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UAE To Call For Humanitarian Pause At UNSC; Israel: Shani Louk Found Dead; IDF Spokesperson: The Ground Force Will Be Bigger. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired October 30, 2023 - 10:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The United Nations warns the fabric of society is breaking down inside Gaza. These are live pictures of the

Israel-Gaza border. It is 4:00 p.m. there and it's 6:00 p.m. here in Abu Dhabi. Hello and welcome. I'm Eleni Giokos. Also happening today, the UAE

is expected to introduce a resolution that the United Nations Security Council calling for a humanitarian pause. How will the U.S. react?

And a new horrific reminder of the impact of Hamas terror attack in Israel. Shani Louk, the German-Israeli woman who was paraded through Gaza has been

found dead.

Well, Israel's military says its grand operation in Gaza is expanding and advancing. The U.N. chief says the humanitarian situation there is growing

more desperate by the hour. The IDF says overnight its troops backed by airpower killed dozens of commerce terrorist operatives who had barricaded

themselves inside buildings and tunnels. This ground operation happening in what Israel and Israeli leaders called the second phase of the war against


A military spokesperson says activity in Gaza will only intensify.


DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESPERSON (through translator): We move from the ground and then we attack from the air. It is also a direct contact between

ground and -- ground forces and terrorist inside the Gaza Strip. We are constantly estimating moving gradually, according to our operational plans.

The ground force will be bigger.


GIOKOS: Well, CNN geolocated a video showing an Israeli tank apparently firing on a passenger car on a road in Gaza, not far from the eastern

border and Israeli military spokesman told CNN that Hamas uses civilian equipment inside Gaza while acknowledging. He doesn't know who was inside

that car. A U.N. Relief director says the fabric of society and Gaza is starting to break down.

Relentless Israeli attacks have left Gaza infrastructure in shambles with little to no food, electricity and medicine. It is unclear when desperately

needed help will get in. An official in Egypt says 75 aid trucks are waiting to cross the border. If they make it, it's still only a fraction of

the more than 450 trucks that entered Gaza daily before the war.

The humanitarian organizations Save the Children says more children have been killed in Gaza in this month alone than in armed conflicts globally in

any of the past three years. Palestinian health authorities say 3000 of the nearly 8000 killed in Gaza are children. Numbers that CNN cannot confirm.

Now this video shows seriously injured children at a Gaza hospital. A Save the Children official says as the violence expands more children face grave


Salma Abdelaziz now joins us from London to give us a bit more insights. Salma, look, these are startling numbers that we've seen out of Save the

Children. We also know the big numbers, right? You've got two million people population in Gaza. We know mostly half of those are children. We're

seeing this incessant warping playing out as well. I want you to give us a little bit of perspective in terms of what we've seen coming out from the

global figures relative to what we've seen coming out in the past three weeks.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And Eleni, I mean, these numbers are just so mortifying to try to even comprehend. But when you begin to

look at those images on the ground, you can see how families are being torn apart. Again, 3000 children. More than 3000 children killed in three weeks.

That's from Save the Children citing. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

And you have to remember that these children are children who grew up in conflict, who grew up in a place run by Hamas and again, Hamas does not

answer to the local population. There have been no elections held there since they seize control in 2007 who have no understanding of when this is

going to end. And that is fueling a global outcry, Eleni. We saw over the weekend demonstration comes from Rome, to Madrid, to London, to New York



And that came after the U.N. General Assembly last week overwhelmingly voted for this humanitarian truce leaving the U.S. and Israel increasingly

looking isolated on the world stage. Only 12 Other countries voted alongside the U.S. and Israel calling for that humanitarian truce. But

again, Prime Minister Netanyahu undeterred, moving forward with what he calls the second stage of this very bloody war.

GIOKOS: Yes. Well, Salma, I mean, another story that's paying out in tandem. Look, we know that the IDF has -- from the start warned hospitals

that need to evacuate. And aid agencies have made it clear that it is almost impossible to do that for a number of reasons. The IDF a few days

ago alleging Hamas is operating from some hospitals. Raising the fear in terms of the safety of the people that fled to hospitals.

I want you to give me a sense of what we're seeing right now on the ground.

ABDELAZIZ: So, these allegations from the IDF, these claims from the IDF for me, it's specifically against Al Shifa Hospital. The main hospital in

Gaza City. Now very little proof or evidence was provided by the IDF to its claims that there's tunnels underground. The hospital, one piece of audio

recording, apparently that CNN cannot independently verify. On the other hand, you have those on the ground, aid agencies, doctors, eyewitnesses,

journalist all telling you no, that is simply not true.

And you have to remember these hospitals are no longer just hospitals, Eleni. As you mentioned, Al Shifa Hospital is now home to many, many

displaced people who simply could not find another place to go. Who could not find refuge and in their desperation are praying that a hospital is a

safe place as it should be under international law. I do want to point out another hospital, the second largest hospital in Gaza city where people

believed that they could be saved.

It's Al-Quds Hospital over the weekend. Airstrikes landed nearby, sending gas into the hospital, damaging its infrastructure. Terrifying the 14,000

displaced or 12,000 displaced people rather who were sheltering there. One man, one eye witness inside that hospital saying, just tell us where to go.

We can't find a safe place. If we go south, there's bombardment. In the hospitals, there's bombardment. There is no refuge and the borders are


GIOKOS: Yes, yes. And it's such an important point. Countering, you know, countering what we've been seeing as well is just how difficult it is to

get aid in and this has been sort of the big sticking point. We are waiting for that U.N. Security Council meeting, calling for humanitarian pause to

get more aid in. It has been a trickle. There is hope that more aid will be coming in. What is the likelihood of that happening in the next few hours,


ABDELAZIZ: Look, you can see more trucks come in. But it doesn't change the facts on the ground, Eleni, which is that this is simply a drop in the

ocean of need. Yesterday 10 trucks came across. I know there's about 75 trucks go -- that are on the border right now. Some of them are undergoing.

Those inspection procedures. But none of this, as you mentioned, comes anywhere near what Gaza needs.

On a normal day before this conflict, before this war, 450 trucks would cross into Gaza daily. So, this is nothing. And what we did see over the

weekend is people, thousands of them, I believe, who broke into a U.N. warehouse just to grab -- I mean absolute basics. We're talking flour and

soap and water. Just things that they were so desperate for -- the U.N. saying families are not only facing death by the skies, they're also

potentially facing starvation.

They're warning that the civil order in Gaza is breaking as this strip is essentially a breaking point. Eleni?

GIOKOS: All right. Salma Abdelaziz, thank you so very much for giving us a breakdown of what's going on there. Well, later this hour, I will be

speaking to Save the Children Country Director for the Palestinian authority's -- territory -- Palestinian territories, rather. That

perspective is coming up. We'll have that interview for you in around 20 minutes.

Now. Israel's foreign affairs ministry says a German-Israeli woman who was kidnapped by Hamas has been founded. Shani Louk was attending a music

festival in the Negev desert when she was abducted during the militants' groups surprise attack earlier this month. Israeli officials posted on X

that the 23-year-old experienced "unfathomable horrors as she was tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists."

The IDF says overnight in the meantime, its troops killed dozens of commerce terrorist operatives who had barricaded themselves inside

buildings and tunnels and tried to attack Israeli forces.

Joining me now, we've got CNN's Jeremy Diamond who is in Israel near the border with Gaza. Good to see you. Look, tragically, we've learned of the

death of Shani Louk and we remember the images of her in the back of the truck and I guess there was still some kind of hope that she might be alive

and she might be safe. And of course extremely bad news that we've heard today.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes. No doubt about it. And, you know, we have been monitoring for any additional news and signs of life

from the hostages that remain inside of Gaza. I do want to just direct your attention real quick to something that is happening right now as we are on

the border with Gaza. Right behind me, you can see this pretty heavy plume of smoke.

That is actually appears to be emerging from southern Israel just north of the Gaza border near the town of Erez. And we just saw vehicles rushing

towards that direction. It's not clear exactly what happened. But that could be the result of some kind of fire or activity from Gaza into

southern Israel just across the border. Of course, for most of this day, what we have been watching and listening to here, just about a mile from

the border with Gaza is we've been seeing a lot of outgoing artillery from near our position in Sderot towards the Gaza Strip.

We've been watching those explosions happening inside of Gaza as both artillery fire, aerial bombardment and also tank fire inside the Gaza Strip

continues. The IDF has said that it is continuing to expand this ground operation which began -- which is now entering its fourth day, and that

they are going to continue to add troops. Over 600 targets have been struck by Israeli forces interest these last several days including Hamas.

Command positions both above ground as well as underground, that tunnel system miles and miles of which Israeli military officials say are a top

target, especially as they now have forces entering the Gaza Strip. And we are also learning that Israeli forces are operating not only in the

northernmost part of Gaza, but also apparently south of Gaza City, which still remains in the northern half of Gaza.

But that just shows you that this operation is not just limited to that initial entry that we saw of forces going from southern Israel into

northern Gaza, but also apparently around the side from southern Israel into a North -- Northeastern Gaza as well. Eleni?

GIOKOS: Yes. Jeremy. Look, we know that things changed on Friday. There was more of an intense offensive and grand operation that started on Friday.

The IDF is also saying they're now in the second phase of this operation. Do we know what that entails?

DIAMOND: Well, what it certainly entails is a pretty significant ground defensive inside of Gaza. It is not the kind of overwhelming invasion of

Gaza with hundreds of thousands of Israeli troops that we were perhaps expecting, but it is certainly a stepped-up operation from what we've been

seeing before. And what that also allows beyond having forces on the ground who can target some of these underground tunnels, who can continue to

gather intelligence on those hostages and on Hamas infrastructure inside Gaza.

It also allows them to carry out more precision strikes on some of these targets. In fact, just yesterday, we know that Israeli forces on the ground

directed close air support to carry out a strike on a Hamas post. Killing according to Israeli forces more than 20 Hamas fighters in -- on that

position. We've also been watching as Israeli troops on the ground appear to be shooting up flares, that can sometimes be used for marking targets,

it can also be used for other purposes as well.

But that certainly is kind of the development of activity that we are seeing. Certainly, the first two nights of this expanded ground operation

we heard among the most intense and continuous bombardment and shelling of Gaza that we have heard in these entire three weeks of war. Now what we are

seeing is more activity on the ground in terms of machine gun fire, tank fire and that steady thud of artillery that you may be hearing behind me

still continuing.

GIOKOS: Yes. Yes, Jeremy. We can hear it. And I've got live pictures coming through from Gaza. We see plumes of smoke. And then of course, where you in

Sderot as well. We can also see that there's definitely activity that has been raging on. But look, you've been on the ground. Can you give me a

sense of what you've been witnessing in terms of intensity, whether you've seen a pickup, specifically over the last 24 hours and what it's been like

for you over the last few days?

We know the Israeli government officials have not concluded or verified whether this is the invasion or the incursion into Gaza, but things have

certainly picked up.

DIAMOND: Yes. I think I think it's clear that they don't want to declare some kind of big overarching, you know, all-out invasion with a massive

deployment of forces at this moment. Part of that is -- part of that calculus is also because they are trying to avoid this becoming a broader

regional war. And if they do declare such a dramatic kind of step of hundreds of thousands of troops invading Gaza all at once, that risks

drawing Hezbollah deeper into this conflict.

We have already been watching in northern Israel, as there has been more crossfire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants in southern



That has certainly picked up in recent days but it hasn't reached the kind of intensity that it could reach if Hezbollah decided to go all in on this

conflict and begin firing some of the much higher-grade missiles that it has compared to what Hamas has in its arsenal, this could certainly be a

much more significant conflict. So that is something that we are watching very closely, and maybe part of the calculus of why we haven't seen that

kind of overwhelming invasion.

Instead, it seems that this is going to be a kind of steady buildup of Israeli troops entering Gaza. They have -- Israeli forces that made very

clear they're going to continue to add troops there. And we have been watching as that fighting has shifted from more aerial bombardment to --

more on the ground fighting as well as we're hearing the jets overhead still circling right now. And sometimes when we hear the sound of jets, you

then can hear the bombardment happening in Gaza. Seconds later as of now, nothing to be heard.

GIOKOS: All right. Jeremy Diamond, thank you very much for that update. It's good to have you on the ground. Please stay safe. Thank you.

While the war rages on, diplomatic sources tell CNN the U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting later today to discuss the conflict.

Sources say the United Arab Emirates is expected to seek a binding resolution from other security council members for an immediate

humanitarian pause. In the fighting, the UAE is the only Arab country that's currently a member of the Security Council.

Now the emergency meeting comes after a U.N. resolution calling for its sustained humanitarian truce in Gaza passed. And the general assembly on

Friday with overwhelming support. Although 14 countries including the U.S. voted against it. I want to bring in CNN's Sam Kiley joining us from London

to give us a breakdown of what we can expect. Sam, look, language and wording here matters. It is a resolution led by the UAE.

It's calling for humanitarian pause, not a right and sustained ceasefire in comparison to what we saw late last week. But international pressure is

mounting. You know, if the -- if the U.S. vetoes this, we're sitting back - - we're going back to square one essentially.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think a great deal will depend on the language. The United States has privately been

putting pressure. We know that from our own CNN reporting out of Washington, D.C. and elsewhere on Israel to very carefully calibrate its

military response to those massacres of October the 7th. So that, first of all, it doesn't endanger hostages, but above all, in a sense now that the

numbers of civilians being killed.

And according to the Hamas-run health ministry there you're talking about 8000 or so civilian casualties or rather other casualties including non-

civilians, I should say. But this is a very astronomical figure that is really potentially could ignite the Arab world. So, what the Americans will

be looking for is language that condemns Hamas, potentially. That might mean that they feel a bit more comfortable in publicly endorsing through a

U.N. Security Council Resolution, that which they've been saying in private, which is that they really do need to get the Israelis to allow a

great deal more humanitarian aid in there.

But the United States has in the past -- over the past 10 days vetoed resolutions, calling for this. The United Arab Emirates, those very key

player here. Remember, Eleni, I don't need to tell you of all people that the UAE really has led the charge in terms of normalization of

relationships with Israel through the Abraham Accords. Very significant step forward in terms of the perception of Israel in the Arab world.

So, they do have leverage to use there. Both with Israel and with the United States. So, condemnation and noise coming from the UAE matters. And

is less predictable and more diplomatically influential than perhaps others who might be dismissed as the sort of usual suspects when it comes to being

anti-Israeli. So, a great deal of pressure there coming, of course, as the United Nations is warning -- the world saying that there is an ongoing

humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Gaza.

There have been a breakdown in law and order with the looting of U.N. food stocks. People have running short of food, fuel, medical equipment.

Hospitals being ordered to evacuate by Israel as part of this ongoing military advance into the Gaza Strip. And I think militarily there, we can

see a degree of calibration possibly because of the American influence, but also because the Israelis know that, you know, on a tactical level that

Hamas will have prepared for a mass movement of troops.

And they may well be trying to probe more gingerly forward in order to avoid mass casualties on the Israeli side as part of some kind of trap

being laid by Hamas, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes. Really good points there, Sam. Thank you so much for that insight.


I mean, we're going into this meeting with so much hanging in the balance whether it's the humanitarian front, politically, economically as you've

laid out with normalization of relationships here in the Middle East. It will be telling in the next few hours. Sam Kiley for us, thank you.

An incredible and troubling see now at a Russian airport after a plane from Israel landed there. I want you to take a look at this.


GIOKOS: A mob in Russia is mostly Muslim region of Dagestan shouting anti- Semitic remarks and storming an airport Sunday, as the global tensions spiral over the Israel-Hamas war.


GIOKOS: Officials say the clash has injured at least 10 people. Two of them critically. CNN's Fred Pleitgen and says the mob was looking for Jews. And

he joins me now.

Fred, thank you so much for joining us. I want you to take me through what happened at the airport.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi here, Eleni. And we do also have a bit of an update and that the authorities are now

saying that 20 people were injured and that at least 60 of the people who took part in those riots were in fact detained. But you're absolutely right

that that crowd apparently breached through the security of that airport. Managed to overwhelm the security there.

A huge crowd that had gathered, because they said that a flight from Tel Aviv was coming in and the rumor had spread that apparently there were

refugees from Australia -- from Israel, sorry. They believed who wants to come to that region of Russia. The Dagestan region, which is of course,

majority Muslim. And this large crowd had gathered. They stormed the tarmac. They actually managed to get to that plane that had come in from

Tel Aviv but the passengers of that plane had already disembarked.

They also managed to get into the terminal as well. You see some of the screens -- some of the shots there on your screen. Certainly, some

horrifying moments for some of the people who had been on that plane. Some of them were cornered by those protesters, forced to show their I.D.'s.

Obviously, they were looking for Jews among the passengers of that aircraft. But that also continued even outside of the terminal, outside of

the airport as well where cars were stopped and searched and people forced to identify themselves as well.

There was also some reports in Russian media and social media that apparently the protesters also went to a hotel nearby and searched every

single room there to see whether or not they could find Jews possibly staying there. So, definitely some troubling scenes. The Russian

authorities, Eleni, have already reacted to all of this. So, the religious leader of the Dagestan region has come out and condemned all of this.

What we're hearing from the Kremlin is actually quite interesting and that Vladimir Putin is going to have a meeting with his top security officials

in about 2-1/2 hours from now. And there they are obviously going to talk about what happened there at that airport. But right now, the Kremlin is

saying that they are blaming this on external incitement. Obviously them saying that people were inciting this from outside of Russia, as the

Kremlin put it trying to divide Russian society.

But it certainly seemed as though that crowd very much inside took the security forces. Helicopters and heavily armed security forces to push

those people back out of the airport, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Yes. Incredible scenes there. Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much for that. Well, next, could the Israel-Hamas war expand into a wider regional

conflict? We take a look at recent -- the significance of the recent Israeli strikes in Lebanon. And as Israel's President issues an alarming

new statement. We'll bring you that updates in just a little bit.



GIOKOS: -- says It struck Hezbollah military targets in Lebanon on Sunday. The IDF says it was in response to shelling fired from a terrorist cell

towards an IDF post in northern Israel. Israel says its aircraft destroyed weapons that could have been used for further attacks. Israel also says

that earlier today terrorists fired shots towards an IDF post along the border with Lebanon. No injuries were reported.

Adding to growing concerns of a wider regional conflict, worrying new words from Iran's presidents in a tweet, Ebrahim Raisi said "Zionist regime's

crimes have crossed the Red Line which may force everyone to take action." Washington asks not to do anything, but they keep giving widespread support

to Israel. Now the U.S. send messages to the Axis of Resistance but received a clear response on the battlefield.

I've got Ben Wedeman who's got the reaction of all of us from southern Lebanon. Definitely an escalation to say the least in terms of what we're

seeing. In terms of words, we're also seeing that playing out on the ground, various strikes that we've also seen. I mean, what does this mean

then in terms of efforts to try and ensure that this war does not escalate, that this doesn't mean a wider regional conflict?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTENATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it seems that these efforts have yet to bear any fruit, Eleni. What we're seeing here is

that basically coinciding with the entry of Israeli ground forces into northern Gaza, that the amount of cross border fire from both sides has

been increasing in terms of intensity, but also in terms of the depths. The depth inside one another's territories that missiles artillery and other

weapons are being fired.

It's still an incremental increase in the level of hostilities between Hezbollah and other militant groups here in southern Lebanon. And Israel on

the other, still not quite reaching the point where it looks like a full -- a full scale war is inevitable. Both sides seem to be -- going just so far,

but not too far at this point. But this is obviously causing concern. Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati is on a tour of Middle

Eastern capitals.

Today, he's in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where he's meeting with officials there. Of course, Doha, Qatar is a key player intermediary when

it comes to Hamas, Iran. And to a certain extent Hezbollah because the Lebanese government is largely powerless when it comes to trying to rein in

Hezbollah, which is very much answerable only to itself and perhaps, to Iran. The Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister has made it clear on this trip

that he's trying to shield Lebanon from the repercussions of the war in Gaza.

Now, we're also waiting to hear from the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, who is expected -- who -- it's announced by Hezbollah

that he will be making a speech on Friday. Until now since the October 7th, he has not uttered a word. And the anticipation is that if perhaps Israel

intensifies its ground operations in Gaza, if there is no progress towards for instance a humanitarian pause in the Israeli operations to allow for

the entry of more aid and other supplies to Gaza, that perhaps he will take a more bellicose tone.

But we have to wait and see. But certainly, that speech will be key -- a key indicator as to where Hezbollah and perhaps behind it Iran is going as

this war continues. Eleni?

GIOKOS: Yes. A lot of unknowns, Ben, and really good point. You know, we spoke to Jeremy Diamond who's on the ground in southern Israel earlier. And

he was saying, look, Hezbollah has a lot more powerful weapons and missiles that they can use. They're not all in on this war. What would that look

like? Is the big question if they do decide to fully escalate?


And look, let's be honest, Hezbollah has got a very different -- very different political class than it had in the past.

How does that all play into the probabilities that we could be seeing playing out in the next few weeks?

WEDEMAN: Yes. I mean, Hezbollah compared to where it was say in 2000 -- July 2006 when it last had a war with Israel is much more powerful in terms

of weaponry, in terms of organization, in terms of battlefield experience. Let's not forget, Hezbollah was a key prop to the regime of Bashar Al Assad

in the war there. It has been involved in training other militias in Yemen and Iraq as well.

But it's also a key political player in Lebanon. It is a political party with representation in Parliament, in the government. It has a lot to lose

if for some reason, it draws Lebanon into a full-scale war with Israel. And it depends on political alliances to maintain its position and those

alliances could be jeopardized if Lebanon goes back into war. And let's also keep in mind the Israelis have made it clear.

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister of Israel. Before this war began, warned that if Hezbollah were to engage in another war with Israel, Lebanon, would

be bombed back into the Stone Age. Those are the words he used and many people here in Lebanon have reason to give those words some credibility.


GIOKOS: Ben Wedeman, thank you so much. Well, just ahead. A top official from Save the Children will join us up next, as a humanitarian crisis in

Gaza takes a heavy toll on the enclaves' youngest and most vulnerable inhabitants.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. This is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Eleni Giokos in Abu Dhabi. Now the IDF says it sent more ground forces into Gaza overnight and

killed dozens of terrorists who had attempted to attack Israeli troops, the Israeli military says.


Four prominent Hamas operatives are among the dead. This now is live look at Gaza and what we're seeing is plumes of smoke. And of course, we've been

seeing an increase in intensity of a ground offensive by the IDF that started on Friday has continued over the last few days. 600 or so targets

have been struck by Israel into Gaza, including weapons depots, dozens of anti-tank missile launching positions, Hamas hideouts and staging grounds

used by the group.

Meantime, the U.N. is warning that civil order is starting to break down in Gaza. It says thousands of people broke into some of its warehouses and

distribution centers and took wheat flour and other essential items over the weekend. People in Gaza are growing desperate as the humanitarian

crisis worsens.

Jason Lee is Save the Children's Country Director for the occupied Palestinian territories. He joins us now live from Jerusalem. So great to

have you with us. I want to get a sense of the numbers in the report that we saw coming through yesterday. And numbers often tell us a very important

story. It shows magnitude of impact of tragedy, especially in the most vulnerable. And you have put out a report saying that the number of

children that have died in the last three weeks is more than what we've seen annually since 2019. I want you to take me through what you've


JASON LEE, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, SAVE THE CHILDREN: Absolutely. The situation now in Gaza, we are at a humanitarian crisis. The number of deaths and

casualties and injuries for civilians has surpassed anything we've seen before. We are now at a stage where one child has been killed every 10

minutes. Two out of every three civilians being killed injured is a child or a woman.

There is absolutely no adherence to international law and the protection of civilians is paramount. All sides have to take immediate measures to

protect civilians. This is why the call for ceasefire is critical. There is nowhere that is safe in Gaza right now. You have a situation of 2.3 million

people live in Gaza, half of them are children. And all these 2.3 million people, 60 percent of the population have been displaced.

They are fleeing their homes, looking for any way to be saved, any refuge. And children, the families are being killed and injured into thousands. And

that rate is increasing.

GIOKOS: So Jason, and you mentioned something really important. You mentioned the population of Gaza, half of that population, mostly children.

And then it brings into question something we heard from the U.S. president last week, casting doubt on the death toll out of Gaza, citing the validity

of the Hamas-led Ministry of Health. And then we saw a comprehensive 200- page document with names, ages and other information.

What is your reaction to the White House's hesitation to trust those figures? And are there any question marks for you?

LEE: As all humanitarians, we rely on a variety of sources to verify data. We have looked through the numbers that have been produced by the Ministry

of Health and by the U.N. in several -- unfortunately, several previous escalations. And the numbers are pretty accurate. There is a small

difference, but not within statistical significance. And again, it shows that the data that we've been utilized that we've used, as we have in many

previous conflicts, as many Ministry of Health do produce in other parts of the world, where de facto authorities are running the health system.

They are accurate. There is no reason to doubt them. The civilian casualties and the numbers of deaths of children are real. My own teams are

impacted by sheltering the shelters. And they report the same thing. We see the impact on the civilian population. We see the children that have been

injured and they've been killed.

GIOKOS: Yes. And we've seen some of those harrowing images and absolutely tragic scenarios that are playing out right now. You mentioned your team is

on the ground. We're seeing a ground offensive that is gaining momentum in Gaza. We've seen a communication blackout as well. It's making it very

difficult for aid agencies to communicate, deploy resources. I want you to give me a sense of what your team is experiencing and whether you're able

to communicate with your team effectively and what you're learning.

LEE: Many of my team members like all humanitarians have been impacted. My own team members have to flee their homes. Some of them are living with

extended family, and some of them are living the shelters just like the 650,000 people that are now sheltering in schools. Despite this, we are

still doing assessments. So, my team are doing assessments of the various shelters that they're living in.

We're trying to deliver where we can. We've released all of our stocks to the U.N. We've done household distributions. We've released whatever we

can, life-saving interventions like water.


Communication with my team is difficult. Unfortunately, when the lines were down, we were unable to communicate with them. But there's been some

partial communications restored. This is why it's critical that there must be a ceasefire. Civilians cannot reach safety. Humanitarians cannot

deliver --


LEE: We can't find the vulnerable populations.

GIOKOS: So, Jason, on that note, you're saying there must be a ceasefire, the U.N. Security Council set to meet later on today. They're calling a

humanitarian pause. Is that going to be enough? International pressure? Absolutely mounting. UNHWA says that the fabric of society in Gaza is

starting to break down. The signs are there. We're seeing what's going on? Are you hopeful?

LEE: I can be nothing but hopeful because the situation now is so dire that unless we remain hopeful, unless we keep and protect the hopes and dreams

of children, we're lost. One of the things that I want to point out is the longer-term mental health consequences for children. I cannot imagine what

it's like for a child right now, especially a young child. They may not understand what is happening but they see, they hear and they feel


And all our research shows the tragic consequences that cycles of violence have been children. Anxiety, depressions, feeling of withdrawal, loneliness

or isolation. But worst of all, having no hope in the future. Having no hope there is a life for them. We need to remain hopeful. We need to push

for the international community to make sure that all sides, all sides adhere to international law and restore the hope and the futures for


GIOKOS: And as you say, the decision now lies with the people in the room later at the U.N. Security Council meeting. Jason Lee, thank you very much

for your insights. Thank you for joining us.

The U.S. has found itself having to respond to attacks on its troops in the Middle East just last week and carried out airstrikes targeting facilities

linked to Iranian-backed militants in eastern Syria.

Here's what U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told ABC News about the U.S. response in the region.


JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: And we of course, are taking every measure necessary to protect our forces, to increase our vigilance

and to work with other countries in the region to try to keep this conflict that is currently in Israel and Gaza from spinning out into a regional

conflict. But the risk is real.


GIOKOS: All right. For more on this, So I'm going to go now to Oren Liebermann who's at the Pentagon. Oren, great to see you. There are major

concerns of potential escalation in the region. We've seen these latest strikes. How is this being taken up in terms -- in terms of ensuring this

is contained but the U.S. also prepared for any eventuality?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: So, part of trying to contain it is on the diplomatic front. And that's where we've seen Secretary of

State Anthony Blinken and other members of the administration engaging as much as they can with other countries. Jake Sullivan, the national security

adviser in that interview also said that the Saudi defense minister would be in Washington starting today for meetings.

So, you see that effort on the diplomatic front. But it's also on the military side. The U.S. very clearly trying to send a message of deterrence

to Iran and its proxies with the forces, both naval and ground forces that had sent into the region. Still, even after those U.S. strikes in Syria

last week, we have seen a continuation of the attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. Now, since October 17th, there have been 23 separate

attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria, including a number of those attacks, even after the U.S. carried out strikes against Iranian-backed

militias in eastern Syria.

So, you see there the deterrence effect that the U.S. is trying to go for, not fully there yet. Those Iranian-backed militias still see an opening and

a reason to attack U.S. forces. It seems based on what we're seeing in the region. So, you see what the U.S. is going for. But very much, Eleni, you

see what the U.S. is concerned about. Even if the U.S. tries to separate the conflict in Gaza from the rest of the region, other actors there simply

don't see that as separate.

GIOKOS: All right. Oren Liebermann, thank you. And we'll be right back after the short break with some of the other headlines that we're following

right here on CNN.



GIOKOS: Welcome back. Now let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. In Saudi Arabia, ceasefire talks between

the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces resumed Sunday. This comes after six months of fighting. A U.N. official said thousands have

been killed in the North African nation and the U.N. is billions short and funding needed to provide aid.

Toxicology reports are pending after the death of actor Matthew Perry. The L.A. Medical Examiner's Office confirm that an autopsy has been conducted

(INAUDIBLE) final reports can take weeks to complete.

The beloved actor starred as Chandler Bing on Friends and he was just 54.

A U.S. politician has been acquitted on a gun charge by a Hong Kong court. Washington State Senator Jeff Wilson was charged with possession of a

firearm without a license after flying into Hong Kong International Airport just over a week ago with a gun in his carry on.

All right. Coming up next. Fears for the father of football Luis Diaz who has been kidnapped in Colombia. The latest on the massive search operation.

Stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: A major search operation is underway in Colombia to find the father of Liverpool footballer Luiz Diaz who was kidnapped to over the weekend.

Diaz's mother was also taken but later rescued. Colombia's police force says 130 officers are involved in the search.

Coy Wire joins us now. Coy, always good to see you. What is the latest on this story?

COY WIRE, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Hi Eleni. Colombia's national media says Diaz's parents were kidnapped by armed men on motorcycles at a gas station

in their hometown of Barrancas. The director general of Colombia's national police force saying that they're offering a reward of more than $48,000 for

any information leading to the rescue of Diaz's father. Now Liverpool announced before yesterday's Premier League match against Nottingham Forest

that Diaz was returning Home to Colombia, will be away indefinitely.


His teammate Diogo Jota honoring the Colombian after scoring of goal by lifting up his number seven Jersey. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saying

that the team dedicated that win to Diaz and said that it was really tough for the team to even get out there and play yesterday. Listen.


JURGEN KLOPP, LIVERPOOL MANAGER: How can you make a football game really important on a day like this? It's really difficult. I never struggled with

that in my life. It was always my safe place. My -- sometimes my hiding but as a player, as a coach, you are allowed during these 90 odd minutes to

focus just on that. And it was impossible. It was absolutely impossible to do that.

So, it was clear we have -- we have to give the game an extra sense. And it was fighting for Lucho and then the boys put out the shirt and I was not

100 percent prepared for that, to be honest. It was really touching but wonderful as well.


WIRE: Now, Eleni, Colombia's military forces saying that they deployed more than 120 men, drones, helicopters. They're all part of this search. Diaz is

26 years old, signed with Liverpool last January from Porto. It's unclear when he will rejoin his team but it's clear now that his focus is on

helping to find his dad. Of course, we're all hoping for the very best and we'll keep you up to date right here on CNN.

GIOKOS: Yes, absolutely. I mean, we are hoping for the best on that. And movements as well, Coy, on another huge sports. Sorry. What is the latest

with the Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales?

WIRE: Eleni, FIFA has just announced this morning that the former Spanish football association president Luis Rubiales has been banned from all

football-related activities for three years. This of course part of the fallout four his unwanted kiss on Spain's World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso.

FIFA's Disciplinary Committee announced that Rubiales is found to have acted in breach of Article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code.

After fierce criticism, Rubiales resigned last month from his role as president. World Cup winning manager Jorge Vilda was also fired from his

role. FIFA says that Rubiales' banned covers all football-related activities at national and international levels. But -- that it is subject

to a possible appeal before the FIFA Appeal Committee. FIFA is outgoing Secretary General Fatma Samoura said that she was encouraged by the global

support Hermoso received.

And she spoke exclusively with CNN's Senior Sports Analyst Darren Lewis earlier this month. Here's part of that conversation.


DARREN LEWIS, CNN SENIOR SPORTS ANALYST: You've been very vocal in your support for Jenni Hermoso.


LEWIS: And --

SAMOURA: And I was very pained that --

LEWIS: Just talk to us about that.

SAMOURA: That victory turned into something that nobody wanted to see happening.

LEWIS: What did you think when you saw those image?

SAMOURA: Well, I guess, OK, all these efforts that I've been doing for the past two years. Traveling massively in this country has been ruined by one

half a second gesture. And I just found it unfortunate that the girls after having won this most converted trophy on global women's football could not

enjoy it to the best. And that has to be really derailed from the joy. And yes, that was for me, something that really marked me.

And it's unfortunate it's happening during my last Women's World Cup.

LEWIS: How proud were you that women all around the world stood up to support the Spanish national team?

SAMOURA: Well, I think that's just the right thing to do. To me, it did not take one second to realize that, oh, that was very inappropriate. And the

way that the world reacted well, the majority of the people who like sport and also who respect the dignity of women was the right thing to do. And it

just reminds me what happened after George Floyd was killed, that the whole world reacted in a manner that we have also never experienced before.

Because racism has no place in society. Being also gender bias is definitely not something we can accept in football. And that was also one

of the buttons I pick up when I joined FIFA for the first time because I know that football can really unite the world. And we have been running

this campaign for years and to have it ruined at the last minute after this celebration of the biggest World Cup was just something that was



WIRE: Eleni, the fall out of Rubiales behavior sparked condemnation in Spain and around the world. Perhaps now with this latest decision, the

banning, three-year ban for Rubiales might help bring some justice to that situation.

GIOKOS: So, Coy, I want to ask you. What were you doing over the weekend? Did you watch any rugby?


WIRE: I was watching rugby steps on American football. But I know you were watching it.

GIOKOS: South Africa winning the World Cup. It was so momentous. Come on. I mean, we've got stills of this amazing game. You know, Springboks winning

against the All Blacks. And I have to tell you, Coy, you know, the last time South Africa went up against New Zealand in a final in the World Cup

final was in 1995. And we've got some images as well. And let me tell you. This is when sports kind of collides with politics.

And Nelson Mandela used this event to bring people together for reconciliation for healing some wounds and, you know, I'm sure you're

watching on this and thinking wow, right? Sports has a lot of power, doesn't it?

WIRE: Yes. And I -- if I'm -- if I'm not mistaken, someone told me that you have a very special memory about that time. When you were young watching

that there, right? In South Africa, that win with Nelson Mandela.

GIOKOS: Exactly. And I cried -- and I cried yesterday and the day before. I've just been -- I've been a wreck.

WIRE: Yes. I mean, this was a -- this was amazing. One-point wins. Their final three matches. Congratulations to South Africa. I ran into our

meteorologist Derek Van Damme out there. I said I was going to be speaking with you. He said, oh my gosh, tell her congratulations for the World Cup

win. So yes, awesome stuff, Eleni. Congrats to you and South Africa.

GIOKOS: Thanks, Coy.

WIRE: You got it.

GIOKOS: All right. Springboker for life. OK. That's it for CONNECT THE WORLD. State of the Race of Kasie Hunt up next.