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Early Start with John Berman and Zoraida Sambolin

Source: Doha Talks Push Towards Extending Truce Again; WHO: Death Toll Could Spike From Infectious Diseases; Japan: U.S. Military Osprey Aircraft Crashes Off Coast; Israel, Hamas Blame Each Other for Violating Truce in Gaza. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired November 29, 2023 - 05:00   ET




Israel has a list of hostages that could be freed today. Could the Gaza truce be extended, too?

Plus, the pause allows more aid to flow into Gaza. We're going to have more ahead on how much and from where it's coming.

And, Nikki Haley just scored a big endorsement from a group with incredibly deep pockets. Will money help put a dent in Donald Trump's huge lead?


HUNT: Good morning to our viewers in the United States, and around the world. I'm Kasie Hunt. It's Wednesday, November 29th, 5:00 am here in Washington.

It's noon in Gaza, where the extended truce between Israel and Hamas is now in its sixth and possibly final day, as negotiators work toward the release of more hostages.

We are learning that the ongoing talks in Doha between officials from Israel, the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt have been positive. A source telling CNN they are in agreement to extend the pause in fighting. More hostages are said to be freed in the hours to come. Sources say a list of names has been given to Israel, and families have been notified.

Hamas released 12 hostages at the Rafah crossing on Tuesday. Ten Israelis and two Thai nationals. This comes as more crashes were reported in the West Bank between Palestinians and the IDF, and skirmishes in northern Gaza as well.

In Gaza, the health system has all but collapsed. There is limited to no fuel, water, and medical supplies. The World Health Organization warns the death toll from disease will soar if infrastructure is not restored.

CNN's Scott McLean joins us from Istanbul now with the latest.

Scott, good morning to you, where do the talks in Doha stand, and what are the barriers to getting this truce extended?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, good morning, Kasie.

Look, the barriers are probably not that big to get this extended for a short period of time, a longer extension though is much more complicated. According to a source familiar with the talks happening in Doha, the expectation is that if all goes according to plan, today, Hamas will likely agree to extend this truce for at least another day to get ten more women and children hostages out. But there are only enough women and children in captivity in Gaza to last another two days.

Beyond that, we are talking about negotiations for civilian men, and Israeli soldiers, some of whom, by the way, are female.

Hamas says that there have not been discussions thus far about Israeli troops, releasing Israeli troops held hostage right now. It is proposed the possibility of two deals, one, a partial deal, it is calling to focus just on civilians, or another one it is calling a comprehensive deal to also deal with those Israeli soldiers. But that would take Israel effectively emptying the jails of Palestinian prisoners, something that is not likely to have been at this stage.

We are also hearing from a member of the Israeli Knesset, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.N. who says, the Israeli government has signed off until Monday to have these -- this pause extended. But beyond that, the government would have to meet again to agree to a new deal, or a tweet deal, and keep in mind as well, that the Israeli military has made abundantly clear it is gearing up for the second phase of this war. He was asked how long Israel is willing to hold back on its continued -- continuation of its military campaign.



DANNY DANON, FORMER ISRAELI DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER: I speak a lot with him military, and in the military it is not easy for us. It puts the lives of soldiers in threat. But if we can bring more hostages we are willing to pay that price. So if we need to wait another few days, another week, we will do it. And after that, the military will go south and will continue with the war.


MCLEAN: Remember, this is quite a delicate, Kasie, because -- this is quite delicate of course because both sides have been accused of violating the cease-fire yesterday in an exchange of fire between Hamas and the IDF soldiers. And, so there are no guarantees that this goes on. But obviously there are plenty of hopes that it will.

HUNT: All right. Scott McLean for us in Istanbul, thank you very much for that report.

The White House says the U.S. military will fly three planeloads of critical aid from Gaza during the current pause. [05:05:02]

The first flight landed in Egypt on Tuesday, carrying more than 54,000 pounds of food, and other basic supplies. The director of USAID says the truce has allowed about 240 trucks to enter Gaza each day, but that it is not enough.


SAMATHA POWER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UNITED NATIONS: It will be inadequate without commercial traffic as well, accompanying humanitarian traffic.


HUNT: CNN's Larry Madowo is live in Cairo for us.

Larry, good morning to you. The director of USAID the also said that they are working on getting commercial goods into Gaza. What does that look like? And how does this start given that this truce is currently set to expire?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kasie, the plan and the hope is that the commercial goods can flow into Gaza even if this truce which ends today is not extended because, U.S. officials understand that from the president down, that the current amount of aid coming in is simply not enough, and it's got to be complemented by a flow of goods coming back into Gaza.

And this is why, because when you think about the seven weeks of fighting, almost 15,000 people have been killed, and 1.7 million people displaced, that is a huge number. The World Health Organization warning that everyone, everywhere has dire health needs. We're talking about acute sicknesses. We're talking about diarrhea, infectious disease, this respiratory illnesses, these are all things they do not have the health infrastructure right now to handle.

Listen to this warning.


MARGARET HARRIS, WHO SPOKESPERSON: Eventually, we will see more people die from disease than we are even seeing from the bombardment if we are not able to put this health system, and provide the basic supplies, food, water, medicines, and of course fuel to operate the hospitals.


MADOWO: All those are essential items that have been coming in a lot more over the last five days because of this pause in fighting, food and fuel, baby formula, relief, items medical supplies, cooking gas, but not nearly to the extent that is needed when you're talking about mass displacement where people have nothing except the clothes on their bags. Winter is coming, and it is getting really cold often, it leads to flooding and even more levels of displacement. That is why U.S. officials are talking to Israeli officials to allow

-- find a way to allow a consistent flow of aid, but also commercial goods coming back, so that the markets have things for people to buy when they have a chance to do so. Otherwise, this aid coming in, even the 240 trucks that have been coming in over the past five days are simply not enough, Kasie.

HUNT: All right. Larry Madowo for us in Cairo, thanks very much for that report.

And we've got breaking news out of Japan where the coast guard says a U.S. military Osprey aircraft with eight people aboard has crashed off the coast of Yakushima Island.

A spokesperson says what's believed to be a wreckage and lifeboat have been found -- at least one person has been killed. The osprey is a plane that can take off and land like a helicopter. It also has a history of safety problems. Three marines were killed in Osprey crash in Australia back in August.

All right. Still ahead here, Israel and Hamas accusing each other of violating the truce in Gaza. But neither side has pulled out. We'll tell you why.

Plus, new demands from Trump lawyers in his attempts to prove the 2020 election was stolen. It was not.

And thousands are digging out this morning after Arctic air dumped heavy snow across several states. We'll have the latest.



HUNT: Welcome back.

Israel and Hamas clashing in northern Gaza Tuesday which both sides say violates the humanitarian pause in the fighting. The skirmish broke out when Israel says three explosive devices were detonated in two different places, and, quote, terrorists open fire, lately injuring some IDF soldiers, end quote. Meanwhile, Hamas is accusing Israel of the clear violation of the truce.

CNN's Max Foster joins me now.

Max, good morning. Always good to see you.

Both sides are accusing each other here of violating this truce. I know when I saw this come out yesterday, I thought, hmm, is this off, but it doesn't seem like it's derail things at this point. Why not?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It does show that this is a very tense truce, right, there's things happening on the ground which could kick off at any time. In this situation, it was dealt with underground, and neither side escalated it. It doesn't sound like to their leadership who then decided the truce is over. It shows that the truce is very sensitive and it could potentially

break, but it also shows the will behind it on both sides. And we're in the second day of an extended truce that's taught now both sides about extending it even further. So I think actually, what we need to look at it as a positive that was a skirmish, it did not escalate, and the truce holds.

HUNT: Right. I mean, I think it does seem to line up with the reporting that there also is consensus at this point that they want the truce to continue. I know, you know, we have talked about this the last couple of mornings, is this still the reality that there are women and children who can be released under the terms that have been agreed to in this truce? That that is still likely to change if and when Hamas no longer has hostages that fit that profile to release?

FOSTER: As you know, it's not entirely clear who is on the hostage list, so we are waiting to see who Hamas can deliver as it were, and it will certainly be delivering women and children first. Cynical eyes on this would say that is because the really valuable hostages, the most valuable are the man, and the IDF soldiers.


So as that the numbers of hostages held goes down, I'm sure we are looking at a situation where Hamas will be asking for more in return for the release of those IDF soldiers in particular, speaking to a former hostage negotiator earlier on this morning, and he said that's going to be the big, big test coming out -- coming up, how the deal with that and also whether or not there is the difference of opinion between the U.S., and Israel and how to deal with that, because ultimately talking about the price, how much is an IDF soldier work, Hamas want one thing, Israel want another, and that increase of all tension in those negotiations.

It's been -- I'm not going to say easy up until now. Of course, it hasn't been easy, but it is not easy when you are talking about women and children being released, about those men and soldiers, so, we are getting two really tough part of negotiations, now I think.

HUNT: What's what is the difference between what the U.S. wants, and what Israel wants?

FOSTER: It's just whether or not there is, you know, when you start changing the rules. We know of been tone, now a certain number of Palestinians, for example, have been released for every Israeli. If they go to the next round of negotiations, changing those parameters, then they'll have to be discussions between the U.S. and Israel. Israel might say, you know, you can go to 500 Palestinians being released, Israel might say -- U.S. might say 500, Israel might say 250, will there be tension there?

So that leads to negotiations between Israel's allies, between those two sides, and Hamas will be aware of that as well.

HUNT: Yeah, very interesting.

All right. Max Foster, thank you very much as always my friend. See you tomorrow.

FOSTER: Thanks, Kasie.

HUNT: All right. CNN now has a copy of former Congresswoman Liz Cheney's new book. What she reveals about the relationship between Trump and House leadership. That's ahead.

And a national Christmas tree no match for yesterday's gusty winds here in Washington, D.C. We're going to have weather update, coming up.



HUNT: All right. Quick hits across America now.

Family and friends will say final farewell to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter today at a private funeral in Plains, Georgia. It comes after a memorial service Tuesday where her grandson remembered her as someone who inspired the world, but also as a normal grandmother.


JASON CARTER, GRANDSON OF ROSALYNN CARTER: She was like everyone else's grandmother in a lot of ways. Almost all of her recipes call for mayonnaise, for example. We all got cards from her on our birthdays, 20-dollar bill in it. When I was 45, 20-dollar bill.


HUNT: A love letter from former President Carter to Rosalynn was also read allowed by their daughter, Amy.

Former attorney Alex Murdaugh sentenced to 27 years after pleading guilty to nearly two dozen states financial crimes. He is now serving life sentences for the murders of his, wife and son.

And Kansas governor halting license plate production after a strong response to the new design. People were upset. Of course, they would be. The colors are like the University of Kansas' archrival, the University of Missouri. Hello, obvious mistake.

All right. Let's get now to weather, because cold air stretching across the U.S. this morning. There is lake effect snow impacting several states, and at the National Christmas tree here in Washington, it was no match for the strong winds we had last night, toppling the 40-foot Norway spruce on the ellipse. Near the White House, oh, no.

Our weatherman Derek Van Dam checking all of this for us.

Derek, it is freezing here and across the country it sounds like?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, you got to think about what happened in D.C. yesterday, right? So you had winds over 40 miles per hour. You've got a 40-foot in they'll with this spruce, that is catching the brunt of that strong wind.

And, of course, this is going to topple something that doesn't have the root structure anymore. So that was a danger. Hopefully, they get that upright as quickly as possible. The winds have relaxed across the East Coast because the front responsible for the strong winds but also the lake effect snow has moved off shore.

So, the winds are going to relax. But the damage has already been done. Not only with it Norway spruce, the Christmas tree falling over the national ellipse, but look at what it did here. This is the winds affect over the lake. Of course, we get this lake effect snow banding that occurs downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

Some of these snowfall totals were very impressive. I want to show you Cleveland, Ohio, yesterday, check out the treacherous roadways heading into the city. No one wants to travel on that, nearly two feet of snow in some places across New York. Michigan also got in on some of that lake effect snow action as well.

This high pressure, there is the departing cold, but it is that pressure, grading the squeeze that puts the wind over the Great Lakes and the Eastern Seaboard.

Well, this is the remaining lake effect snow bands just south of Buffalo, just north of Syracuse, south of Watertown, and they become thinner and thinner as time goes on.

The winds will change direction. The weather actually is going to improve greatly for much of the east coast. We have to get there at least one more day of cold air. Look at those single digit and temperatures in the teens, that is what it feels like on your skin as you step aside.

We all know it's cold, 'tis the season, but yeah, it is just brutal out there especially with that win.

HUNT: It is brutal. Hopefully, the Christmas tree lighting I think is supposed to go off still, we will see if it blows over again once that all goes up, fingers crossed.


Weatherman Derek Van Dam, thank you very much, my friend. I'll see you tomorrow.

VAN DAM: Have a great day.

HUNT: You, too.

All right. Still ahead, critical talks in Doha on hostage releases as Gaza enters the final day of the truce between Israel and Hamas.

And disgraced GOP Congressman George Santos still refusing to quit even as he faces expulsion from the House as soon as tomorrow.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) HUNT: Good morning. Thanks for being up early with us. I'm Kasie Hunt.

It is just before 5:30 here on the East Coast, 2:30 out West.

The extended truce between Israel and Hamas is now on its sixth and possibly final day as negotiators work toward more hostage releases. We are learning the ongoing talks in Doha between officials from Israel, the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt has been positive. A source telling CNN they're in agreement, toward extending the pause in the fighting.

More hostages are set to be freed in the coming hours. Sources say a list of names --