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First of All with Victor Blackwell

Israeli Official: 14 Israeli Hostages to be Released Today; 24 Hostages Held By Hamas Were Released On Friday; Humanitarian And Trucks Lining Up Near Rafah Border Crossing; U.S. Official: Americans Not Expected To Be Part Of Saturday Release. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired November 25, 2023 - 08:00   ET



VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Welcome to this special edition of CNN this morning. We are continuing our coverage of this temporary truce between Israel and Hamas. And the expected release of more hostages today. My colleague Kaitlan Collins is live in Tel Aviv. And we'll have more from Kaitlan in just a moment.

But this morning we are monitoring the situation in Gaza and Israel. This is day two of this negotiated four-day truce. And now we're watching for the release of the hostages being held by Hamas they're expected to free 14 Israeli hostages. That's according to an Israeli source and exchange, Israel is prepared to release up to 42 more prisoners today. CNN has learned that no Americans are expected to be released today. Under the deal, Israel is freeing three Palestinians from jail for every Israeli hostage allowed out of Gaza. A Palestinian official a warning of what they call a possible crisis in the deal. They say Israel is not following the terms of the prisoner release deal.

13 Israelis, 10 Thai citizens one Filipino were in that first tranche of captive freed from a Gaza. This video was released by Hamas and CNN we should say had no control over this content. Four children were among those released in the first exchange. This video shows a family reuniting with their two and four-year-old daughters. Officials at the Children's Hospital say they're in good physical condition. But of course, we know there could be some scars that we do not see as the emotional toll of the last 50 days becomes evident.

The truce also allows the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. A trucks filled with essential supplies are lined up this morning at the Rafah border crossing. CNN is covering the developments Arlette Saenz, Larry Madona Oh, Jeremy Diamond are live for us but we begin with CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins. So let's start with the expectation, Kaitlan, and good morning to you.

The next release of hostages, what do we expect it?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, good morning, you guys. What we do know at this point is that those who's loved ones are expected to be part of day two of this hostage release. They already know that because the Israeli government has essentially, when they've gotten the list, they check it, they vet it, and then they make phone calls to these families to let them know that it is going to be their loved one that is coming home on that day that it's expected to come home. They add a major caveat, of course, that they are still in the hands of Hamas, and they can't make any guarantees because there is zero trust between Israel and Hamas, even though day one seemed to unfold as officials had hoped it would, they know that there are going to be difficulties each day. And I think that is something why no one's super competent every day when they get this list of what it's going to ultimately look like at the end. They want to wait for it to happen.

And of course, the families that are also getting the call that it is not their loved ones that are coming home, some of them have been incredibly hopeful. And as we've now learned that no Americans are expected to be on this list for the second day. That's obviously disappointing news for the White House because they had been anticipating that Americans would be in this first group of 50 to be released. And of course, they still certainly could. But they'd certainly been hoping that they would be in the first day or two. They didn't have any guarantees that they would. But obviously learning that news is something that White House officials likely already knew given there were no U.S. officials or U.S. families that were notified about their loved ones coming home.

Of course, this is all a tenuous deal. It's very fragile and delicate even though day one did go well. We are tracking all of it closely to see how day to unfolds. CNN's Jeremy Diamond is in Kerem Shalom near the Gaza border, where Jeremy, we saw a lot of activity yesterday, but I want to start with CNN Arlette Saenz who is learning new details about the Americans who are still being held hostage in Gaza.

Arlette, what are you hearing from officials this morning on their reaction to the news that no Americans are on this list?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, a short while ago a U.S. official told me that no American citizens are expected to be part of the second wave of hostages that are released today. As you noted, the Israelis have said that they expect 14 Israeli hostages to be released, but it's not expected that any of them will be dual Israeli American citizens. Now this comes as President Biden just yesterday was unable to put a timeline a specific day for when he believes the Americans will be released. But he said that hits his hope and expectation that it will be soon.


There are three American citizens that the U.S. has been hoping will be released as part of this negotiate a deal that includes two women, and also four-year-old Abigail Adan whose parents were killed in the October 7th attack by Hamas. But so far, the White House has been unable to provide an exact timetable for their release beyond saying that they are hopeful that they will be part of this these at least 50 women and children that had been negotiated to be released in the coming days.

I want to read you a statement from a quote from a White House official, who pointed to the president negotiating an earlier release of that mother and daughter, Judith and Natalie Renard (ph) that was back in October. They said, "The President secured the release of the two American citizens as the pilot to this larger release of hostages. We are early in this process that we will see at least 50 women and children released during the first phase of the agreement." The official added, "We are hopeful that will include three dual national women and children who are American citizens. This will unfold over the coming days. They added we will not comment on individual cases as the process is underway."

But obviously, the White House is in and many Americans have been watching this moment with high anticipation and hope that those American citizens along with a larger group will be getting out. Now, President Biden yesterday also said that he does not know the conditions of the Americans who are believed to be held hostage. There are about 10 unaccounted for Americans, but they are still remaining hopeful that in the coming days, this plan will remain on track, and that those three American citizens, the two women and that very young girl will be part of the group getting out very soon.

COLLINS: Yes, just shows you how much keeping that deal on track is so vital to them. And Jeremy, you're in Kerem Shalom where yesterday, we just saw so much activity. As you know, we really weren't sure what this process was going to look like as it unfolded. And then helicopters were landing right outside where you're standing now. What are you learning about what this round of the release is expected to look like? Is it going to be essentially what we saw happening yesterday breaking down hour by hour?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It could very well be the exact same thing that we saw yesterday. We don't know that yet for sure. We still -- we know that Israeli officials have been clear that they are maintaining a few different potential options, keeping those options open for the flexibility of this negotiation of this of this deal of the release of these hostages. But yesterday, what we saw was this camp Shalom crossing which is right behind us. That is where Israeli hostages took their first steps back on Israeli soil after being freed by Hamas. They were freed by Hamas initially inside the Gaza Strip released into Red Cross custody before being taken to the Rafah crossing in Egypt. From there, they then traveled to the Kerem Shalom crossing, where they then were able to enter Israel.

And then they traveled along this road here right behind me to get to that air force base where they were able to make their first phone calls to their family members, get medical evaluations and eventually be flown to various hospitals in Israel, where many of their family members were actually waiting for them. What we also saw was right over here, we had helicopters actually landing here, those I'm told, were there in case effectively in case any of these hostages who came out had a medical emergency or were deemed to injured or ill to be taken by car to a hospital and instead would need an immediate medical evacuation to a hospital. My understanding is those hospitals -- those helicopters that landed here, did not actually end up taking any of those newly freed hostages to where they came from. But this is still a very, very fluid situation. I mean, yesterday offered the hope that everyone was able to keep up

their end of the bargain that the process actually worked to get those hostages out of Gaza into Egypt and subsequently into Israel. But this is still a very delicate situation. As you know, Kaitlan, just a little bit ago, we heard from a Palestinian official who said that there is a possible crisis in the deal because of what he said was Israel not releasing prisoners of the Palestinian prisoners, by length of time that they had served effectively suggesting that Israel had not maintained its end of the deal fully. We've asked the Israelis for comments on that haven't received anything yet. But that just shows you how fragile the situation is. And officials have been very clear. This is a day-by-day process. And there are a lot of variables, a lot of potential bumps in the road that could emerge and so they are very mindful of that as we approach the hour when the next hostages could potentially be released.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely. Jeremy Diamond, Arlette Saenz, great reporting for both of you. Thank you.


This temporary truce as Jeremy noted there is tenuous but one major aspect of it this agreement between Israel and Hamas is that it is allowed for an increased number of aid trucks to go into Gaza where it is so desperately needed. So Larry Madowo is in Cairo tracking all of this. And Larry, obviously, what we saw yesterday was the most aid going into Gaza that has happened since this war between Israel and Hamas broke out, but I mean, it's obviously false short of what you know, was needed by the 2.2 million people there in Gaza. What are we expecting today, as far as the number of trucks that are going to go through the Rafah crossing?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kaitlan, we're starting to see more trucks coming in today. There's some discrepancy in the numbers between what the Egyptians are saying and what the Israelis are saying. But we know from an Egyptian official that 340 trucks have crossed over into the Rafah crossing into Gaza. It's not made it all the way into Gaza. Because there's one checkpoint of the Egyptian side, there's another checkpoint where the Israelis get a search what is coming into Gaza before it's dispatched to maintain, and they insist to maintain the humanitarian infrastructure in Gaza. So out of this train, and 40 trucks, the Egyptians tell us they have about seven fuel trucks and another for gas trucks. But the Israeli coordinator of government activities in the territory says they have about four food trucks for fuel trucks and for cooking gas trucks to small discrepancy data we're trying to figure out. But whatever that number is, is still badly needed for so many people who just need something to the can prepare a meal for their families like this one man.


EZZEDDINE ABU OMEIRA, GAZA RESIDENT (voice-over): Gas cooking is essential for everyone in Gaza. Nobody can cook or do anything without gas. We hope that they will provide us with some gas in the next two days. So all the people are hoping and ready for it to make their lives easier. (END VIDEOTAPE)

MADOWO: A lot of them, they hope that found that gas will make it to them. And not just to the hospitals and the other places where so many large numbers of refugees are being housed and whether the priority for this aid coming in is 137 trucks donated in yesterday. That's the largest humanitarian convoy to come into Gaza since October 7. Compare this, before October 7, about 455 trucks were coming in yesterday. And that was before this mass displacement that we have seen 1.7 million people in Gaza. Also today, the Egyptian official telling CNN that several families, dozens of families that were stuck here in Egypt have been able to cross back in Gaza at their request, and 17 critically injured Palestinians have crossed back into Egypt so they can receive medical attention.

It's still early in the day. We're waiting to see what happens across the day. If more trucks will come in at 3:40, that's almost two and a half times more than we saw yesterday, Kaitlan, if they're all make it in.

COLLINS: Yes, and obviously those trucks are carrying desperately needed fuel. Larry Madowo, we'll continue to check in with you to make sure that process is going smoothly. Thank you.

Joining me now is Brett Bruen, the president of the global situation room and former Director of Global Engagement in the Obama White House. And Brett, thanks for being here. I mean, just as we're watching and waiting for this next hour to approach to see if this process of the actual exchange of these hostages and the Palestinian prisoners, which we believe it's going to be 42 Palestinian prisoners today, making sure that that goes smoothly. What do you make of how the first day went and what it could say for today, even though we're hearing reports that there could be a points of disagreement, as Jeremy Diamond was noting there over which Palestinian prisoners are going to be released here.

BRETT BRUEN, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SITUATION ROOM: Kaitlyn, in diplomacy, we talk about confidence, building measures, especially in conflicts like we currently have in Gaza. I think yesterday was an important step in the direction of instilling or re-instilling some level of confidence on both sides, that these kinds of agreements would be honored. And as Jeremy's reporting suggests, there are going to be disagreements. The question is, is it in the interest of Hamas or in the Israelis to disrupt this process? There's a lot of international pressure, as you know, both from here in Washington as well as regional capitals, just stay the course.

COLLINS: Yes, there is a lot of pressure on that. I mean, but what do you make of how this has gone too far when it comes to the actual release and seeing you know, that the Palestinian prisoners are being released? You know, there was talk about whether or not they were allowed to celebrate last night, we certainly saw some of that. We saw Hamas putting out videos of them bringing the hostages to the actual beginning of the exchange of this release. And obviously, that's a propaganda video. We've shown it just because it's such a jarring video to see these hostages making their way through this crowd into the cars.

I mean, what do you make of the actual outcome of how, you know, Israel is getting these hostages home? The Palestinian prisoners are being released whether or not this gets extended past this initial 40 next hour or 96-hour period.


BRUEN: I think after the first day of exchanges, we can say that things are going pretty well. Yes, of course, Hamas is going to try to amplify to propagandize the effect of this to display this both to folks in Gaza, as well as regionally as a success as a win for what they've been fighting for. On the Israeli side, this helps Netanyahu a lot. It's something obviously, as you know, being in Israel, Israelis have been pressing hard to get the return of these hostages.

I think what's going to be critical here, Kaitlan are the next couple of days to see if in fact, we can get that extension. You know, when we talk about the weight of the world bearing down on Gaza on Israel to continue this, that is going to be critical. If we can get patients in the next 24, 48 hours that there is some sense, this negotiation can continue the ceasefire fire in (inaudible).

COLLINS: Prime Minister Netanyahu is also promising that this war is going to begin right after this this brief pause is over. Do you think that that actually happens? Or do you think that could change if that international pressure mounts high enough?

BRUEN: I've no doubt. Prime Minister Netanyahu intends to take up again, this mission to eradicate Hamas from Gaza. That being said, he's got to contend with a whole lot of factors, not least of which is President Biden, who just yesterday was suggesting that the U.S. physician might favor one of an extended ceasefire as well as negotiations. And look, we're hearing from observers both in Israel as well as here in the U.S. saying there are ways in which Netanyahu can get a number of key concessions from Hamas. I think what is going to be interesting to see is whether or not Arab leaders are starting to put some of those options on the table that we can see, perhaps, international observers going into verify that Hamas is not restocking and remilitarizing some of those zones that Israel had struck.

COLLINS: Yes, I thought it was notable after we heard for President Biden yesterday, he was walking on the streets of Nantucket, where he's on vacation right now where Arlette was, and people were chanting at him about genocide protesters, obviously. Brett Bruen, as always, thank you for your expertise on this.

Still ahead, Israel's release of 39 Palestinian prisoners on day one has prompted mixed emotions for some Palestinians who are joyful over their freedom still mourning the war that they know is about to restart in a matter of days. We'll talk more about that right after a quick break.


[08:22:08] BLACKWELL: Well soon, a second set of hostages taken by Hamas is expected to be released in exchange for Israel freeing Palestinian prisoners. And today's expected release comes after a successful exchange yesterday. 39 imprisoned Palestinians are now free.

This is video from the West Bank. It shows the jubilation from supporters rejoicing at the prisoners homecomings. But for some the joy of the freedom is tempered by the suffering in Gaza. Hamas authorities in Gaza say that more than 14,800 people have been killed by Israeli attacks since October 7. CNN is Nada Bashir joins us live from the West Bank. And Nada, you're at the prison where these Palestinians who are part of the exchange are expected to arrive. What are you hearing about what's going to or at least is expected to happen today.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: But Victor, in the last couple of minutes, we have actually seen three buses part of a police convoy now entering the prison. We've been hearing from security officials here on the ground who have told us that these verses were carrying some of the detainees and prisoners who were held in Israeli prisons southeast of Haifa. And of course, as we saw yesterday, that process is expected to follow a similar pattern once again where those detainees and prisoners will be held here at the offer prison for some time. They will undergo checks by the Red Cross before they can be released. But of course that release is dependent on the safe evacuation of those hostages inside guards are currently held by Hamas that agreed number as part of the chase. That is certainly what we saw take place yesterday.

Once we have that confirmation of the release of those hostages, we began to see prisoners and detainees held here being transported that. Those who live or are from the occupied West Bank are expected to once again be transported over the Petunia checkpoint was just a couple of 100 meters to my right and that is where we saw many people gathering yesterday as part of their celebrations, welcoming the return of those prisoners. And we are expecting 42 detainees and prisoners to be released as part of that truce agreement yesterday. As you mentioned, we thought 39, including 15 children and the majority of those who were released yesterday were detainees held under administrative detention meaning no charges laid against them. No clear legal process.

So of course, that is a huge point of contention more than 3,000 Palestinians are believed to be held under administrative detention at this current point in time. And as we saw yesterday, there was certainly a huge amount of relief, and certainly some jubilation over the return of those 39 detainees and prisoners. Take a look.



BASHIR: A joyous celebration as 23 year old Molag Suleiman (ph) finally arrived home in East Jerusalem after six years in an Israeli prison, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison at the age of 17. for attempted murder. Police say they found a knife in her possession near the old city of Jerusalem. It is a charge she and her family have long denied.

Suleiman is one of 39 prisoners. All women and minors released from jails in Israel on Friday in exchange for the release of hostages who had been held by Hamas in Gaza.


BASHIR: We saw many of those detainees now released, those prisoners are released rather, being carried on people's shoulders to the municipality building where a number of their family members were waited among the 15 miners who are released have been carried up this road on people's shoulders too much cheering and celebration, even fireworks being set off. We've also been speaking to people including relatives who say they didn't want to see these crowds.


WAEL AHMED, GAZA RESIDENT (voice-over): This celebration is not necessary. They need to be mindful of us in Gaza. This celebration is wrong. I am torn to pieces, have little mercy on us. They can be joyful, but the joy is in the heart because we are dying and Gaza have some respect for us a little.


BASHIR: The release of this first group of Palestinian prisoners comes as Israel and Hamas begin a four day truce. A window of desperately needed respite for civilians in Gaza. According to Hamas run health authorities in Gaza. Nearly 15,000 Palestinians in the Enclave have been killed over the last seven weeks alone. Israel says it is targeting Hamas in response to the terrorist attack of October 7, which killed more than 1200 Israeli citizens. But in Gaza, it is civilians that are paying the highest price. More than 8,000 Palestinians remain in Israeli jails, including more than 3,000.

According to the Palestinian commission for detainees and ex-prisoners affairs, held under administrative detention, meaning no clear charges, and no clear legal process. But for those gathered in the occupied West Bank on Friday night, this is a welcome moment of in their eyes, long overdue justice.


UM TARIQ, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN CITIZEN: People want to gather and be together in this moment. And however, folks internalize that in terms of their own emotional sort of reaction to it, that's for them to speak to. But I think people want to be here to be together to welcome home these prisoners. And that's part of the spirit of being Palestinian.

BASHIR: With over 100 Palestinian prisoners still set for release over the next few days, scenes like this are expected to continue. There's some say at too high a price.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BASHIR: Look, Victor, we still don't have confirmation of the

identities of those 42 detainees and prisoners set to be released today. Earlier in the week Israeli authorities released a list of 300 prisoners and detainees eligible for potential release as part of that wider 150 figure agreed upon in the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas. But as we know that list, the majority of those listed weren't children, some as young as 14, many of them again held under administrative detention, no charges laid against them. But amongst the charges that were listed, throwing stones and risking regional security were amongst the most common charges laid there. There is widespread concern over the number of children currently held in detention across Israel. That is a warning that we've heard from U.N. Rights experts, from Save the Children, particularly around the treatment that many of these children have faced while in detention.

The hope today, of course, for many here, particularly across the occupied West Bank, is that they will see more Palestinians released and that those releases will continue over the course of the next three days so long as the terms of this truce agreements are upheld.

BLACKWELL: Nada Bashir, outside the prison where the Palestinians who will be transferred will go later today, or I should say expected to go as this is a very tenuous situation. Thanks so much.

Still ahead more of those emotional reunions. 13 former hostages now back in Israel after their release, we'll show you the moments that some of them saw their families for the first time in nearly seven weeks.



COLLINS: After a grueling seven weeks of no communication and just outright fear for what was happening to their loved ones, some families of those who were taken hostage or reunited Friday. This morning, we are getting new images of those heartfelt reunions because they went through this arduous process of going through Egypt and then finally making it back here. Like this scene of nine year old Ohan Mudhar (ph) running into his family's arms along with his mother and his grandmother who were all finally reunited with their loved ones. CNN's Oren Liebermann's at that hospital where some of the hostages were taken after they were released yesterday.

And obviously, I mean, this has just been a nation that's been agreed for seven weeks now and to have this small moment yesterday, so many people here were just glued to their TVs watching all of this play out.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And I think even with all the difficulties the country is facing the challenge of knowing there are so many more who are still hostages. It was a true moment of pure joy especially for these families. And we'll take a look at these videos again. The first video nine year old Ohad Mundhar, running into the arms of his father there at Schneider Children's Medical Center. You can see as he runs down the hallway there he sees his father for the first time, (inaudible), the joy there. And then this other video from the Asher (ph) family that's Yoni Asher (ph), the father and the his two children, two year old, Avid Asher, and four year old, Raz Asher (ph) and their mother, the three of them were hostages there. The joyful reunion in the hospital there.


And you can see it on their faces. You can see it in the way they're acting. They've waited so long for this, to hear the news first, that they were coming into Israel, and then coming to their hospitals. And yet for the families that have had the chance to speak out, and not all have chosen to do so at this time, certainly, we're respecting their privacy. But for the families that have chosen to speak out, they realize this mission isn't over yet. They have lobbied so hard on behalf of their own families, but also in what they've called their wider family, their new family of those who are still waiting for their loved ones to come out. This is the grandchildren of the Yafa Addagh (ph). She was released. We were in her hospital, the Wolfson Medical Center last night. Here's what they had to say on the work. They still see as ahead of them right now.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't stop fighting. We will fight for all of them. We will demand the return. Please continue the prayer and make (inaudible) that Hamas will understand that we won't accept any other option by bringing them all back home. Thank you.


LIEBERMANN: And we will see that process continued today with the release of more hostages from Hamas captivity. The exchange for Palestinian prisoners, women and children who will return and if all goes well as it looks like it's going right now, there certainly have been some complaints here and there. But if this continues to go well, it's a process we'll see play out at least three more times tonight, tomorrow, the day after. And if the countries are successful in their efforts, a process that will play out beyond that.

COLLINS: And what's the condition of a lot of I mean, they're all they all went straight to the hospital, basically. But we haven't seemed to have heard anything about anything, you know, physically. I mean, obviously, they've been through insane mental trauma for the last seven weeks. But we haven't heard anything you know about the reports of their physical condition that seems you know, out of the ordinary.

LIEBERMANN: Correct. So Schneider Children's Hospital, which is where a number of the children obviously went yesterday, they said all the kids are in good physical condition. And we also heard from Wolfson Medical Center where the elderly when they said they're in stable condition. So that's at least I think you can - it's safe to say a good start on how they're doing.

Obviously, it's not just a question of physical condition that certainly that is important. It is also a question of their mental health. And there are psychologists and other experts on standby to help that part of the recovery. And that's its own challenge, given how long they spent in captivity. But that's something the Israeli medical system and the network is ready to address. They know what they have to deal with in this case. They know who they expect to come out on a daily basis as they learn those names. So that's a challenge they're ready to start dealing with. And one of the doctors who spoke with the hostages as they were coming out said that's a very long recovery process. But it begins with a family reunion.

COLLINS: Well, and just the psychological warfare that some of the -- I mean, Hannah (inaudible), what they were told, you know, publicly that she was killed in an airstrike. And then she got off that bus yesterday and was released. It's just what they've been through. Oren Liebermann, thank you. We'll wait to see what happens today on day two of this truce as we are waiting to see if this a delicate truce does continue to hold into a second a day.

Still ahead. President Biden weighing in on this vowing to bring all American hostages home, saying that he won't stop until that happens. We've just learned day two, no Americans are expected to be on that list. More on that ahead.



BLACKWELL: In just the past hour, we've learned that Americans will not be part of this second group of hostages scheduled to be released today. The White House hopes that three kidnapped American women and children will be part of a hostage release at some point over this four day pause. The president says that this is off to a promising start.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITE STATES: I've consistently pressed for a pause in the fighting for two reasons, to accelerate and expand humanitarian assistance going into Gaza and two, to facilitate the release of hostages. Now over the past several weeks, I've spoken repeatedly with the Emir of Qatar, the President Sisi of Egypt and Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel, to help secure this deal, to nail it down. And I want to thank all three leaders for their personal partnership to get this done.


BLACKWELL: President Biden vows that he will not stop until all the hostages are brought home. Now this four day pause includes terms that would allow the release of 50 hostages from Hamas captivity in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners release.

Joining us now is CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger. David, good morning to you. Let's start with your reaction to the news that there will not be Americans released on day two, if there are as Israeli official's report, 14 hostages released today. That'll put us at 27 more than half of the agreed upon release from Hamas, and no Americans. Your thoughts. DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, good morning, Victor. Well, first, the really good news is that we've seen the hostage process release process get going. That's great. I think you know, a week ago, we would have been pretty doubtful that second the hostage as we've seen so far, seemed to be in pretty good shape. Below, the reports are a bit remote, but at least their physical condition is good.

It doesn't surprise me that Hamas is sort of dangling the Americans out toward the end of this. But you know, part of the deal is that of those 50 that will be these two women and the toddler and we can just hope and pray that that goes as planned. I think really hard part for this, Victor, isn't going to be days two, three and four. Though obviously things could go -- it's going to be what happens after that. Does Israel resume the bombing? Do they take advantage of the provision in the deal that calls for an extension of it, of one more day for each 10 more hostages that can get released? And there's going to be a big debate inside Israel about which should be their priority.


BLACKWELL: Yes. I imagine that after seeing the Israeli public watching for four days, the hostage releases and these reunion videos and celebrations on the street, the public polls that show that yes, the priority is releasing these hostages what then to do about Hamas? Do you expect that public pressure will shift on Netanyahu government to potentially continue to hold off on resuming the hostilities?

SANGER: I suspect it will, Victor. There are two objectives in this war. And we are now seeing how much they are really intention. The first objective, of course, is to remove a mask permanently from the Gaza to defeat Hamas. Hamas still controls a good deal of the Gaza Strip, not the northern area where the Israelis have gone in, but much of the rest of it. If they remain control, that would be seen at least celebrated by Hamas as something of a victory for them. So that's it at one extreme.

At the other extreme, as you point out, there's a lot of public pressure to get back all of the hostages or as many as you can, and that will shut down once the bombing begins, one would have to presume. And then there's a third element, Victor, and that is that we're going to begin to see more international pressure on Israel not to resume. You heard that in the subtlest of forms from President Biden, yesterday, in Nantucket, where he said that he thought that there was a good chance or real chance he said that the pauses could continue. Now when a pause turns into a ceasefire, that's sort of a mystery.

BLACKWELL: Yes. And Josh Rogen and his conversation with Becky Anderson earlier this morning explained just the -- not just inconsistency but direct conflict between the priorities of Netanyahu and Biden. Netanyahu says his promise to the Israeli people is ending Hamas. President Biden just wants to see the fighting stop. When those two hit one another at the end of day five, what happens then? Because simply getting the hostages home is not fulfilling Netanyahu is promise. SANGER: That's right. And of course, Hamas knows that if they release all of the hostages, then there is no leverage at all over Prime Minister Netanyahu to hold back on the bombing. There's another factor for Prime Minister Netanyahu, which is that once this warheads, in other words, once the active bombing part of it ends that will then begin the inevitable investigations into how the October 7 attack began. And you know, that's going to be that's going to be pretty difficult for him because, obviously, the Israeli intelligence system was asleep. And the army itself the Israeli Defense Forces, responded slowly. And that's an investigation that he probably wants to put off.

BLACKWELL: David Sanger, always good to have your insight and perspective. Thanks so much.

Still ahead, we're getting reports that Derek Chauvin, the former officer who was convicted in the killing of George Floyd has been assaulted in federal prison. We have details for you.


BLACKWELL: The former Minneapolis Police Officer convicted in the murder of George Floyd was assaulted in federal prison is according to CNN sources. Let's bring in CNN and Carlos Suarez now so what happened?

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So according to the Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, he says that his office was made aware of the fact that that the stabbing took place, and that the 47 year old Chauvin is in stable condition at a hospital and is expected to be okay. Now Alison went on to say that of course, he was saddened to hear about what happened and that Chauvin should be able to carry out his sentence without the fear of violence and retaliation. We know that there's a stabbing took place yesterday afternoon at a medium security Federal Prison out in Tucson Arizona where Chauvin is carrying out his sentence.

Now the details leading up to the stabbing are still unclear at this hour. Federal prison officials really did not give a whole lot of information about what happened other than to say that, "Life saving measures were taken and that none of their employees were hurt." Chauvin is serving two concurrent sentences on state and federal charges with regards to George Floyd's murder. Again, we're told that the 47 year old is in stable condition and that he is expected to be okay.

And then earlier this week, Victor, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Chauvin case this after his attorneys argued that he did not receive a fair trial.

BLACKWELL: All right, Carlos Suarez, thank you. Up next we'll take you back to Israel where we're waiting for more hostages to be released by Hamas that could happen at any moment. CNN is breaking news coverage continues in a minute.



BLACKWELL: Good morning. Welcome to a special edition of CNN Newsroom as we continue our coverage of the truce between Israel and Hamas and the expected release of more hostages today. My colleague Kaitlan Collins is live in Tel Aviv, and we'll have more from Kaitlan in just a moment.

This morning, we of course are monitoring the situation in Gaza and Israel. It is day two of a negotiated four-day truce, and we're now watching for the release of more hostages being held by Hamas. 85- year-old Rafa Adar (ph) is among the 13 former hostages now reuniting with family members this morning. Four children were among those released in yesterday's exchange, including these two girls, a two- year-old and a four-year-old. And officials at the Children's Hospital say that they are in good physical condition but there are still so many families who are hoping for their loved ones to return.