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IDF: Israeli Forces Carry Out Dozens Of Airstrikes on Hamas; More Relief Trucks Journey Into Gaza From Egypt; Gaza Humanitarian Crisis Intensifies Amid Conflict; House Republicans Scramble To Elect A New Speaker. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired October 22, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NICHOLAS KRISTOFF, JOURNALIST: Maybe somehow, that can happen in Gaza, as well.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: In the days and weeks ahead, there is so much at stake here. And CNN will be here to cover it all.
Thanks for watching "THE WHOLEL STORY". I'll see you next Sunday.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN HOST: Hello, welcome everyone. I'm Michael Holmes at CNN Center with the latest on the Israel-Hamas war.
And the conflict in the Middle East continues to escalate amid dozens of airstrikes carried out by the IDF on Sunday. Hamas says its fighters clashed with Israeli troops inside Gaza, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to troops in northern Israel reiterating the stakes of the current initiative.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We fought with exemplary heroism in Gaza. You're stories are very inspirational. I know that you lost comrades. This is very, very difficult. But we are fighting for our lives, for our home.
This is no exaggeration. This is war. We are now in a double battle. One battle is to block them here, the second battle is to win a crushing victory that will erase Hamas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Now, Mr. Netanyahu also met with the nation's war cabinet Sunday to discuss security and the country's defense minister says it is likely that an invasion of Gaza needs to be Israel's last move inside the region, vowing Hamas won't be around for long.
The second convoy this time of at least 14 aid trucks entered Gaza via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Sunday, as U.S. President Biden and Mr. Netanyahu affirmed a flow of humanitarian aid, such as it is, will continue.
Journalist Elliott Gotkine joins me now from London with more. So, Elliott, obviously, everyone anxious about the start of a ground
operation. There's been this heavy shelling in the north of Gaza. Nic Robertson's been reporting. What do we know about what might be to come and when?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Well, not a huge amount, Michael, to be perfectly honest, as Nick was reporting, you know, the most intense bombardment since -- Hamas terrorist attack on October the 7th, with airstrikes. And as you say, there are also the first skirmishes on the ground inside the Gaza strip between Israeli troops and Hamas militants.
In that clash, one IDF soldier was killed, and three were injured. And Hamas says from an anti-tank missiles, Hamas says that it managed to destroy a couple bulldozers and a tank. But this wasn't, it doesn't seem, the starting gun, for lack of a better phrase, over ground invasion. There could be all matter of reasons as to why it's not happened just yet, everything ranging from the weather to attempts to secure the release of more hostages, to perhaps indecision, or perhaps to simply changing facts on the ground.
We don't know when or how Israel is going to go in. It is adamant that it is going to go in one point, it's what we're expecting, I suppose it's what the Israeli public will be demanding given the savagery and the gravity of the attack and, of course, Hamas holding those 200-plus hostages still inside the Gaza Strip.
But right now, Michael, I'm afraid we still don't know when this is going to happen.
HOLMES: Yeah. The U.S. reportedly wanting a delay in a ground offensive. But, you know, how much influence does the U.S. have on what Israel might be wanting to do and when?
GOTKINE: It has a huge amount of influence, Michael, but up to a point. And Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was pointedly asked this question, to which he replied that, you know, going in, that this is a decision for Israel to make, and from Israel's perspective, they're saying these reported delays are just Hamas propaganda, that there's been no request to delay.
Clearly, there was at least some delay when President Biden came to town, Israel was hardly going to go in on the ground while the president of the United States, Israel's closest and most important ally, was in town. But it does seem, we understand that the U.S. has been pressing Israel for a delay in order to try to secure the release of more hostages in order to enable more humanitarian aid to go in, and also to potentially provide safe passage for Palestinian civilians to get outside of Gaza -- to get out of the Gaza Strip.
But certainly, there is a possibility that there's been a delay, perhaps giving Israel more pause for thought as to how it precisely how it wants to go in. Israel is clearly still trying to gather in television and make a final decision on that, and also to act on that decision. But whether there is, you know, more of a delay for the reasons I outlined for the U.S., or for other operational reasons, we don't know.
All we know for that is that we've been talking about this ground invasion being imminent for more than a week now. It still hasn't happened. We still expected to happen. It still seems to be a question of when rather than if, and of course, we simply don't know the timing. Israel is not going to give anything away. Of course, we don't know how it's going to go in either.
For now, still seeing those airstrikes. We're seeing the Gaza Strip being pummeled. Israel saying it's trying to clear out militants, targeting command infrastructure, and also, of course, weapons. At the same time, it's very concerned, of course, about the tunnel system that Hamas maintains underneath the Gaza Strip, and of course, the people being held, the more than 200 people being held hostage by Hamas as well.
But we still expect Israel to go in on the ground at some point, Michael.
HOLMES: Yeah, yeah. Elliott, good, thanks for the update. Elliott Gotkine there in London for us.
Now, aid workers say the situation in Gaza has become a humanitarian catastrophe. Palestinian officials say more than 4,600 people are being killed in Gaza since the war started. Among them, 1,000 women, nearly 2,000 children.
And a warning that we're about to show you some images you might find disturbing. Parents in Gaza writing their children's names on their legs and arms, in case they need to be identified should they or their family be killed. A CNN photographer captured these gut wrenching images of dead children, indeed, with names written on their legs.
Well, as Israel has been ramping up its aerial bombardment, hospitals in Gaza say they've been overwhelmed with casualties. One hospital officials summing up Sunday, in two words, a, quote, bloody Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. IYAD ISSA ABU ZAHER, DIRECTOR GENERAL, AL AQSA MARTYRS HOSPITAL (through translator): It's impossible for any hospital in the world to admit this number of injured. And it's impossible for any medical crew to work with these large numbers of injured. And every injured person needs four or five specialized surgeons and surgeries. And this puts a large burden on the medical group.
You can't offer medical services the same way in a war zone that you would give to patients in a normal situation, injuries in the dozens. There is no room or hospital beds for these injuries. The injured were at the doorstep of operation rooms and on top of each other. Each waiting their turn for an operation, and the situation is catastrophic. at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.
(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: And joining me now from Canberra, Australia, is James Elder, spokesperson for UNICEF.
Thanks for making the time. I know you're between flights at the moment. According to the Palestinian foreign ministry, now, 40 -- nearly 4,700, 13,500 wounded, and nearly 2,000 children dead. They are staggering numbers. This video of wounded being treated on hospital floors.
Just give us a sense, from your perspective, how desperate the situation is, and how much worse it could get?
JAMES ELDER, SPOKESPERSON, UNICEF: Yeah. Michael, you're right. I mean, the reported numbers of children being killed, and of course you just showed some imagery there, in Gaza, it's almost incomprehensible. But the fact remains that without a cease-fire, without a massive increase in aid, we are going to see the number of children, boys and girls in Gaza, the number killed, we're going to see that skyrocket.
We urgently, Michael, need a massive increase in aid there. It really is a matter of life or death now, getting medicines in, getting water in. There's grave shortages. And it can unfortunately get much worse.
It's hard to say that when you quote the numbers you say of children being killed, but there's no doubt that the situation can get much worse for them, because aid in the amounts that they need right now is not nearly enough.
Michael, UNICEF has enough aid for a quarter million people. We can get that into Gaza in a matter of hours. We're not able to do that right now.
That has to change. We need unconditional aid. We need a cease-fire. Children of Gaza, they needed it yesterday.
HOLMES: Yeah. You know, what -- when you talk about the wounded, some of the images coming out of hospitals there right now -- some of them we just can't air. Is there any indication how many wounded need outside treatment or surgery? Surgery that they're not able to get in Gaza?
ELDER: Look, with all these things, the numbers are difficult. We know it's thousands right now. You know that the hospitals -- we've heard from more than a week, that there are more people than possible beds, that they're running out of essential medicines. We know that you've got children in incubators, and they're going to have generators soon, and doctors are going to have to decide who lives and who dies.
So, your question mark on injuries is absolutely spot on, as this just trauma. If you could just imagine the life of a little 12-year-old girl in Gaza, she's already been through violent situations like this over her life.
Right now, nothing compares to this. There's a high chance she's seen someone killed, maybe a friend, maybe she's injured herself. She's hiding, she's in a bunker, she's trying to move because 1 million people were told to evacuate.
This is a trauma that's not going anywhere. But right now, she's simply trying to stay alive under bombardment, without access to water. It gets difficult to over-explain it, but it's what the secretary general, it's what UNICEF has been saying from day one. Cease-fire, unconditional aid, and we're talking about this -- unconditional release of these hostages. These Israelis, some of whom are children. Get them back to their families now in Israel.
HOLMES: Yeah, yeah. I've -- water, food, medical supplies, they're all crucial, crucial. But the U.N. has said, I think the quote was, without fuel, there will be no water and no functioning hospitals, bakeries. Without fuel, you won't get aid to civilians.
And none of that is coming, in these two small convoys. So much -- how crucial is fuel, given what it's used for?
ELDER: You're so right. These early trucks, they're flicker of hope. It's no doubt. But the despair, and to be perfectly frank, that, dominates right now in Gaza.
Fuel is absolutely critical. It's the generators to pump water to people, or at least turn on the water supply again. Otherwise, we are going to see children die of dehydration. Get field hospitals so we can power, you know, incubators, emergency medical supplies.
The secretary general, Michael, talks that we need a minimum of 100 trucks a day going into Gaza. We are seeing a drop in the ocean when it comes to that. The children of Gaza are seeing many more bombs than they are trucks of aid.
HOLMES: One final thing. UNICEF, your kids are your focus. I saw a video of a nine year old boy walking along a line of bodies, looking for his family. An opening up the shroud to look at faces until he found his mother, and then kissing her on the face.
It made me wonder, what is going to be the psychological needs when this is all over? That kind of trauma is hard, and it's on both sides to. Kid saw horrible things on the other side of the border as well.
ELDER: Yeah, you cannot be more right, Michael. You put a chill on my spine on that. The children of Israel exactly saw horrendous, horrendous things two weeks ago and need to recover, need that psychological support. They, too, need peace. They need to know there will be no rockets coming across their country.
And for the children in Gaza, the trauma is at levels that we probably never seen before, probably affecting every single boy and girl there.
And, yes, UNICEF, we are front line. I have colleagues in Gaza. And what we know is the longer the fighting goes on, the longer the intensity, the longer we wait for the adults to bring a cease-fire for these children, the more ingrained that gets. And that has long term effects. It's social, it's emotional, goodness, needs an income.
And we know that young population of Gaza can offer so much, but if the bombardment continues, then trauma is something they will carry with them for a long time.
James Elder with UJNICEF, thank you and thank you for the work your organization and others are doing. Appreciate it.
Well, due to evacuation orders, many towns along the Israeli-Lebanese border are all but empty.
CNN's Matthew Chance is in the region and has the latest.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: It's very quiet here in Kiryat Shmona, at the moment in northern Israel. But that's mainly because the vast majority of the population of this city of more than 20,000 people, this town, have gone. They've have been evacuated.
And that's true of towns and villages all across this area close to the Lebanese border. There's been an order, from the Israeli governor for civilians to leave, because of the growing threat of rocket attacks and other kinds of attacks from southern Lebanon where Hamas controls the territory. Palestinian militant groups also operate in southern Lebanon as well.
And indeed, the Israeli military say that those attacks have been increasing over the course of the past week or so. With, as you say, drone attacks taking place well, well, drone flights taking place across northern Israel from Lebanese territory and anti-tank missiles being fired at Israeli installations along the border. There have been infiltration of gunman from the Lebanese side into Israel.
The Israelis have, of course, responded in kind. There been pounding areas with artillery strikes, and airstrikes inside southern Lebanon and in Syria as well. We're very close to the border with Syria also.
And they are now warning Lebanon yet again and warning Hezbollah that if this continues, or if it escalates, there will be a very strong response indeed from the Israeli military. They say that they want a second front to open up but they are focusing on the south as they prepare for the operation, the land operation and Gaza. But they have moved tens of thousands of troops, at least, into this region in preparation for, what they say would be a very determined and strong destructive response against Hezbollah and against Lebanon if the attacks from that southern part of the country persist or escalates.
HOLMES: Still to come, after so much anguish and loss, a story of bravery and triumph out of southern Israel. That's just ahead.
HOLMES: A group of brave volunteers managed to fight off more than 30 Hamas terrorists during that surprise attack just over two weeks ago, incredible no one inside the small kibbutz in southern Israel was killed.
CNN's Erin Burnett spoke with some of the heroes of the community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: You are at the gate, they tried to come in the vehicle and in there we saw all the burned out cars they used to block. You are able to stop that. But they burst through the pedestrian gate. And we have footage of some of those from the security camera.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were actually shooting anti-tank missiles on the tank, so there's an actual carnage going outside the gate. People are trying to rush in from the party.
People that were just driving.
BURNETT: Right, they were trying to come in for safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're trying to come in. The gate is closed. They cannot see the terrorist and they just go outside, run to the gate and then being shot at from a short distance.
BURNETT: The tears at the gate are trying to come. And so they basically -- they were picking them off as they run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's actually taking cover around the gate from the outside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And firing at them.
UNIDENTIFIEED MALE: And firing at those civilians that are running through the gate, stopping them after they were shut down to make sure they're dead. And they're engaging there's a small unit in the bomb shelter outside the gate. And some of the party members were hiding there so you could see a group of terrorists going in and having their massacre there.
UNIDENTIFIEED MALE: They threw hand grenades into the shelter. You could see the security movie you could see the hand being withdrawn, throwing the hand grenade inside.
And so I went out and now I started moving towards the main gate, but not in a straight line. I went through the houses. I've got through the parking number two. And there is a hill, a small hill over watching, from outside. And there were three guys wearing black. They were looking at the
road. I wasn't sure if this is our people or, maybe, I don't know and then at the moment they turned around, I saw AK47s.
BURNETT: So that's how you knew? You all have M16s, all of you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, Israel, we don't use AK47s. That's not as.
BURNETT: So that's a signal that that's not you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not us. I shot at this group. One of them got hit, the other one -- the other two scattered.
BURNETT: They have any idea how many M16s you have magazines? Just a sense of this going on for hours, how many bullets did even shoot? Do you have any idea of what this took, you know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I shot 240 bullets.
DAVID ROSENBERG, MEFALSIM VOLUNTEER SECURITY FORCE: I knew that I only had six. I counted every bullet. And I knew that I can shot like I have a backup, or something like that. So I've been shooting every -- every bullet as its own target. I didn't try to just lie --
BURNETT: Right, you had to shoot.
ROSENBERG: Yes, I had to shoot, to kill.
BURNETT: So I know you all know, you've seen this, this is what was found on them. I mean at least on somebody. This is their plans of what they were going to do. I was reading through it. It's dated October 2022. That they were planning for a whole year. The details in here, I want to ask you one specific thing, they knew everything ABOUT.
ROSENBERG: Except our names.
BURNETT: Yes, except your names. But they put their phone numbers in here. They put the task, kibbutz, Mefalsim, plan B14. It's military. God is great, the martyr al Qassam brigades. But at the top they have the cameras that are going to be visible. Who's going to help you? They have a tank brigade.
But it's this part I wanted to ask you all about. This is exactly what they plan to do inside the kibbutz. The duty of where they were supposed to go, what street numbers, everything.
UNIDENTIFIEED MALE: They know where the generator is.
BURNETT: And did they -- did you know that you can see this and you saw that when they trying to execute this plan?
ELI LEVY, MEFALSIM VOLUNTEER SECURITY FORCE: Exactly, their plan was actually to engage the security group to open the main gates to allow (INAUDIBLE) and to sabotage the main power and the generator, and to make as much casualties for the security team and to allow the second wave to go in. And the fact that they know the exact way to go to where the generator is --
BURNETT: Yes, I mean the street by street.
LEVY: The street by street, that's exactly what they were expecting. They came to the exact point where the gates are. For instance, the point beside my house, the small gate is closed.
It's on the plan. I actually saw a page.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's seamless.
LEVY: Yeah, with actually the arrows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Arrows, gates, gate, gate.
BURNETT: When you sit here now and you think about that they didn't just plan and train. This is the military. This is -- how do you even react to that? It dates October 20, 2022.
LEVY: It's terrifying because it is a military plan that their combatants, the terrorists trained on it. They knew exactly what they were doing. They were disciplined. This is a military grade planning.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: That was CNN's Erin Burnett reporting there.
Still to come on the program, thousands of Israeli troops massing at the border with Gaza for days now. We'll have a report to head on the apparent delay in that expected incursion.
Stay with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
HOLMES: More on our top story this hour. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. Hamas fighters and Israeli forces engaged in limited clashes inside Gaza on Sunday.
Israel's military, ramping up airstrikes on the enclave, warning of the next stage in its war against Hamas.
IDF spokesperson, Jonathan Conricus spoke earlier with Julia Chatterley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LT. COL. JONATHAN CONRICUS, IDF INTERNATIONAL SPOKESPERSON: Israeli troops are both trained, equipped and ready to conduct major military operations. And until that happens, we continue to target Hamas leaders, their infrastructure, their logistics and all of their other military components in the Gaza strip as we speak.
We're hunting commanders. And the aim, maybe other things are discussed. But the aim is very clear. We need to fundamentally change the securities situation in Gaza. And make sure that at the end of this campaign, Hamas doesn't exist.
HOLMES: Meanwhile, at least 14 humanitarian relief trucks entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt Sunday through the Rafah border crossing, not nearly enough say aid groups. It did contain some food and some medicine.
These trucks are arriving a day after a convoy of 20 Egyptian trucks unloaded, humanitarian aid in Gaza using the same crossing. The anticipated Israeli ground incursion into Gaza still appears inevitable if timing uncertain.
CNN's Nic Robertson is Sderot near the border with Gaza and has more.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Bristling with battled ready troops, farmers fields north of Gaza, churn with a controlled fury of a nation readying for an incursion to strike Hamas.
Yet, they are waiting with no explanation why.
It feels like the early rush for battle readiness has passed, the troops are deployed, standing by. The question is how long can they be kept out here?
According to former IDF General Israel Ziv, as long as is needed. There are military gains.
ISRAEL ZIV, FORMER IDF GENERAL: We are now improving our intelligence and our capacity of targets.
ROBERTSON: But the political calculation here is more complicated.
RON BEN YISHAL, FORMER IDF MEMBER & MILITARY ANALYST: I think both in Washington and in Jerusalem, they understand that the legitimation -- legitimization window is closing quickly.
ROBERTSON: Civilian losses in Gaza are growing. More than a third of them, children according to Palestinian health officials, like the negotiations have led to two American hostages release. It was a tiny amount of humanitarian aid that's crossed into Gaza that Israel fears ends up in Hamas's hands. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's calculus of when to send in ground troops has never been so fraught, under pressure from the White House for more hostage releases.
BEN YISHAL: Netanyahu is a real problem. He cannot say no to Biden. But he cannot say yes to the humanitarian aid that drifts into northern Gaza.
ROBERTSON: But he is also under pressure at home, too. Military and others, hawkish for decisive blow against Hamas.
ZIV: We are finishing preparing the ground fall because we've changed plans, we are going to -- for heavy maneuvering.
ROBERTSON: Netanyahu's dilemma compounded by his dependence on American weapons.
BEN YISHAL: The pressure from Washington is real. It's real, and strong and the prime minister says, many times to his ministers, listen, we are getting from the United States more than you know.
ROBERTSON: Where less than a week ago, these teams were feeling with tanks, troops making last-minute repairs.
Today, there are just tracks in the sand.
There's a shoulders jacket here, bread and a back on the table. Where have all the tanks gone? Forward for an incursion? We're back to base for a pause?
Close to the front line in Gaza, these days, more questions than answers. An incursion still highly probable. But when?
Nic Robertson, CNN, Sderot, Israel.
HOLMES: Aid might be arriving in Gaza but workers say the supplies aren't nearly enough for the besieged enclave. Earlier, I spoke with the Palestinian journalist in Washington who told us about the challenges her family is facing in Gaza amid this humanitarian crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAILA EL-HADDAD, PALESTINIAN AUTHOR & JOURNALIST: They've lost all power. They had a little bit last week. They don't have any more, they have no more water and my cousin's wife doesn't have any way to make formula for her infant twins. And yet the children keep saying, to me, they have names. They have lives. I just want a Rubik's cube when this is all over. That's what he keeps saying.
But we're sort of watching this unfold on our screens and meanwhile humanitarian aid is being weaponized.
And I feel like I'm in some kind of Orwellian, twisted Orwellian reality right now.
EL-HADDAD: And meanwhile, officials here are discussing not whether there should be a cease-fire, but how many liters of water each person got it should be getting. That's what I've been hearing.
HOLMES: It must -- it must -- I can't imagine what it's like to, as you say, just sit and watch from afar. I mean, you made the point, Israel warning Palestinians to evacuate south even though it's hitting targets in the south. These flyers, as you mentioned are interesting and we come from them, too, and translated them. They're telling Palestinians who won't or can't leave the north that they could be considered and the wording is, quote, a partner for terrorist organizations and a ground operation.
What is your reaction, your family's reaction to that sort of warning?
EL-HADDAD: I mean, they were aghast. My cousin's wife, Fadat (ph), sends me a video rocking her infant twins and said, so now we're essentially being told that either we leave our homes by forced and get displaced and join, you know, a million others in tents without food or access to water or were terrorist?
I mean, she really had no words. And she said we're not leaving. We're going to stay right here, died in the dignity of our own homes. And I'm not exaggerating when I'm expecting at any moment to hear -- to see their names in the news that I keep getting every minute, by minute. We just -- we lost several members of my mother's family in Khan Younis in the south, and we lost just found out very close friends in central Gaza.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Laila Ed-Haddad there speaking with me earlier.
A quick break now. When we come back, the frustration boils over among U.S. Republicans as they struggle to elect a speaker of the House.
Also, still to come, Argentina's presidential race headed to a runoff between these two men after neither one enough votes to win outright from the first one.
HOLMES: A Detroit synagogue leader who was killed over the weekend is being mourned by her friends and family. Samantha Woll was found stabbed to death outside her home. Police say they discovered a trail of blood leading to the house where they believe the crime happened. And a memorial service on Sunday, Woll was remembered as a model citizen who was endlessly positive and loved bridging divides.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA NESSEL, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Samantha Woll may have been the nicest person that I have ever met or will ever meet in my lifetime. Sam did more for our community, our state, our world, our lives. In her short time here on earth, then most will ever accomplish in 1,000 lifetimes over. And her killer will not rob us of the memories of her joy and warmth and kindness that she leaves behind. (END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Woll had let the Isaac Agree Synagogue in Detroit since 2022. The police chief says they're still investigating her death. They have no evidence to suggest it was motivated by antisemitism as of now.
In Washington, nine Republicans have entered the race for the speaker of the House of Representative around, what is it, four? They would make their case before the Republican conference later today after Jim Jordan failed three times to win the spot last week.
The House has been paralyzed without a speaker for nearly three weeks now, which ousted speaker Kevin McCarthy, himself called embarrassing.
Manu Raju has more now on the ongoing drama.
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: House Republicans remain in turmoil almost three weeks after the unprecedented ouster of a sitting speaker. Kevin McCarthy was pushed out after eight Republicans joined with Democrats and voted out Kevin McCarthy as speaker. This was initiated by House Republicans, and they have not been able to coalesce around anyone to replace McCarthy as of yet.
And the House can't do any business, no legislating at all until a speaker is elected. And they have been unable to unite behind any candidate. First, they nominated Steve Scalise, the House Republican majority leader. He was unable to get the votes to be elected speaker. He bowed out before going to the floor.
Jim Jordan, House judiciary committee chair, was nominated then to be the next speaker of the House. He did go to the floor, three times, and he failed to win over enough support. He could only afford to lose four Republican votes on this party vote. He lost 25 on his third ballot. Ultimately, he bowed to reality and stepped aside.
Now nine Republican candidates have filed to run for speaker. Unclear which of those nine will ultimately get the Republican nomination and, more importantly, who can get the 217 votes that they would need on the floor of the House to be elected speaker. It is unclear if any of them can given the sharp divisions within the ranks.
REP. DUSTY JOHNSON (R-SD): It is the biggest F-U to Republican I've ever seen.
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): This conference is absolutely broken.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Americans are sick of it, and I know most members of the House are sick of it. It is time for big boys and big girls to stop with the nonsense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As swampy as swamp gets.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to get over it and we need to move on. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can't have an entire branch of government off- line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got to get our act together because I'm getting calls from my constituents in saying what the hell is going on with you Republicans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think history will assign blame in the right places.
RAJU: Now, a bit here about the timing. On Monday evening, that's when the House Republicans will meet behind closed doors yet again. Those candidates will try to make their pitch to conference. They'll answer questions from their members. They'll do that one by one, and we'll see how that ultimately goes.
And Tuesday morning is the significant vote. Behind closed doors, Republicans will have a secret ballot leadership election. That means a majority of their conference will vote to nominate the next speaker candidate.
That person -- it will be a secret ballot election. It's unclear exactly who's the front-runner and who might emerge here, but we'll see how close that person who gets the nomination is to the magic number on the House floor, 217 votes to be elected speaker.
This is challenging for any Republican candidate because in the nearly divided House, with only 221 Republicans, Democrats are going to vote for Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, that means that person, the candidate, the Republican nominee must limit defections in the ranks.
And it's unclear if any of them will be able to do that after we've seen Republicans going after each other after McCarthy was pushed out, unable to get behind anyone, unable to do the nation's business, and much business is waiting given aid to Israel, calls for aid to Ukraine, avoiding a government shutdown by mid-November.
None of it can be dealt with. The Republican agenda is completely stalled amid this GOP leadership infighting. Can they get it resolved this coming week? That remains a huge question, but a possibility it could still be unresolved and slip into another week if they can't get their act together behind a nominee.
Manu Raju, Capitol Hill.
HOLMES: Argentina's presidential race is heading to a runoff, according to partial results from Sunday's first round.
The far-right economist Javier Milei is one of the candidates in the next month's second round. His supporters celebrated just as they did after his shocking win in the open primaries back in August. He will be going up against economy minister Sergio Massa. With 90 percent of the votes counted, Massa leads with 36 percent to Milei's 30 percent. The candidate who wins the runoff will begin a four-year term on December the 10th.
Iran has given prison sentences to two journalist who first covered the death of Mahsa Amini. State media reports Amini died in the custody of the so-called morality police last year and their death sparking protests across Iran. The two journalists were charged and convicted for, quote, cooperating with the hostile U.S. government and collusion and propaganda against Iran.
Just ahead, an inside look at the unique hospital in Israel and how doctors are treating patients underground as the war rages above on the surface. That's coming up.
HOLMES: The French president and Dutch prime minister expected to visit Israel in the coming hours, according to the Israeli prime minister's office. Emmanuel Macron and Mark Rutte will arrive in Israel on Monday, where they will meet with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Other European leaders joined the U.S. and Canada in a joint statement on the conflict, affirming their support for Israel and also calling for the adherence to the humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians. Sunday was a day of global protest as tens of thousands marched in support of Palestinians.
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PROTESTERS: Free, free Palestine! Free, free Palestine! Free, free Palestine!
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HOLMES: In Brussels, demonstrators gathered outside the European Commission headquarters calling for a ceasefire.
And in Sarajevo, thousands were seen waving Palestinian and Bosnian flags, also demanding a halt to the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
Now, as Israel grapples with the fallout from the Hamas attack on October 7th, one hospital in Tel Aviv is taking care of patients in a unique way.
CNN's Sara Sidner takes us inside the hospital sheltering people underground.
SARA SIDNER, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A doctor checks in on a patient, just an ordinary day in the hospital, except there is nothing ordinary about where this is taking place. RONNI GAMZU, CEO, TEL AVIV SOURASKY MEDICAL CENTER: This is the bunker
underground hospital. This is a functioning hospital in the highest level, every service, every technology, everything that they need would be provided to them. Everything is being supplied here.
SIDNER: It has the look and the field of a regular hospital with all the things you would expect. Except for when you turn the corner. And you can really see, this is an underground parking garage. At least it was.
The local parking spaces are now for patient beds. Driveways, for pushcarts. This is how Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center is preparing to treat patients in wartime.
So, it's perfectly normal as usual in the most abnormal scenario.
GAMZU: Exactly. Yeah. This is the right phrase to put it.
SIDNER: This is the result of 14 years of planning for war.
GAMZU: We plan this underground hospital 14 years ago. More or less after the second Lebanon war. Tel Aviv was, for the first time, got a missile attack.
SIDNER: That was then, before Hamas stormed across the border by land, air, and see on Shabbat, killing, kidnapping and maiming men, women and children.
Several floors above the hospital bonkers, 60 hospital bells are now filled with victims from the Hamas attack.
TOMER ZADIK, INJURED AT FESTIVAL ATTACK: I went to a party with my friends. It was a music festival. And in 6:30, something like that, the bomb started.
SIDNER: He and his friends managed to jump in their car, but then --
ZADIK: There was a squad of four terrorists who jumped out and spreading it us shooting at us without conscience.
SIDNER: Shooting at you, just indiscriminate?
ZADIK: Yes, just shooting without conscious.
SIDNER: His car, among those, abandoned on the side of the road. He ran and hid for the next five hours. Blood pouring from his arm, where a bullet smashed through his skin and bones.
ZADIK: There is no one in this world who wants peace more than I do. Trust me. (INAUDIBLE) in the army, I got shot over peace. I don't want this. None of us wanted this to happen.
SIDNER: Do you still think that piece is possible?
ZADIK: Well, I used to believe in peace all the time, but right now, after seeing what I saw. [23:55:04]
Yitzhak Rabin was the prime minister of Israel said very important --
SIDNER: Yitzhak Rabin?
He said that peace, you not make with friends, you make with enemies. But even enemies, we need to be human beings.
SIDNER: No matter who you are, this hospital will treat you deep below the earth's crust. It has already moved a whole section of the hospital to get the staff and patients prepared for life below during war.
What do you think about being in a parking garage?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's enjoying every minute of it.
SIDNER: Does this feel different this time?
GAMZU: It feels different because we know that we -- it's not like a kind of limited operation. It's a wartime.
HOLMES: Sara Sidner, reporting from Tel Aviv there.
And, finally, the New York Giants on Sunday honored the 10 Americans still unaccounted for after the Hamas terror attacks. The team displayed American flags and ten empty seats at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants were hosting the Washington Commanders. Hamas released two Americans last week but the U.S. secretary of state said 10 other Americans unaccounted for and that at least some of them are being held hostage.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. And I will be back after the break with more news on the Israel-Hamas war.