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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Israel Pounds Gaza As Hamas Threatens To Kill Hostages; "It's A Miracle": Woman's Harrowing Survival Story After Music Festivalgoers Killed; Sources: U.S. Offering Israel Special Ops Planning And Intel Support For Hostage Rescue Efforts. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 09, 2023 - 21:00   ET




ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST (voice-over): When we met Maayan Zin, she was scrolling online, looking at hostage videos, searching for new pictures, of her captured daughters.

COOPER (on camera): When did you learn that your daughters were missing?


COOPER (voice-over): "My sister sent me a photo, of my older daughter, Dafna (ph), sitting on a mattress, in Gaza," she says. She saved it on her phone. It was posted by Hamas. The writing, in Arabic, says "Dress her in prayer clothes. It's better."


COOPER (voice-over): "I thought at first it was some kind of Photoshop, the Arabs did," Maayan tells me.


COOPER (voice-over): "I didn't think such a thing could be possible."

COOPER (on camera): You didn't believe it?

ZIN: No. My daughter? No.

COOPER (on camera): How does she look to you here?

ZIN: Afraid. Shock.

COOPER (voice-over): Maayan was shocked, when she later saw this 30- minute Hamas video, live-streamed on Facebook. Her former husband, Noam (ph), has a leg wound, and is taken away.


COOPER (voice-over): Armed gunmen questioned his partner, Dikla (ph), her son, Tomer (ph), and Maayan's two terrified daughters. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (FOREIGN LANGUAGE).



COOPER (voice-over): "They're my whole lives, those girls," she says.


COOPER (voice-over): "They're everything I wanted all my life."


COOPER (voice-over): "This is my existence, to be a mother. It's all I wanted."


COOPER (voice-over): "I didn't want to be rich. I didn't want to be married. I didn't want anything. I wanted to be a mom."

To feel close to her daughter, she wears a tie-dyed dress Dafna (ph) made for her. Her coffee mug was a gift from Ela (ph).

ZIN: I love you.

COOPER (voice-over): Maayan has given DNA samples, to authorities, but says she's heard nothing since then. She's desperate and just wants her daughters, and all the hostages returned.


COOPER (voice-over): "I hope my daughters are watching this. And I'm sending them a hug," she says.


COOPER (voice-over): "I believe everyone will return, and for Noam (ph), and Dikla (ph) to know that we're here, the whole family together."


COOPER (voice-over): "Supporting each other, cooperating and working together to get them back."


COOPER: CNN's coverage continues from Israel.


Our breaking story, tonight, Israel is bombarding Gaza, with a massive aerial assault, as Hamas is now threatening to execute civilian hostages, and broadcast it live, if these strikes continue, without warning, they say.

President Biden announced today that an unknown number of Americans are missing, tonight, and it is likely that they are among those hostages, who have been taken, into Gaza. At least 11 Americans are among the more than 900 people killed, so far, in Israel.

And we should note, we will hear from President Biden, tomorrow, on these attacks.

Israel has pummeled at least 130 targets in Gaza, with what Prime Minister, Netanyahu, says is a force, and I'm quoting him now, "Like never before." He also warned that this is just the beginning.




COLLINS: There's also this remarkable aerial view, of Israeli fighter jets, striking targets, in a neighborhood that Israel claimed serves as a hub, for Hamas operatives.

As he previewed more attacks, the Prime Minister also detailed the unthinkable horrors, from this surprise attack, on his country. Elderly, murdered. Handcuffed children, executed. Young people, who were shot in the back. Entire families, now gone, tonight.

We've seen the horrific videos with our own eyes, of civilians, being dragged away, including at a music festival, where we are told at least 260 bodies have been discovered.

Hamas, tonight, is also sending a new barrage of rockets, into Israel.

As the White House is sending a message, with these colors, illuminated in white and blue, in honor of the Israeli flag, tonight.

I want to go live to Ashdod, where my colleague, Anderson Cooper, has been reporting, all day.

Anderson, you're about 20 miles north of where Gaza is. Can you just kind of describe what it has been like, since you've been on the ground, and to see the aftermath of this?


COOPER: Yes, as you just pointed, Gaza, as you said, about 19 or so miles off in that direction. And throughout the evening, even just as you were talking, we've heard the distant rumble, of very loud explosions, some likely from Israeli aircraft, some from Israeli artillery being fired into sites, in Gaza.

We are almost 72 hours now. Once dawn here, 6:30 AM, it'll be 72 hours, since this terror attack, along multiple fronts began. And it is still a very chaotic situation. I just spoke to a spokesperson, for the Israeli Defense Forces, who said there are still Hamas militants, attempting to breach the border, attempting to make suicide attacks, that there are still firefights, kinetic activity, between -- from Hamas gunmen, on the ground, in Israel territory, with Israeli forces.

He believes many of them were just sort of left behind, either intentionally or just separated, weren't able to get back into Gaza, and are now making sort of last stands, trying to kill as many people as they can.

So, it is still a very kinetic situation. And it is not all along the border with Gaza. And I'm just hearing more explosions off in the distance, now. There's a lot of unknowns.

And there's, you know, the big question, of course, is what happens next? We've obviously seen large movements of troops of supplies. They're trying to shore up much of the border, which was breached, in multiple locations. But there's certainly a lot of work to be done, just in terms of getting forces, to the places that Israeli authorities want them, and then making the decision about what how to proceed from here.

COLLINS: Yes. And about how often are you hearing those booms, in the background, tonight? I mean, it's what, 4 o'clock in the morning, where you are right now.

COOPER: It's pretty, I mean, just while you were speaking, there was more. You probably, you can't pick it up. We don't have a mic sort of pointing in that direction. I'm just wearing those small Lav mic, so you can't pick it up.

But it's really constant. I mean, it's so distant, it feels like if you've ever been in an apartment building, people are moving furniture above you. It's this rumbling that you just get used to after time.

And you can hear it also in Tel Aviv. It's a slightly different sound. It's a little bit more intense, here. But it is this distant rumbling of the sound of artillery firing, the sound of impacts and of well, occasionally fighter jets in the air.

COLLINS: And of course, when you hear that, Anderson, you think of all the people, and the human suffering, that is the result of this, and what we are seeing.

COOPER: There's another we're hearing (ph).

COLLINS: I mean, I know you -- I was just watching you earlier, and you were talking to this mother, whose two young daughters were kidnapped by Hamas, which is obviously, I mean, it's not every parent's nightmare. It's every parent's worst nightmare, quadrupled sum.

COOPER: Yes, talking to -- yes. I mean, her daughters have been kidnapped. She didn't get any word about it, until a friend of her sent her a video, actually a still photo, taken by Hamas, posted by Hamas, on a Telegram -- on Telegram, which is where a lot of Israelis are learning that their loved ones have been held, are being held hostage. It's so chaotic, that that's actually how they are being informed.

This is a woman, named Maayan, and her two daughters are being held.

We don't have that sound (ph).

So, but she's desperately hoping that they return. But she's gotten no word from anyone, in the Israeli government yet, which she understands, because it is still very chaotic. But she's desperate for some sort of word of what's happened. All she's seen are some still photos, posted by Hamas, and a 30-minute Facebook Live stream that Hamas did, in which her two daughters appear terrified, and being spoken to by Hamas members.

I want to go now to Nic Robertson, who is also in Ashdod, where Hamas rockets have caused significant damage, throughout this conflict, so far.

Nic, talk about what you have seen, on the ground, here today.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Anderson, I think one of the big significant things that we've seen, that's been different, over the previous, let's say, 48 hours here, a significant amount of military hardware, moving into position.

In the early days, that very first night, within less than 24 hours, of Hamas' attack, we began to see tanks being transported towards Gaza. There were maybe three or four of them together.

What we're seeing, and have seen, this evening, at multiple places, and we spent a lot of the day within a few miles of the border with Gaza, is units, organized units of troops, and armored personnel carriers, or sort of scout vehicles, with -- there's jeeps, big large jeeps, with the sides rolled up. The soldiers have their weapons pointed out of their vehicles. They really look like very experienced -- very experienced combat soldiers.


This movement that we've seen today, it's organized, it's large organized groups of troops that are moving, en masse, as a unit. They're bringing their supplies, with them. You can see the supplies packed up. And they're all heading very close to the border with Gaza. At one place, we saw more than 20 tanks, in one tight grouping, again, just a few miles from the border.

This is new. And it's indicative of what is happening. There's increased security put down here. There is an increased presence that is not an incursion at the moment. It's securing and reinforcing the border.

And I think our other takeaway from today, was being down in Re'im, where this brutal slaughter of 260 young partygoers took place. To see the place, and their vehicles smashed up, at the side of the road, where they were trying to escape, and the scenes of some of the most brutal and chilling and cold-blooded and calculated and callous, and awful murder in cold blood, it really brings home to you the utter brutality that was wrought, on those people.

And you understand the fear, and the concern, in the families, for those who are now missing, who were taken away, who Hamas kidnapped, and now have as hostages in Gaza.

So, I think these are the big takeaways, today. That and the amount of firepower that's being laid down, on Gaza, and the intensity of some of the barrages today that we could -- you could really see, very clearly.

COOPER: Yes. Nic Robertson, thank you.

Kaitlan, back to you.

COLLINS: Yes, Anderson. We're just talking about all the families that are still missing, their loved ones, tonight.

We've now learned to Americans, who were in Israel, when Hamas launched its attack, are also among those missing, tonight. Judith and Natali Raanan were visiting family, in Nahal Oz, a small kibbutz, in Southern Israel, that was invaded by Hamas, early, on Saturday morning.

Harrowing accounts have emerged of chaos and terror in the village that is just three miles from the Gaza Strip. Many of the residents are still among the missing as well tonight.

Yosi Shnaider's aunt Margit (ph) and his uncle Yossi (ph) have been missing, since Saturday, along with their daughter, Shiri (ph), and her husband, and also their two young sons, Ariel (ph) and Kfir (ph).

In a video that was posted on social media, by Hamas, after the attack, as Anderson was just saying that mother found out about her two daughters, being kidnapped, by seeing a video online, you can see Shiri (ph), and her two sons alive. It's clear that Shiri (ph) appears distressed, here. She's holding both of her sons, in this video.

What is still unclear, tonight, is when and where this video was taken, and also where they are now.

Yosi joins me now.

Yosi, I'm so sorry for what you are going through, and just this misery. Have you heard anything, tonight, about your family members?

YOSI SHNAIDER, SIX FAMILY MEMBERS MISSING SINCE SATURDAY: No. We have zero information, about them. They disappeared since Saturday. We don't know anything.

COLLINS: And so, the way that you learned that they had apparently been kidnapped was from just seeing this video posted online? SHNAIDER: Yes, imagine that you wake up, on Saturday morning, and holiday, in Israel it was Sukkot (ph), waking up for alarms, then going one after another. And it's a crazy thing.

And then, we start hearing things, from the people, from the villages around Gaza. And we had zero information, so I start looking in Telegram groups, to see any news that I can get from there. And one of the photo that I opened is the Shiri (ph) with two little children, so little, they're babies, they're not children. One of them, Ariel (ph) is 4-years-old, and Kfir (ph) is 9-months-old, so you can understand how young they are.

I mean, you can see in the movie how she's upset. She doesn't know anything. They're speaking in -- screaming in Arabic. She doesn't understand. And they're pushing her from one side to another. You can see there is a blood stain on the blanket. You can see the kidnappers covered with blood. I don't know if it's belonged to Shiri (ph), or to her husband, Yarden (ph), that also disappeared. So, we're kind of in a very unknown situation.

COLLINS: I mean, she's just -- the fact that they're 4-years-old, and just nine months. And in the video, you don't see her husband. I mean, what is -- is your fear that they have been separated here?


SHNAIDER: 100 percent that they've been separated. My hope is that they didn't separate her from the kids. Because, we know that we're not dealing with people. We're dealing with barbarians. They're not even animals. I cannot even call them animals.

My aunt, Margit (ph), we saw just now, in the picture, she's a very sick person. She need the life-saving medicines. She has a very high degree of Parkinson's. She's diabetic. She has blood issues. And she won't survive without her medicines. She's only --

COLLINS: She has Parkinson's?

SHNAIDER: She has Parkinson's, and a very late stage.

Kfir (ph) is only 9-months-old, without baby food, without diapers, without anything. And we know that the people that kidnapped them, they are not people. They're barbarians. Their only purpose is to hurt people.

We saw movies, of people, who have been kidnapped. They're being molested. They're being tortured. Even kids. So, when you see all of these things, and you know that there are radical Muslims, and you know what they're capable to do. So, very scary.

COLLINS: Yosi, are you still holding out hope, tonight?

SHNAIDER: I told you, my first hope is, first of all, that Shiri (ph) and the kids are still together. And that's the part -- that's my hope Shiri (ph) and the kids. Second hope is that Margit (ph) and Shiri (ph) and the kids? Again, I'm not speaking -- I'm not even speaking about Yarden (ph) and Yossi (ph). They're getting the right treatment, and they're getting the medicine that they need, and that they're in a safe place. And --

COLLINS: Have you heard anything from the government, or from the military, or anyone about the search efforts?

SHNAIDER: As you know, there is a very chaotic situation, right now, in Israel. We're just starting to get managed with all these things, and starting to get from defense to attack.

So, I believe it's going to take couple of days, until the Hamas starts, to give us some kind of information, who's alive, who's injured. Don't forget that not only Hamas invaded Israel, this Sunday (ph), the Jihad-Islamic, and then another third organization, and even I saw pictures and movies of citizens from other that came into Israel, and kidnap civilians. So, we don't know who's holding them.

COLLINS: Yosi, I know there are so many questions, tonight. I can't even imagine how painful this is. We are obviously wishing for the best for them, and hoping that they're found. Thank you, for your time, tonight.

SHNAIDER: Thank you.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, Israel's leader is warning that quote, "Difficult days are still ahead," as Israel is fighting for its existence, the Prime Minister says.

Will the country launch a ground offensive soon? We're going to speak to the Israeli ambassador, to the United Nations, here, on set.

Plus, some news, in the U.S. role, in helping rescue hostages, with Americans likely among those that are being held captive, President Biden says.






COLLINS: Israeli airstrikes are bombarding Gaza, tonight, as part of what Israel's Defense Minister says is a complete siege.

We have watched, as Israeli tanks have moved closer, to the Gaza border, and thousands of reservists have been told to prepare, for a potential ground incursion. A spokesman, for the Israeli Defense Forces, says that they have destroyed 800 targets, and also killed hundreds of Hamas fighters.

I'm joined now by Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan. He was also the Israeli ambassador to the United States. Ambassador, thank you, for being here, tonight.

GILAD ERDAN, FORMER ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Thank you, for having me, Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Given, of course, the weight of all of this.

We heard from Prime Minister, Netanyahu, earlier, who was just kind of describing, I mean, the horrific nature of this. Children, who have been -- who were handcuffed and killed. Women, who have obviously been raped, in front of their friends, abducted. I mean, it's chilling. And I imagine you've never seen anything like this.

ERDAN: Never. And I've been serving, in the Israeli public sector, for the last 27 years. We've endured hardships. And I was a member of the Security cabinet, during a few operations. We've never seen atrocities, like this time.

Look, it was a plan well-designed, and they planned it like months ago, it happened, with or without the coordination of Iran, but definitely with the assistance and help and weapons and funds that they got from Iran.

And yes, we were surprised. But we swore that it will never have happen again.

That's why you keep hearing the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense swearing that this time -- you know, Hamas took power in Gaza, 17 years ago. Since then, we've always tried maybe economic benefits, maybe the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip. It never helped to change their genocidal ideology.

Their charter said loud and clear, "You should butcher every Jew that you encounter." They want only the annihilation of the Jewish state. Exactly that's the same ideology, like ISIS, like al Qaeda. You cannot change their ideology by having any dialog with them.

So, as hard as it's going to be, we are committed to obliterate their terrorist infrastructure, because that's the only way, to ensure it will not happen again.

COLLINS: How is that complicated, when you look at the civilians, who are on the Gaza Strip? I mean, how does Israel factor that into what is going to happen next?

ERDAN: Definitely, I cannot say how much, we will factor in the fact that we have maybe an unprecedented number of hostages, in Gaza.

We expect the Red Cross, we expect all international organizations, to focus on these hostages, and how they are treated, and that they receive treatment, according to international law. But it's not going to stop us, prevent us, from doing what we need to do, in order to secure the future of Israel.

[21:25:00] We cannot restore security, for the citizens of Israel, if Hamas continues with its military buildup. We are surrounded by terrorist proxies of Iran, like Hamas, on our southern border, and Hezbollah, on our northern border, and both committed only to the annihilation of Israel.

COLLINS: Well, and what we're hearing from a spokesman, for the military wing, of Hamas, tonight, is that they will not negotiate, for hostages, as the strikes from Israel are ongoing.

I mean, what's your response to that? And are these hostages going to be able to get out of there?

ERDAN: Of course, we want to see all of our boys, girls, grandmothers, everyone, who was abducted, we want to see them back home.

But, right now, our focus is, looking at our national strategy, is to obliterate Hamas' terrorist capabilities. Because, if it happened, now, it will happen again in the future, and in on a much larger scale.

By the way, it's not going to happen only in Israel. As ISIS inspired many Islamic terrorists, terrorist radicals, around the world, to destroy, to attack, to murder, it will happen again, because these are the same, they share the same ideologies.

COLLINS: Do you know how many hostages they have?

ERDAN: We estimate a number that is between 100 and 150.


ERDAN: I think it's an unprecedented number.

COLLINS: And is that -- does that include Americans as well?

ERDAN: It includes Americans. We don't know the exact number. And we're still checking.

It's a very sad story, because as you know, there was a big party there. And they shot the revelers, as if they were insects. They shot RPGs on their cars. People were burning alive.

COLLINS: From the festival.

ERDAN: It takes a lot of time to recognize them, to know who they were. So therefore, we try to be responsible now, not to give numbers. But yes, there were Americans. There were also other nationals, not only Americans. They abducted grandmothers, who were Holocaust survivors, with the Philippine that was taking care of her.


ERDAN: And they took photos of them, making fun of them, like you see the hate. You see the anti-Semitism. You see --

COLLINS: They're horrific.

ERDAN: You see, it's terrible.

COLLINS: Well, it's important that you say that that there are between 100 and 150 confirmed. We don't -- we had heard from that from Hamas, but not had that confirmed.

There was reporting from Axios that Prime Minister, Netanyahu, in one of his calls, with President Biden, said that Israel had no choice but to unleash a ground operation, in Gaza. Is that accurate?

ERDAN: Look, you cannot expect me to share our military plans, with your viewers, and then with the enemy. Of course, again, our main commitment is to obliterate their terrorist infrastructure. That is something we expect the whole world, to understand, and to support.

We unfortunately, sadly, we are used to getting these hugs, or people are paying their condolences, on the first day, after this tragedy happened.

But we hope that the world, this time, would remember all these atrocities, not only today, but the weeks to come, because that is the time, when we will try -- and we should all remember Hamas is not only a terrorist organization, who is torturing and killing Jews. They also use the people of Gaza.

We defend our children with defensive Iron Dome missiles.

But they defend their offensive missiles with their children. They surround their weapons, with children, with the civilian population. They store the weapons underneath hospitals, or schools.

So, we have no other choice. If we want to prevent these atrocities, from happening -- from happening again, we will have, and we have already started to strike, in Gaza, because we know where are their terror tunnels. We know where they store their missile, and rockets. We know where all their weapons are being hidden.

COLLINS: Ambassador, thank you, for coming in, and for your time, tonight, especially during this such a horrific time.

ERDAN: Thank you for having me.

COLLINS: Appreciate you, Ambassador Gilad Erdan.

Up next, we'll be back on the ground, in Israel, where Anderson Cooper is reporting. You'll hear from one of the victims, who survived that deadly attack that the Ambassador was just referencing, at the music festival. That's next.



COLLINS: Tonight, Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that quote, many hundreds of terrorists, he says, have been eliminated. The Prime Minister warning that this is just the beginning of their response, to those unprecedented attacks, Anderson.

COOPER: Yes. President Biden said today that Americans are likely among those held captive, by Hamas.

There's still obviously a lot we don't know, about the total number of captives, overall, people, who have been kidnapped. The White House says it cannot confirm how many Americans may be being held. But the U.S. is working, quote, "By the hour," according to them, to learn more.

Also want to talk about the more than 260 people, who were found dead, at the site of a music festival that came under attack, near the Gaza border. As you know, this was probably the single most just horrific scene, just in terms of loss of life, on Saturday.

My colleague, Jeremy Diamond, spoke to one woman (inaudible).


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera) (through translator): How do you think that you came out of this alive?

MICHAL OHANA, 27-YEAR-OLD VICTIM (through translator): I really don't know. It's a miracle. It's a miracle, miracle because people who were next to me did not get out alive.

DIAMOND (voice-over): With a bullet, in her leg, and shrapnel, in her stomach, 27-year-old Michal Ohana, considers herself one of the lucky ones.

But when rocket siren sounded, at the Nova music festival, in southern Israel, and Hamas militants began killing, and kidnapping hundreds of festivalgoers, Michal's fate was far from sealed.

OHANA (through translator): It was just shooting-range shooting. Whoever that could run ran and then others got killed.

DIAMOND (voice-over): After bullets pierced the windows of the car, she and her boyfriend were trying to escape in, Michal soon found refuge, in a small shed, crammed in with at least 50 other people.


OHANA (through translator): There were already people, who were injured, some, in their legs, some on their backside, some on their heads. I had a scarf on me. And somebody next to me was bleeding. So, I gave her a tourniquet, on her leg.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Minutes later, shots rang out.

OHANA (through translator): There was silence, for a few minutes. And the police woman, who was there with us, simply screamed. "Whoever wanted to be alive needs to leave now." Those who could leave, left. Those who couldn't, I don't know what happened with them.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Michal, and her boyfriend, took off running. But Michal panicked. As her legs buckled, her boyfriend dragged her, across the ground, and managed to shove her, into the window, of a passing vehicle. But at every turn, more Hamas fighters.

OHANA (through translator): They just went with white pickup trucks. On each pickup truck, there were at least 20 terrorists, with Kalashnikov grenade guns, shotguns, machine guns. I've never seen anything like this in my life.

DIAMOND (voice-over): Seemingly encircled, Michal once again jumped out of the car, and began running, before finding an abandoned Army tank, on the side of the road. The bullets reached her, there, too.

Hiding under the tank, Michal was shot in the leg, and shrapnel from a grenade pierced her stomach.

OHANA (through translator): And in that time, we didn't see, we couldn't see anything. And they were taken. Some people were taken.

DIAMOND (voice-over): For six more hours, Michal laid lying underneath that tank, until Israeli soldiers rescued her, and evacuated her, to Hadassah Hospital, where she was one of more than 60 victims treated.

OHANA: I chose Shema Yisrael (ph), and I think I going to dead.

DIAMOND (on camera): You thought you were going to die?



DIAMOND: And that prayer, Anderson, the Shema Yisrael that she's referencing, is a prayer that Jews say, when they believe that they are going to die. And she very much did.

But she is also now reflecting, on those friends, who did not make it, who are either -- who have either died, or who are missing, or who were all but certainly kidnapped.

One of those friends, Elkanah (ph), she said, came back, to return to save friends. But he was kidnapped.

Two of her other friends are missing.

And another friend, who left the party, earlier, but, heard that there were shots being fired, heard that his friends were in danger, returned. He helped people along the road, according to Michal. But since then, he hasn't been seen.


COOPER: Yes, just awful.

Jeremy Diamond, thank you, in Jerusalem, tonight.

There are a lot more to cover ahead.

President Biden is going to address the nation, about Israel, tomorrow afternoon.

There's also the U.S. sending more fighter jets, to the Middle East, and a high-tech aircraft carrier as well. Question, of course, is was what America's role, in this region, during this war may look like? Back with a U.S. Senator, on these issues, next.



COLLINS: Tonight, the U.S. is expediting military shipments, to Israel, and has deployed the USS Gerald Ford, which is the Navy's most advanced aircraft carrier, to the Eastern Mediterranean. All of this, a show of force, in response to the unprecedented attack, on Saturday.

Defense officials, telling CNN, tonight, that the U.S. is also offering special operations planning, and intelligence support, to help rescue those hostages, including Americans, as the Ambassador just noted, that had been taken by Hamas.

FBI Crisis Response experts are also deploying to Israel, tonight.

And all of this comes as lawmakers are pledging to send more aid, to Israel, almost immediately, after that attack. But this is a process that has already been hampered, as the House remains paralyzed, tonight, without a Speaker.

And joining me now is Democratic senator, Chris Murphy, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator, thank you, for being here, tonight.

We've now learned that the FBI is helping Israeli forces try to find and locate these hostages. Are you hopeful that they will ultimately be able to secure their release, given we do believe Americans are among them?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Well, we're still learning the extent of this horror, trying to understand how many Americans are amongst those being held hostage. I mean, this is absolutely unconscionable, the idea that Hamas is using these hostages, threatening to execute them, should Israel go about the work, of trying to hold those responsible, for these killings, accountable.

But we have the best in the business, in the United States, at locating hostages, and trying to extricate them, from captivity. And so, to the extent the job can be done, the United States and Israel working together, we'll have the top people on the job.

But this is a massive undertaking, because we're just trying to get a handle on how many have been taken captive, where they are. And then, once you do that, you can assess whether there is any attempt to extricate them.

COLLINS: Yes. One of your colleagues, speaking of what the Hill can do, this week, says that they do believe the Senate will have an aid package, for Israel, ready soon. When do you -- what do you expect that package will look like? And do you believe it will be tied to more funding for Ukraine?

MURPHY: So, I'm open to getting this done any way. Obviously, we can't leave Ukraine aid behind.

But we're going to try to get consensus on a package that could include Israel aid, Ukraine aid. There was some talk, in the House, today, about packaging that together, with support for efforts, in Taiwan. Listen, I'm open to any pathway to get this done.

Clearly, Israel is going to need support, and very quickly. Simply replenishing Iron Dome is an expensive endeavor. We have historically picked up a good piece of that tab. And I think it's really important for us to do that now, so that Israel can use their domestic funding, to try to continue this fight, in Gaza.

I expect you will have pretty quick consensus, between Democrats and Republicans, on the Israel aid, and hopefully, that will also allow us to grease the wheels, on getting aid done to Ukraine.


COLLINS: Well, and obviously, you know, as well as I do that nothing that the Senate does, can go through the House. They can't do anything because they don't currently have a House Speaker. Are you confident that Republicans, in the House, will be able to get that taken care of, so an aid package could get passed?

MURPHY: This crisis certainly ups the ante, in the House. I am hopeful that they are going to see, the real grave danger that they are presenting to the country's national security, and to Israel's security, if they don't get their act together.

But as you know, we have work to do in the Senate as well. We don't have clean hands. We've got Senator Tuberville, continuing to hold up 300 promotions, in the military. Many of these are posts that are going to be supporting the fight, in the Middle East. And we have State Department nominees, including an Ambassador to Israel, an Ambassador to Lebanon that we need to get done as soon as we get back.

So, this is a time, where Republicans need to put their love of country, and their support for Israel, ahead of their partisan beefs with the President, or with each other. And hopefully, we'll see some progress, in the House, this week, and in the name of the defense of this country, and of Israel.

COLLINS: Senator Chris Murphy, thank you.

Up next for us, Israel has been fighting Hamas for decades. But is now vowing to crush them, tonight, comparing them to ISIS, even. Someone, who knows the conflict well, will join us next, to explain.



COLLINS: Tonight, Palestinian President, Abbas, who leads the Palestinian Authority, in the West Bank, called on the United Nations, to intervene, in Gaza.

Of course, in Gaza, Hamas presents itself as an alternative, to the Palestinian Authority. They say civilian hostages will be executed, and those killings will be broadcast live, if Israel continues to target them, without warning, as we have seen this air assault continue.

Joining me now, Axios Foreign Policy Reporter, Barak Ravid.

Barak, I'm so glad you're here tonight.

And for people, who have not been following this, as closely as you have, for so long now, can you just explain how Hamas operates, what their end goal is here?


I think that the main thing to know, about Hamas, that it's been governing (inaudible).

COLLINS: I think we lost Barak's connection there. We will continue to check on that.

We lost Barak's connection there. We will continue to check on that, and bring him back, if we can get him back. Obviously, he is reporter, who follows all of this closely.

He also had new reporting, tonight, about the concerns, about this spreading into a wider regional conflict. That is certainly something that we have heard from lawmakers here. It's something that Administration officials briefed lawmakers, on, just yesterday. We will bring that important reporting back to you here, on THE SOURCE.

Also tonight, we have a remarkable story that has come out of a horrific time, this, of a retired Israeli general, who fought his way, through a village, under siege, by Hamas, to rescue his family, believing that if he didn't, no one else would, and also stopping to help others, fleeing the gunfire. We'll tell you that story, next.






COLLINS: Tonight, I want to share the story, of a grandfather, who fought his way, through a village, under siege by Hamas, to rescue his son, and his young grandchildren.

Former Israel Defense Forces Major General, Noam Tibon, and his wife, Gali, left their home, in Tel Aviv, on Saturday, armed with only a pistol. They were going to save their son, Amir, their daughter-in- law, Miri, and their two young granddaughters.

All of this was happening, as they were making their way, to this small village, where they lived, not far from the Gaza Strip. As Amir and his family were hiding, silently, in their safe room, under instruction, from his father that went on for nearly 10 hours. They had no food, no electricity, no cell service.

Outside, the terrifying sound of Hamas gunfire drew closer.

Amir, initially said, when they woke up that morning, after the Jewish holiday that they thought, when they heard those rockets, it was something that happens, unfortunately, regularly in Israel, just rocket fire.

They went into the safe room. And that is where they were hiding, with their two young children, when they realized, it was something else, when they heard the gunfire, and realized that a terror attack was happening in their neighborhood.

He said that this is what his father did, after those nine and a half hours, where they sat silently in that room.


AMIR TIBON, HAARETZ'S DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: They joined the group of soldiers, who were planning to begin the process, of going from house to house. In this community, we are a community of about 500 to 600 people. From house to house, look for the terrorists, kill them and free the people. And they did this methodically. They went through dozens of houses.

We were not aware that this was happening, because by that one we had lost all cellphone reception. But we heard the gunfire. We realized that they were exchanges of fire between two sides.

And that's when I told my two young daughters, who were beginning to lose patience. They were real heroes. But they were beginning to patience, after nine-and-a-half hours. I told them, "Grandfather is coming. Stay silent. Stay quiet. And Grandfather is coming."

And that's sort of another hour of these battles, from home to home that the soldiers engaged in. We heard a large bang, on the window, of the safe room, and the voice of my father. And my older daughter, she's three-and-a-half-years-old, she said Saba Hagia (ph), "Grandfather is here." And that's when we started crying, for the first time, after 10 hours, in this situation.


COLLINS: It's just an amazing story, there. And out of what has been such a horrific 72 hours, if we have learned more, since Hamas launched this unprecedented attack, this is one of the only bright spots that we have learned, about this. He talked about how what his father went through.

And I want to tell you, here, we actually tried to get Noam, here, on the show, tonight. He was in travel, during the 9 o'clock hour. And so, we could not. We will try to get him on another night, this week.

But his story is something that you just you haven't read anywhere. He traveled from Tel Aviv, as I noted, armed with only a pistol. He is a former Major General in the IDF. He pushed through police checkpoints, to try to get to his son. They urged him to turn around. They continued.

At one point, they actually encountered some of those festivalgoers, from the festival. We spoke with one woman, last night, whose boyfriend is still missing from that. They were fleeing, of course, as Hamas had invaded, where that festival was taking place, and began firing at them.

They continued on. They then encountered other Israelis, who were in a gunfight, with Hamas. He ended up giving them, actually, his car and getting in a different ride, to go to his son's kibbutz. That is where, of course, he then fought with Hamas as well, to get to his son. He said he did that because he knew that if he didn't do it, that no one else would, and that was his primary concern.

It is one of the few stories out of this that you have seen that has been just one small gleaming hope, out of everything that we've heard, coming out of Israel.

Of course, we will continue to cover it, all here, on CNN. Hopefully we will have him on, so you can hear from him, himself, about that.

Right now, "CNN NEWS NIGHT" with Abby Phillip starts.