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Laura Coates Live

Israel-Hamas Truce Deadline Passes; IDF: Military Operations Have Resumed In The Gaza Strip; Hamas-Controlled Ministry: Israeli Military Active In Northern Gaza. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired December 01, 2023 - 00:00   ET




LAURA COATES, CNN ANCHOR: All right, breaking news, it's midnight, the moment that Hamas-Israel truce is set to expire. But there are urgent questions that are continuing to swirl tonight in the second hour of Laura Coates Live.

It's midnight, without a truce in place, what is going to happen? We've already had the news tonight that the IDF aerial defense system intercepted one rocket that was launched from the Gaza Strip in the last hour. That was just before the truce was set to expire. Rocket sirens were heard in the Sderot area over the past few hours.

I want to go right now to CNN's Jeremy Diamond in Ashkelon, Israel, and CNN chief national security correspondent Alex Marquardt, who is in Washington. Jeremy, it is now the end of the deadline. We haven't heard anything about an extension of a truce from either side. What do you know?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Laura. For all intents and purposes, we believe that this truce has now expired. It was slated to expire at this very time, midnight eastern time, 7:00 a.m. local time. It is now 7:01 a.m. where I am. And there have already been in the past hour, not just one but two sirens actually going off in southern Israel. There was -- we know that there was at least one rocket that was intercepted as it was headed in the direction of Sderot, Israel where my team has been positioned a lot over the last several weeks.

We're also now getting the reports of rocket sirens going off in the town of Holit, which is in the south of Sderot, very much closer to the Kerem Shalom crossing, where of course we've seen over 100 hostages released over the past week, many of those going through that Kerem Shalom crossing.

In fact, this fragile truce that has lasted seven days and appears to not be extended into an eighth day has allowed for the release of 86 Israelis, 24 foreign nationals over the course of those seven days. But now it appears that there will not be additional hostages released today, at least as far as right now, Laura. We could always see some developments, some late breaking developments that happen after this truce was slated to end.

But as of now, if there are no more developments of that sort, we will not see additional hostages be released. And what we will see instead is a return to the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Both sides, Israel and Hamas have made very clear that if the truce is not extended, they are both prepared to return to the fighting.

Now we did just get an IDF spokesman on the phone, who said that he was waiting for a government directive but that the military stands prepared for any development. That was just a couple of minutes before that truce was slated to expire.

I did already hear the noise of jets overhead, which sometimes is an indication of impending bombing in Gaza. We have not heard any explosions yet. But we'll certainly keep you posted, Laura.

COATES: I mean, it's heartbreaking for so many reasons to think about what could come next. And of course, as you mentioned, Alex, I want to go to you. I mean, the fact that there are no more hostages as yet being released 80 or more. There's still so many who are in that overall tally, including men, including others who might we -- not know about. The deadline has now expired. Does that mean that we could really see these hostilities resume immediately? Or is this somehow a bit of a waiting period to figure out if the diplomatic ties or discussions have truly come to an end?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: There are a number of reasons to be pessimistic right now, Laura. The first is that all the sides have been very clear about the timing of this. This went into effect seven days ago at 7:00 a.m. local time, midnight Eastern Time. And that has now elapsed. We have heard those sirens. We have heard -- we've seen that rocket that was fired out of the Gaza Strip and then intercepted.

We should caution we don't know who fired it. It doesn't necessarily mean it was Hamas. It could have been another group. We've seen other groups firing rockets. It was a solitary rocket. So these are all, you know, elements in the negative column. At the same time it has been a remarkably quiet night in terms of the noises that we're hearing out of the different parties. And there really are five different groups that are involved in this negotiation countries plus Hamas.


And I would just caution that we should probably wait to get some sort of official statement from any of them or hopefully from several of them before we either declare this dead or alive. We are certainly all of us, reaching out to our sources in the U.S. government among the Qataris, the Egyptians and the Israelis. So we have yet to hear anything.

But there was a hope that this would continue into an eighth day that after seven days of these extraordinary hostage exchanges, that we would see yet another day of women and children Israeli hostages being released by Hamas. But of course, the fear is, if that doesn't happen, we know that Israel has said from the highest levels, Prime Minister Netanyahu on down that they are ready to immediately go back to the fighting. Laura?

COATES: I mean, President Biden was credited by the Prime Minister Netanyahu about his role in what is happening in the last seven days. Is the White House commenting tonight, at now, this hour?

MARQUARDT: I've been reaching out for the past few hours, and they've been remarkably quiet. I think they will surface if and when they know what's going on. I would just point to last night as well, I mean, this is a deal that has been extended day by day. And there was a moment last night around this same time, though, before midnight, when we thought that this might fall apart as well.

And what we then learned was that there were several lists that were put forward by Hamas that were deemed unacceptable by Israel. The deal was that women and children alive would be handed over to Israel. And what Hamas had initially proposed was seven women and children, and then three bodies that was rejected by Israel, because they all had to be alive.

And then there was a second list, seven women and children and three elderly individuals who we believe to be men. That too, was rejected. They finally settled on eight women and children who we saw released earlier today on Thursday, so yesterday. And the belief in going into the seventh and eighth days was that Hamas did know where there were more women and children, whether they're being held by Hamas by other groups or gangs or families across the Gaza Strip, but that they would probably be able to come up with another group of 10.

So that's what we're waiting to see if that would happen today. And there was a reason to think that that could happen. But at the same time, Laura, that Hamas was getting very close to the end of what we believe they had in terms of women and children. And then they were going to start probably negotiating for men and Israeli soldiers, at which point it was going to get a lot more complicated. And there was a belief that Hamas might start asking for a higher price. Laura?

COATES: I understand we've got, Jeremy Diamond, there's a statement from the IDF. What is it?

DIAMOND: That's right. According to the Israeli military, they have, quote, resumed combat against the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. That's a direct quote from the Israel Defense Forces. They say that Hamas, quote, violated the operational pause and an addition fired toward Israeli territory and apparent reference to those rocket sirens that I was just talking about moments ago.

And so it appears, Laura, that for all intents and purposes, military operations, fighting in Gaza has indeed resumed and will continue up until there is some other deal to allow for another temporary pause in the fighting to allow for more hostages to be released. But as of now, the fighting is resuming in Gaza, according to the Israeli military.

And we know of course, that there was a report in the last hour of a rocket being fired from the Gaza Strip, unclear exactly from who of in terms of our ability to independently confirm that, but it was fired towards the Israeli town of Sderot. And it was intercepted by the Israeli military.

And now according to the Israeli military, as a result of that they are resuming their military operations in the Gaza Strip. And I think it's important to underscore what that could mean in terms of Israeli military operations. The Israeli prime minister, his defense minister, Israel's political leadership, as a whole has made clear that this operational pause to allow for the release of hostages would not spell the end of the war.

They have made clear that what could follow is at least two months of fighting. And they have also signaled very, very strongly that it will involve pushing deeper into Gaza pushing south of the line of the river Gaza effectively where they have to told civilians to head to and the Israeli military has signaled that they plan on going after Hamas in the southern Gaza Strip as well after focusing the majority of their ground operations in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.


And that could of course mean, you know, much more significant damage, much -- many more civilian casualties south -- in the southern Gaza Strip. And so, you know, we'll have to see exactly how quickly the Israeli military moves to that next phase of the war. But they have signaled that that will be the case.

And we should also know that the Israeli Prime Minister has said that part of why he wants to continue the fighting is because he believes that the pressure on Hamas has worked to get them to where they were at the negotiating table in terms of the hostage release. And if indeed, we are moving to a next phase of hostage release, which will involve men, which will involve Israeli soldiers, the Israeli government already knows that those will come at a higher price.

And so they want to try and lower that price. And the Israeli government believes that it can lower that price in part by pummeling Hamas effectively and pummeling them into submission at the negotiating table, as well.

COATES: I mean, it's hard to believe we're talking about human beings as this sort of capital of terror right now. Jeremy Diamond, Alex Marquardt, we'll come back to you as you get more information. I want to bring in foreign policy analyst Barak Ravid. I mean, right now, the IDF saying they're going to be resuming these military operations. We don't know if negotiations are perhaps ongoing behind the scenes, and they are using this in some other way or do we? What are you expecting to see next?

BARAK RAVID, CNN FOREIGN POLICY ANALYST: First, I'm sure that negotiations are still going on. And the mediators are still working with the parties. But right now, we moved from the point where negotiations were taking place, while there's a ceasefire to a situation where we are now negotiating under fire.

And this is a situation that, obviously, is much worse for Hamas, and much better for Israel. And I think that what we're going to see in the next -- COATES: But why, excuse me, why is that right, Barak? I want to understand that. Why is this leverage shift better for Israel in this moment, if you still have hostages, of course, who Hamas may or may not have can come up with the numbers? And we seem to be back with the prospect of not knowing where hostages are, and violence occurring in the region once again, why the leverage shift to you?

RAVID: Because at the end of the day, what Israeli officials say is that the main goal, OK, is the destruction of Hamas. And Hamas wanted to use this ceasefire, this pause, as both as a breather and as a way to maybe get to a situation where the pause is so long, that Israel will not be able to resume its military operation, especially not the ground operation in southern Gaza.

And right now, the Israelis are doing what they said they will do in any case. And they're resuming their operation. And most likely, we will see, in the next few hours, the IDF resuming its ground operation in northern Gaza in one or two neighborhoods that it still as it operated in, and in the next few days, maybe to southern Gaza. And the Israelis say that, the more they will push militarily on the ground, the better the chances that Hamas will move on the rest of the hostages.

COATES: What do you make of the reporting from our colleague, Jeremy Diamond earlier about the idea behind the scenes in part, when you're talking about negotiations, it's the price of the actual people who are being held, women and children in one category, soldiers, adult men in another. When you look at the shift in how negotiations might be, where do you see that conversation going?

RAVID: Well, I think that when it comes to men that are being held hostage, there are two categories, obviously either the soldiers or the civilians were taken hostage from the villages around the border. I don't see at the moment, Hamas willing to release them at this -- for the same price it got in the current pause and the positive just ended.

I think they will demand a much higher price, a price that the Israeli government in my opinion is not only unwilling but also unable to pay when it comes to Israeli public opinion. And you have -- we have to remember, the vast majority of Israelis support the resumption of the war and the operation southern Gaza, I think maybe 60 percent, 65 percent, maybe even 70 percent of Israeli support that.


So the Government and for example Prime Minister Netanyahu in his last conversation with President Biden on Sunday I told him that. He told me, you know, if I stop now, you know, public opinion will go against me, because there's a huge backing by the Israeli people to this operation. So I think that what we're going to see is an operation -- Israeli operation in northern Gaza right now in the next day or two, and then the Israelis most likely will go to South.

COATES: Well, speaking of public opinion, and first, I assume you mean, talking about the prices associated with hostages. It's that ratio of how many Palestinian prisoners or detainees, perhaps that ratio might change. But there's another factor in mind in terms of the transfer and the exchange. But when it comes to public opinion, we can't look at it in a vacuum.

I mean there was this huge "New York Times" report tonight about the possibility that Israeli intelligence forces were aware, at least a year ago of a kind of a 40-page battle plan of sorts, it did not, say reach Netanyahu, but there are conversations around deterrence and prevention and what to do now. Do you think this new reporting has any impact on the way the negotiations will go going forward in terms of Israel wanting to demonstrate a perhaps show of force or to demonstrate that they will, in fact, ensure or require that the negotiation on the Hamas side will actually be kept and the bargain kept?

RAVID: So first, I think that for Israelis, the reporting in "The New York Times" is not new, because it was sort of a compilation of several reports that were published by the Israeli press in the last two weeks. And by the way, they're part of a war internal war in Israel on the narrative around the failure of the war between Prime Minister Netanyahu on the one hand and the Israeli security services intelligence community on the other hand, which each side trying to put out the parts of the story that are more comfortable to them.

But at the end of the day, we're looking at here at huge intelligence failure and a huge policy failure in both sides. Neither side will be able to escape its responsibility for this.

COATES: Barak Ravid, thank you so much for joining us tonight. We'll keep coming back to you as well.

RAVID: Thank you.

COATES: And lean on your expertise.

Everyone, the IDF is saying that the Israel-Hamas truce has expired. And military operations have resumed in the Gaza Strip. Be right back with a spokesman from the IDF.



COATES: All right, breaking news tonight, the IDF says the Israel- Hamas truce has expired. And military operations have now resumed in the Gaza Strip. Joining me now IDF Spokesperson Major Doron Spielman in Tel Aviv. Major Doron Spielman, thank you so much for being here today. Although this news is quite startling for the world to hear, what happened? How did this truce fell apart?

MAJOR DORON SPIELMAN, IDF SPOKESPERSON: Thank you for having me, Laura. Well, around half an hour ago, sleeping Israelis once again, woke up to the sound of the red siren of Hamas rockets falling at us once again from Gaza. Just like on October 7th, it's the same Hamas that attacked on October 7th with rockets. This morning, once again, they're firing rockets at the Israeli population. COATES: And are we clear? Are you clear as to who is doing this and the why?

SPIELMAN: The why, again, we can go back to October 7th, why did Hamas fire rockets at the Israeli population? Why did they cross over the border and massacre innocent civilians? It says right there in their charter. They exist in order to destroy the State of Israel and the Jewish people. That is why they did this on October 7th. Why else would they launch rockets out of the blue again today? It just shows that it's the same Hamas and our mission is far from being done.

COATES: Has it been more than one rocket? And are there -- are we aware of more than one, two, three, do we have any idea of the number at play here?

SPIELMAN: So there have been multiple rockets. They've been intercepted, which shows the Hamas's moved back into an attacking position amongst the Israeli people. We intercepted those rockets thankfully. Otherwise, that could have fallen on communities, on cities, on kindergartens. Again, we're just now getting back to life after the tragedies of the last 55 days. Children are going back to school here. It's on Friday morning. And once again, we intercepted those. And we've resumed our combat missions against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

COATES: Major Spielman, are negotiation somehow still ongoing while the military operations have restarted, or is that done now?

SPIELMAN: Look, the political echelon can decide to take this, you know, in whatever direction, you know, that they want to. That's always an option for them. They've given us the order as a military that this truce has been violated. Once again, Hamas is committing these atrocities targeting again, they are not targeting troops right now. These were -- I'm not speaking to you about a mission where they fired directly at troops. These were targeting directly towards civilians.

And therefore, our goal has always been so that our civilians can live peacefully. Therefore, we're back into a combat mode in order to eliminate Hamas, which it just shows even after days of truce, days where we were able to get these hostages, some of them back home, 140 of them are still stuck in those godforsaken tunnels in Gaza. And even release these prisoners, their own prisoners back.

They decided once again to move into attack mode. They started this into the 7th. And here we are, once again, it's the same exact Hamas. These are the people we're dealing with, Laura.

COATES: So what will come and happen to the remaining hostages now that combat missions have resumed? Are there concerns that it's going back to around the time of October 7th, when you didn't know where the hostages were, that there was thoughts that they might be compromised in their safety not knowing their condition. What happens now with respect to the remaining hostages?

[00:25:03] SPIELMAN: Listen, the Israeli people are deeply concerned about our hostages. I mean it's -- imagine instead of dropping your kids off at your, you know, your parent's house, you drop them off at Hamas's house. And Hamas is holding a 10-month-old baby, a four-year-old child, men and women, we don't know if they're alive or dead. I mean, these are the people that are holding the children.

We have a lot more information that we have today than we have in October 7th. We've been hearing these reports coming out of Gaza, horrific reports from the people have come home. Children, they say, as Hamas put these, each of the children on a motorcycle to bring them to Gaza, they press their legs against the exhaust pipe of the motorcycle, to sear their legs with a burn mark so that if they tried to run away in Gaza, they could quickly identify them.

This is the monstrosity of what Hamas is doing is exactly what we've been saying like ISIS, we're deeply concerned. However, what I can tell you is we never would have reached the hostage deal that we reached, most recently, if we had not operationally pressed them militarily on the battlefield. Like President Biden said, Hamas could give a damn about these people. They will only respond to pressure. We are once back again out to destroy them so that they can never commit this crime in Israel again, and along the way, bring our people home.

COATES: Is there any more information about the number of hostages or who is holding them? I asked that question specifically Major Spielman because some of the reporting that came out and hopefully you can illuminate these issues for me, indicate that perhaps it's not singularly Hamas that is keeping some of these hostages, which then of course means that who is having a seat at the table might not be sufficient. Do we know if there are other players, other entities in talks right now, or who are holding hostages that need to be addressed as well?

SPIELMAN: The talks are with Hamas. And I'll tell you why, in the same way that Hamas and Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen are proxies of Iran, this state sponsor of terror. Hamas are the rulers of the Gaza Strip. There are small break off terrorist cells. And in all of those cases, they are proxies of Hamas. Hamas call the shots in the Gaza Strip. Everybody reports to them, they are the governing body of the Gaza Strip.

Let's not forget, all of those billions of dollars of international aid money that came in to the Gaza Strip, the small amount that was not stolen by the heads of Hamas, were distributed by Hamas, everybody looks to them for responsibility. If they decide that they want to have a truce, as we've seen, they decide all of a sudden there's a truce. If they want to break a truce, it's their call.

The attack on October 7th was taken thousands of people took part. But all the calls were Hamas. And so this differentiation of the terror groups does not affect the bottom line. It is Hamas's decision to attack, take our people hostage and is also in their hands, if they want to try to have a shred of dignity and try to let these people come back home.

COATES: Major Spielman, we are reporting now that Israeli jets are in the air right now. What is Israeli targeting specifically?

SPIELMAN: Just like before, we are targeting Hamas strongholds, Hamas terrorists, where they shot those rocket launchers. Anyplace that we see that there's an imminent threat against Israel, that's obviously the first priority. They can press a button right now. And they can target children in Tel Aviv, in Jerusalem, in the north of Israel and in the south of Israel.

And so operationally, wherever Hamas are operating, and planning these attacks, those are the first place we're going. We can imagine and we know the way Hamas operates, right? We could write the script right now. Hamas right now are going underneath schools, underneath mosques, inside of hospitals and get into rocket launchers ready.

And the reason is, they know that we have to stop them just like of course, any country trying to protect their citizens would attack the terrorists. And when we do they're going to hold up a flag. I think we should all get ready. We'll see it in the next 24 hours, saying the IDF, Israel attacked a school, a mosque, we all know the mask is down. This is Hamas's script they're writing. We cannot allow ourselves to fall back into their hands and believe because of course they are manipulating this entire situation.

COATES: The notion of taking that bait is something certainly we have seen or the fear of doing so. But in that same vein, there has been a lot of criticism that has been directed towards those who are viewing any military strategy that might involve the collateral damage of civilians. Knowing Hamas's MO, knowing where they play stronghold, according to the intelligence is beyond. Will you continue to target those areas where civilians might be located as human shields?

SPIELMAN: I totally understand the question. And this is obviously something that we are thinking about every day. This is extremely difficult, because we don't want civilians to die. We don't want Israeli civilians to die from these barrages of rockets. We don't want to see Gazan civilians die. But Hamas is operating directly from within these areas. And we have to ask ourselves what is the alternative if we do nothing, if we lay down our arms, we're just going to allow Hamas to carry out another massacre like October 7th.


I think morally, that is completely unconscionable and no country in the world would allow it. It's the first priority is to protect the Israeli civilians. And we are doing so with as much precision as we can, knowing that the people that we're fighting against Hamas are holding hostages, are holding their own civilians around the neck and shooting. Imagine a lone shooter, Laura, imagine thousands of lone shooters, each of them holding a civilian and shooting at your population.

We can't just sit by and let this happen. And we call on the international community to demand that Hamas leave civilian areas. If they want to fight Israel, go into an open area, have a little bit of courage and fight us one on one. Leave your civilians out of this. Let them go back to being safe. COATES: Major, has the week-long pause has had any impact on the military strategy going forward?

SPIELMAN: We've been ready militarily. And the reason is, unfortunately, we're not dealing with a reasonable group on the other side. It would be wonderful if we had looked at this pause and thought that they would reform their ways. But we know Hamas. We've been dealing with this for years on. And even in recent days, Laura, they've said their plan is to carry out October 7th again and again and again.

Therefore, operationally speaking, we have been ready when the time comes to defend our civilians and to find Hamas wherever they are, and eliminate them because without that, at the end of the day, the Israelis, it doesn't matter if they're living on the border with Gaza, even in the center of Israel, they cannot go to sleep at night knowing that there are murderers out there that are seeking to kill them.

COATES: Major Doron Spielman, thank you so much.

SPIELMAN: Thank you, Laura, for having me.

COATES: Our breaking news, we're watching all the developments in the Middle East tonight where the IDF says the Israel-Hamas truce has expired. Military operations have now resumed in the Gaza Strip.



COATES: All right, breaking news tonight, the IDF says that the truce between Israel and Hamas has now expired. And military operations have now resumed in the Gaza Strip. I want to bring in CNN military analyst and retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Also with us, Alex Plitsas, who is a former Pentagon counterterrorism official. Thank you both for being here. Colonel, the truce is over. What we expect to see in the battlefield in the coming hours?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Yes, Laura. So it looks like based on what Major Spielman told us just a few minutes ago, it looks like the Israelis are going to resume attacks probably in the north. But they are going to rapidly move down into the central part of Gaza, and then into the south. So they've made no secret, Laura, of where they want to go. They are basically here to destroy Hamas as much as they possibly can.

And every effort they will make is going to be geared to the achieving that goal. That goal will mean that they are, I won't say ignoring President Biden's and Secretary Blinken's desires that they maintain a civilian safety corridor. But it's going to be very hard for them to do something like that. And I'm afraid we're going to see a lot of civilian casualties coming up in the next few hours and next few days if those operations continue, like I think they will.

COATES: I mean, we've seen what's going on already in the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, for example, in addition to what has happened in Israel. And the idea of the ground operations are otherwise resuming. We are well aware from even recent times about the collateral impact to people who are civilians and innocent lives as well in Gaza. Alex, throughout the day, it seemed as though both Israel and Hamas were on board to possibly extend the truce to release more hostages. The big question tonight is, why this has broken down? The major alluded to the idea of a rocket being fired. But is there more do you think?

ALEX PLITSAS, FORMER PENTAGON COUNTERTERRORISM OFFICIAL: Yes, I mean, there's a -- the way the process has worked is that the Hamas has handed over a list of proposed hostages that they want to hand back, no list was handed over was my understanding. There's been a couple of instances of rockets being fired as well as some explosions and gunfire earlier this week.

But it didn't seem that there was a sustained effort to really try to, you know, reinitiate the conflict from the Hamas side. But it really seems to boil down to the hostage side and them not handing over list and not getting what they want in return. And I don't think there's appetite in Israel to standby to allow that to happen.

The recent polling data thinks that about 90 percent of the Israeli population said they wanted the hostages back at about that same number so that they wanted to see Hamas eradicated. So no hostages means a resumption of military activities.

COATES: So what do you think negotiators in Qatar are doing right now to try to maybe save this truce or get it back on a kind of track? And of course, we both realize, and we've been hearing from both sides that following the release of hostages and beyond that there -- it will resume. What's happening behind the scenes, you think in Qatar?

PLITSAS: I think you're exactly right. That's the -- that's where the negotiations will be happening. Those discussions are likely ongoing, with people trying to salvage it, those directly involved in probably outside parties who have had an interest in trying to spur, you know, a permanent ceasefire, which I don't see as being likely.

So they're probably asking for, you know, those hostages in return. And don't forget, in recent days, we've seen, you know, requests for proof of life for certain hostages they weren't able to find. And so we don't know as well as if the Israelis asked for specific information on hostages and it wasn't provided. And that could also be a catalyst for this.

COATES: Colonel, the U.S. has been pleading with Israel to prevent the massive loss of civilian life if the fighting resumes. How will they do that and still meet their objective as he has said of destroying Hamas?

LEIGHTON: That's going to be really difficult, Laura. And, you know, as Major Spielman alluded to, the way in which Hamas intersperses itself throughout the population in Gaza and how they use facilities like schools, like hospitals, other civilian institutions, that's going to be a compounding factor in this.

[00:40:17] And it's going to make it even more difficult for the Israelis to target these areas with precision. And so they may desire, the Israelis may desire to precisely attack certain areas, but it may be impossible not to hit civilians as they go after, you know, certain elements of Hamas. And of course, if Israel finds leadership elements of Hamas, I -- you can be pretty sure that they're going to go after those leadership elements.

And I can almost assure you with that same degree of certainty that those leadership elements are also interspersed within the civilian population of Gaza, wherever it may be found, whether the north or the south.

COATES: Well, Alex, I mean, if the IDF goes into Gaza and conducts operations the same way they did in the north, are they risking losing the, well, it's been decreasing support from the international community in terms of the military tactics that are used?

PLITSAS: Yes, I mean, I think when we see the civilian casualties and the humanitarian situation, we've seen a, you know, decrease in support in certain cases from countries and people worldwide. But the Israelis have an obligation to defend their population and to make sure that Hamas can't conduct this type of attack again.

Now, as the Colonel just mentioned, they're going to start in the north and try to finish up the clearance operations inside Gaza City and then move towards Central Gaza in finding the South. Where it's going to complicate it here is that of a population of 2.2 million, you know, 1.1 million north of Wadi Gaza were sent south where they were told that that was where they needed to be to, you know, remove themselves in the battlefield.

They're not going to be allowed to go back north according to the IDF. So they're still going to be in the battlefield, it swelled to twice the normal number of folks. And the IDF has said that they have declared, you know, certain areas in the South will be humanitarian zones where there won't be military action. But people are going to have to try to get there.

There's a lot of people that have to move around. So I think it's going to limit the ability to use airpower to a certain extent, and it's definitely going to raise the, you know, the risk to the idea of troops on the ground. So we may see some difficult fighting yet, you know, possibly more difficult than we've seen so far in the north.

COATES: Colonel Leighton, Alex, please, just thank you so much. I just can't imagine what the families of those whose loved ones remain as hostages are thinking and feeling tonight.

Our breaking news, the IDF says that it has resumed combat operations against Hamas, accusing the militant group of violating the truce agreement by firing rockets toward Israel. Next, I'll talk to a woman whose cousins were taken hostage and freed.



COATES: All right, breaking news, the IDF says that it has resumed combat operations against Hamas, accusing the militant group of violating the truce agreement by firing rockets toward Israel. But what about the hostages who remain in Gaza? And what's going to happen now that hostages are likely still there and of course the civilian population in Gaza who is already seeing the effects of a spiraling humanitarian crisis?

I want to bring in Abbey Onn, her cousin's 12-year-old Erez and 16- year-old Sahar Kalderon, were taken along with their father who is still a hostage. Their family is still fighting for the rest of the hostages to come home. Abbey, your cousins were turned to your family. We just talked two days ago. Thankfully, they are now home, their father of fear is still in captivity. When you heard the news tonight, this morning for you that the truce is over, are you concerned?

ABBEY ONN, COUSINS KIDNAPPED AND RELEASED BY HAMAS: Of course I'm concerned. It's heartbreaking, but also not surprising. We have seen small infractions of this ceasefire along the way not getting lists of hostages on time, the ICRC not going in. And then this morning, you know, fire toward Israel. So it makes sense, but it is -- it's really disappointing.

COATES: Are you in touch with any other families who still have their relatives in Gaza? Have there been communications about what's happening?

ONN: Yes, I mean, there are so many of us that still have men, not men of fighting age, but also just men that have not been considered among that list of children or mothers. And that's now the bigger fight is how you get home this other category, which it feels crazy, that we have to categorize humans in any sense. But I think any family member will do whatever they can to bring home their family, and now we're in an even bigger fight.

COATES: How are your cousins doing, Erez and Sahar, I mean, have they told you anything about what their captivity was like?

ONN: They -- we know kind of about their physical situation that they weren't eating a lot, that they couldn't access bathrooms when they needed to. But in the last few days, we've seen, you know, despite them being skinny and pale, that they've been able to do things. They have been able to move around the hospital, they're still there. And we're not asking them questions, right? We were told not to ask them anything and just to let them share as they will.

COATES: Are you nervous about what life will be like with the hostilities resuming, I mean, about what it could mean really now for the safety of all Israelis?

ONN: Yes, this is the first time since October 7th that we haven't had sirens, that we haven't been running to bomb shelters. You know, my kids go to sleep at night. They say, oh, we're going to have a siren tonight. They know, to get ready when they go to sleep to put their shoes near the door to have a sweatshirt ready if they need to run to a bomb shelter. And this ceasefire has given us a respite and all of that.

And I woke up this morning with a pit in my stomach like, oh my god, we're going back to it. There was this moment of these hostages were being released. There weren't sirens. There was a moment that felt like movement that felt like forward progress. And now it feels like we're going backward.


COATES: I'm Abbey Onn, thank you so much.

ONN: Thank you.

COATES: Our breaking news tonight, the IDF says it has resumed combat operations against Hamas, accusing the militant group of violating the truce agreement by firing rockets toward Israel. Now the fighting is continued again. What will happen next? We'll be right back.


COATES: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is leaving Israel and now heading to Dubai. Our breaking news, the IDF says it has resumed combat operations against Hamas, accusing the militant group of violating the truce agreement by firing rockets toward Israel. Minutes after the week-long truce broke down on Friday, their time. Israeli military vehicles were firing in Northwest Gaza according to the Hamas controlled Ministry of Interior in Gaza. In a statement, the ministry also said Israeli aircraft were in the skies above the area.

Thank you for watching. Before we go, a sneak peek at the all new CNN film Chowchilla, which tells one of the most shocking true crime stories you've never heard.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chowchilla was a wonderful place to grow up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There were little innocent children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Never did I think something like this could happen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How does that school bus show up missing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I did not want to go down there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was like somebody just took them up off planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it thrill crime?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your guess is as good as mine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a mystery. You had no answers. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They recovered with journal encrypted and unusual writing never seen anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The kidnappers kept this town right in its heart by taking those children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the way through they thought that they had thought of everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would have been very live. And I thought to myself we're going to die, we're going to die getting the hell out here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we got home, I thought life would be OK. The kids were not OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God forgive them because I won't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was possibly the story of the century.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chowchilla, Sunday at 9:00 on CNN.