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Laura Coates Live
Hamas's Unprecedented Attack In Israel; At least 1,200 People Have Been Killed in Israel Since Saturday; Nine Hundred People Dead in Gaza, According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 10, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: Thank you so much, Abby. I really appreciate your interviews this evening. And good evening. This is Laura Coates Live.
It's already morning in Israel and also in Gaza. And really, I want to take a step back tonight. I want to talk about the weight of all of this. It has touched all of us, and you've undoubtedly been feeling it, too.
Perhaps many of you are extremely knowledgeable about the political history of the region, and maybe many of you may be learning in real time since Hamas's unprecedented attack, and you're trying to understand the complexities and the nuances, all, of course, while trying to process the horror of war. You're not alone in trying to balance when to lean in and when to look away.
The stories of brutality and cruelty and devastation, they are truly shocking. The death toll is still rising. At least 1,200 people have been killed in Israel since Saturday, and that's according to Israel's public broadcaster. Nine hundred people dead in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Mothers, fathers, children, brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends slaughtered in the middle of their daily lives.
Now Israel is hammering Gaza with airstrikes hitting hundreds of targets and reducing neighborhoods to rubble as new and unthinkable atrocities are being uncovered in its territory after the devastating attack by Hamas militants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Bloody hands of the terrorist organization Hamas, a group who stated purpose for being is to kill Jews. This was an act of sheer evil. More than 1,000 civilians slaughtered, not just killed, slaughtered in Israel. Among them, at least 14 American citizens killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COATES: But the numbers, they can't even begin to tell the full story. The toll that it has taken and will take is perhaps incalculable. This is about human lives, human lives that have been lost, human lives that have been traumatized, human lives that are still missing. A man who was abducted from the music festival attacked by Hamas gunmen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICARDO GRICHENER, NEPHEW ABDUCTED IN HAMAS ATTACK: The situation is brutal. Whoever saw the video got intimidated, right? It's horrifying to see your nephew in this situation basically hit, brutalized, something that anybody that is human will be, of course, shot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: A woman murdered inside of her own home by Hamas posting video of her dying on her own Facebook page.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YOAV SHIMON, GRANDMOTHER KILLED IN HAMAS ATTACK: My grandma was more concerned about my mom and my aunt's safety than her own. She was in the shelter, but she was just making sure that we're all safe, that we're good. And then within 10 minutes of those messages, we saw the video.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: A man who says he played dead inside of a bunker as people around him were killed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RAFAEL ZIMERMAN, SURVIVED MUSIC FESTIVAL ATTACK BY PLAYING DEAD IN BUNKER: I just covered myself with the dead people, a lot of dead people. So, I stayed there inside like for hours, just waiting for dying. You know, I just wanted to die in peace because I suffered so much, so much. The gas -- I just -- in the middle of the gas, I just remembered, I don't know how it was, but now I know, I know how it was. I just started to think how was it in the Holocaust.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: A mother looking for her daughter, holding out hope that she may still be alive after fearing that she was killed and paraded through the streets.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICARDA LOUCK, DAUGHTER MISSING AFTER HAMAS ATTACK: We heard information that she is alive and that she has a bad head injury and is in a hospital. That's all we know and that gave us hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: A Palestinian-American mother stuck in Gaza with her three children with no way out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANEEN OKAL, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN STUCK IN GAZA: It's terrible. My kids are very scared, and they're afraid of what's going on. I have to explain all the time. I have to calm them down and trying to make them feel comfortable, safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: So, tonight, I'm going to talk about the human beings in these headlines. Now, I cannot control nor am I trying to tell you how to feel about any of them. I can only tell you what has happened and what is happening and what might still happen.
From the real experts, tonight, I'll talk to a survivor of the carnage at the music festival where 260 people were killed. And here with me in studio tonight to help put everything we're seeing in perspective, two people who know this region inside and out.
Mark Dubowitz is the CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He has advised four different presidential administrations, is an expert on Iran, and has even been sanctioned by them for his work. And Beth Sanner, a CNN national security analyst, who is the former deputy director of National Intelligence. Together with them and you and I, we are going to learn together.
But first, a father whose son is missing after a massacre at his kibbutz. Jonathan Dekel-Chen says he does not know where his 35-year- old son is after a Hamas attack near the border, and he joins me now. Jonathan, I'm so sorry about what's happening to your son and everyone at the kibbutz. Have you been in touch with U.S. officials about your son? Are they getting you any information?
JONATHAN DEKEL-CHEN, SON MISSING AFTER HAMAS ATTACK: Well, good morning. The picture on the screen is my beautiful son, Sagui, 35 years old, father of two wonderful, beautiful little girls, expecting a third girl in a couple of months.
The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and the U.S. State Department as well contacted me last night, Israel time, just to touch base, to make sure that they have the correct information about my son as an American citizen, but they were not able to offer any information in there.
For all of those -- for well over 130 people from our region who are either verified as hostages in the Gaza Strip or missing, like my son, there's no information of any kind whatsoever since they were abducted on Saturday morning.
COATES: Have they given a kind of timeline of any kind of when they might expect to provide information or they are still trying to uncover the details?
DEKEL-CHEN: I can't speak for the American government or for the Israeli government. To be honest, I'm an Israeli-American but I've lived my entire adult life on Kibbutzim in Israel, along the border. Kibbutz is a communal farm. It is a place of beauty, a place of agricultural production, culture. I have no way of estimating how long it might take for any kind of negotiations, if they will ever exist, with Hamas as a terrorist organization, to free any of these people.
And keep in mind, we're not talking just about young men like my son. This is from infants to very elderly people who could not actually move on their own to be taken into captivity. They were taken in wheelchairs, dragged, uh, across fields in order to be taken back to Gaza. And so, we're talking about, uh, an absolute disaster. In our case, perhaps, uh, a bit differently from the poor young people who were murdered at the music festival.
This is our home. Our home was rendered utterly uninhabitable. The entire community and almost all of these border communities are no longer inhabitable because it was not just murder, it was not just barbaric treatment of people of all kinds, it was the utter destruction of our communities. We at this point have nowhere to go back to.
COATES: Jonathan, I understand that of the 400 people in your kibbutz, you say that fewer than half are survivors tonight. What is to come now of those who remain and are accounted for? Where will you go?
DEKEL-CHEN: Well, for the next week or so, the Israeli government has provided us temporary housing in a hotel in Eilat, a city at the southern tip of Israel that's very far from the fighting and for the meantime, at least, is quite safe.
The condition of my neighbors, my friends, my family, my grandchildren who survived is unspeakable at this point. All of them are in one or another state of trauma. They woke or were awoken around 6 a.m. on Saturday morning by something that can only be described as a pogrom.
You know, the terrible images that most of us would have thought could not possibly reappear in the 21st century took place in my home over the course of about six hours before -- between 6 a.m. and the time that the IDF, the Israel Defense Forces, actually came to repulse these invaders, these barbarians from our homes.
And by that time, several dozen of our kibbutz members from, as I said, infants, toddlers to elderly people were murdered in their homes, all of our homes were set ablaze by these terrorists, visibly taken away or taken away to Gaza as hostages, and we know nothing of their fate.
Or like my son, we simply do not know exactly where they are. They -- we know that they were on the kibbutz at that point. We lost communication with Sagui around 9.30 in the morning on September -- excuse me, 9:30 in the morning on Saturday as he, like almost all of the other young men on the kibbutz, were doing everything they could to defend their families and everyone else's families on our very small community. COATES: Jonathan Dekel-Chen, thank you so much for joining. We are thinking of your family and your community, and your son and his family among so many others. Thank you.
DEKEL-CHEN: Thank you.
COATES: Amid all those horrifying stories, Israel now appears to be preparing for a possible ground invasion into Gaza. I want to go to CNN's Matthew Chance, who is live for us right now in Tel Aviv. Matthew, President Biden pledging his support to Israel as more troops are moving to the border with Gaza. What do you expect Israel's next move to be?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Laura, Biden -- President Biden pledging his support and also placing the world's biggest aircraft carrier, I remember, off the coast of Israel as well to provide a deterrence in case any surrounding countries decide they want to try and intervene if and when Israel embarks on a land invasion of the Gaza Strip. Of course, the Israelis have not given a timeframe for that, although the defense minister of the country today said that it would happen later.
But in the meantime, remember that Israel has called up more than 300,000 of its reservists. It called up just another 60,000 in the past 24 hours. It has deployed something in the region of 35 battalions in various places around the country, but directionally towards the Gaza Strip. And so, every sign, every pointer on the ground is that preparations for a land invasion of Gaza of some kind are being -- are being set out.
Now, if that does happen, and I think there's a lot of political pressure on the Israeli government to do something like that, I think it will have a lot of support amongst the Israelis because we've spoken to even the most left-leaning of Israelis in this country that have been in the past opposed to incursions by the Israeli forces into Gaza, even people like that are telling us that they now support military operations towards and inside of Gaza.
And so, the effect of these attacks by Hamas and we've been reporting on how appalling they are has had the impact of really uniting Israel in this moment of horror and rage and crisis.
Remember, every Saturday, for the past several months, there have been protests against the Israeli government. That has now ended and the political divisions have closed at least for the moment as the country sort of braces itself for what will be the next stage in this -- the war that it has said it is now engaged in. Laura?
COATES: Matthew Chance, thank you so much, from Tel Aviv. I want to bring in our experts on the region. They are with me in studio. Mark Dubowitz and also Beth Sanner are here with me. I mean, we're hearing these stories and it gives you such pause. Your heart breaks and it sinks just thinking about the stories that are told and those we are yet to uncover.
You heard from President Biden today, who has expressed support, obviously, for Israel as well and confirming that there are some Americans who are not only missing but are hostages. Both of you have such expertise in this region. You lived there recently over the past 14 months and then other things.
Um, what does it look like, the response, and how complicated now that Americans are involved? How does that complicate and escalate the situation?
MARK DUBOWITZ, CEO, FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES: Well, it's certainly very complicated for President Biden. I mean, obviously, we've had American citizens killed, taken hostage. But I think President Biden, you know, made it very clear that his support for Israel, as he said, is unwavering.
I spoke to Israeli friends who have witnessed these horrors over the past three days, and they said the first time that they actually cried was during President Biden's speech, because he gave such expression to their pain. I think President Biden, obviously, has been through a lot of family pain himself, having lost a wife and two children. So, I think for Israelis, they are incredibly grateful to the president.
And I think the president himself, even though this is an incredibly complicated political issue for President Biden, understands that Israel has to do what Israel needs to do in order to destroy Hamas, the terrorists that have committed this genocide, and go after the weapons that are inside Gaza.
COATES: You know, it was interesting, and he's often noted as the compassion in chief and comforter in chief, he did not talk about restraint. Some people were expecting him today in this speech not only to do what you're talking about, which cannot be given short strife (ph), but also to maybe address -- would he talk about restraint? How would he address this? What are the options he has?
BETH SANNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: He doesn't actually have any options, I think, to restrain Israel. First, I don't think that he really wants to at this stage. I mean, I think that there is this sense that there has been this total paradigm shift.
You know, this isn't just a small incursion. You know, I don't want to diminish anyone's life but, you know, maybe one or two people getting killed or, you know, rockets going off, I mean, this is of a proportion that is unfathomable for anyone involved looking at this.
And so, that is why the Israeli public and the president over decades and decades and decades, you know, very much committed to defending Israel. So, this is part of his DNA and saying, this must stop. You know, it can't actually happen again. And so, now, something has to be done to prevent Hamas from doing this again.
And so that's where we are now. But I do think that we're going to reach a period in the coming weeks now if this ground incursion goes forward at any scale. Maybe it'll be smaller. Maybe it'll be probes in and out. So, we don't know exactly what this will look like. But if it is at scale and there isn't some way of evacuating Palestinian children and innocents, we're going to see a lot of carnage. And I think then we're still seeing in parts of our own society, people being a little bit wishy-washy about understanding what Hamas is all about and not understanding that really -- that they're a terrorist group.
DUBOWITZ: Yeah. I mean, I think that's a very important point. And if I could just add one quick -- I've been hearing now stories that haven't been reported yet about the scale of the massacre. I mean, babies, hands tied, decapitated, bodies burned, pregnant woman murdered. They're pregnant. Child ripped from their bellies with the umbilical cords still attached.
I mean, these are stories that are going to increasingly come out. This calculation for the president and for the Israelis is going to be informed by that.
COATES: The information that we continue to gather and assessing the veracity and the shock and the horror of all that we're seeing. Mark, Beth, stick around. We're going to rely on your expertise and really unpack in great detail what is happening together here.
There's also a shocking report from Reuters that says Hamas fooled Israel for months as it planned this brutal attack. I'm going to talk to the former director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. What Israel needs to do? What does need to do about this, what seems to be a huge intelligence failure?
Also coming up, I'll talk to a man who actually escaped the music festival where 260 people were killed. I'll ask him what he is saying about his missing friends.
COATES: Well, tonight, President Biden is taking a harder stance against Hamas, calling the terrorist organization's attack against Israel, sheer evil. Here's what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: The brutality of Hamas, its blood thirstiness, brings to mind the worst -- the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism. But sadly, for the Jewish people, it's not new.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COATES: Well, my next guest, he knows very well how these groups operate. He's CNN's national security analyst and the former director of National Intelligence. James Clapper is here with us. Also, back with me, Mark Dubowitz and Beth Sanner.
Director Clapper, thank you for being here tonight. You heard the president of the United States, and he was comparing the brutality of Hamas to ISIS. And we have seen the horrifying videos, the indiscriminate killings. How did Hamas get to this level?
JAMES CLAPPER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think it starts with the lengthy blockade that Egypt and Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip and restricting goods and services that before -- previously gone into the Gaza.
And so, half of -- about 40% of the population are youth. And I think many of this youth got radicalized. The frustration, the sheer hatred of Israel and Israelis is what led to this. And I think there were some other factors that probably affected the timing of the attack. You know, the relationship with -- 50 years since the Yom Kippur War.
And I think that -- strategically, I think Hamas grew concerned about -- and for that matter their sponsor, Iran, concerned about the dialogue between Saudi and Israel brokered by the United States as kind of a follow-on to the Abraham Accords to normalize relations between Saudi and Israel. And I think Hamas found that extremely threatening and felt perhaps left out of the discussion.
It's almost unfathomable for us in the West to comprehend the level of hatred and the animal-like behavior that has been inculcated among Hamas. Rivaling, if not exceeding, the violence of ISIS. It is really hard to get your head around.
COATES: It really is. It's an extraordinary comparison for so many reasons. And we're also reading and learning more. Reuters actually is reporting, Director Clapper, that Hamas actually misled Israel for months as it was planning the attack and even may have constructed a mock Israeli settlement in Gaza where militants actually practiced a military landing and trained how to storm it. How could that have been missed then, if true, by Israel and also our own intelligence?
CLAPPER: Well, Laura, I think -- you know, some years ago, I toured along as a guest to the Israeli Army along the Gaza fence line and got to personally observe the intense scrutiny that Israel mounted on a 7x24 basis into the Gaza. Cameras up and down the line of the fence line signal intelligence collection tapping into their telephones and all that. And I think Hamas went to school on the Israelis and just sustained what had become the normal intelligence picture that they portrayed to the Israelis.
And I'm quite sure, and I think Beth has spoken to this, I agree with her, that they did things in person, broke up into very small cells, probably each one of which didn't know what the other cells were doing. Now, they didn't do this overnight or in a week. This took months of planning. And as a result of taking advantage of this normalcy, the normal patterns that they had exhibited -- and then Subrosa (ph) clandestinely were planning and training for such a mission.
Now, I can't speak to whether there was a training facility. There could have been, I suppose, and the Israelis, it would appear, if there was one, missed it. For the Israelis' part, they became preoccupied with other things, notably the West Bank. Has -- more settlements, both listed and illicit, were established in the West Bank. That created a tense situation, friction, and security incidents in the West Bank. So, what the Israelis apparently did was try to automate as many of these surveillance stations as possible, even automated machine guns, which are unmanned.
Well, again, Hamas went to school on that, and they took the communications relay towers out so that the cameras were no longer operative. And then that enabled them to use bulldozers, low tech but effective, to penetrate along the Gaza line in about 30 places.
Now, I think the fighters they sent, and again this gets to their fanaticism, were undoubtedly on a suicide mission. I don't believe -- I have to believe they understood they probably wouldn't survive penetrating into Israeli territory.
Now, this is me guessing, you know, right now, speculating, theorizing as are others. At some point, I'm quite sure the Israelis are going to conduct a very thorough post-mortem of what occurred here.
COATES: But for now, Director Clapper, it's obviously about survival and trying to get back the more than 100 to 100 hostages that are being held as well. Thank you so much for lending us your expertise.
We're going to come back to our panel as well and dive a little deeper into what can be described as the -- I guess the fracturing, and also trying to focus on what has happened in the region and how it could have been perhaps diversified in such a way that intelligence might not have been able to intercept appropriately.
But it's one of the most horrific moments of this conflict, the attack on the Israeli music festival. Hundreds of people killed, many at point-blank range. Next, I'll speak with one of the survivors who knows 20 people who are still missing.
COATES: Twenty-eight-year-old Sagi Gabay was dancing. And moments later, running for his life. He was among the lucky ones, perhaps. We now know that 260 people lost their lives at the music festival near Re'im, Israel. Tonight, Sagi is reliving that horrific, life-changing moment but with a different message about his missing friends.
Sagi, thank you so much for joining us this evening. You know, I know it is morning where you are, evening here in Washington, D.C., and you say that you hope that the people who you were with just moments before and are now missing, you hope that they were killed. Why do you say this?
Sagi -- I think we're having a moment of difficulty trying to hear him. I do want to hear his statements, I want to hear about his experience, and we will get back to him as soon as we can.
I do have my panel here. And I think it's important. We just spoke to Director Clapper formally, and he was talking about how he believes Hamas became akin to ISIS, as President Biden had described. He spoke about as one part of it, the blockade as one of the factors behind radicalization of a population that is now 40% youth in Gaza. You disagree with that assessment. Tell me why.
DUBOWITZ: Well, I want to put it in a broader historical context and explain why there's a blockade of Gaza. Hamas took over Gaza after the Israelis withdrew every soldier, every citizen, every grave. And Hamas had an opportunity to build a decent society. There actually was a bitter Palestinian civil war where they actually killed and threw Palestinians off rooftops and shot them in the knees.
Hamas takes over and Hamas then begins to use the borders to bring in weapons and brings in concrete that you would hope they'd use to build hospitals and schools like any governing authority would. Instead they build terror tunnels. They used to move weapons and fighters into Israel. And so, this is why Egypt and Israel imposed a blockade. But Hamas was founded in the 1980s, and its founding charter explicitly calls for the extermination of Israel.
And I can tell you, I lived there in the 1980s, the 1990s. I remember Hamas suicide bombings where Hamas terrorists strapped suicide belts and walked into schools and cafes and discos and slaughtered Israeli children. So, Hamas slaughtering Israeli children and women is not a new phenomenon and it has nothing to do with the blockade. It has everything to do with Hamas's founding ideology, and it has been 35 years of slaughter of Jews that Hamas has undertaken.
SANNER: And I guess -- I mean, I agree 100% on that, and I think that, you know, understanding that Hamas has been a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of Israel since its founding came out of the Muslim Brotherhood and that has been consistent.
I think that, you know, the conditions that they lived under, and partly this is also under Hamas's reign of terror in Gaza as well, you know, there are lots of people who live in Gaza that don't support Hamas. There are a lot of people that live in Gaza that are very afraid of Hamas because they are a terrorist group. But living under the conditions of the last, you know, 16 years or whatever --
COATES: Of the blockade.
SANNER: -- Of the blockade certainly helps Hamas's propaganda. It allows them to radicalize new people to their cause. Their cause has never changed. They are who they are. They're terrorists.
COATES: And the why now, what does that speak to? It's not necessarily the irrelevance of the blockade. I don't understand either of you saying that point, of course, but the question for so many is, who are looking at this? Why now? How could this have happened now? Given the historical context and given the 16-year blockade, why did it happen last Saturday? DUBOWITZ: It happened last Saturday because this plan is being designed and orchestrated out of Tehran by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. One has to understand that Khamenei has a longstanding plan to surround Israel with a ring of fire, which are terrorists and weapons on every border.
[23:40:05] And what Khamenei has understood, and he has had a longstanding partnership with Hamas and Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad, he has provided about a billion dollars a year in funding weapons and support, and there's some disagreement about direction and control.
But at the end of the day, what Khamenei wants to do is light up the fire in these borders. And he lit up the fire in the West Bank. Israel shifted its military resources to deal with the West Bank, and it left that southern border vulnerable.
I agree with Director Clapper on the technical tactical analysis about how Israel missed it completely and became overly reliant on technology and not on force buildup. But remember, Khamenei is behind this and Khamenei has done a very strategic job of shifting these resources.
SANNER: And I think that -- I think that definitely, Iran, they're absolutely fellow travelers. The meetings started taking place in Beirut in the spring where all of the regional militant groups got together and they all talked about how they were going to attack Israel. So, this is all part of a shared interest.
But I also don't want to take away the idea that Hamas from its charter has wanted to do this on its own. It doesn't need Israel to tell them what to do.
DUBOWITZ: Iran to tell them what to do.
SANNER: Iran, excuse me, to tell them what to do. Thank you, it's late. But, you know, they have their own interests, just like the Houthis in Yemen. So, I mean, some of this is just like, there's slight nuances of difference here, but I think we all agree that this is a group of Islamic militants that are bent on destroying Israel. And the timing now, I think, has a little bit less to do with Saudi and normalization. But we can get back to that later.
COATES: We have to go. We'll be right back, leaning on your expertise as well. We'll talk to Sagi as well, who, as you know, survived that music festival. More in a moment.
COATES: I'm back with 28-year-old Sagi Gabay, who is reliving that horrific moment at the music festival in Israel attacked by Hamas. Sagi, thank you so much for joining us. I'm glad to have you here. I was asking you earlier, you say that you hope the people that you were with moments before and are now missing were killed. Why do you say this?
SAGI GABAY, ATTENDED NOVA MUSIC FESTIVAL: Yeah, it's a bit funny, I guess, but like -- I think it's a better destiny to be killed than to be holding by Hamas terrorists in Gaza right now. I don't want to imagine what happened to people that get kidnapped and they don't have mercy for no one. I mean women, children, elders. So, it's a bit weird thing to say but this -- but this is the thing, it's better to be dead than be kidnapped.
COATES: Sagi, take me through those moments after the attack. And you and your friends, I understand, you ran for hours. What were you thinking for all of those miles?
GABAY: You don't really think you're in survival mode. You just try to move from situation to situation. And like -- lots of people start talking on the phone with their parents, with their family, with their friends. They try to tell them what to do or where to hide or where to go, but they don't really know exactly where we are.
So, any kind of information could lend you to a wrong decision, and every wrong decision could lend you to be dead or to be kidnapped. So, you just need to try to trust your instincts and just try not to think right now and just act. This is what I did. I actually broke my ankle during the running, but I didn't feel it because of the adrenaline.
So, this is like -- this is how you manage, like, just try to run for life and try to hide like there were like missiles above our heads. And you don't mind it because it's not your problem right now. Even though like missiles above your head is super scary, but you look for a terrorist and the missile. Just look aside and try not to get killed. This is how you manage it.
COATES: Just running for your life and just that adrenaline. It's unimaginable to think about what you endured and what it has been like since. I mean, you've mentioned you left 20 people behind. Can you tell me what it has been like to try to locate them?
GABAY: Yeah, I mean, it's important to understand. Like the Nova, like the festival is a community. So, basically, everyone knows everyone. We've been -- there has been like 3,000 people. But the circle is very close. All the people know -- all the people -- it's friends of friends.
And it's really an unreal situation to live right now because you just see your friends posting the photos in the social media of your friends. And people, you know, people you spoke, like people I spoke with in the party, now they're missing, people I just get to know in the party, people I know from before. It's crazy situation to be in.
So, like, I said to people who ask me how I feel, I didn't even have time to process my trauma because now my heart is with the people who stayed there.
COATES: Sagi Gabay, thank you so much for sharing. Unbelievable, the harrowing experience that you have endured. We'll be thinking of the people that you continue to look for. Thank you so much. We'll be right back.
GABAY: Thank you, Laura.
COATES: You're looking at live pictures of Gaza at the start of the fifth day of this conflict. Since Saturday, more than 1,200 people have been killed in Israel, according to the country's public broadcaster. Nine hundred have been killed and died in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
For more information about how you can help humanitarian efforts in Israel and Gaza, go to cnn.com/impact or text "relief" to 707070. That's 707070 to donate.
Thank you all for watching. Our live coverage continues after just a short break.