pulled out from the shelters. Girls that shouted. They raped girls. Burned them just after that. All the bodies outside were burned. A rescuer that arrived to a house on a kibbutz testified. Inside the shower there was a body of a cuffed woman. She was without her underwear. The body was in the corner and her hands were tied.

Another testimony from the rave party survivor. Women without clothes. Some without the upper body clothes. Some without the lower body clothes. Blood over the lower body. Everyone was full of blood butchered people. We found a woman's body dumped outside, without pants, without underpants, burned. Barely any hair left on her.

TAPPER (voice-over): And videos were played from a first responder, a paramedic, and a survivor of the music festival, detailing firsthand what they experienced.

UNKNOWN (through translator): The two we had were bound by their hands. There was a body of a woman that had a blood stain on her genitalia.

UNKNOWN (through translator): There was a lot of gun wounds there. Shooting was targeted at sexual organs. We saw that a lot. They had a thing with sexual organs, both in women and in men.


The women we received. They were civilian. We mainly saw either breast amputations or gunshots just to the breast, simply shooting from one side of the breast to the other. They were conscious when they got to us.

UNKNOWN (through translator): They laid a woman down, and I understand that he is raping her. He is basically shifting her position and then they pass her on to another person. Was she alive, the girl they raped? Yes, she was alive. She had long hair. He was pulling her hair. She is not dressed and he cuts her breast. He throws it on the road and they're playing with it.

TAPPER (voice-over): Another survivor of the attack describes seeing a horrific rape at the Nova Music Festival to London's "Sunday Times."

I saw this beautiful woman with the face of an angel, and eight or 10 of the fighters beating and raping her. She was screaming, stop it already. I'm going to die anyway from what you're doing. Just kill me. When they finished they were laughing, and the last one shot her in the head.

SANDBERG: Do we believe the Hamas spokesperson who said that rape is forbidden, therefore it couldn't have possibly happened on October 7th? Or do we believe the women whose bodies tell us how they spent the last minutes of their lives? Who are we going to believe?



CHURCH: When two Palestinians opened fire at a bus stop in Jerusalem, one of the heroes of that day was Israeli lawyer Yuval Castleman. He ran towards the gunman, firing his own handgun. Four Israelis were killed in the attack, including Yuval. But he wasn't shot dead by Hamas militants, as Alex Marquardt reports.


over): He allegedly was killed by an Israeli soldier who has now been detained for questioning by police. Video posted online shows Yuval Castleman, a former Israeli police officer with his hands in the air. Then he's shot at twice then twice more.

On the ground, his shirt bloodied and clearly in pain. He later died of his wounds.

Castlemen had sprung into action when this light-colored car pulled up on Thursday at a Jerusalem bus stop. Two Hamas gunmen jump out and open fire on the crowd to try to run away. Three are killed as the terrorists try to drive away. Castleman runs across the road and opens fire with his pistol to help take down the attackers.

But an army reservist here also opens fire on Castleman. Two soldiers from this red car run out with their weapons. Castleman apparently trying to show he's not an attacker. He has his hands in the air and his jacket open, but he appears to have been killed by the reservist, a fellow Israeli.

In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first comments about Castleman's death, he said, that's life when civilians carry guns, which he supports.


That comment, angering many Israelis, Netanyahu later called Castleman's actions, supreme bravery.

Friends and family gathered Monday night for Shiva, the Jewish mourning period, at the home of Castleman's father. His sister Noga and best friend Guy Itzkovich showed me a photo album of Castleman's life. Iskovich is also a former police officer and says they're outraged that Castleman was shot with his hands up.

GUY ITZKOVICH, FRIEND: Yvonne was not gunned down, Yvonne was murdered.

MARQUARDT: So what is the hardest part of all this for you?

ITZKOVICH: I lost my brother because of a stupid mistake. It was a stupid mistake. It should never have happened. And if, I know that if they were. Following the same orders that I was given and that they were given, my friend will still be alive.

MARQUARDT (voice-over): Castleman's father Moshe sits low on the floor as is custom, as guests pay their respects. Moshe calls his son a hero and wants an investigation of what happened. A man like this, any life.

All his life, Yuval was that kind of person, Moshe said. That's how he behaved. Despite knowing that he was taking a risk and endangering his life, he didn't hesitate.

Alex Marquardt, CNN, Tel Aviv. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Turning now to the war in Ukraine, the country's military is facing a shortage of much needed resources as funding from the U.S. is quickly running out. The Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. spoke about what's at stake.


OKSANA MARKAROVA, UKRAINIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: The battlefield is very hot and Russia is trying to advance. And they continue shelling all the civilian population. Even today, one missile strike, 16, more than 18, actually, Shaheed drones, civilian casualties again. And the winter is coming. We know that the attacks on the energy infrastructure is imminent. So after we have won so much, we cannot lose it now.


CHURCH: The White House is pushing Congress to approve more funding, warning that the U.S. will kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield without it. They sent a letter to leaders on Capitol Hill Monday saying, quote, there is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money and nearly out of time. But a new aid package faces an uphill battle with Senate Republicans.

CNN's Melanie Zanona has details.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, there's growing doubt in Washington right now that Congress is going to be able to pass a package for additional aid for Israel and Ukraine at least before the end of the year. At issue here is a complicated debate over the border.

Republicans are insisting that stricter immigration and border security provisions be attached to any additional aid for Ukraine. Now, there was a working group, a bipartisan group, that was trying to hammer out a deal on the border. But we're told that over the weekend, those talks hit an impasse. So we'll see where the discussion goes from here.

Now, Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, has signaled that he's just going to put a package on the floor to provide aid for Israel and Ukraine without those additional border security provisions and essentially dare Republicans to vote against it. But so far, Republicans signaling that they are not backing off of their demands. Let's listen.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): This side of the aisle has been clear that a security supplemental must include funding and policy reforms to address the crisis at the southern border. And if that doesn't happen, we will not proceed.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), U.S. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Democrats want to be reasonable on immigration. We're willing to make concessions. But we will not keep going in circles if Republicans aren't interested in even meeting us halfway.

ZANONA: And the White House has really been stepping up their messaging on this issue, warning that if the United States does not pass additional funding for Ukraine before the end of the year that it's going to kneecap the country in its war against Russia.

The Senate is also going to have a briefing from White House officials on Tuesday about Israel and Ukraine, but at this point no signs that Republicans are backing down and unclear what, if anything, they're going to be able to pass.

Melanie Zanona, CNN, Capitol Hill.


CHURCH: A former U.S. ambassador has been arrested on spying charges, accused of being a secret agent for the Cuban government for 40 years. The Justice Department says he supported Cuba's secret intelligence gathering during his diplomatic postings throughout Latin America. CNN's Evan Perez explains.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SR. U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: A retired U.S. ambassador is facing charges of spying for the Cuban government for more than 40 years. Manuel Rocha, 73 years old, served as ambassador to Bolivia from late 1999 to 2002.


Now he's facing three federal charges, including acting as an agent of a foreign government. Justice Department prosecutors in Miami said that Rocha boasted to an undercover FBI employee that he worked for decades to strengthen the Cuban revolution.

The former longtime diplomat served in roles from Argentina to Cuba to the Dominican Republic. He also served in the National Security Council at the White House.

Now according to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Rocha represents one of the highest-ranking infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign intelligence service.

MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: This action exposes one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent. Specifically, the criminal complaint alleges that for over 40 years, Rocha acted as a covert agent of the Cuban government. To that end, the complaint alleges Rocha sought out employment with the U.S. government that would provide him with access to non-public information and the ability to affect U.S. foreign policy between 1981 and 2002.

PEREZ: The FBI says it got a tip in 2022 that Rocha was acting as a foreign agent. According to prosecutors, an undercover FBI employee posing as Rocha's new Cuban handler reached out to Rocha and proceeded to arrange three meetings. In those meetings, Rocha repeatedly referred to the United States as the enemy and he praised Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Prosecutors say he worked to recruit people in the U.S. government to help in intelligence.

According to prosecutors, during one of those meetings with his purported handler, Rocha said, my number one concern, my number one priority was any action on part of Washington that would endanger the life of the leadership or the revolution itself.

At a hearing Monday in Miami, federal prosecutors asked for him to remain in detention until trial. They said they expect to add additional charges.

Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: Still to come, a Hong Kong journalist vanishes in China after reporting on sensitive subjects. More on the mysterious disappearance of Minnie Chan, next.


CHURCH: An award-winning journalist based in Hong Kong has gone missing after a work trip to Beijing. Minnie Chan's reporting has tackled sensitive subjects like the Chinese military and Taiwan. Her friends and colleagues fear that she may be the latest unexplained disappearance inside China. CNN's Will Ripley reports.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Intrigue, uncertainty, and one burning question. What happened to Minnie Chan?

The Hong Kong journalist on assignment in Beijing last month vanished into thin air.

Chan was in the Chinese capital covering a global defense forum. It ended on October 31st. Soon after, she dropped off the radar. Her last report published November 1st.

Delving into China's controversial role as mediator in the Gaza conflict. publicly siding with Palestinians over Israel. Radio silenced ever since.


Friends trying to reach Chan on social media, hitting a brick wall, mounting messages of concern, not a single known reply.

On November 11th, a mysterious post on Chan's Facebook page, personal photos followed by a flood of concerned comments, one from a friend and fellow journalist speculating someone else must have posted the pictures. Eerie silence from Chan, fueling a frenzy of speculation, she may be under the microscope of Chinese authorities.

A veteran reporter, nearly two decades at the "South China Morning Post," it had no direct contact with her. In a statement, the paper says it did speak with Chan's family. Her family told us she's safe, the paper said, writing she's on personal leave in Beijing, handling a private matter. We have no further information to disclose, the family told the paper. Those who know her strongly believe there's more to the story.

China's foreign ministry telling reporters they're not aware of the situation.

Known for astute coverage of China's defense and diplomacy, Chan interviewed a host of high-ranking Chinese officials tackling touchy topics like Beijing's military strategy targeting Taiwan.

Chan also worked for "Apple Daily," raided two years ago by 500 Hong Kong police officers. A government crackdown forced the paper to close.

I interviewed Jimmy Lai, "Apple Daily"'s billionaire owner, shortly before his arrest, along with other newsroom leaders, later charged under Hong Kong's draconian national security law, which rolled back civil and political freedoms. Drafted in secret, imposed by Beijing's communist rulers, China's heavy-handed response to the fiery pro- democracy protests of 2019.

In the years since, a crackdown on pro-democracy figures, the disbanding of political parties and newsrooms, activists forced to choose between a life in prison at home or a life in exile abroad. And now the mystery of Minnie Chan raising new fears for the safety of reporters. If a seasoned journalist from a mainstream outlet can disappear in Beijing, who's next in line for China's vanishing act?

RIPLEY: This is more about press freedom in China. This is about the sanctity of reporting the truth and the consequences for journalists who China says may cross the line.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


CHURCH: Thanks for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "CNN Newsroom" continues next with Bianca Nobilo.