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CNN This Morning

Israel-Hamas Truce Ends, Fighting Resumes; Today: Vote on Whether to Expel Rep. George Santos; Tension Spreading Outside Gaza to Other Areas. Aired 6-6:30a ET

Aired December 01, 2023 - 06:00   ET


ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS: Lakers game to do it. But Kasie, such great news there after that scary moment over the summer that Bronny is going to be back on the court for a game at USC soon.


KASIE HUNT, CNN ANCHOR: No, you love to see it. I'm so glad he's healthy. I'm sure LeBron is, as well.

Tiger Woods, man. That shot out of the Caribbean brush. Yikes!

SCHOLES: It's scary when you're see Tiger having to lean and use that angle. But hey, he said -- he said he felt pretty good, health-wise.

HUNT: Yes. That's great, as well.

All right. Andy, thanks very much. Have a wonderful weekend.

Thanks to all of you for joining us. I'm Kasie Hunt. I hope you also have a wonderful weekend. Don't go anywhere, CNN THIS MORNING starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. Glad you're with us. I'm Poppy Harlow with Phil Mattingly in New York. And we do begin with breaking news this morning.

The truce between Israel and Hamas is over. Once again, explosions are rocking Gaza, and giant plumes of smoke are rising over that skyline. The fighting started just minutes after the seven-day truce expired at midnight, Eastern Time.

Israel accused Hamas of breaking the deal by firing a rocket. The Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health in Gaza says today's strikes have already killed at least 32 people. And this is the aftermath of a strike in Southern Gaza this morning.

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN ANCHOR: So, what happens now? Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the key intermediary here, says negotiations are still under way to pause the fighting once again. The stakes could not be higher. What about the remaining hostages? Israel says 137 hostages are still

believed to be in Gaza. A senior U.S. official says before the truce fell apart in the final hours last night, Hamas was claiming it did not have any more women or children hostages to exchange.

Israel says that's not true at all. The same official tells me Hamas didn't even submit a list of hostages for potential release last night.

So, what happens to the civilians in Gaza? The Biden administration is pressuring Israel to help protect Palestinians. The secretary of state on the ground yesterday talking about exactly that.

CNN's Oren Liebermann starts us off this morning, live in Tel Aviv. Oren, the IDF is already dropping leaflets in Southern Gaza. What do we know about the scale of the combat operations that are under way right now?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Phil, both Israel and Hamas have indicated they were ready to restart fighting if the negotiations fell apart and if the truce expired. And that's exactly what happened right around 7 a.m. this morning.

We have seen the skyline of Gaza. We have heard the strikes the IDF is carrying out in Gaza. So this war is very much back on as both Israel and Hamas had promised.

We have seen Israel carrying out strikes in Southern Gaza. According to authorities there, that is where they said they would focus the second phase of their operation.

According to health authorities in Gaza, at least 32 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in the first hours of the resumption of fighting.

Meanwhile, Israel has dropped leaflets in parts of Southern Gaza. Interestingly, those leaflets have a QR code that brings you to a map with Gaza broken up into very tiny parcels.

It seems as if Israel is trying to evacuate these parcels in an attempt to avoid civilian casualties as the fighting resumes at pace.

Worth noting that Secretary of State Antony Blinken was just here. He said Israel had to have a concrete plan to protect civilians before they launched the second phase of their operation. Well, that is now here.

He also said Israel needed a plan for more humanitarian assistance, and yet, aid trucks outside of Gaza that have already been inspected by Israel, according to an eyewitness on the ground there, have not gone in since this morning.

So Phil, it is very much a question of whether that humanitarian aid has now been cut off with the fighting resumed.

HARLOW: And what about negotiations? I mean, are they ongoing, Oren, at the pace that they were to extend this from four days to seven days, or have they stopped, as well?

LIEBERMANN: Poppy, negotiations are ongoing, according to Qatari and U.S. officials. The effort is still very much there.

It's worth remembering that we got to the truce through negotiations in the middle of fighting. The real question: Why did they break down?

Israel clearly believes there are enough women and children held by Hamas in Gaza to continue for at least a day longer. Hamas not clear that they agree with that sentiment. They blamed Israel for a breakdown in negotiations, saying they were ready to begin talks on the other groups: elderly women, as well as soldiers, women and men, to continue the truce and to release more of the hostages.

They're looking for a bigger deal here. And that's what the international community is pushing for, as well.

But with no list handed to Israel of women and children that could be released, the fighting has once again started. We'll see if possible and how long it might take to get to another point where there is another pause.

HARLOW: Oren Liebermann in Tel Aviv, thank you very much.

And let's bring in CNN military analyst, retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton for more.

So Israel is now dropping these leaflets on the Southern city in Gaza of Khan Yunis, which we should note, by the way, is located South of the line of Wadi Gaza that was driven (ph). That was before. where all the residents were told to evacuate from the North to the South.

So, now they're dropping leaflets in Khan Yunis that say this is the fighting zone, evacuate immediately. What do you believe the IDF is about to do?


What we're seeing here are basically movements down to the South. So Khan Yunis is right about here. Excuse me, right down here.

And what that does is it shows that they're trying to move everybody into this area. If you look at this map right here, this is the damage map that we've seen with the previous strikes, right in this area.

And that's where most of the damage has occurred in the Northern part of Gaza. There's some damage also in the central part. But Khan Yunis as some -- and the area around Rafah, they've had minimal damage.

But what they're trying to do is they're trying to move everybody into the Southern areas. And so, along this Salah al-Din route and the coastal road right here.

Wadi Gaza is the dividing line. The Northern part is their military zone. At least, it has been up until now. Now they're moving into the Southern part. And we believe that they're going to try to have some areas right in

here that are areas where they're going to bring the civilian population into them.

But having said that, they're also going to be moving their military forces in this area. The IDF will be doing that probably as part of their next phase of operations.

MATTINGLY: Colonel, can we take a step back? We've spoken so often over the course of the last couple days about the intensive behind- the-scenes talks. U.S. officials trying to pressure their Israeli counterparts to scope, shape, be precise about the operations in the South. Why are they targeting the South?

LEIGHTON: So the reason they're targeting the South, Phil, is that right in this area, they believe that all of the Hamas fighters are basically moving in here. There are some, obviously, that are going to stay in the North, although it's extremely damaged.

But in the South, they're expecting them to be there. And so what the Israelis are doing is basically called shaping operations. These shaping operations are designed to move people in certain directions.

There are two types of people that the Israelis are worried about here. The refugees, the civilian population, but for them, more importantly from a military perspective, the Hamas fighters. And they believe that those fighters will be moving in these areas, as well, to blend into the civilian population and to try to avoid being struck by the Israelis.

MATTINGLY: Colonel Cedric Leighton, we appreciate it. Thank you.

LEIGHTON: You bet.

HARLOW: Twenty-one-year-old Mia Schem was one of the final hostages released in those last hours of the truce.




HARLOW: That is her being reunited with her mother and her brother at an Air Force base in Southern Israel. And you can see here in this video. This is before, and this is her exiting a car being handed over to the Red Cross to be taken back home.

What you're looking at there, that's her mother right at the moment she found out about her daughter's release.

Mia attended the Nova Music Festival on October 7. That is where she was kidnapped by Hamas militants. A little more than a week later, Mia appeared in the very first hostage video -- you'll remember that -- released by Hamas, her arm severely wounded and bandaged now. She is back home. MATTINGLY: This morning we are getting new reporting about the Biden

administration's attempt to shape Israel's next phase of the offensive in Gaza, a phase that appears to be very much under way. now that those talks to extend the pause have fallen apart. At least for the moment.

A senior State Department official says that Secretary of State Antony Blinken made three hard requests while he was on the ground in Israel yesterday. You see him there speaking with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Also met behind closed doors with Netanyahu and his war cabinet.

First of those three critical elements: continue to expand the current surge -- current and expand the current surge of humanitarian aid. There's been a central focus. There's been a major surge during the pause in hostilities. They want that to continue.

Second, trying to find new ways to have humanitarian pauses, either by extending the hostage swap agreement, or through other pauses, both for aid and for those hostages.

And third, a clear and unambiguous plan to minimize civilian casualties and suffering in the South. The official telling me that, while Israelis have been hesitant to commit to that third point in the past, over the course of the last several days, they've proved more amenable this time around and made clear a plan, one that would include, perhaps, several safe zones, is in the work.

Joining us now to discuss is CNN political and national security analyst, David Sanger.

David, I want to start with that last point, because this has kind of been dual track to some degree. There have been the intensive discussions and negotiations over trying to extend the pause that had been in place, the hostage swaps.

And then there have been a second track of U.S. officials working with, talking to, and pressing the Israeli counterparts about what this operation in the South will look like. How much leverage do they have here?


DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, good morning, Phil. The main piece of leverage that the U.S. has is that Israel is using U.S. weapons and is going to Congress -- or the administration is going to Congress for an additional $14 billion in aid.

And one of the debates under way in Congress right now is would there be conditions placed on that aid? And of course, something you write in the law could be a lot clunkier than something that the secretary of state can negotiate out with the Israelis.

But if you just back this up over, say, the past seven weeks or so, we've gone from the president saying, I'm unambiguously behind Israel, to the president saying, Do not make the mistakes that we made, the excesses that we made after 9/11, to the secretary of state in his visit saying, there are far too many Palestinians being killed, to now the State Department saying, here are three specific conditions. So they are trying to put the squeeze on the Israelis, in part, by making public exactly what these demands are.

HARLOW: And what if Israel does not abide by them, David? Then what?

SANGER: That's a great question. And this is where it's going to get very hard for both the Israelis and for President Biden.

President Biden is under growing pressure, much of it within his own party. Certainly from the progressive wing of his own party, but not only from the progressive wing, to try to rein in what's going on here.

Before the pauses took place, we were somewhere between 12,000 and 14,000 Palestinian dead, and we don't even know quite how accurate those -- those numbers are because most of them come from the health service that's run by -- by Hamas.

But American officials I talked to think they're roughly in the ballpark correct. And the president recognized that the U.S. is in a very difficult spot if it is seen around the world and at home providing the weaponry for that kind of killing.

The additional problem, Poppy, that they've run into is that, at the beginning of this operation, the Israelis asked everybody in the North to move to the South. So, it's now far more crowded and far more stressed than it ever was before.


MATTINGLY: It's a critical point and I think is also the context of why there's been such a push from the administration. David, stay with us. We have a lot more to discuss throughout the hour.

HARLOW: Also to U.S. politics. The future of Congressman George Santos hangs in the balance this morning. His last-minute message to Republicans before they vote on whether to expel him from office.

MATTINGLY: And East versus West. Red versus blue. Progressive versus conservative. It was a debate between governors Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom. It exposed a lot of very critical differences. But Newsom says there is one clear similarity.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): There's one thing, in closing, that we have in common, is neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024.




HARLOW: So this could be one of the last mornings that New York Republican Congressman George Santos spends in Congress. The vote to expel him from the people's House is just underway.

Lawmakers fiercely debated last night whether they should remove him after a scathing ethics report claimed he stole from his own campaign. He spent money on credit card debt, on Sephora purchases, on OnlyFans.

The push to oust him has revealed a sharp divide among Republicans. Melanie Zanona joins us with that reporting on Capitol Hill.

It is historic. We say historic a lot. It is historic, right, because you haven't -- you've seen charges brought, but you haven't, you know, seen that whole process carried through.

But this ethics report a couple weeks ago was damning. How is this going to shake out?


A big day here on Capitol Hill. And no one really knows what the outcome is going to be. And that's in part because GOP leaders are not whipping this vote, which means formally counting the votes and seeing where members stand.

In fact, I've had top Republicans reaching out to me, asking what my private whip count was. So this could be close today.

Remember, expulsion is a really high bar. It takes two-thirds majority to succeed. That means they need around 80 Republicans assuming all Democrats back this effort.

And meanwhile, there is a divide in the GOP. There are around a dozen -- dozens of Republicans, I should say, at this moment who say that that damning House Ethics Committee report is enough for them and that Santos, it's time for him to go.

But there are plenty of Republicans, including Speaker Mike Johnson, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise who say they are concerned about the idea of expelling a member who has yet to be convicted in the court of law.

And privately, you know, they might not say this out load, but they are certainly thinking it. There is concern about reducing their already razor-thin majority.

So there's a lot at stake here. There's a lot of practical implications, a lot of political implications, but we should know in a few hours what the fate of Congressman George Santos is.

HARLOW: OK, we'll be watching closely. I would trust your whip count. I would be reaching out to you, as well. Melanie, for that, thank you. Keep us posted. MATTINGLY: There's new reporting that Israel knew about Hamas's plans

for a terror attack a year ago. Why they were dismissed. We'll have it.

HARLOW: Conspiracy theories and homophobic slurs, CNN uncovers the unfounded claims House Speaker Mike Johnson made and embraced in a book he wrote the foreword to that was released just last year.



MATTINGLY: You're looking right now at live pictures of smoke rising over Northern Gaza as Israel resumes its military offensive against Hamas after that hostage deal fell apart, was not extended. Last night talks ongoing. No idea right now whether or not they'll produce anything.

Also notable, the war threatens to erupt in these moments beyond Gaza. Hamas says it's behind a deadly shooting attack at a bus stop near Jerusalem that killed four people yesterday. Surveillance video -- you're watching some of it here -- shows the attackers jump out of a car and shoot at people.

And Israeli military aids targeting Palestinians in the West Bank have killed more than 240 people, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is live for us in Beirut, Lebanon, where the terror group Hezbollah has been threatening to join the conflict.

Ivan, that's where I want to start. Because if there's been anything from this pause, I think, more broadly, it has been that the concerns about a regional escalation seemed to ratchet down to a simmer instead of boiling over where they had been for the weeks prior.

Does the restarting of these operations threaten to bring it back to that point?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think that's the real concern right now. If you look at the country of Jordan, which is a U.S. ally with relations with Israel, it put out a statement strongly condemning what it characterized as the resumption of Israeli aggression on Gaza. It is calling for the international community to put a stop to the resumption of hostilities there.

Meanwhile, here in Lebanon, a senior official in Hezbollah has put out a different kind of statement claiming, alleging that this war from the beginning, quote, "has been America's war against the Palestinian people," and claiming that America is not just a partner but a decision-maker in this matter.


And calling for the resistance, which is kind of a broad term for Iranian-backed militias not only here in Lebanon but in other countries like Syria and in Yemen, saying that they will not stand for the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Why is this important? Well, while the Gaza fighting was taking place for a month and a half, you also had essentially artillery duels across Israel's Northern border with Lebanon that went on. They kind of died down over the course of the seven-day truce.

There were still incidents like yesterday, for example, the Israeli military said it shot down some kind of a projectile with its Iron Dome air defenses that was fired from Lebanon last weekend.

The U.N. peacekeepers here say Israeli military opened fire and hit one of the U.N. peacekeepers' vehicles, not hurting anybody, but the concern here is that that conflict could ramp up now that the fighting has resumed in Gaza -- Phil.

HARLOW: And Ivan, before you go, let's talk about the West Bank, because there's been a dramatic increase in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Since October 7th, more than 240 Palestinians killed there by Israeli troops and settlers. President Biden has condemned the rise of violence.

Does this resumption of fighting between Israel and Hamas, do you believe it will affect that violence in the West Bank?

Reporter: well, the truce in Gaza never really stopped the violence, the simmering violence in the West Bank. So, there was a 21-year-old Palestinian who was shot down yesterday -- shot dead by Israeli military Thursday morning around a prisoner release.

And then, of course, Hamas claiming responsibility for a deadly attack on a bus station in Jerusalem that killed at least three people and wounded seven more.

And as you mentioned, the Palestinian Ministry of Health saying more than 240 Palestinians were killed since October 7th in the West Bank alone by ongoing Israeli operations. So, just anticipate that that deadly violence will continue as the fighting resumes.

MATTINGLY: Ivan Watson for us in Beirut, thank you.

HARLOW: And there are new questions about the status of the hostages that remain as this war again resumes between Israel and Hamas. We will be joined by one reunited family and find out what life is like for them now.

MATTINGLY: And a possible preview of the 2028 election. Gavin Newsom and Ron DeSantis facing off in a debate pitting red versus blue.

But first, CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam is tracking some heavy rain moving across much of the country. Derek, what are you seeing? DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Phil, we've got a series of

substantial atmospheric river events that will bring heavy mountain snow measured in feet for the cascades and the Intermountain West, with low-elevation rain that could cause some flooding concerns from Seattle to Portland.

It's not only the Pacific Northwest. It's the Eastern third of the country. A substantial storm system bringing rain this morning from Chicago to Atlanta to New Orleans. That's moving to the Northeast. We'll see rain for D.C. and New York later tonight and into Saturday morning.

We do recognize for snow lovers, New York City, you're in the midst of a drought. It's been 654 days since you've received 1 inch of snow or more. You need to head to the highest elevations of Hawaii to see the snow that's fallen over the past day.

CNN THIS MORNING will be right back.