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CNN International: CNN's Continuing Coverage on the ongoing War in Israel. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired October 23, 2023 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world as we continue our coverage of Israel at war. I'm Rosemary Church.
Well Israel's military says more than 300 targets were hit overnight by airstrikes in Gaza. According to the IDF, tunnels and operational command centers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad were impacted. Israeli forces say they also targeted sites that posed a threat to the forces preparing for ground operations.
Meantime, a senior Israeli official tells CNN there will be no ceasefire as they continue attempts to arrange hostage release, saying humanitarian efforts cannot interfere with the mission to dismantle Hamas. And the country's defense minister says Hamas will cease to exist soon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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, two, but eventually there will be no Hamas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Journalist Elliot Gotkine joins me now live from London. Good to see you, Elliot. So we are seeing an increase in Israeli airstrikes in Northern Gaza. What is the latest on that? And what more are you learning about this imminent ground incursion?
ELLIOT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, Israel said it was going to be ramping up its airstrikes against militant targets inside the Gaza Strip and to that extent it's been true to its word. And so we've seen as you were just mentioning in the introduction there more than 320 military targets according to the IDF have been struck over the past day. This could be the largest number in any one-day period.
We're waiting for confirmation of that from the IDF and as you say they've been targeting, according to the IDF, tunnels, operational command centers, some of which contained militants from Islamic Jihad and Hamas, military compounds, observation posts, and also anti-tank missile cells as well.
And on top of that, it's been targeting, it's been hitting targets that it says poses a threat to its troops that are preparing for a ground invasion. Now we've already seen the first skirmishes, the first clashes between the IDF and Hamas militants inside the Gaza Strip since Israel started airstrikes in the wake of Hamas' terrorist attack of October the 7th.
In that clash, one IDF soldier was killed and three were injured when an anti-tank missile hit the vehicle that they were in. Hamas saying that it destroyed a couple of bulldozers and a tank. So clashes have already begun, but this doesn't necessarily signal the starting gun to a full-blown ground invasion.
We do expect that ground invasion to happen. Israel has said it is going to happen. The only question is when it's going to happen.
CHURCH: And Elliot, U.S. President Joe Biden is reportedly asking Israel to delay its ground incursion into Gaza so that more work can be done to negotiate the release of hostages. Any sign that will happen and how much influence does the US have on an issue like this?
GOTKINE: The U.S. has more influence over Israel than any other nation, but ultimately, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was saying in response to questions on this matter, it's really a decision in the end for the Israelis. Now, we know that the ground invasion certainly would have been delayed by the visit of President Biden to Israel. Israel was never going to go in while the president of the United States was in town.
Now, why is there still what seems to be a delay? There could be a number of reasons. One could be the U.S. leaning on Israel in order to do so, as we understand, in order to help facilitate more humanitarian aid to go into the Gaza Strip and to try to negotiate the hostages that Hamas took is still holding more than 200.
We saw two Israeli Americans released on Friday. So those are some of the reasons other reasons could be the weather Israel also, of course constantly gathering intelligence to understand better the layout of Hamas's network of tunnels underground and also trying to gather intelligence as to where its Hostages are and where bodies are as well of people that were taken from Israel into the Gaza Strip October the 7th.
But when he was asked himself, President Biden, when he was asked as to the possibility of the U.S. leaning on Israel to delay a ground invasion, his response was simply, I'm talking to the Israelis. So not much being given away by President Biden. There is still a flurry of diplomatic activity, Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu holding their eighth conversation over the weekend.
President Biden also speaking with the Pope and a number of other world leaders. And in Israel today we're expecting the French president and the Dutch prime minister to come to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu as well. No doubt the possibility of a ground invasion will also be one of the subjects under discussion. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Elliot Gotkine with that live report from London. Many thanks.
Well, CNN's Nic Robertson is in Sderot near the border with Gaza and has more on the next stages of the war.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Bristling with battle-ready troops, farmers' fields north of Gaza churn with the controlled fury of a nation readying for an incursion to strike Hamas. Yet they are waiting with no explanation why.
(on-camera): 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?
(voice-over): 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 (voice-over): But the political calculation here is more complicated.
RON BEN YISHAI, FORMER IDF MEMBER AND MILITARY ANALYST: I think both in Washington and in Jerusalem they understand that the legitimation, legitimization window is closing quickly.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Civilian losses in Gaza are growing, more than a third of them children, according to Palestinian health officials.
Lengthy negotiations have led to two American hostages released, as a tiny amount of humanitarian aid has crossed into Gaza that Israel fears ends up in Hamas' 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 YISHAI: Netanyahu is in real problem. He cannot say no to Biden, but he cannot say yes to the humanitarian aid that drifts into northern Gaza.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): But he is also under pressure at home too. Military and others hawkish for a decisive blow against Hamas.
ZIV: We are finishing preparing the ground force because we've changed plans. We are going for heavy maneuvering.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Netanyahu's dilemma compounded by his dependence on American weapons.
BEN YISHAI: The pressure is from Washington is real -- is 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 (voice-over): Where, less than a week ago, these fields were teeming with tanks, troops making last-minute repairs. Today there are just tracks in the sand.
(on-camera): There's a soldier's jacket here, bread in a bag on the table. The question is, where have all the tanks gone? Forward for an incursion or back to base for a pause?
(voice-over): 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.
CHURCH: Some relief aid trucks are arriving in Gaza but they don't include fuel. At least 14 humanitarian relief trucks sponsored by the Egyptian Red Crescent and the U.N. entered Gaza from the Rafah crossing on Sunday evening carrying food and medicine. But officials say it's not enough to meet the needs of the people.
CNN's Scott McLean has more now on the situation in Gaza. A warning though, his report contains graphic images.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Those who arrived at the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in central Gaza alive are the lucky ones. There were five airstrikes this morning near the hospital. This video shows the smoke from one rising nearby. Some 110 bodies were brought here overnight and this morning one medical source tells CNN. The morgue is now full. The rest of the bodies wrapped in white sheets now lay outside in the heat of the day. Relatives try to identify their loved ones. Finding them confirms their worst fears.
Inside the hospital, children, including a toddler, are among the dead. Several of these victims were found with their names written in Arabic on their legs, an increasingly common marking, as parents try to make identification easier if they or their kids are killed.
This hospital is located outside of the area of northern Gaza that Israel has been trying to get civilians to evacuate. On Saturday, the IDF dropped leaflets telling people that everyone who chose to not evacuate from the north of the strip to the south of Wadi Gaza might be considered as a partner for the terrorist organization.
In a statement, the IDF confirmed it dropped the leaflets but said it has no intention to consider those who have not evacuated from the affected area of fighting as a member of the terrorist group. Even those who have managed to avoid the bombs are not out of danger.
A trickle of aid, 20 trucks, were allowed to cross the Rafah border crossing from Egypt on Saturday. But that's a tiny fraction of what is needed.
MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, PRESIDENT, PALESTINIAN NATIONAL INCENTIVE: 20 trucks of aid to Gaza will not change much. Gaza needs at least 500 trucks daily of fuel, food, medicines and water. As a matter of fact, for 14 days Gaza got nothing under the Israeli siege. And its immediate need now is 7,000 trucks.
MCLEAN (voice-over): Satellite images show dozens of trucks waiting at the border and dozens more a quarter mile down the road, all unable to get in. Aid groups say that the death toll could skyrocket because of disease and hospitals that are overwhelmed and undersupplied.
With no electricity or generator, this shopkeeper in central Gaza is keeping the store open by candlelight as the shelves look increasingly bare. The World Food Programme says the shortage of basic supplies is pushing Gaza to the edge of catastrophe. The IDF says it killed dozens of terrorists overnight, but vows that the number of airstrikes will only increase ahead of an expected ground operation. Meanwhile, conditions for the people of Gaza worsen by the hour.
Scott McLean, CNN, London.
CHURCH: We want to talk more about this. Joining me from Cairo, Egypt, is Abeer Etafa, senior spokesperson for the Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe for the World Food Program. Thank you so much for joining us.
ABEER ETAFA, SR. SPOKESPERSON FOR THE MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA, AND EASTERN EUROPE, WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME: Thank you.
CHURCH: So Israeli airstrikes are ramping up, apparently in preparation for the next stage of its military operation in Gaza. And this as humanitarian trucks enter the territory Sunday after moving through the Rafah crossing from Egypt. What is the current situation on the ground in the territory, given this aid is just a fraction of what's needed?
ETAFA: Well, you know, conditions in Gaza are desperate. Food and water supplies are really running low. Shelters for the displaced people are becoming massively overcrowded. And also there is a massive shortage of fuel, which is crippling Gaza Strip. Health services are collapsing. And for the last two days, yes, convoys have been rolling into Gaza which is a glimpse of hope. And we welcome, WFP welcomes the opening of the Rafah border crossing point for the humanitarian convoys.
But that's basically a drop in the ocean. For every truck that has entered Gaza, 14 more are still waiting outside. For every person that WFP is providing assistance to, there are at least six more who are in desperate need. So there is, you know, good movement, but we need much, much more. And, you know, we are really calling for sustained access, you know, something that's continuing on daily basis with huge quantities because what is coming through is hardly enough for the needs that we're seeing inside Gaza. CHURCH: And do you have any idea when more humanitarian aid will get
into Gaza and how are you distributing the supplies that you currently have?
ETAFA: Well, right now I think there is a rhythm of around like yesterday there were around 14, the day before were 20. So we're still in this, you know, movement of the double digits. But we, I think we really need much more to be able to meet the need. As far as food supplies, we're providing canned food, ready-to-eat food, because people don't have the ability to cook and there is no fuel.
And of course, people are in shelters, they have lost their homes. So the food go from the trucks to warehouses and immediately are distributed in the shelters to the people that need it. So for the first day -- the first day, I think almost 280,000 people have had the dinner of canned tuna that came on the first convoy.
The situation, as I described, is really desperate, and I think desperate, you know, times call for desperate measures. So we really want to have more access and, you know, less bureaucratic hurdles, more capacity to get these trucks inside. And I think I understand the road conditions, the situation inside Gaza itself is very difficult.
The reality is that, yes, you can also get food through the border, but you need to have a safe passage from one area to the other to be able to provide these supplies inside Gaza.
CHURCH: Yeah. Let's hope progress is made in the coming hours. On that point, I did want to ask you about what's happening right now in Gaza's hospitals, given Israel has cut off critical supplies including fuel that would run their generators.
ETAFA: Well fuel is an essential commodity for everything. It's for the hospitals, for the bakeries. Our bakeries are running out of fuel. I think there are only few remaining ones to the extent that one bakery would support around 130,000 people. Situation in hospitals of course is as desperate as we have seen on television screens, you know, it's basically the only way that you can run the medical equipment. But from my end, as the World Food Programme, I can tell you it's having a huge impact on our operations in terms of trucks moving on the roads, as well as, you know, the bakeries working and the shops being able to operate.
CHURCH: Abeer Etafa, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.
ETAFA: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: And when we return, we will show you some of the worldwide demonstrations in support of Palestinians that took place on Sunday. Back with that and more in just a moment.
CHURCH: Thousands of people in cities around the world march Sunday in support of Palestinians.
This was the scene in Brussels where demonstrators outside the European Commission headquarters called for a ceasefire.
And in Bosnia-Herzegovina, huge crowds gathered in Sarajevo. They waved Palestinian and Bosnian flags, and also called for a halt to Israeli military operations in Gaza.
The French president and Dutch prime minister are 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 today where they will meet with Benjamin Netanyahu. Other European leaders joined the U.S. and Canada in a joint statement on the conflict. They affirmed support for Israel and also called for adherence to humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.
U.S. President Joe Biden has been working the phones this weekend, making calls to world leaders in an effort to keep the conflict from spreading. CNN White House reporter Priscilla Alvarez has details.
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 readout, 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 discussed 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 to Gaza and try 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, and to that, President Biden said that he is only speaking to Israel.
Now, U.S. officials maintain that it is ultimately Israel's decision as to 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.
CHURCH: China's special envoy to the Middle East says the situation in Gaza is severe and the risk of a large-scale ground conflict is rising significantly. According to Chinese state media, Zhai Jun warned of armed conflicts spreading along Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria. Zhai is visiting the region this week to promote peace talks and push for a ceasefire.
And CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now live from London with more on this. So Kristie, what is expected to come out of this visit to the region by China's Middle East envoy?
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Rosemary, China's envoy for Middle East Affairs is in the region to push for peace, Zhai Jun says that China is willing to do, quote, "whatever is conducive to promote talks, to reach a ceasefire, to restore peace."
And he adds that the risk of a large-scale ground conflict in Gaza is, quote, "significantly rising." China wants to present itself to the world as a neutral mediator, but China has deep economic interests in the Middle East that it wants to protect, especially access to energy like oil and gas. Now on Saturday, Zhai was in Egypt. He took part at the Cairo Summit for Peace and made remarks there. He's also visiting the UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the region.
And while in Egypt, Zhai said that China has provided and will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians through U.N. channels and bilateral channels, but didn't specify what aid has been provided. And he also said that China wants to promote a two-state solution. Now according to a foreign ministry readout of the Cairo Summit.
We have it. Let's bring it up for you. It reads as follows, quote, "to end the cycle of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, it is essential to implement the two-state solution to establish an independent state of Palestine and realize peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel," unquote.
And this was the messaging that we heard last week from Xi Jinping, the leader of China. It was his first public comments since the war broke out. And Xi on Thursday, he called for a Tuesday solution. He called it the fundamental way out.
But it's important to note what we have yet to hear from China. We have yet to hear any condemnation of Hamas. China has refrained from condemning Hamas for that brutal and coordinated terror attack on Israel on October the 7th. And that has prompted anger and disappointment from Israel as well as criticism elsewhere. Back to you.
CHURCH: Alright. Our thanks to Kristie Lu Stout for that live report. I Appreciate it. And still to come, Israeli officials are urging more civilians near
the northern border with Lebanon to leave. We will tell you why. Back in just a moment with that.
CHURCH: Israel Defense Forces say they struck 320 terror targets inside Gaza overnight, including dozens of operational command centers and tunnels belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The flurry of airstrikes comes ahead of a potential military incursion.
Sources say the White House is urging Israel to delay any ground assault in order to allow for more possible hostage releases and for more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.
U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone, and they agreed to a continued flow of aid to Gaza. Some trucks have entered the territory through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt, but aid groups say the humanitarian situation remains dire.
The IDF says it struck a terrorist cell in Lebanon today. But was planning to carry out an anti-tank missile launch in northern Israel. And as hostilities grow, Israeli officials say they will fund the evacuation of 14 additional communities near the Lebanese border, where many towns are already nearly empty. Matthew Chance has the story.
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 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 government 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, drone flights at least taking place across northern Israel from Lebanese territory, anti-tank missiles being fired at Israeli installations along the border. There have been infiltrations of gunmen from the Lebanese side into Israel.
The Israelis have of course responded in kind. They've 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 they don't want a second front to open up, but as they're focusing on the south and as they prepare for that operation, that land operation in Gaza, but they have moved tens of thousands of troops at least into this region in preparation for what they say will be a very determined and strong and destructive response against Hezbollah and against Lebanon if the attacks from that southern part of the country persist or escalate.
CHURCH: The Israeli president told CNN that his country's army has recovered a hostage-taking handbook from Hamas. That discovery of course comes in the aftermath of the surprise attack on Israel on October 7th. Perhaps the most revealing part of this manual is the idea that back into Gaza. Israel's president described the pamphlet as a detailed how-to guide for taking hostages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISAAC HERZOG, ISRAELI PRESIDENT: This booklet is instruction guide how to go into a civilian premises, into a kibbutz, a city, a moshav, how to break in. And first thing what do you do when you find the citizens? You torture them. This is the booklet. It says exactly how to torture them, how to abduct them, how to kidnap them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Joining me is Graeme Wood. He is a staff writer for "The Atlantic" and the author of the book, "The Way of the Strangers, Encounters with the Islamic State." Appreciate you joining us.
GRAEME WOOD, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Glad to be here.
CHURCH: So in a recent article, you write that Hamas's hostage-taking handbook that we just heard about says to kill the difficult ones and use hostages as human shields. And you received that document from an official in the Israel Defense Forces. What else does that chilling document reveal about how Hamas might be treating the more than 200 hostages that they're currently holding inside Gaza?
WOOD: Yeah, so the document which I received from the IDF and through other sources, in fact, other sources gave me parts of that document that the IDF didn't.
It does describe a program of hostage taking. I mean, it was clear from that in black and white that there was an expectation that they would be able to take hostages and that they would treat them with brutality from the start. I mean, the document says, for example, that you should identify the problematic ones, the ones who might resist, and kill them first.
You should separate the women and children from the men, and you should remove any implement that they might be able to use to kill themselves. So it also says to force them into compliance with electric shocks. But as you say, the really surprising thing about the document is that the game plan that it describes is actually not what happened. [03:35:03]
I mean, Hamas may have planned to take hostages into Gaza, but the documents describes having a standoff, almost certainly that was supposed to take place in Israeli territory. So they, I think, were probably surprised at their great fortune that they were able to get so many hostages and bring them back to Gaza where they have even more leeway with how they can handle them.
CHURCH: So, given what the handbook said about that, is there any idea as to why they changed their plan and instead of keeping them in some of these kibbutz homes, they took them back to Gaza? Anyone understand why that was changed?
WOOD: I think it's pretty straightforward actually. I mean, they didn't expect, nor did Israel expect that when they went into Israeli territory, they would have the run of the place for so long. I mean, it was shocking, I think, to Israelis that it took hours, I mean, like 12 hours for them to have a full response from the IDF.
So when Hamas went there, I think they expected they would have the full fury of a modern military coming after them. But they actually had hours of leisure when they could do what they wished on site. And during that time, I'm sure it was pretty obvious to them that they would rather not have a prolonged standoff in Israeli territory, when they can just take everybody back, you know, hundreds of people back and bring them in Gaza territory instead.
CHURCH: And I did want to just raise a point because Israel's president also claimed that document contained directions and instructions for the manufacture of chemical weapons. Have you heard any more on that?
WOOD: Yes, I have seen the documents that pertain to chemical weapons, and I must say that these documents are strange. I've discussed them with chemists, and I'm assured that the chemical weapons that are described are the most primitive and least likely to work. So this, I think, is a document, the chemical weapons document, and it's an expression of aspiration rather than a fully-fledged plan to kill large numbers of people with terrible corrosive poisonous gasses or whatever.
It's still alarming that anyone would try to do this, but unlike the hostage manual, it's not describing something that was anywhere close to being able to be taken to fruition.
CHURCH: Our thanks to Graeme Wood for joining us earlier. And we'll be right back.
CHURCH: Welcome back to "CNN Newsroom." I'm Rosemary Church. The Philippines has summoned the Chinese ambassador over a ship
collision in a disputed area of the South China Sea. Both countries are blaming each other for Sunday's collision. The Philippines says the Chinese Coast Guard caused the collision by carrying out provocative blocking maneuvers, while China says it took appropriate action. The Philippines has ordered an investigation. In a statement, the U.S. State Department said that China violated international law by conducting dangerous maneuvers.
A Detroit synagogue leader who was killed over the weekend is being mourned by friends and family members. At a memorial service Sunday, Samantha Woll was remembered as a model citizen who was endlessly positive and loved bridging divides.
CNN's Omar Jimenez has more on her memorial and the investigation into her death.
OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the headline alone is a cause for concern. Detroit synagogue leader found stabbed to death. And it's understandable why some may jump to quick conclusions.
But it's exactly what Detroit police are cautioning against, at least at this stage in the investigation. Now, they have not announced an arrest of any suspect. And they have not announced a motive that they have found in this particular case, but over the course of Sunday, the Detroit police chief put out a statement that read in part that while the investigation into the death of Miss Samantha Wool remains ongoing, at this time, no evidence has surfaced suggesting that this crime was motivated by anti-Semitism. But what wasn't included in that statement was that they ruled out this being motivated by anti- Semitism, which highlights really where they are in this investigation, that they are in the very early stages and it's why they are urging caution for people to jump to conclusions.
Now, what we do know is on this block where I'm standing near downtown Detroit, this is where police found the body of Woll. They say they followed a trail of blood to her home. That's where they believe the killing actually took place. And again, they have not released any arrest or identity of a suspect they have at this point.
Now, as for what happened while they still work through that, it did happen. And it's why this community is trying to figure out how to move forward. At this point, a memorial service was held on Sunday where speakers from those who knew her best all the way to state elected officials shared what they remembered about the 40 year old Samantha Woll. 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: Over the course of that service, we also heard from a state
senator who was with Woll the night before she was found dead at a wedding and she said the only consolation she has in this is that some of her final memories with Woll were of laughter and of happiness.
Now, moving forward, the FBI is assisting the Detroit police in trying to figure out what happened here. The community is trying to move forward and process what happened as investigators, again at this point, are trying to figure out why.
Omar Jimenez, CNN, Detroit.
CHURCH: In Washington, nine Republicans have entered the race for Speaker of the House of Representatives. They will make their case before the Republican Conference later today after Jim Jordan failed three times to win the spot this past week. The House has been paralyzed without a speaker for nearly three weeks, which ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy calls embarrassing.
Manu Raju has more 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.
Firstly, he 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, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, 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 line 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. JIM BANKS (R-IN): It's the biggest F.U. to Republican voters I've ever seen.
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): This conference is absolutely broken.
REP, DUSTY JOHNSON (R-SD): 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.
REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): It's as swampy as swamp gets.
REP. MIKE WALTZ (R-FL): We need to get over it and we need to move on.
REP. BRIAN FITZPATRICK (R-PA): We cannot have an entire branch of government offline.
REP. TROY NEHLS (R-TX): We got to get our act together because I'm getting calls from my constituents and saying, what the hell is going on with you Republicans?
REP. NICK LALOTA (R-NY): I think history will assign the 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 the conference. They'll answer questions from their members. They'll do that one by one, and we'll see how that ultimately goes.
Then Tuesday morning is a 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, so 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 narrowly- divided House, there are 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 is unclear if any of them will be able to do that after we have seen just 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 dealing with aid to Israel, calls for aid to Ukraine, avoiding a government shutdown by mid-November.
None of that 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, CNN, Capitol Hill. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: Argentina's presidential race is headed to a runoff according to partial results from Sunday's first round.
Far-right economist Javier Milei is one of the candidates in next month's second round. His supporters celebrated just as they did after his shocking win in the open primaries in August. He will face economy minister Sergio Massa. With 90 percent of the votes counted, Massa leads with 36 percent to Milei's 30 percent.
Well thousands have fled their communities in Israel as the war rages on. But they have no idea when they will be able to return home. That's just ahead.
CHURCH: More than a million Gazans have been displaced since the Israeli bombing campaign began. But since the outbreak of war, many Israelis have fled their homes as well, fleeing rocket attacks and the risk of fighting. Rafael Romo has some of their stories in this report.
JENNIFER KAHANI, DISPLACED MOTHER: We had terrorists all around us.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (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 7 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 heard gunfire near us. The terrorists were 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, house people inside, feed them, do activities. We're trying to create some sort of normalcy. We'll 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 Kamelia live in northern Israel. Their son Joseph warned them a war was coming from the south after the October 7 attacks. Now they're also among the displaced.
They say they fled their village located 2 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 missiles. 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 have lost their homes. A lot of them have 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, how can we 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.
ROMO (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 Zionists 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's safe return, and hope that something like this never happens again.
Rafael Romo, CNN, Jerusalem.
(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Well, not everyone is leaving despite government evacuation plans. In Northern Israel, one woman explains why she and her family are staying put even in the face of danger from skirmishes with Hezbollah.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AYO SHOKAT, RESIDENT OF NORTHERN ISRAEL: I don't evict since my family's here and she's refusing to evict.
UNKNOWN: Why? You don't pray?
SHOKAT: She's afraid, yes, but she loves most the home. And she'd rather stay here than evict. She fights all her life on this house. She built this in her 10 fingers by herself and she don't want to leave the house.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: I appreciate your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "CNN Newsroom" continues with Max Foster, next.