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CNN Live Event/Special

CNN's Continuing Coverage on the ongoing War in Israel. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 24, 2023 - 03:00   ET




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 the Gaza-based militant group Hamas has released two more people who had been abducted from southern Israel earlier this month. The hostages identified as Israeli citizens Nurett Kuper and Yocheved Lifshitz have been taken to a medical center in Israel to be reunited with their families. Both women were among the more than 200 people captured by Hamas in a deadly rampage on October 7th.

Israel has been responding to that attack by bombarding Gaza almost non-stop. The Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza says at least 28 people were killed in southern Gaza in overnight strikes. And in the northern part of the enclave, Hamas says a hospital has lost electricity due to fuel shortages. The group is holding Israel responsible, calling it a crime against humanity.

And journalist Elliot Gotkine joins us now live from London. Good morning to you Elliot. So two more hostages freed Monday. Can we expect to see more hostages released while the ground incursion appears to be on hold at least for now?

ELLIOT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, before the release of these two elderly Israeli women, there were 222 people being held by Hamas that they abducted on October the 7th. So we would expect and certainly there's a hope that these releases now and these are the third and fourth people to be released by Hamas since it took all of those people hostage on October the 7th.

So there is a hope and an expectation that more will be released and it's really being helped by both the Qataris who of course host some of the political leadership of Hamas in Doha and also the Egyptians and of course the Red Cross and in a statement Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointedly thanking the Egyptians and the Red Cross, but avoiding thanking the Qataris for their association with Hamas, although we do know that they are involved in getting some of those hostages released.

There's no word really about more being released or when or what kind of timeline that will happen on. There have been reports that Hamas was trying to negotiate fuel in exchange, fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of a large batch of hostages, around 50 or so.

But when he was asked, Mark Regev, who's a senior advisor to the Israeli government, said that even if all of the hostages were released by Hamas, they would not allow fuel to go into the enclave for the simple reason that Israel believes that it will be pilfered or taken by Hamas and help them in their war with Israel. Rosemary?

CHURCH: And Elliot, the IDF says it struck multiple Hezbollah post- Monday night. What more are you learning about these new strikes in the north on the border with Lebanon?

GOTKINE: Yeah, we're seeing an increase in tensions on the border with Lebanon, with Hezbollah, which of course is backed by Iran. Israel's saying that every time Hezbollah strikes or fires anti-tank missiles or any other projectiles towards Israel, that it will retaliate.

And in some circumstances, it's also taking preemptive action. What we've also seen in the arena of Gaza is that Israel has further ramped up its strikes, carrying out more than 400 strikes overnight. It says hitting Hamas militant operatives, some of whom were on their way to fire rockets towards Israel or on their way to carry out terrorist attacks, in its words, against Israel. They also say they destroyed a tunnel, among other parts of Hamas infrastructure, which they said provided fast access for militants to the coast.

So there seems to be a ramping up of the airstrikes in the Gaza Strip as well, which we assume means that we are inching towards this much expected ground evasion. Another indicator perhaps, Waze and Google Maps disabling temporarily live traffic updates for Israel and the Gaza Strip. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, our thanks to Elliot Gotkine, bringing us that live report from London.

Doctors and aid groups are warning that all the chaos and destruction is taking a toll on Gaza's overwhelmed hospitals. The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health says hospitals are nearing collapse and operating at more than 150 percent of their capacity.


A doctor tells CNN they desperately need fuel for vital machinery keeping patients alive including infants such as these.

And CNN's Clarissa Ward has more on the deteriorating conditions at hospitals across Gaza, but a warning her story contains graphic videos.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): You are entering the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City. This is just one minute on one day. But doctors tell us it could be any minute of the last 16 days.

It is a scene from hell; many of the patients are young children. The reception area, now a triage center. And everywhere you turn, another casualty.

Every one of these people has been ordered by Israel's military to evacuate the hospital, including the staff already outnumbered and overwhelmed.

And as the punishing bombardment continues, the wounded keep flooding in. Doctors say there's nowhere else for them to go, and no safe way to transport them out.

DR. MARWAN ABUSADA, CHIEF OF SURGERY, AL SHIFA HOSPITAL: We had the mass casualties once or twice a day, but now we have every half an hour casualties. So it is overloaded. Our emergency department and our O.T. department and our IBD department are overloaded with the patients.

WARD (voice-over): Dr. Marwan Abusada warns that the situation is about to get dramatically worse. The hospital, he says, is just two days away from running out of fuel, needed to power the generators that are keeping the hospital and its patients alive.

(on-camera): If you do run out of fuel in two days, what will you do? I mean, what can you do?

ABUSADA: I think the international community will be part of the process of killing of our people. If they don't act on Israel to allow to get this fuel into Inter Gaza, What to do for the people who are in the ICU and mechanical ventilator? What about neonatal, the small babies? We have more than 130 in our neonatal ICU units. What to do with them? They will, okay, I think we are allowing them to die in peace. This is the issue if we don't have fuel to run our generators in the hospital.

WARD (voice-over): Just a trickle of aid has been allowed to cross into Gaza, and none of it fuel. Blocked by Israel, it says over concerns it will be taken by Hamas. Hundreds of trucks are waiting along the Egyptian side of the border. But diplomatic efforts to establish a continuous humanitarian corridor have failed. And there is no more time for debate.


CHURCH: CNN's Clarissa Ward, they're reporting for us from the Middle East.

IDF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner joins me now from Tel Aviv. Appreciate you talking with us.


CHURCH: So our reporter Clarissa Ward, who we just heard from, spoke to the top surgeon at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza who says even without using air conditioning and lights, they still need 9,000 liters of fuel a day. Other IDF spokespeople have told us they have 1,000 liters of fuel. That's clearly not enough to run hospital generators. And the U.N. is particularly concerned about this. What's your response to that?

LERNER: So obviously, we cannot be as human beings concerned about the images of babies and suffering of Palestinians in the hospital in Al Shifa. Al Shifa is of course a hospital managed by the Hamas Ministry of Health. Hamas has stockpiles of fuel in the South of Gaza, not far from Rafi'a crossing, and they could choose to distribute it to the hospitals.

Unfortunately, they choose not to do that. It's a really sad situation, and I think it exemplifies this whole conflict. Hamas has no regard for human life, Israeli or Palestinian, and they're willing to sacrifice, massacre, murder, burn, rape, and even their own people. This is the sad truth.

Our role at this time is to destroy Hamas, destroy and change the paradigm once and for all for the benefit of all of the people in the region.

CHURCH: Colonel, Hamas released two more hostages Monday, but efforts to get a larger group have stalled. Is it true that Israel is rejecting a Hamas demand for fuel in exchange for more hostages, as reported in the "Wall Street Journal"?


LERNER: So as I said, Hamas have a stockpile of fuel. If they wanted to use the fuel for the good of the people, they could do that. They need to release the people, the hostages that they're unlawfully holding immediately without any demands.

You know, indeed they released Yocheved Lifshitz and Nureed Cooper last night, but they did not release their husbands, or dead, and Amiram, 83 or that is 83 years old and Amiram is 85. These are people that they are farmers, they are retirees, they are teachers, they are young women, young children, they need to come home and they need to come home now. Hamas has no right to put any demands on the table. They open this wall. We will win it.

CHURCH: How can you be so sure that there are stockpiles of fuel?

LERNER: You can check on our Twitter feed. We have visual intelligence and visuals showing where their tanks of fuel are. You know, unfortunately, people are ignoring the fact that Hamas is a government of Gaza. The Hamas terrorist organization governed Gaza, and it subordinated all of its infrastructure for terrorism.

They did not invest in the people, in the needs of the people. They built tunnels, a network of tunnels that we are now dismantling and destroying. They did not invest in the schools or in the education. They invested in training and equipping the terrorists that penetrated our border on the 7th of October. This is what this terrorist organization, and this is really, Rosemary, this is why they have to go.

CHURCH: Colonel, we are seeing images of babies, children, and teenagers killed by Israeli airstrikes. They didn't carry out the abhorrent mass attacks on Israel on October 7th, but they are paying the ultimate price. What efforts are being made by Israel to avoid civilian casualties? And do you worry that these images are turning the world against Israel?

LERNER: So I think the world in general, and here's what we know, the world in general supports Israel's assault against Hamas as a terrorist organization. And there is an expectation, as we expect from ourselves, that we will operate within the realm and the boundaries of the laws of armed conflict, and that is precisely what we do.

When we are calling the people from Northern Gaza Strip to evacuate and go to the south, and still people are not evacuating, there are still people that have remained in the north, it's in order to distinct them from the terrorists.

Hamas has made the Gaza Strip a fortress of terrorists. It has positioned all of its capabilities within the civilian arena, whether it's been drones on the rooftops of houses that they proudly yesterday distributed a video of that how they position this and how they're launching a drone with explosive towards Israel and it's launched from the rooftop of a house. They don't care who lives in that house.

We try to evacuate the people. We try to get people out of harm's way while they are trying in order to keep them in harm's way. So yes, we are going out of our way to try and minimize the civilian impact in accordance to the laws of armed conflict.

And indeed, when we are making announcements that we're going to strike, where we're calling on people, sending them text messages or phone calls, encouraging them, you have to leave for your own safety where Hamas is doing exactly the opposite and telling people to stay, and then when they're not listening to them, erecting cross- checkpoints, preventing them physically from evacuating.

This is the sad truth. This terrorist organization is holding 220 Israelis hostage in Gaza. The people of Israel in the southern Israel, they're also trying to hold hostage, and the people of Gaza, they're holding hostage.

CHURCH: All right, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, thank you so much for talking with us. I Appreciate it.

LERNER: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Still to come, an emotional reunion after being released from Hamas captivity. We will have more on the condition of the two hostages released on Monday.

Plus, as thousands of Palestinians are being told to leave their homes in northern Gaza, we will take a look at what life has been like for Palestinian refugees living in Jordan. Back with that in just a moment. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)



CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Tel Aviv to show solidarity with Israel. A source says Mr. Macron will discuss a two-state solution with Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And it's likely he may meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Earlier, the French leader also met with Israeli victims of the Hamas attack more than two weeks ago.

Meantime, the two Israeli women released from Hamas captivity are doing OK. That's according to the head nurse at the hospital where the women are being examined. She says as soon as the two women arrived at the hospital, they had an emotional reunion with their families. The women will get a complete physical examination by doctors before being discharged in the coming days. Their families are hopeful this means more hostages will be released soon.

We are learning more about the Israeli neighborhoods decimated by Hamas and the lives of the people who lived there. CNN's Kaitlan Collins visited kibbutz Kissufim and spoke with a man seeing his childhood home for the first time after most of his family was murdered in the surprise attacks.

The report you're about to see contains graphic video and may be difficult to watch.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR, THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS (voice- over): Kibbutz Kissufim sits less than three miles away from the Gaza border, a quiet community where residents grow avocados and raise poultry and their families.


But as the sun rose on Saturday, October 7th, the Kibbutz that around 300 people called home became the site of a massacre as Hamas militants stormed inside and murdered 14 people, kidnapping four others.

Major Marcus Sheff, a reservist in the Israel Defense Forces, watched from home as the brutal attack unfolded that day. Now he's leading a small group of foreign press into the kibbutz for the first time, wanting the world to bear witness to the atrocities firsthand.

MAJ. MARCUS SHEFF, IDF RESERVIST: You know, the shock is still there after two weeks. We've seen the damage, and yet it's still hard to absorb the full horror.

COLLINS (voice-over): The stench of death is thick in the air as you walk along the tree-lined streets. But if you didn't look too closely, you'd never guess that a slaughter took place here. Then you notice the bullet hole in Gina Smietich's door. The 90-year-old grandmother, who loved gardening, was in her bathroom when Hamas militants shot her in the head. Her blood is still smeared on the entryway two weeks later.

(on-camera): If you didn't look over here, it would just look like a regular home on a Saturday morning. Orange juice out, the newspaper, her mail, some cookies. When you look over here at the kitchen, you can see people have gone through it. They opened all the cabinets. There's still cups in the sink. Her kettle is still out. And Gina is one of several who was brutally murdered in her kibbutz on that Saturday morning.

(voice-over): The Zak family lived just down the street. Parents Atai, Eddie, and their 14-year-old son, Sagi, were at home when the attack began. Their older children, Hadar and Tamer, were away. We reached 24-year-old Hadar on FaceTime.

(on-camera): What's through there? What was through that window?

(voice-over): This is the first time he's able to see the charred remains of his family's home.

HADAR ZAK, PARENTS AND BROTHER KILLED BY HAMAS: Someone from the kibbutz told me that he opened the (safe room) and he found my dad laying on the ground with my dog. Just watching the doors so the terrorists won't come in.

COLLINS (voice-over): The bodies of his mother and little brother were found hugging each other in the nearby bomb shelter, where they asphyxiated after militants set their home on fire.

Just days before, Sagi was dancing his heart out at a Bruno Mars concert in Tel Aviv.

ZAK: I'm 24, we have 10 years between us. It's hard to me to say my little brother because it was my child.

COLLINS (voice-over): Hadar and his sister, Tomer, are now orphans. His grief and his anger is palpable.

ZAK: It's kind of absurd to me that you guys show me this first and not someone from Israel, you know what I mean? I love my keyboard, my keyboard is amazing, but the government. I have no words to describe the support.

COLLINS (voice-over): Just 24 hours later in the Kissufim area, an IDF soldier is killed and three others wounded during a raid ahead of Israel's expected ground invasion in Gaza, an ominous warning shot of what is yet to come.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Kissufim, Israel.


CHURCH: The Pentagon is bracing for a significant increase in attacks by Iranian-backed militias on U.S. forces. across the Middle East. According to US intelligence, Iran is looking to exploit the backlash in the region against US support for Israel. As Oren Liebermann reports, US forces in Iraq and Syria have already come under fire.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The U.S. has intelligence that Iranian-backed militias in the Middle East, specifically in Iraq and Syria, are looking to take advantage of the opportunity and the situation there to escalate and ramp up attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East, according to multiple U.S. officials, as Iran tries to take advantage of growing anti-Israel and anti-U.S. sentiment as a result of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

We have seen a series of several drone and rocket attacks against U.S. forces in the Middle East. But this would be an escalation of that. Also certainly worth noting that we've seen the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen launch an attack using land attack cruise missiles and drones that was supposed to reach Israel, according to the Pentagon and U.S. officials, before it was intercepted by a U.S. destroyer operating in the Red Sea here.

It is worth noting the distinction between this involvement here versus Iranian involvement with the Hamas terror attack in Israel on October 7th. U.S. officials say there is no indication of direct Iranian involvement or knowledge or a green light for the attack on October 7th in Israel, even though Iran does broadly provide funding, backing and training to Hamas.

This is different than that. Here there is a much clearer link between Iran and the actions of Iranian proxies, encouragement, funding, training and a general sense of backing of these Iranian-backed proxies attacking U.S. forces, even if there isn't a specific green light.


It is because of this growing threat that the Pentagon authorized the deployment of a THAAD missile battery, which is a medium and long- range air defense system, and a Patriot battalion to the Middle East as a means of providing more air defense.

And the Pentagon has also put more soldiers and troops on prepare-to- deploy orders because of the situation in the region. This is on top of the forces that were already ordered there, which is a carrier strike group in the Eastern Med, another carrier strike group on its way to the Middle East, and an amphibious ready group that's already in the Middle East.

So you see the U.S. preparing for the possibility of a serious and severe escalation as the Biden administration and senior officials here warn others, including Iran and its proxies, not to get involved.

Oren Liebermann, CNN in the Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE) CHURCH: Still to come as hundreds of thousands of Palestinians flee their homes in Gaza, many fear they may be permanently displaced. We will take you to Jordan to see why Palestinians worry history may repeat itself.

Plus, rights groups are sounding the alarm about the desperate situation in hospitals across Gaza. I will speak to an activist, just ahead.




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: A third convoy of humanitarian aid entered Gaza on Monday. The United Nations says only 20 trucks entered the Rafah border crossing into the besieged enclave carrying food, water and medicine. But the deliveries once again did not include desperately needed fuel. Israel says it won't allow fuel into Gaza out of suspicions Hamas will seize it and use it for weapons rather than critical civilian needs.

Meantime, Palestinian officials say Israeli airstrikes have intensified. The Palestinian Ministry of Interior says overnight strikes Monday in the south killed at least 28 people and injured dozens of others.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled their homes after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. CNN's Nada Bashir spoke to some Palestinian refugees in Jordan who were terrified history will repeat itself.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Through the narrow streets of Amman's Jabal al-Hussein refugee camp, the mood is clear.

UNKNOWN: Palestine. No America. No America.

BASHIR (voice-over): Established more than 70 years ago, this community is now home to more than 30,000 Palestinian refugees. Just a fraction of the more than 700,000 who were expelled or forced to flee their homes following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Families in this camp know the pain of exile all too well. Denied by Israel their right to return to their homeland, it is a life sentence to separation from family, from friends, from home. And for those with loved ones still in Gaza, they say it is a sentence to the cruelest form of anguish.

ABD MUNIM SADDO DABACH, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE IN JORDAN (through translator): Are we not human to you because we are Palestinian? At any given moment I could get a phone call telling me that my sister and her children have been killed. You know, my mother was killed during the Gaza war in 2009. I hadn't seen her for 12 years. BASHIR (voice-over): Ali Al-Ottleh says that he has more than 70

relatives in Gaza that have already been killed in this latest round of Israeli air strikes.

ALI AMEEN AL-OTTLEH, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE IN JORDAN (through translator): Our home is Palestine. We will never forget about Palestine. Imagine being forced out of your home for 75 years. We have already spent 75 years as refugees. How could you expect the Palestinians to leave their homes and move to Egypt or elsewhere?

BASHIR (voice-over): Now the prospect of thousands more Palestinians being forcibly displaced to neighboring countries or even further afield has been condemned by leaders across the Arab world and has been characterized by both the King of Jordan and other officials as both a war crime and a red line for the country.

MUSTAFA AL-HAMARHEH, JORDANIAN SENATOR: The Israelis were always adamant about no return of refugees and that's why the Palestinians cling to what they call law of return or the right of return back. So any eviction, any new mass of Palestinian refugees for us is a repeat of 1948.

BASHIR (voice-over): That fear of history repeating itself, of another Nakba or catastrophe as Palestinians describe it, is felt across the region.

Many of Haniah Saadawi's relatives are trapped in Gaza. Now Haniah spends every morning calling loved ones, hoping they are still alive.

HANIAH AL-SADAWI, PALESTINIAN LIVING IN JORDAN: I don't even know whether my family is going to be able to go back to their homes, if they're going to have homes to go back to. And of course the biggest fear is that they are going to be evacuated and turned into refugees. If they don't want to move, they would rather die in Gaza than move.

BASHIR (voice-over): The connection felt by Palestinians to their homeland is hard to overstate. At this church vigil in Amman, a poignant moment of remembrance.

Oh Jerusalem, they sing. A 1960s melody beloved across the region dedicated to the holy city and to the Palestinian struggle, a cause which has drawn people of all faiths, of all walks of life, together with a message of enduring solidarity.


Nada Bashir, CNN, in Amman, Jordan.


CHURCH: Joining me now from Ramallah in the West Bank is Hadeel Qazzaz. She is regional gender coordinator at Oxfam International. Thank you so much for talking with us.

HADEEL QAZZAZ, REGIONAL GENDER COORDINATOR, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL: Thank you for having me. CHURCH: So doctors in Gaza are warning of a dire situation at

hospitals and the U.N. is concerned that not enough humanitarian aid is entering the territory, particularly fuel that of course is needed to run hospital generators. Israel says that's because Hamas would steal it. What is your reaction to that?

QAZZAZ: In fact, fuel is needed for humanitarian needs. We know that there are so many needs, not only in hospitals. We are talking about water desalination plants, three of them. We are talking about 65 sewage bombing plants. We are talking about electricity needs. There are so much need for bakeries that have been bombed by Israel in the last couple of weeks where people desperately need bread and need access to food.

So all of these humanitarian and civilian use of fuel is immediate and urgent. It's saving lives. It's not only something that is needed for hospitals, although the Indonesian (ph) hospital, for example, yesterday ran out of fuel and estimated that only in 48 hours all hospitals in Gaza were run out of fuel. So it's multiple needs, humanitarian and civilian.

CHURCH: So how would you describe the humanitarian situation in Gaza right now?

QAZZAZ: It is not only disastrous. It is beyond disastrous. Basically, we are keeping an eye on the number of people killed and injured. Last night alone 110 people were killed in airstrikes in Gaza. However, there are so many millions actually, 2.2 million lives are still at risk because of other things, including access to water, food, basic needs and medications, other things. So it's nothing that Oxfam has seen before in any of its humanitarian interventions globally.

It is disastrous, it is urgent and that's why we think that the humanitarian aid in the form of 20 trucks, even if it is 20 trucks a day. So far, it's less than eight percent of the needs of one day, because before this last war, 500 trucks used to enter Gaza daily. And now we are talking about 50 to 60. This is far beyond the urgent needs of people, let alone all the infrastructure that has been destroyed.

So water pipes, solar panels, any other infrastructure that used to sustain the life of people. This means that the situation needs to, the escalation needs to start immediately. And ceasefire should be now, actually. There is no way that there's no ceasefire, because any humanitarian actors, including our colleagues and partners in Gaza, cannot function without that. So, ceasefire now immediately and open humanitarian corridor, which allow as many humanitarian aid to come as soon as possible is a must. Otherwise, we are talking about tens of thousands of people who will die.

CHURCH: Hadeel Qazzaz, thank you so much for talking with us. We appreciate it.

QAZZAZ: Thank you.

CHURCH: Coming up next, our political analyst weighs in on the current state of the U.S. House Speaker saga and if the current frontrunner has a chance to unite the party. We'll take a look.




CHURCH: Welcome back everyone. Well, U.S. House Republicans will try again today to pick a nominee for speaker three weeks after Kevin McCarthy's historic ouster from the post. And earlier I spoke with political analyst Larry Sabato and asked him who will likely be the next Speaker of the House. Here's what he had to say.


LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: The frontrunner is Tom Emmer, a congressman from Minnesota, who is the majority whip. And those senior to him were either ousted or didn't make it to 217. And so he's next in line, but of course we thought this would probably be resolved by now. It's been going on for 20 days, going on 21. It will almost certainly go on for at least a few more days.

It's a tremendous embarrassment to the Republicans and frankly to the country in a global sense.

CHURCH: You mentioned Tom Emmer. I mean, he is the front runner, but he's not a favorite of Donald Trump's, is he? At this point though, could that help or hinder him? Because we are hearing that the former president is going to stay out of this race after backing the loser, Jim Jordan.

SABATO: Well, that's what he says. I don't think too many people rely on what Donald Trump says one day, applying to the next day. So we'll see whether he really stays out. But yes, he's not a favorite of Tom Emmer, and Tom Emmer isn't a favorite of his, though they're both pretending otherwise, particularly Emmer for Trump.


Whether that affects people in the end, I don't know. Trump has caused so many problems for the House Republicans that it's possible that enough of them will realize they need to move on.

CHURCH: And of course, the winning candidate will need 50 percent plus one of the conference or a minimum of 113 votes. But we won't know when this goes to the floor for a vote until a nominee is selected, who can then actually decide that. Meantime, the House remains paralyzed nearly three weeks into this chaos as a government shutdown looms and two wars are raging, one in the Middle East, the other in Ukraine. What happens if the GOP can't get this done this week?

SABATO: It's a disaster for them. It's just a giant clown car, and it's gone on so long, it's going to be an issue in 2024. It might even cost them the house. And most people say, oh, that's so far in the future, this won't really apply. No, I think it's made a real impact on enough people in swing

districts, like the ones in New York or California, that are usually Democratic, but went narrowly to the Republicans in 2022. That's the real danger for Republicans, that people are going to remember this and take the house away from them in November 2024.


CHURCH: Larry Sabato, joining me earlier. Many thanks to him for that.

Well, an off-duty pilot is facing 83 counts of attempted murder after allegedly trying to shut off the engines of an Alaska Airlines flight Sunday. The flight crews subdued the off-duty pilot, Joseph D. Emerson, who was flying in a cockpit jump seat.

Alaska Airlines says he tried to activate fire extinguishers that would cut off fuel to the engines. The flight was bound for San Francisco from Everett, Washington. The crew diverted the plane to Portland, Oregon, where Emerson was arrested. A law enforcement source says authorities do not believe there are any links to terrorism.

And we will have much more ahead on Israel's war against Hamas. Back in just a moment.




CHURCH: Young and old, soldier and civilian. A new exhibit at Tel Aviv University shows the many faces of the victims of the attack by Hamas on October 7th.

1,300 seats of the campus auditorium are filled with images of the missing and the dead, the numbers of victims exceeding the available spaces. More than 1,400 people have been killed in Israel. The Israel Defense Forces says more than 200 people are being held hostage in Gaza, and the Palestinian Health Ministry says more than 5,000 people have been killed by Israel strikes on Gaza. The exhibit at Tel Aviv University was organized by the Student Union as part of a wider anti- terror project.

McDonald's franchises in the Middle East are feuding over the Israel- Hamas war. McDonald's Israel has given thousands of free meals to Israeli forces, according to social media posts. But that sparked some backlash from franchise groups in Kuwait, Pakistan and other countries in the region. They quickly put out statements saying they have nothing to do with the Israeli franchise. Some also made donations to support Palestinians in Gaza. McDonald's corporate told CNN it is prioritizing the safety of its franchisees and offering them support.

The Cuban government held a pro-Palestinian rally condemning Israel's war on Hamas. CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports from Havana.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are at a solidarity rally that the Cuban government is holding to show support for Palestinians and to criticize Israel's war on Hamas. There are hundreds of people here, many of them. School-aged students have come directly from class. As well, there's a small group of Palestinians. Some of them are medical students who are studying here to become doctors when the war broke out.

Cuba's position on this latest conflict is unapprovable. Cuba, for years, has supported Palestinians' right to form a state, and the Cuban government does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Cuba blames the U.S. and Israel for this latest outbreak. of violence. The Cuban state-run media has paid little attention to what Hamas has done to civilians in the attack on Israel.

The Cuban government released a statement at the beginning of the conflict saying that there should be an immediate ceasefire, but over the last several days, as casualties have marked, the Cuban government has taken a harder position on Monday. Cuban President Miguel Diaz- Canel posted on social media that what Israel is doing in the Gaza Strip is tantamount to, quote, "genocide."

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.


CHURCH: Former U.S. President Barack Obama is warning that any Israeli operation that ignores the human costs of war could ultimately backfire. Obama put out a new statement Monday on the war that's much more nuanced than his initial response.


He said, and I'm quoting here, "Israel has a right to defend its citizens against such wanton violence. And I fully support President Biden's call for the United States to support our longtime ally in going after Hamas." But the former president added, in particular it matters that Israel's military strategy abides by international law, including those laws that seek to avoid, to every extent possible, the death or suffering of civilian populations.

I want to thank you for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "CNN Newsroom" continues with Max Foster.