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CNN Live Event/Special

Israel At War; Russia's War On Ukraine. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired October 21, 2023 - 23:00   ET



MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes with the latest on the Israel-Hamas war.

And an Israeli ground offensive into Gaza now appears all but inevitable. The Israeli military says it's bombardment of Hamas targets will become even more relentless going forward ahead of incursion. Hundreds of armored vehicles along with thousands of Israeli troops now poised to strike at Hamas at a moment's notice.

On Saturday, the IDF Chief of Staff again repeated what they've heard or week, "We will enter Gaza. An IDF spokesperson told CNN it's not a question of if at this point, it's when.


JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF SPOKESPERSON: And the timeline, you know, that changes according to many variables on the ground, in the air and across the sea. The important thing is that the IDF will conduct significant military operations in order to defeat Hamas, in order to bring our hostages home, and in order to fundamentally change the security situation that we have in southern Israel and, frankly, all of Israel.

I am confident that decisions are made by those who make decisions in Israel in order to achieve both these aims that I said before. To defeat Hamas and all of the other terrorists in Gaza, and to bring home our people. It is a very difficult equation to square and we are not going to spare any efforts, intelligence, combat, diplomatic, whatever we can do to bring our people home.


BLACKWELL: Israeli military says they've carried out an airstrike on a mosque in the West Bank in order to stop an "imminent terror attack." The IDF said Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives had an underground base at the Al-Ansar Mosque in Jenin. Elliott Gotkine joining me now from London with the latest.

Details are fairly scarce but it strikes me, it's highly unusual in the West Bank Israel using airstrikes, but they did in Jenin. What more do you know?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: It is right, Michael. But Jenin has been a hotbed of militancy and there's been many clashes over the past year. I recall back in June, when I was actually in Jerusalem at the time, reporting on attack helicopters being used to provide cover for Israeli troops after clashes. And indeed, after a improvised explosive device had been used and destroyed an Israeli armored vehicle.

What we know about this strike that's happened in the West Bank now. Israel saying that it was being used as a command and control center, pending what they believe to be an imminent attack by -- a joint attack by Hamas and Islamic Jihad that was operating underneath this mosque in Jenin. And that that's why this airstrike was carried out. It says that the cell that was planning this attack, had -- formed previously earlier in the month, a set off detonated -- an explosive by the security fence between Israel and the West Bank. And that this airstrike was carried out in order to prevent what it describes as an imminent terrorist attack, Michael.

HOLMES: OK. And the speculation, meanwhile, continues that the ground operation in Gaza is coming, was imminent earlier in the day, but now we just think it's coming. What are the latest indicators of likely timing?

GOTKINE: Michael, we've been talking about it being imminent and being a question of when rather than if ever since Hamas carried out that terrorist attack on October the 7th. That has -- and since when 1,400 Israelis have now died in that. And we've been waiting for it to happen. Israel has called up, what, 360,000 reservists. It's deployed its entire armored corps, numbering hundreds of tanks. And clearly they can't be on standby indefinitely, perhaps plans to go in on the ground, were delayed by a little bit because of President Biden's visit because Israel was never going to go into the Gaza Strip overland while President Biden was in town.

But when Israel does go in, clearly it's going to be a very complicated operation, not just because of the possibility of very high numbers of civilian casualties, but because of the network of tunnels that Hamas maintains underground. And because of those 200 plus hostages that Hamas is holding, and the other militant groups are holding inside the Gaza Strip.


We heard there from the spokesman for the IDF, Jonathan Conricus, talking about the main objectives. And these are the objectives that Israel has maintained, have been its objectives ever since the start of this flare up of this war. And that is to destroy Hamas infrastructure, and also to kill commanders of Hamas, and to try and bring hostages back home.

It's not going to be easy to do. And perhaps, as we've heard, Israel is going to be ramping up airstrikes in order to provide additional cover, which presumably would pave the way for some kind of ground incursion. But, of course, there is a very large risk both to the lives of Israeli troops and also for more Israelis to be taken prisoner, taken hostage by Hamas as and when they go in.

But as you say, Michael, it is a question of when and not if. We don't know precisely when that will be or how it will happen, but it seems that we are inching closer to that ground invasion happening from Israel into the Gaza Strip.

HOLMES: Appreciate the update. Elliot Gotkine in London, thanks. Well, aid organizations are calling for unrestricted access to Gaza saying in a joint statement from the UN, "Time is running out to help thousands, tens of thousands in need of medical assistance." CNN's Salma Abdelaziz shows us the dangers that come with this growing humanitarian crisis. The report includes disturbing video.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hospitals in Gaza are crumbling. Everything is running out from surgical equipment to medicine. And the tiniest lives are left hanging in the balance.

We need power, we need access to clean water, this doctor says. Without basic services, this will be a humanitarian catastrophe. Already seven hospitals and 21 primary healthcare facilities here are out of service, according to Palestinian officials, because of shortages.

After intense diplomatic efforts, prayers of relief at the Rafah Border Crossing as a trickle of aid was allowed in from Egypt. But the 20 truck convoy is only a drop in the ocean of need here, equivalent to just 3% of what entered this enclave daily prior to the conflict. More than 200 additional trucks of assistance remain stalled on the Egyptian side, according to the UN, and every our costs lives.

And so far, no civilians can leave the enclave. Ten-year-old Palestinian American Aiden is among those trapped.

AIDEN BSEISO, PALESTINIAN-AMERICAN: And we have no place to go. All the streets are bombed. They're literally gone. How are we supposed to go out? How? It's all closed.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Even if people are allowed out it will be a limited number, most likely only those with foreign passports, sealing some 2 million others, half of them children, into this hellscape. But some refuse to go even if they could, fearing Israel intends to bomb and besiege them out of their homes, never to return.

Even as Muhammod (ph) buries his children, he says he will keep fighting just to exist here. We will still be patient. As long as we are alive on this earth we will be patient, he says. We will never leave this land.

After the October 7th terror attacks when Hamas killed more than 1,400 people in Israel in a brutal surprise incursion, Israel vowed to wipe out Hamas. But with hundreds of airstrikes pounding the densely populated enclave a day, innocent blood is being spilled.

Innocent children were struck down while they were sleeping, this woman shouts. What did they do? Did they carry weapons? These are innocent children who know nothing. Tell us when will this end? There are calls for a ceasefire to get civilians out of the warzone and allow more aid into Gaza, but the please fall on deaf ears so far. Israel is preparing for the next phase of its operations, a potential ground incursion that can only bring more suffering.


HOLMES: Joining me now from New York, Francesca Albanese, who is UN Special Rapporteur on the Palestinian-Occupied Territories. I am glad to be able to get you on.

Let's start with that aid that's gotten in minimal as it is. I guess something is better than nothing but just how inadequate is it versus what's needed?

FRANCESCA ALBANESE, WHO IS UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON THE PALESTINIAN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES: Hi, Michael. Look, before the 7th of October, the situation in Gaza was already catastrophic, was a humanitarian disaster defined by the UN and other in international organizations, and Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations.


And back then, there were hundreds of trucks getting in every day. So how can 20 tracks meet the needs of a population that has been bombarded for two weeks, with 30% of the housing units destroyed, the hospitals being barely able to function. They have finished most of the supplies and medical supplies needed. But also the these convoys that are entering Gaza do not transport fuel, and fuel is needed for this organization of water, because people in Gaza are now allowed to consume three liters of water per day against the 100 liters per day recommended by the WHO.

And the hospitals have no fuel to run basic operations. And there are children who is to die in incubators.


ALBANESE: And operations that cannot be done. So the situation is really dramatic, is beyond an epic humanitarian failure. This is what we are --

ALBANESE: And even if water was suddenly turned back on, they need fuel to run generators to pump it to where it needs to go. Some of the statistics are frightening. The UN, the OCHA, estimating now that more than 160,000 homes in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed so far, 1.4 million Gazans, that's more than half the population, have been displaced. What is the human impact of those numbers? What are you hearing from staff and civilians inside about that impact?

ALBANESE: I hope that these numbers do not come across as the rise. 1.4 million displaced, yes, as you said, it's more than a half of the Gaza population without a roof on their head. And health of the population of Gaza is made of children. 4,300 people have already been killed, 1,500 of them are children. Of course, this -- we are talking about a population who's extremely, extremely distressed and traumatized also because they come from six years of unlawful blockade and five wars, five -- someone whose 16-year-old in Gaza has already gone through six major wars.

Look, the situation is disastrous, and I do not think that by or any means a security response was what the situation between Israelis and Palestinian needed. And surely this is not going to bring more peace to this demented land.

HOLMES: I wanted to ask you, you know, we know the blockade by Israel, no food, no fuel, no water, no medicine, you know, people who have died as a direct result of the blocking of water, food, fuel and so on, as distinct from the bombardment? So I'm just curious if you know whether the closing off of literally everything has cost lives there as opposed to the potential to do so.

ALBANESE: Michael, I understand this question but it's impossible to give an answer in amidst this chaos. You asked me about my contact with the people in Gaza. You know, one, I mean, the -- my first entry points are humanitarian actors, human rights actors, and even the houses of the directors of the most renowned human rights organizations, as Raji Sourani, who's the head and an icon of human rights engagement. He's been taken out of the rumbles, and I'm glad to know that he's alive.

But this is the kind of challenges that the people in Gaza are facing. It's very difficult to have information, in the first place, because they do not have electricity to communicate. And the situation is just too volatile to be able to provide the indicators you are referring to.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. What do you know about the capabilities of UN facilities inside Gaza schools, other facilities as well, which meant most of which of course, are being used for shelter by many thousands of Gazans civilians. How overrun are they? Are they under threat?

ALBANESE: They are critically under threat. Because, for example, there are half a million people who are sheltered in UNRWA schools. And hundred -- I think over 170 that -- I'm sorry, under 70 schools have been hit including 20 UNRWA schools. So hospitals, mosques and schools are all targeted. So there was a hospital who was bombed, Al- Ahli Hospital a few days ago, and now there is another hospital, Al- Quds Hospital, which is hosting 400 patients and 12,000 IDPs, internally displaced people.


And it has received an evacuation order, so it's likely to be bombed as well. I mean, this is the fear. The situation is disastrous. There is a need for a ceasefire. There is no reason to postpone it.

HOLMES: It's clearly desperate. You know, Israel dropped flyers over Gaza City Saturday, and basically it told civilians who don't head to the South that they "might be considered as a partner for a terrorist organization in the event of a ground incursion." That is a pretty dire and direct warning, that is our translation of a leaflet that was in Arabic. How much worse could things get in a ground invasion? ALBANESE: I just hope that your viewers appreciate how unlawful all these is. You cannot tell civilians that if they don't leave a given area, if they do not abide by a mass evacuation order to where north to south of Gaza is being bombed, there is nowhere to go. And there are sick people, elderly people. There are families with newborns. There is no fuel to move around. Where do you want these people to go?

And it's absolutely outrageous to equate anyone who doesn't move to terrorists. There is this powerful dehumanization of the Palestinians in Gaza that emerges clearly from Israeli official statements. But it's also not fully appreciated by the leaders in the West who continue to rally around the Israel and it's right to defense.

This is not right to defense, Michael. This is -- we are far beyond what is -- could ever be allowed as a right to defense. There are limits in international law. Any action must be proportionate in respect with the principle of distinction, precaution, proportionality, there is nothing of it already after 15 days.

HOLMES: Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese, appreciate you making the time for us. Thank you.


HOLMES: Still to come, country's working to get their citizens out of Israel and back home to safety. More on those efforts after a quick break.


HOLMES: Hamas' military wing says it is prepared to release two more hostages using the same procedure it used to free to American captives on Friday. But Israeli officials are dismissing those claims as "false Hamas propaganda." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office saying it will continue to do everything necessary, as they put it, to bring all of the hostages back home.

Now, those two American hostages who were released on Friday have reunited with family members in Israel. Judith Raanan and her 17-year- old daughter Natalie spent nearly two weeks in Hamas captivity before they were handed over to Israeli forces at the Gaza border. Natalie's father says she is expected to come home to Illinois to celebrate her 18th birthday on Tuesday.

Natalie and her mother spoke on the phone with US President Joe Biden after they were released. The White House posting a photo of the emotional call on social media.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: I'm so glad you're home. Or not home, I'm glad you're out.

J. RAANAN: Thank you so very, very much. BIDEN: Hey, Nat. How are you? The God love you.

NATALIE RAANAN, HAMAS HOSTAGE RELEASED: I just want to thank you for your service for Israel.

BIDEN: Look, that's been long serving. I'm just delighted. We're able to get you out. We've been working on a long time. We're going to get them all out, God willing.

I just wanted to say --

J. RAANAN: Oh really?

BIDEN: -- I hope you're all -- I hope you're both not only feeling good but in good health as well.

J. RAANAN: Yes, sir. Yes, we are. Thank you very much. God bless you.

BIDEN: God bless you, guys.


HOLMES: The Israel Defense Forces say it believes 210 people are still being held hostage in Gaza. And the IDF has said getting all of them back is a top priority. But at the same time, they have to get ready they say for the next stages of war against Hamas.


DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESPERSON (through translation): Hamas, in the last day, especially in the last day, is trying to convey himself as humanitarian organization by releasing the hostages. But we want you to remember that Hamas is worse than ISIS, entered Israel, massacred -- massacred soldiers, babies, elderly women, everyone that was on its way.


HOLMES: Israeli government officials now put the number of foreign nationals killed during Hamas' surprise attack at 235. They say they were from 41 different countries. Israel released the new numbers on Saturday. In addition, 74 foreign nationals are also still missing according to the updated count.

Now in the two weeks since Israel's war on Hamas began, countries around the world have been working to bring their citizens home to get them out of danger.


HOLMES (voice-over): Out of harm's way, countries around the world are flying their citizens out of Israel on repatriation flights filled with foreign nationals fleeing the Israel-Hamas war. Many of the people leaving Israel were there to earn a living, better than they could in their homeland. Officials in Thailand say at least 30 of their citizens have been killed since Hamas launched its attack on Israel two weeks ago. Eight bodies have been returned. Many of the dead worked on Israeli farms. The Thai government says it's working to return the other bodies and also repatriate thousands of Thai citizens who want to leave Israel.


PIROJ CHOTIKASATIEN, THAILAND PERMANENT SECRETARY FOR LABOR (through translation): The number of Thai citizens who wish to return home keeps increasing. We're trying to get Thai people back as much and as soon as possible.

HOLMES (voice-over): Emotional reunions in Manila as a flight carrying Filipinos who were working in Israel returned home. Many of the evacuees were employed as caregivers in Israel when the attacks happened, and some say they still can't shake what they saw.

MYLENE RIVERA, EVACUEE (through translation): Apart from the gunfights, explosions were heard along with the sirens. I felt nervous I was shaking from fear.

HOLMES (voice-over): More than 200 agricultural students from a work study program in Israel flew back to Nepal last week. 10 of their group were killed in the attacks. On Saturday, the bodies of four students were flown back to Kathmandu, grief stricken families say it's hard to believe they are gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He used to say that he would return home, build a concrete house and bring all of us together. Now even his body is not here.

HOLMES (voice-over): The families say the students were full of hope when they left a chance to earn money as much as $15,000 and learn new skills in Israel's high tech agricultural sector. This father says his son was going to use his savings to start a farming business back in Nepal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I had known about this danger, I would have stopped him. I thought he was going there on a study visa, and it would be good for him in his bright future.

HOLMES (voice-over): A future cut short like so many others caught in the middle of a conflict far from their home.


HOLMES: Still to come, CNN has gained access to some shockingly accurate maps and other materials some of the intelligence Hamas used to carry out its bloody rampage. Our Matthew Chance we'll have a report after the break.


[23:30:27] HOLMES: Tens of thousands of Israeli troops are preparing for a ground incursion of Gaza as Israel says it will step up airstrikes on the enclave. The IDF's Chief of Staff said Saturday that their military quote will enter Gaza and initiate an operation to take out Hamas but didn't specify a timeframe. A spokesperson for the IDF also told CNN earlier that at this point, their focus is on eradicating the militant group.


JONATHAN CONRICUS, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESPERSON: The only thing I can say is that Hamas will not be in charge at the end of this war. That is for certain. What will happen, who will govern, that we'll have to see and people in suits will have to tell people in uniform exactly how what the strategic endgame is.


HOLMES: Hamas' video, maps and documents obtained by CNN are revealing just how much Hamas killers knew about the Israeli communities where they slaughtered 1,400 people just two weeks ago. The material include a detail attack plans, specific information about security and homes, and even the best rooms to hold hostages.

We do caution you some of the images are graphic, CNN's Matthew Chance shows us the chilling evidence.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): CNN has gathered chilling new insights, and details on the Hamas' assault inside Israel, including disturbing video taken by the attackers themselves as they rampage through Israeli homes, killing on site, and then being killed.

Searches of their dead bodies revealing a trove of highly specific Hamas battle plans. Including these detailed maps now shared with CNN by the Israeli government, showing communities near Gaza like Kfar Aza targeted by the attackers.

These were the terrifying scenes inside as a masked gunman recorded themselves moving freely through the gardens of Israeli homes. Code Red, Code Red, the Israeli loudspeaker blares in Hebrew, punctuating the sporadic gunfire. After the attack, Israeli first responders saw bullet holes and bloodstains in room after room, in what looks like a coldly methodical killing spree.

(on-camera): But while hundreds of Israelis were killed, some Israeli communities managed to repel the Hamas gunman and save lives. A kibbutz Mefalsim also near Gaza, residents pushed back her Hamas attack, and found documents on the bodies of the militants they killed with disturbing highly accurate intelligence on their homes.

(voice-over): Including precise numbers of armed guards there. Regional defense force at least 20 residents one document reads and 10 soldiers. YARDEN RESKIN, KIBUTZ MEFALSIM RESIDENT: They knew basically the size

of our security team. They knew about other three or four entrances to the kibbutz.

CHANCE: It sounds like they knew everything.

RESKIN: They knew everything, where the generators are. They knew where the armory is. They knew about the rural roads around the kibbutz.

CHANCE (voice-over): Security footage shows how Hamas gunmen killed an Israeli outside the kibbutz gates before being repelled. Even with detailed intelligence on their targets, not every Hamas objective was achieved. Nearby kibbutz, Sa'ad, wasn't even attacked, although we now have documentary evidence that Hamas intended to inflict the maximum possible human casualties there and to hold hostages.

A highly detailed street map found on another Hamas gunman and obtained by CNN shows individual buildings inside identified and assessed for their military value. The communal kitchen, for example, is described as the main place suitable for holding hostages. Inside the guard room, the soldiers must be neutralized, the Hamas instructions say.

While the kibbutz dental Clinic is designated a place for first aid for both enemies and friends. Israeli residents of Sa'ad say they also found that level of detail outstanding.


SARAH POLLACK, KIBBUTZ SA'AD RESIDENT: Shockingly, the details are very accurate. The map is a map of our kibbutz. It's very accurate. It's horribly accurate.

CHANCE: If they did come to your settlement, they would have known exactly where to go, exactly where to cause the most damage.

POLLACK: Yes. And we now see that their goal was to take hostages, including children.

CHANCE (voice-over): Israeli officials say they found other documents to that advise attackers to kill anyone posing a threat or causing a distraction to keep captives away from arms or means of suicide, and to use them as cannon fodder. It is a dark turn.


CHANCE (voice-over): Even for a group seen here parading before the attacks.


CHANCE (voice-over): It's come to symbolize the uncompromising face of Palestinian resistance and violence against Israel. Israeli officials say a document referencing ISIS and al-Qaeda, which CNN has not been able to authenticate, was found on one Hamas gunmen killed during this attack on Kibbutz Be'eri.

The document given to CNN by a senior Israeli government official praises Jihad against Jews and Crusaders. Israeli officials say that evidence, Hamas is increasingly influenced by global Jihadi ideology and the assessment many experts have dismissed.

But in the wake of the unprecedented brutality of these attacks, US officials tell CNN, the Hamas threat may now be reassessed. Matthew Chance, CNN, Israel.


HOLMES: And joining me now from Washington DC is Khaled Elgindy, Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute. Good to see again, sir. It is looking more like this incursion into Gaza is going to happen, part of why Israel says it wants to dismantle Hamas. What do you fear that will result in or lead to?

KHALED ELGINDY, SENIOR FELLOW, MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE: I think what it will result in is what we've already seen, which is civilian suffering on a massive scale. I think it will be even greater once they go in on the ground. Which point we can also expect that Israeli forces will take casualties.

But it's going to be a long, ugly, messy, very bloody battle inside Gaza where, you know, it's going to be house to house building to building. And based on what we've seen from Israel's bombardment from the air, we can expect massive civilian casualties and more suffering, unfortunately.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. And worrying when you hear the idea of say that basically anyone who hasn't managed to get out of the northern areas that could well be seen as being, you know, part of the battle, which is very worrying. We saw that regional summit in Cairo, and with no result, how would you evaluate the regional temperature right now? And how precarious is the mood at the Arab strength level?

ELGINDY: Well, I think the mood in the Arab strength level is quite angry. People are outraged at the mass to civilian casualties that we're seeing. I mean, as the report said, at least 1,600, probably more, children have been killed. They didn't just die, as the report said, but they were killed by Israeli airstrikes. And so, we're seeing, I think, in addition to -- I mean, part of the anger is directed, of course at Israel for committing these atrocities, but also at the United States and the West for their seeming indifference to Palestinian suffering.

I mean, the fact that Israel has cut off I think, you know, this story doesn't get enough play. But, you know, it's not just that Israel is bombarding from the air, which is it is doing, but it has cut all food, medicine, water and fuel to Gaza for now more than 15 days. And so, this is an entirely manmade deliberate humanitarian catastrophe that we're witnessing.

And so, of course, the Arab public has been outraged. We've seen now the largest demonstrations in the Arab world since the revolutions a decade ago or more. And there's a lot of pressure on Arab leaders to respond. But they're -- it doesn't look very likely because the United States is simply not interested. Neither the United States nor Israel are interested in a ceasefire,

HOLMES: It's always important to say, you know, what Hamas did on October 7 was, you know, unquestionably terrorism. It was abhorrent.



HOLMES: But it's interesting the most recent polling and surveys from Gaza before October 7. It was one in July, in fact, showed lessening public support for Hamas. I mean, that -- it was a Washington Institute poll I'm thinking of in July showed half of Gazans wanted Hamas to negotiate a two-state solution.

What are the risks that the level of destruction and death in Gaza, the suffering will actually reverse that and increase support for militant groups?

ELGINDY: Oh, absolutely. And this is one of the reasons why I and, you know, handful of other analysts in Washington are so alarmed at the indifference of the Biden administration, or more like the kind of blank check that they've given to Israel. Even if you set aside the human costs, which I hope we never do because, you know, ultimately, that's what matters most. But even if we, for the sake of argument, set that aside, and you look at this in cold calculating terms, it's phenomenally short-sighted and frankly reckless, and maybe even I would say, stupid, to allow this kind of death and destruction at this scale to continue indefinitely.

Because, you know, the same way that Israelis feel the trauma of October 7th, and even a desire for revenge. Well, you now have three times as many Palestinians have been killed, and they've been under nonstop bombardment. And just the sheer terror of that is going to stay with them for a very, very long time. And it's not the sort of mindset that we should be instilling if you care about the future stability of this region.

HOLMES: Great to get your analysis, Khaled Elgindy. We'll talk again, thanks so much.

ELGINDY: Thanks for having me.

HOLMES: Many Israeli Americans say they feel helpless watching from the US as the war against Hamas rages on. What some are doing to help their fellow countrymen? That's when we come back.



HOLMES: A peace summit called by Egypt entered without an accord due to "differences' according to Jew officials, Arab leaders had gathered in Cairo on Saturday to try to deescalate the situation in Gaza and protect its civilians. However, Israeli and senior US officials weren't there. The Egyptian President calling for the resumption of negotiations for a two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was "unfortunate" that some of those attending "had difficulty condemning terrorism."

Thousands are continuing to participate in protests and demonstrations around the world over the Israel-Hamas war. Police estimate more than 100,000 people marched through London on Saturday to the Prime Minister's residence, and they called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Demonstrators chanted Free Palestine and wave Palestinian flags. Other pro-Palestinian protests took place this weekend in Germany, Spain, and Washington DC.

Many Israeli Americans are working to collect humanitarian supplies. Camila Bernal now with more on what people in the US are doing to help both Israel and Gaza.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're focused on raising as much money as possible, collecting as many supplies as possible, but also focused on mental health resources and fighting misinformation. A lot of these Israeli Americans began to watch and see what was going on in Israel and say they were shocked, they were heartbroken, and also felt helpless in a way. Many of them that were maybe IDF members were able to travel back to Israel, but others say that it's just better to stay here and do everything they can to help from the US.

I talked to the organization Bulletproof Israel. And they said, in the beginning, they were in need of a tactical gear, bulletproof vest, anything that they could collect to help the military. But they now say they're also very focused on medical supplies, the basics. They've been able to ship from LA, from New York, from Miami, and they will continue to do so over the next couple of days. They say they want to send as much help as possible. Here is the CEO of Bulletproof Israel.


LION SHIRDAN, CEO, BULLETPROOF ISRAEL: For me, it wouldn't make sense to go back. But knowing so many people in Israel and knowing what they're going through, what -- my goal is just to do everything that I can to help them out. Everything, everything.

It doesn't mean there's no limit to what I would do. It doesn't matter. They're there and they're fighting for us. And they're trying to get my family out.


BERNAL: And Lion told me two members of his family have been kidnapped, which is part of the reason why he's doing everything he can to help from the US. Now, we also reached out to organizations helping Palestinians in Gaza. And what they've told us is that it is impossible for them to send supplies. So instead they are extremely focused on trying to raise as much money as possible. But again, it's Americans who feel like they need to do something from the US to then send that help. Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.

HOLMES: The leader of a synagogue in Detroit in the US was found stabbed to death outside her home on Saturday morning, according to police. They say that Samantha Woll's death leaves many unanswered questions and they're still trying to figure out what happened. The police chief says a motive is not yet known. One of Woll's friends tell CNN, she treated everyone with love and compassion.


MORENO TAYLOR, FIREND OF SAMANTHA WOLL: She was such a bright light in our community. And, you know, had done so much to contribute to the revitalization of the city of Detroit. Sam was -- she was energetic. She always had that bright smile that you're showing now. You know, she greeted everybody with love compassion. And she really led -- she's someone who embodied her values.


HOLMES: Detroit's mayor says Woll's death "has left a huge hole in the community." The FBI and the Michigan State Police are helping with the investigation.

Still to come here on the program, the latest on the war in Ukraine and how the country's Special Forces are focusing their attention on Crimea.



HOLMES: Ukrainian fighters have received a much needed boost of morale this week. That's thanks in part to a secret US delivery of long range ATACMS missiles. Ukraine has been pleading for the weapons for months and they've already been using them to destroy Russian equipment in occupied territory.

Another morale boost comes from Ukrainian Special Forces who are making daring raids into Russian occupied Crimea. Fred Pleitgen explains.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A brazen attack from the sea, Ukrainian forces using jet skis to land in Russian occupied Crimea. The fighter speaking goes by the callsign Musician. He tells me the operation was successful but tough.

While we were landing, the sea was stormy, he says. The waves were up to two meters high, plus Russian warships were patrolling, the Raptors. The Ukrainian say they also managed to destroy a Russian military gear before racing off across the Black Sea using larger boats to carry fuel for the jet skis on the long journey back to Ukrainian held territory. Musician says these missions are militarily essential. It helps our forces in the trenches, he says. We distract the enemy's attention towards us and the enemy is forced to relocate their personnel and vehicles to the Crimean seaside. Ukraine has started a major campaign against Russian military targets in and around Crimea. Getting the HQ of Moscow's Black Sea Fleet, damaging a submarine and a Russian landing ship, as well as hitting an airbase.


The Ukrainians use drones and cruise missiles for some of the attacks, but rely on a network of undercover partisan groups inside Crimea for information and targeting. One of the groups agreed to answer our questions but only in writing for security reasons. We constantly monitor all military facilities on the territory of the Crimean Autonomous Region with the help of our agents and residents of Crimea, who constantly inform us ATESH Group rights, a wide and developed system of agents allows you to make a choice.

One of the key targets Ukraine has hit several times, the Kerch Bridge linking occupied Crimea to the Russian Mainland. The attacks have led to severe disruptions, Russian leader Vladimir Putin vowing revenge.

There will definitely be a response from Russia, he said. The Ministry of Defense is preparing proposals.

For the Ukrainians, missions like these are also psychologically important, one of the planners of the jet ski raid tells us. We are fighting a trench war on the front lines and the armed forces success is not so obvious, he says. And special operations of this kind in the rear or in the sea, they inspire and give energy to keep fighting.

And the fighters in the Bratislava Unit say their next infiltrations are already in the works, but they won't say when, where or how. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes, that's for spending part of your day with me. I will be back with more of our continuing coverage of the Israel- Hamas war in just a moment.