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CNN Live Event/Special

Thousands Of Families In Israel Displaced Amid Fighting; Biden And Netanyahu Spoke By Phone On Sunday; CNN Analysis Suggests Israel Did Not Bomb Gaza Hospital; Hamas Claims Its Troops Clashed With IDF Inside Gaza; Israeli Military: Ramping Up Gaza Airstrikes Ahead Of "Next Stage"; Gaza Civilians In "Catastrophic" Humanitarian Situation. Aired 7-8p ET

Aired October 22, 2023 - 19:00   ET



JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Thank you for joining us and welcome to our coverage of the Israel-Hamas war. I'm Julia Chatterley in New York.

And tonight, no fuel and not enough lifesaving food and water, that's what we're hearing is the Egyptian Red Crescent confirms more aid trucks and now in Gaza. The aid may be arriving but the U.N. says the convoy has not provided desperately needed fuel. And aid workers see the relief supplies aren't nearly enough for the besieged enclave.

We're also hearing tonight from a senior Israeli official who says there will be no ceasefire in Gaza. This comes as Israeli troops clashed with Hamas fighters inside the Palestinian territory earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the Netanyahu government says it's preparing for what it calls the next stage of its war with Hamas. The Israeli Prime Minister spent the day meeting with his war cabinet as the military ramps up air strikes on Gaza. For his part, Israel's defense minister took a moment to discuss the expected incursion. Just take a listen.


YOAV GALLANT, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): This needs to be the last maneuvering inside Gaza due to the simple reason that Hamas will cease to exist. It might take a month or two. But eventually there will be no Hamas.


CHATTERLEY: While the world awaits, the diplomacy continues. U.S. President Joe Biden has been working the phones this weekend. He spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday and he's been calling key allies to across Europe and Canada. Prime Minister Netanyahu will also be receiving visits additional visits from Western leaders. His office says, French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are expected in Israel within the next few days. Now to Gaza where an Israeli soldier has been killed during preparations for the looming ground offensive, the IDF says it happened when an anti-tank missile was launched towards one of their tanks during a local raid. The spokesperson said it was part of an effort to clear the area of quote terrorists, weapons and locate missing persons.


DANIEL HAGARI, IDF SPOKESPERSON: IDF was acting in few areas in Gaza, the IDF, part of the preparation for the attack, and collecting information regarding the hostages. This is our national priority. One of the preparations, IDF soldier died and three were injured.


CHATTERLEY: Amid the violence, thousands have been displaced in both Gaza and Israel forced to flee rocket attacks and the risk of escalation. Rafael Romo has been hearing the stories of some of those displaced families in Israel. And he joins us now from Tel Aviv. Rafael, I want to talk to you about the displaced persons and the conversations you were having. But first just bring us up to speed with what we've seen over the day in the last few hours in terms of activity there on the ground.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Julia. Yes, it's been very clear that the Israel Defense Forces have intensified its bombardment on Gaza, especially the northern part of it. As you may remember, more than a week ago, the Israel Defense Forces as civilians there to evacuate the area and move to the south. And we're talking about as many as 1 million Palestinians that move to the south. That's a one important development over the last 24 hours.

The other development is that there was a clash between the Israeli military and Hamas militants in northern Gaza. Now this was a very limited ground incursion. It is not the big ground incursion that we are expecting to happen at any moment now. But it appears that they're going specifically against the pockets of resistance of militants with Hamas there, perhaps with the hope of finding some of those hostages, as many as 200 that are still there, and were taken captive more than two weeks ago by Hamas.

So the situation here in Tel Aviv, where we are, it's been eerily quiet over the last few hours. Julia, we had heard air raid sirens on a daily basis, but that was not the case today. Julia?

CHATTERLEY: And Rafael, let's talk about what you were saying. You were mentioning the displaced people in Gaza. There's also obviously a step up in the preparedness for the Israeli Defense Forces to particularly in those communities around the border with Lebanon. What have been some of the people's comments that they've said to you, I'm sure they're fearful to leave. They're also fearful for what they returned to as well.

ROMO: Yes, that's right, Julia. And you may remember that the Israeli military and other agencies here in Israel announced the plan last week to evacuate 28 communities living within two kilometers of the Lebanese border. Since then it has included towns that fall within the vicinity.


We visited a shelter in Jerusalem and spoke with people that not only saw missiles exploding right above them, but also others who witnessed the brutality of Hamas militants during the October 7th terrorist attacks.


JENNIFER KAHANI, DISPLACED MOTHER: We had terrorists all around us.

ROMO (voice-over): Jennifer Kahani says she and her family woke up to the sound of explosions and missiles whizzing by. It was the morning of October 7th in the village where they live in southern Israel near the border with Gaza. They soon realized they were under attack.

KAHANI: We saw helicopters overhead. We saw -- we heard gunfire near us. The tariffs we're not far from where I live.

ROMO (voice-over): Kahani and her five-year-old son --

KAHANI: What would you like?

ROMO (voice-over): -- are two of the more than 500 displaced people from Israel's north and south who are now living at a Jerusalem hotel turned into a shelter.

MICHAEL MISTRETTA, CEO, FIRM: We take a hotel, housed people inside, feed them, do activities. They're trying to create some sort of normalcy. We will be hosting next week 1,200 people across the country.

ROMO (voice-over): This Christian organization called the Fellowship of Israel Related Ministries, or FIRM for short, has mobilized to help displaced people who had to flee their homes.

NISSIM COHEN, DISPLACED ISRAELI: They want to destroy Israel.

ROMO (voice-over): Nissim Cohen and his wife Camillia. Live in northern Israel. Their son Joseph warned them a war was coming from the south after the October 7th attacks. Now they're also among the displaced.

They say they fled their village located two kilometers from the border with Lebanon, because they saw missiles launched by Hezbollah intercepted right above their heads by Israel's Iron Dome air defense system.

(on camera): From your house near the Lebanese border, could you see the missiles the rockets flying by?

COHEN: All the missiles. I saw all the measles. We saw the army in the border. ROMO (voice-over): According to the Israel Defense Forces, about 100,000 people have been evacuated from communities near both the Gaza and Lebanon borders due to the heightened risk of attacks.

MISTRETTA: Some of them lost their homes, a lot of them lost loved ones. Some of them, I met a family just yesterday, that their 18-year- old daughter, her best friend is being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. So the trauma is really pervasive. As a group of Messianic Jews and Christian Arabs really working together, so we have to care for as many people as possible.

ROMO (on camera): Many of these families share a feeling of uncertainty right now. When will the war end? When will they be able to go home? Those are questions for which they don't have an answer right now.

(voice-over): Jennifer Kahani says her husband stayed behind with others trying to figure out how to defend their communities against further attacks.

KAHANI: We didn't just lose Jews, we didn't just lose, you know, Zionist or Israelis that day, we lost tourists that came here for a celebration of peace at a party, we lost caregivers from the Philippines and from India that were caring for elderly.

ROMO (voice-over): For now, Kahani says all she can do is hug her son a little harder, pray for her husband safe return and hope that something like this never happens again.


ROMO: And Julia beyond opening this shelter, FIRM will start delivering 2,500 hot meals a day in central Israel, in places like bomb shelters. They will also hand out a 1,000 grocery boxes this week to women that are at home with their families that will feed them for a week. Those involved in the effort are Messianic Jews and Christian Arabs working together to help families in need. Julia, back to you.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, an important message there. Rafael Romo in Tel Aviv there, for now, thank you.

Now CNN has learned that U.S. officials are pressuring Israel to delay its ground incursion into Gaza in order to allow more time for humanitarian aid deliveries and further hostage negotiations. Our next guest says the U.S. will be unable to prevent a ground incursion and he sees the possibility even if the United States getting directly involved in the war in some ways, quote, reasonably high.

Ian Bremmer is the president and founder of GZERO Media and Eurasia group. His latest book is called The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats and Our Response Will Change the World. Ian, thank you so much for your time tonight. It's good to have you with us. Just to emphasize that point, we are in a pause rather than an indefinite delay in terms of that incursion, despite pressure from the United States and no doubt other allies too. IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT & FOUNDER, EURASIA GROUP: It's the most intense airstrikes against Gaza that we've seen in the last two weeks. And everyone does expect that a ground incursion is going to happen imminently. You're right, that President Biden and the Biden administration more broadly have been pressing the Israeli government to delay as long as possible saying there's no urgency.


Hamas is not going anywhere. In fact, no one is leaving Gaza at this point, it has no capacity. And so why wouldn't you want to be able to set up safe zones be able to set up refugee camps, get humanitarian aid in place, reduce the civilian casualties by having more evacuations from the north.

And what I am hearing from the Americans and from others is that the Israeli response is not strategic. It's emotional. It's a focus on retribution. It's a level of urgency that they need to go in, they need to go in hard. They need to go in now. And the expectation is that that is indeed going to occur, the Biden administration does not believe they're going to be able to prevent the Israelis from a ground invasion for very much longer.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, the question is, what then comes next. I mean, in terms of timeframe, and I'm not talking about the practicalities, I'm just talking about how long it takes to secure an area. You can surround Gaza City pretty easily, I assume. But actually, when you get into the city itself, that's far more complicated. The Israeli defense minister suggested today, it might take a month or two, and that involves some kind of temporary occupation at the very least.

BREMMER: Well, they don't -- the military doesn't have either the willingness or the capacity to engage in a long term occupation. But if you want to destroy Hamas, and that, of course, means the underground tunnel network, it also means some 30 to 40,000 fighters, not just the military leadership in Gaza City, and this is urban fighting, that's going to be house to house, building to building harder than what you had in Fallujah in Iraq, you are talking about months of fighting, and you're talking about tens of thousands minimum Palestinian civilian casualties as well.

And the concern is that that's going to lead to an escalation beyond Gaza, not just of course, because there'll be massive outcry from the humanitarian damage, but also because Palestinians in the West Bank, Hezbollah in Lebanon, you will see a second or third front in the war that nobody wants to see not the Americans, not the Europeans, not the global south, truly nobody Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. And we often talk about the regional escalation. And I do want to talk to you about that. But first, I want to talk internally. I mean, one thing you said when this war initially broke out, you said, look, Hamas has X number of hostages today, we believe it's 210. But they're also holding Palestinians hostage too. And I wanted to ask you, how much support does Hamas have from within Gaza, from the Palestinian people? And is there a danger actually, that that only solidifies consolidates in the face of what they're now suffering in addition to the situation that was there before.

BREMMER: Julia, it's impossible to say. Nobody is pulling people on the ground, 2.3 million folks in Gaza right now. They haven't had an election since 2006. At that point, about 74 percent of the population participated, about 44 percent of those that voted, voted for Hamas. What does a vote from 17 years ago tell you today in 2023, when the average age in Gaza is under 19? It doesn't tell you very much. What we know is that these people have lived in incredibly horrible situation.

I mean, 50 percent of them without food, 90 without adequate food, 90 percent of them without clean water. That was before the terrorist attacks, that was before the siege of Gaza two weeks ago. Now, I mean, are Palestinians seeing what happened in Israel and seeing that civilian hostages have been taken, seeing that defenseless children, defenseless older people, whole families were murdered by Hamas?

I would think that a lot of them if they're getting that news, they're getting that information, they believe it would be sickened by what Hamas, their government has actually been responsible for. But how many of them are getting that information? How many of them believe it in this environment, in today's environment? The answer is probably very, very few. So I don't know what it even means to say do the Palestinian civilians support Hamas? I don't think we have the capacity to even begin to answer that question.

CHATTERLEY: Can you use the military though to break physically a terrorist organization like Hamas? What about the ideology too without creating something worse, I think at this stage without actually strengthening it, because there's a physical war here. There's also a PR war that we're all very aware of. And it goes to your point about this day and age and the impact particularly of social media.

BREMMER: I have no doubt Julia that the Israeli government is capable of destroying Hamas as a terrorist organization in the same way that the United States was able to destroy al-Qaeda. But I have asked virtually every government that has been involved diplomatically in this effort to contain the war.


Is it possible? Is there any way that the Israeli government can destroy Hamas without radicalizing far more Palestinian civilians? Can you kill 30 to 40,000 fighters without and with an organization that is doing everything they can to hold that Palestinian population hostage? Can you do that without radicalizing tens or hundreds of thousands more among the Palestinians, not just in Gaza, the refugee population in Jordan that have no right to return to their homeland, and also on the Arab Street, and no one has been able to give me a positive answer, no one.

And that, of course, is why President Biden is imploring not just Netanyahu, but the entire war cabinet. Please don't repeat the mistakes of the United States after 9/11. That's why they're asking, don't go in now. Get more people out. Get more humanitarian aid. And when you finally do go in, if we can't stop, you go in hard and go in quickly. Don't make this a long building to building war on the ground. Because the longer you occupy, the worse it's going to be for everybody.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, if you don't have answers to those questions, and perhaps question your behavior, despite what we've seen over the past two weeks. Can I ask you quickly about Hezbollah and Iran? I've seen quite a lot of excitable suggestion perhaps of an escalation while on the part of Hezbollah that Iran chooses to perhaps get involved in a further way beyond that the financing and strategy perhaps and weaponry that we know is already going on? What precipitates an escalation by Hezbollah at this moment? And why would Iran choose to give up the gains that it's made both with the United States that we've seen recently with China, with Saudi Arabia in order to escalate directly, I mean, further, at this moment?

BREMMER: There's a view that the Iranians will have popular opinion on their side if the Israelis decide to engage in a ground invasion. So that then if Hezbollah goes in, that the entire region would be against Israel, if they decided to engage in a broader fight against Hezbollah, the Americans expect, expect that there would be significant escalation on the Northern Front of Israel on the Hezbollah front, if there is a ground invasion, or should I say, Julia, when there is a ground invasion.

And that's why the Americans continue to send much more military equipment and personnel to the region, that is a message directly to the Iranian government, do not do this, don't support a proxy war, or the Americans will get directly involved. And this is where this confrontation is very different from the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and much more dangerous. Remember, in the days, the weeks, the months after the Russians invaded Ukraine, the U.S. was, together with all of its allies, doing everything possible to support Ukraine, but also everything possible to draw a red line, there would be no, no fly zone, there would be no American troops on the ground, because the United States did not want to risk a direct fight with Russia.

This is exactly the opposite. This is the Americans telling the Iranians very directly, and the Europeans aren't saying this, the Americans are saying it by themselves. If this war opens up to a broader front, the United States will get directly involved. They're not trying to avoid that. They're using deterrence in the strongest possible way to warn off against opening a new front in this war, the likelihood that the United States is directly involved in military fighting in the Middle East, assuming a ground war starts is pretty high. And that's of course, what the Biden administration is particularly concerned about.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. That's why this moment is so incredibly delicate. Ian, great to get your wisdom as always. Ian Bremmer there, the president and founder of GZERO Media and the Eurasia groups there, thank you once again.

OK, straight ahead, on our continuing coverage of the Israel-Gaza war, U.S. President Joe Biden working the phones as we have discussed, who he was calling and what came from those conversations next. Plus, less than a week after a deadly blast tore through a Gaza hospital, CNN investigates where the rocket may have indeed come from. That story and more next.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. With the Israeli incursion into Gaza seemingly imminent, U.S. President Joe Biden spent Sunday working the phones, calling key allies across Europe and Canada. He also spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now that we have very few details about their conversation. The call comes amid reports the U.S. is urging Israel to delay its invasion of Gaza.

As we've been discussing two sources have told CNN that the U.S. is hoping a delay will give more time for negotiations for the release of the hostages held by Hamas. The U.S. is also hoping more humanitarian aid can enter Gaza before the Israeli ground war begins. With more on the U.S. President's diplomatic efforts this weekend, here's our CNN White House reporter Priscilla Alvarez.

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden made calls to multiple world leaders on Sunday as a potential invasion of Gaza looms. Now the President spoke with leaders of Canada and Europe as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Now according to a White House read out the two leaders discussed developments in Israel and Gaza, as well as President Biden affirming the flow of critical assistance to Gaza and the two also discuss ongoing efforts to release hostages. Now this is the eighth call between the two leaders since the terror attacks on October 7th.

Of course, all of these calls come on the heels of President Biden's trip to Israel in the past week, as well as ongoing efforts by U.S. officials to get that necessary assistance for Gaza and trying to get the release of additional hostages being held by Hamas.

Now while here in Rehoboth, the President was asked whether the U.S. is encouraging Israel to delay an invasion, into that President Biden said that he is only speaking to Israel. Now U.S. officials maintain that it is ultimately Israel's decision as how they move forward. But that it is important and they stress that innocent civilians are protected and that assistance can get to Gaza. President Biden staying close with his national security team over the course of the weekend, as all of this unfolds.

Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, traveling with the President.

CHATTERLEY: And other Biden administration members are expressing their concern over where the crisis is headed. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Sunday that the threat to U.S. troops in the Middle East remains high amid the rising tensions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: We're concerned about potential escalation. In fact, what we're seeing is a -- is the prospect of a significant escalation of attacks on our troops and our people throughout the region. And because of that, we're going to do what's necessary to make sure that our troops are in the right, good position and they're protected, and that we have the ability to respond.


CHATTERLEY: Austin announced on Saturday the deployment of additional missile defense systems to the Middle East. He's also placing more U.S. troops on alert for possible deployment to the region. Now as Israel has been ramping up its areas bombardment, hospitals in Gaza say they've been overwhelmed with casualties today. One hospital officials summed up Sunday in two words a quote, bloody day.



DR. IYAD ISSA ABU ZAHER, DIRECTOR GENERAL, AL AQSA MARTYRS HOSPITAL (through translator): Today's Sunday was a bloody day for the central government of Gaza, relentless bombardment on all the refugee camps of central Gaza, which started yesterday evening at 8:00 p.m. until this hour, the bombardment did not stop. 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 crew and can't offer medical services the same way in a war zone that you would give to patients in a normal situation, injuries and the dozens. There is no room or hospital beds for these injuries. The injured are at the doorstep of operation theater rooms and on top of each other. Each waiting their turn for an operation in the situation is catastrophic at Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital.


CHATTERLEY: Some parents in Gaza have reportedly resorted to writing their children's names on their legs to help identify them should they either or their children be killed.

And it's been five days since a horrific blast tore through a Gaza hospital. According to Gaza health officials, hundreds died in the blast at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on October 17th. Hamas blames Israel. And Israel says it was a misfired rocket by Islamic Jihad. Now CNN investigation leaves little doubt that the deadly explosion was not caused by Israel. Jeremy Diamond takes us through the evidence.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Our investigations team has conducted a really thorough analysis using dozens of videos taken from social media but also live broadcasts and footage filmed by a freelance journalist working for CNN, inside the Gaza Strip. In addition to that, their satellite imagery and they also spoke with several explosives and other military experts who analyze these very images. And CNN's analysis effectively suggests that this blast at this hospital inside the Gaza Strip was caused by a rocket launched from Gaza. A rocket that appears to have broken up mid-air and then at least part of that rocket fell down on that parking lot outside the hospital, causing the explosion that has killed hundreds of people over there. Now these weapons and explosives experts who CNN spoke with, they all agree that this is the most likely scenario.

Now at the same time, a definitive conclusion on this simply can't be reached without recovering physical evidence from the site, which is very difficult given the limited access that journalists have to the Gaza Strip. And also the fact that that territory is indeed controlled by Hamas. Now, I want to take you through two key moments here, because one of them is from this live broadcast that was being broadcast on Al Jazeera, where you can see the rockets that were being fired around the same time as this blast occurred. One of those rockets appears to burn out in the sky before crashing into the area where the hospital is.

The second piece of evidence is the crater. And this is a key piece of evidence that the Israeli Defense Forces have also pointed to, as they tried to make the initial claim that this was not them that this was caused by a rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The crater that was caused by this explosion was three by three feet wide, about one foot deep.

And all of the experts that CNN spoke to, agreed, that this is not consistent with the kind of crater that you would see from a bomb that would be dropped from an aircraft. And they also said that it is not consistent with any kind of artillery fire on that kind of a position. Now, all of this doesn't change the fact that Palestinian officials continue to insist that Israel is responsible for the strike. Israel, of course, denies that and has pointed to this very same rocket scenario.

What it also doesn't change is the anger, the eruption of anger that this hospital blast has caused in the Arab world in the Middle East. We have watched these protests over the last couple of days at U.S. embassies at Israeli embassies in the region. And ultimately, you know, the majority of this hospital blasts has really become quite a touch point. And I don't think that that is going to change despite this latest analysis.

CHATTERLEY: Coming up next more on the prospect of Israeli ground incursion into Gaza. We're live near the border as Israel steps up its military offensive.

And even without Israeli troops on the ground in Gaza, the humanitarian situation there growing increasingly dire. We'll talk to the leader of a group working to bring much needed help to children in Gaza as our special coverage continues.


[19:32:28] CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. In the past few hours an Israeli official has told CNN there will be no ceasefire for Gaza. With the focus theme of firmly remaining on rescuing the hostages taken by the terror group. It comes up, we heard about limited clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli troops inside Gaza. It appears to be one of the first ground battles in the territory since war broke out earlier this month. Hamas claims its fighters ambushed two Israeli military bulldozers and a tank forcing Israeli troops to retreat. With the prospect of a major ground operation appearing imminent, Israel has been ramping up its aerial bombardment to officials at several hospitals in Gaza said they've been overwhelmed with casualties, with one calling it a quote, "bloody day". The Hamas-controlled health ministry says more than 4,600 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7th. We of course, have no ability to verify those numbers.

Our international editor Nic Robertson is close to the Israeli-Gaza border on the Israeli city of Sterrett. Nic, good to have you with us. I know it's the early hours of the morning there. But of course, earlier or later, in the evening on Sunday, you were talking about a palpable pickup in the tempo of air strikes. It sort of fits the narrative that the Israelis were warning about on Sunday of a step up in activity in Gaza.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, and I think we're still feeling that at the moment, perhaps not quite as intense as it was an hour ago. But we're seeing flashes on the horizon behind me. I can hear fighter jets in the sky. We're hearing artillery rounds being fired. And I think perhaps a detonations were a little bit further away from us inside of Gaza than they were an hour or so ago. But there is still a lot of military activity going on.

It's so hard to judge precisely when this incursion that the IDF says that they're stepping up these airstrikes in advance to make it safer for the troops when they go in on the ground. It's so hard to judge when that might come. But when you hear the intensity of the strikes that have been going on, as you say it certainly fits that narrative.

But speaking to some military experts here former IDF generals, I speak to one of them earlier on today. And he said look even while we're not operating this incursion, while it hasn't actually gone ahead, we're still able to hit some high-value Hamas targets. But of course, what we have From the health officials inside of Gaza while there may be Hamas high-value Hamas targets being hit a lot of civilians are being caught up in it as well. And some of the impacts that we've heard in the past couple of hours, and there been reports coming out of the Jabalia Camp about six miles from here inside of Gaza, indicating casualties, we're not able to confirm those early reports yet. But again, it's indicative of the nature of this fight at the moment, Israel trying to target Hamas leadership trying to reduce the risk for troops when they go in, in the meantime, because there are still civilians here, civilians are getting injured.


CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's hard to say, Nic. Despite as the IDF keep telling us, and it's on a ever hourly basis, that they are specifically trying to target her mass terrorists rather than civilians there, as we see in keep showing the images. It's the civilians that are paying the price, you can't help but believe that the window of opportunity for fulfilling the promise of taking out Hamas terrorists narrows due to the human cost of laying the path for their troops to go in. That window is narrowing.

ROBERTSON: It is and that's certainly the view of some of the political analysts here are sort of judging you know, the position that Prime Minister Netanyahu has taken and the pressure that's coming from the White House, there seems to be that both Prime Minister Netanyahu government and the White House are on the same page that that what they would call, or what the Israelis would call a window of legitimacy to go in and go after Hamas over those barbaric attacks two weeks ago, that that window is closing, because there's so much international pressure, so much regional pressure and anger about the rising number of civilian casualties. You know, we've just seen another flasher over my shoulder there, John Cameron would just just pointed it out. If we hear the detonation, and we were having some detonation, so there it is, I don't know how loud it sounds to you. It sounds quite loud to me.

But we were having detonations much louder than that before that we're literally shaking this house to hear the fighter jet flying away. Now that probably dropped that munition more explicit -- more flashes on the horizon there behind me. If we feel this house shake, and those bombs are dropping some distance for us it gives it gives an idea of how -- how heavy it must be inside of Gaza at the moment with -- with the strikes. And as you say that -- that window of legitimacy, as it's called here may well be closing.

CHATTERLEY: Nic, we saw the entire Skyline lit up by that and we can certainly hear the sound of the detonation that you're describing. Can you feel that to under your feet?

ROBERTSON: These ones know some of the ones earlier. Yes. I think some of the ones earlier were perhaps closer. I mean, when they're really close. You can literally hear the missile going in and the impact and the floor shakes and -- and the doors and the windows in the building here shake.

CHATTERLEY: Nic Robertson, in Sterrett for (inaudible). Nic, thank you for now.

Aid workers say the situation in Gaza has become a quote humanitarian catastrophe. Palestinian officials say more than 4,600 people have been killed in Gaza since the war with Israel began. Among them, 1,000 women and nearly 2,000 children, and with a warning that what we're about to show you has images many viewers may find disturbing. We've learned parents in Gaza are reportedly writing their children's names on their legs in case they need to be identified should either they or their family be killed. A CNN photographer captured these gut- wrenching images of deceased children with names written on their legs.

Joining me now to talk about this is Janti Soeripto. She is the President and CEO of Save the Children U.S. Janti, thank you so much. These are terribly grim images that we're showing. And despite the fact that we're talking about aid having arrived again today, or Sunday aid arriving Saturday, we know it's not enough. Just describe what you're hearing, please from your people there.

JANTI SOERIPTO, PRESIENT AND CEO, SAVE THE CHILDREN U.S.: Yes, thanks, Julia. And it is truly horrific, but you're just describing their parents writing the names and their children's legs for identification. It is we are watching essentially in horror as a humanitarian catastrophe unfolds. There are over a million children in Gaza. It's a very densely populated area as you know, and most of the people are now essentially sheltering on -- on a third of the area. So even more dense. There was nothing really prepared there. There's not enough shelter there.

There is -- they're rapidly running out of water. I'm sure you've heard that as well before. The hospitals have no water. They have no fuel, no power, that means critical incubators cannot be run. People kind of operate without anesthesia, et cetera, et cetera.


So, yes, the data analysts confirmed. We are fearful that many thousands of children already have been killed or injured, and are also lacking access to medical care.

CHATTERLEY: Have you any sense of when your specific supplies might reach Gaza? I know what we've seen go through in the last couple of days has been very, very specific, the United Nations in particular. Do you have any sense of timing?

SOERIPTO: We don't. We have a couple of trucks waiting at the border or teams mobilize of course as soon as we could. And as many, you know, commentators have already said, look, the number of trucks that have gone in 20, the first time and I think, today, some 14 or 15, and maybe 17. But this is truly a drop in the ocean. It is when -- so before the -- this escalation, there were 100 trucks per day, every day going into Gaza, to deal with the humanitarian that people in humanitarian need, then, can you imagine what that need is now, and we're talking here about sort of some 35 to 40 trucks haven't gone in over the course of two days.

So it is literally, you know, it's better than nothing. But clearly, much, much more needs to be done. Water, medicine, food, you know, hospital supplies, as well as things like diapers, hygiene kits, for families as well.

CHATTERLEY: We know the logistics, the politics, of what's taking place at the border, trying to get humanitarian access, or aid access into Gaza has been a deeply complicated. One of the concerns from certainly the Israeli side is that some of this gets into the hands of the government there of Hamas. Have you heard of any supplies being commandeered or taken by Hamas? Would you be comfortable enough, sharing that with me, even if you knew it to be the case, given that you have people there?

SOERIPTO: We have people there. We have 24 colleagues in Gaza. They are still all safe and accounted for as safe as possible. Of course, that is also not a guarantee. They also have to move south with their families and everything that they could sort of carry. So -- and it is hard for them still, they have gone out and actually did a few local distributions with a few supplies that we still had in Gaza, in warehouses. So we did some.

But of course, you know, those supplies have now been, you know, fully, you know, completely depleted. So we are desperately waiting for the further opportunity to get trucks in from whoever, whoever. It's hard. I mean, it's hard to get the data. I mean, at the moment, there's so little coming in, that you know that that is not our biggest concern. Our biggest plea is for a ceasefire. We understand it is incredibly complicated. You know, we are humanitarians. We focus on the situation for children, and no child is safe until the violence stops. So the ceasefire is not possible within the short term. And certainly, humanitarian polls that ought to be possible to open up more access to get more trucks in with life-saving supplies, because any hour any day that is missed more children will die.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I think we can between the lines of what you said there and there's simply not enough to go around. It's the least of your worries, really, that some of those supplies get in the hands of her mass. You need them -- you need more simply they're available for all use, quite frankly.

To your point about the ceasefire, and actually, you were calling for the ceasefire, at least save the children was almost immediately in the aftermath of what we saw on October the seventh. Can you rationalize given sort of the devastation and the tragedy that we saw in Israel that the desire the need for some kind of response, even as you focus in your role, providing humanitarian assistance?

SOERIPTO: Well, that is exactly our role, right? And we would say look, abduction of children, killing and maiming of children, denying humanitarian need, all these things are grave violations. They are not in accordance with international humanitarian law either. So -- so that is what we're focused on. That needs to stop so that we can actually help children on the ground now, get injured children the medical support that they need, making sure that they don't die unnecessarily from having no water, no food, no nothing, and prevent it from being you know, from getting even worse than it already is.

CHATTERLEY: It seems as though I'm splitting hairs but we are struggling to get information and to get verification of some of the information that we're getting from the Hamas government of the loss of life and the injury there, when you see the numbers of -- of women, of children having lost their lives, individuals, does it tie with the numbers that you're hearing from your people? And I appreciate that's a small subset. But -- But does it sound outrageous to you the numbers that we're hearing?


SOERIPTO: No, it doesn't. And look, it's not that our 24 colleagues and their local partners are currently going around verifying the numbers, right? That's simply impossible. CHATTERLEY: Of course.

SOERIPTO: Just trying -- they're trying to stay alive. And -- and they're also trying to actually still, you know, support where -- where they can. But if you picture that there are, you know, 2 million people, 2.3 million people, including a million children, essentially stuck on a very small piece of land, it doesn't surprise me knowing the violence that has been going on there from -- from all sides. So it -- it doesn't sound crazy to me.

But we are -- you know, we're very cautious. We know the data are very difficult to verify at the moment. So -- and -- and again, you know, that's not something we necessarily occupy ourselves with. That's certainly not our role. Our role is to call out what we think will protect children from further harm.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. Janti, thank you for the work that you and your team are doing there and we pray for their safety. Janti Soeripto.

SOERIPTO: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Thank you. Okay. Still ahead, the polls are now closed and the votes are being tallied in the high-stakes election for Argentina. We'll have a full report from South America after this.


CHATTERLEY: Well, the Copernicus climate change Service says September of 2023 was the hottest on record. And in fact, by a large margin 1.75 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels, and a full half degree warmer than any other September on record. And these are all the old September's and all of a sudden you see this spike so yes, a warm summer. But all of a sudden now even a warm September. September was the tide for the 16th warmest month on record. There's not another September on this graph. These are all July and August. So that's telling you how warm September truly was. When we started the year, 2023, it looked like it was going to be a top five. But then all of a sudden, June, July, August, and September, we are on pace to break a new record, 2023, may be number one.


CHATTERLEY: We will continue our coverage of the war in Israel in just a few moments' time but for now let's take a look at some of the other stories making headlines around the world. The polls in Argentina are now closed as the country awaits who will be chosen as its next president. Political observers say far-right economist, Javier Milei is one of three candidates likely to split the vote, and is the man to beat after posting a shock win in the open primaries in August. Today's ballot comes as Argentina copes with its worst economic crisis in two decades. Stefano Pozzebon is live from pagoda four is now. Stefano, you have to walk us through some of the candidates here because this front-runner has sent chills certainly through financial markets as being a populace that has been compared to the likes of former President Donald Trump and Bolsonaro too in Brazil. STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, exactly. Julia. We're still a couple or a few minutes away from hearing the first preliminary results. We are on track to bring them to you in about an hour's time, in about 9:00 p.m. in the in the United States. But these elections just like you said is all about one man, Javier Milei, the self- described a narco-libertarian, an economist who idolizes Milton Friedman. And has promised to turn the country upside down if elected.


I think that he's committed if he wins the presidency to dollarized, Argentina, which is the second largest economy in South America, to shut down the Central Bank and -- and to completely change the course of how the country is -- is run. And of course, we have several countries here in Latin America that use the U.S. dollar, Ecuador, and El Salvador, for example. But never before a country as big and as prominent as Argentina, the second largest economy and exporting powerhouse has tweaked with the idea of -- of dollarization.

He's also promised a complete change of where Argentina stands in the international geopolitical stage. And the current President Alberto Fernandez has sought closer ties with Russia and China when instead Milei wants to bring Argentina back into a closer alliance with South -- with North American, with the United States, and about, of course, the war in Israel. This is what he had to say today about what he thinks about Israel plans to -- to -- in the war in Gaza.


JAVIER MILEI, MEMBER OF THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES OF ARGENTINA: I strongly condemn terrorism by Hamas, my solidarities with the people of Israel. And my complete and absolute support is for the Israeli people's legitimate use of self-defense.


POZZEBON: And Julia, a little trivia for you, you can probably hear in the background of that sound bites that they were cheering for him and singing him happy birthday because today is also Javier Milei birthday. The two other candidates who are likely to split the votes with him or the current Economic Minister, Sergio Massa, who is running as a leading presidential candidate, while overseeing an inflation rate that is well over 120 percent year on year. And that, in itself is a remarkable achievement.

And then the former Security Minister Patricia Bullrich, who is also from the center-right, but maybe not as -- as far right as Milei. Just like you said, it's true, Milei has been compared to the likes of Trump or a Bolsonaro here in the Western Hemisphere, think of Viktor Urban or maybe Marine Le Pen in -- in Europe. And you can probably see that if he's a candidate to be to just like when Marine Le Pen's case in several elections in France, you can see that maybe the -- the legacy forces in Argentina could coalesce against the other -- around the other candidates just to prevent him from entering office, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yeah. We'll see. To win the first round, a presidential candidate must have to obtain more than 45 percent of the vote I believe or 40 percent but with a 10-point lead over the next one. So we'll see what those results bring.


CHATTERLEY: Stefano for now, thank you for that. Stefano Pozzebon there. Okay. A search is underway in the United States for the killer of a synagogue leader. Still ahead what people know and police know about the case and possible motives for the woman's death. That's next.


CHATTERLEY: Police are looking for a suspect and a motive in the killing of a Detroit Michigan synagogue leader. Samantha Woll's body was discovered with multiple stab wounds at her home Saturday morning. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Michigan's governor described Woll as a source of light and a beacon in her community, as Omar Jimenez reports.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Julia, I think when people see that initial headline Detroit synagogue leader found stabbed to death, it's easy to jump to conclusions. But that's exactly what Detroit police are cautioning against at least at this early stage of the investigation while they have not released the name of any suspect or announced any motivation. They did put out a little bit of a statement over the course of Sunday with the police chief saying that while the investigation to the death of Mr. Samantha Woll remains ongoing, there is no evidence they have seen so far that suggests this crime was motivated by antisemitism. But they did not include that they had ruled out antisemitism.

They really stressed this was an early part of the investigation here. What we do know is where I am near downtown Detroit, just behind me on this block where detectives were coming in and out over the course of Sunday. That is where police found the body of 40-year-old Samantha Woll. She was -- they followed a trail of blood to her home and that's where they believe the killing actually occurred. Again, no suspect has been arrested or made known to the public up to this point.

That said, while police have been working through how it happened, it happened and so community members are trying to process how to move forward. We've been seeing memorial services over the course of Sunday where community members all the way up to state elected leaders shared their experiences with will take a listen to Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel.


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 than most will ever accomplish in a thousand lifetimes over. And her killer will not rob us of the memory of her joy and warmth and kindness that she leaves behind.


JIMENEZ: And there are various speakers over the course of that memorial service. One of them is the state senator who was actually with Woll the night before her body was found at a wedding and posted this picture as she tried to process what happened to someone she described as full of warmth. As far as the investigation goes, Detroit police say they're working with the FBI to continue moving this investigation forward. And of course, while they tried to figure out how the community is looking for answers. Julia.

CHATTERLEY: And that's all the time we have at this hour. I'm Julia Chatterley. But I'll be back with more on the Israel-Hamas war in just a few moment's time. Stay with CNN.