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The Source with Kaitlan Collins

Netanyahu Apologizes After Blaming Military For October 7 Failure; Schumer Decries "Utterly Revolting" Threats At Cornell, Warns Of Growing Anti-Jewish Incidents Across U.S.; Army Determined Maine Shooting Suspect "Should Not Have A Weapon" After Medical Evaluation. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired October 30, 2023 - 21:00   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Good evening. And welcome to THE SOURCE. I am Kaitlan Collins.

Tonight, a clear and firm message, from Israel. No ceasefire in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, making clear that he is rejecting multiple international calls for one, calls that I should note, have only grown louder, as the civilian death toll, in Gaza, has gotten bigger.

But Netanyahu says that that would amount to a surrender to Hamas, instead arguing, today, and I'm quoting him now, "This is a time for war."


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Just as the United States would not agree to a ceasefire after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or after the terrorist attack of 9/11, Israel will not agree to a cessation of hostilities with Hamas after the horrific attacks of October 7th.


COLLINS: You heard Netanyahu there, mention the U.S.

But I should note that at the White House, officials there have ruled out, supporting a ceasefire, and they have not criticized Israel's Military actions. Instead, we are told that President Biden has pressed, for humanitarian pauses, during his calls, with the Prime Minister, to allow more aid, into Gaza.

All of this is coming, tonight, as Israel has sent even more troops, into Gaza, announcing that they have also rescued an IDF soldier, who was taken hostage, on October 7th.

This is Ori Megidish, after she was reunited, with her family, today. This is the moment that she got to hug her grandmother, something that was captured, on home video. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)



COLLINS: Hamas put out a video, tonight, showing three women, also being held, as hostages. These are pictures that I should note, before they were abducted. We are not showing this video. It's a propaganda video, from Hamas.

And of course, this comes as not just those three women. The IDF says the total number of hostages, believed to be being held by Hamas, tonight, now stands at 238.

I want to go straight to CNN's Nic Robertson, who is live, in Sderot, Israel, tonight.

Nic, we're just learning, from the IDF, this Israeli soldier, was rescued, during this ground operation, in Gaza.


COLLINS: She's the fifth person --

ROBERTSON: Yes. Private Ori Megidish, she was released, in a rescue operation, essentially an intelligence-led rescue operation, involving Special Forces. It was described as a rescue, by the IDF, and the Israel's security forces, the Shin Bet. That's how the IDF has characterized it.

But we've got to know a few more details. And it does seem that they were -- that the IDF, and they're not saying how they got this intelligence, but they got intelligence, leading them to understand where she was, so that they could put together this operation, to go in, on the ground, and rescue her.

She had a medical check, we're told. She was fine after the medical check. We've seen video of her, with her family, celebrating, hugging her grandmother, her family all around her, celebrating. I mean, for the family, this was something, a moment that they thought they might never get. They thought she might never be returned to the family. So, a huge moment for them.

And a very significant and important moment for the nation, because it gives hope, to all the families of all the other hostages, who are out there, and some of them -- some of those families, who have spoken about it, today, hoping that their loved ones can understand, they are out there waiting for them, working hard, to get their release.

So, I think, it's a very important step, if you will, in this operation, because the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, the IDF, have all said all along that this is about not only getting -- destroying Hamas, but it's about getting the hostages. And here's the first one released.

COLLINS: Yes, of course. I mean, we're seeing, she's now the fifth person there.

But obviously, this is all complicated by what is actually happening in Gaza. We saw Israeli aircraft dropping new leaflets, over Gaza, warning people, again, to get out of northern Gaza, calling it a battlefield.

Nic, I mean, what does that seem to signal about what the next phase of this ground operation could look like?

ROBERTSON: Yes, troops getting deeper, into Gaza, troops getting into much more dangerous situations.


The IDF says that the troops, on the ground, are finding the strong points, Hamas strong points, and calling in airstrikes. And that's what we've been seeing through the day, planes bringing in airstrikes.


ROBERTSON: Artillery fire, like that, going in, and some quite precise missiles, we've seen, being fired in, it appears, by helicopter.

But once the troops get deeper, into the very densely populated Gaza City, hundreds of thousands of people normally living there, it will be a very, very tough environment.

And those fliers that have been dropped, telling the citizens there that it's no longer safe, that they need to get out. But the citizens have been very concerned. How do they get out? They don't know what roads are safe.

And there was an incident, earlier today, when a vehicle that looked like a civilian vehicle, got close to an Israeli tank. The tank fired at close range. The vehicle was destroyed. The IDF said, "Look, we can't know if it was a civilian or a terrorist in that vehicle." And that's what the -- that's what many citizens are worried about, with the troops close, which roads do they use.

But the Prime Minister said, there's a humanitarian zone, set up in the south of the Gaza Strip, close to the coast. And that's where the government here is telling the citizens of Gaza, to go, right now.


COLLINS: And Nic, what are you hearing behind you, right now?

ROBERTSON: Yes, this is a heavy artillery fire. It's been sort of steady.


ROBERTSON: Oh, that's a heavy machine gunfire, sustained, could be coming from a helicopter. We know there --


ROBERTSON: There it is again.

COLLINS: Can we just pause and listen to that, for a moment?

ROBERTSON: We know there are Apache gunships in the air --

COLLINS: And can you remind our views of where you are --

ROBERTSON: Yes, I think it's -- I think --

COLLINS: -- in relation to what we're seeing most of the action?


ROBERTSON: So, we're about a mile, outside of the Gaza Strip, right at the north of the Gaza Strip.


ROBERTSON: That's some very sustained heavy machine gunfire.

If that is Apache gunships, or potentially heavy machine guns, on armored personnel carriers, but most likely Apache gunships, because we have heard them operating.


ROBERTSON: They'll be supporting the troops on the ground. They will be what's brought in, as close air support, when the troops come in contact, with the Hamas position.

And this is exactly what the IDF has been saying, that's been happening, through the day that the troops are on the ground. They're moving from building to building, down some of the major highways, inside of Gaza. But when they reach a Hamas strong point, then additional firepower. And I think that's what we're hearing that is bought in, to eliminate those enemy positions.

COLLINS: I mean, Nic, it's 3 AM, where you are, right now. Have you been hearing this sustained kind of activity in recent hours? Or is this something that is just happening as of this moment?

ROBERTSON: Yes, the artillery picked up, a few minutes ago. But it's been steady for the past hour. But the couple of hours before that it was a shell, every 20 seconds. It was really very heavy.


ROBERTSON: These are big shells that are being fired, because when some of the impacts hit the ground, you can actually feel the detonations, even this far away, from Gaza. So, these are some very sustained and heavy bursts of shelling that we've been hearing.

Again, they are, we understand, to support the troops on the ground, to give them some cover, if they get into contact, with Hamas.

COLLINS: All right. Nic Robertson, we're going to check back in with you, this hour, as we are hearing that action happening, behind you.

I'm joined now, here in studio, by Dan Senor, who is a foreign policy advisor, in the George W. Bush administration, the host of the excellent podcast, "Call Me Back." His book, "The Genius of Israel," also is well-timed, and comes out next month.

I mean, you could hear what is happening, in the background, of Nic's shot, in Sderot, right there.

DAN SENOR, FORMER FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR TO GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION: And it's going to be going on continuously, I think, for a while. Even though we're only at the early stages, of this incursion, into Gaza, I think it is -- I think the Israeli forces are just going to go deeper and deeper, sort of calls for a ceasefire be damned.

COLLINS: I mean, you heard Netanyahu, today. I mean, very against. He said a ceasefire is basically not happening.

SENOR: Yes. I mean, Israel's in an impossible position, because they do not want to maximize civilian casualties. They want to minimize the civilian casualties.

And they feel the Palestinian -- Hamas is using civilian casualties, as a PR tool, against Israel. So, it's in Hamas' interest to maximize civilian casualties. Israel wants to minimize them. Hamas wants to maximize civilian casualties against Israelis.

So, Israel is put in the position of having to defend Israeli life, which is why they've gone into Gaza, defend Israel's border, defend Israeli security, which is why it's gone into Gaza.

In doing so, Palestinian civilians are going to get killed. There will be collateral damage now, because Israel is targeting them.

You heard Nic say that they're busy sending out, they're trying to alert Palestinians to get out of north Gaza. But Hamas doesn't want them to get out of north Gaza. They want them to stay right there, to get the publicity, the media win, against Israel.

And so, these are -- and that's why, when Netanyahu says, "This is a war," like "I can't pause to help Hamas, and that's effectively what we'll be doing." It's not going to help the civilians.


COLLINS: Well, you also heard what Nic said though, about this car. They don't know if it was a civilian -- civilians, in the vehicle. But the IDF fired on it, because they also were like, "Well, we don't know who's in there." I mean, that's the other concern, we've heard, about these IDF, some of the reservists, going into Gaza. They haven't seen action, in a long time, maybe ever. And, I think, Netanyahu is feeling the pressure, of these -- this growing civilian death toll, clearly, because he referenced it, today, when he was asked about collective punishment. And he said, during World War II, did anyone tell the allies to stop bombing Germany because of this considered?

SENOR: Yes. The United States bombed Dresden. It firebombed Tokyo. I mean, it's war.

And look at what the United States, you know, President Biden has repeatedly compared what Israel's gone through, to what the U.S. did, in facing ISIS, and what the U.S. did, facing al Qaeda. I mean, I saw firsthand what the U.S. did, when it faced al Qaeda, in Iraq. And I didn't see firsthand. But obviously, followed closely what the U.S. did against ISIS.

There was concern about collateral damage. There was concern about civilian casualties. But it never got in the way of advancing the objectives, of defeating ISIS.

And so, the Israeli government is simply saying to President Biden, "You've called Hamas, ISIS. So, don't hold us to a different standard than you, the U.S. government, would hold, when you were prosecuting your war."

COLLINS: Yes. And the way the White House kind of argues it is we're talking about this behind-the-scenes, we're having these tough conversations, but they haven't even come close to, to criticizing Israel, publicly.

But I want to talk about what's happening in Israel, because we saw Netanyahu, yesterday, do something he never does, which is apologize.


COLLINS: And that was because of a statement that he put out, over the weekend, saying that essentially --

SENOR: Middle-of-the-night tweet.

COLLINS: Middle-of-the-night --

SENOR: A middle-of-the-night tweet.

COLLINS: Never seen those, here in the U.S. But it was basically blaming Israeli Military intelligence leaders, saying "I had no idea that this was coming."

SENOR: Right.

COLLINS: "But this was the assessment I was given."

SENOR: Yes. So, there's a couple of things going on here.

First of all, the policy of the Israeli government, since Israel left Gaza in 2005? Important to remember, Israel gets out of Gaza, in 2005. It says to the Palestinians, "It's yours." Hamas takes over in 2007.

There were multiple prime ministers, from that period, through to today, about four or five prime ministers, depending on when you start. But most of the policy, through that period, was shaped by Netanyahu, during one period that he was Prime Minister, beginning 2008-2009, and then when he picked back up now.

And the policy was a sort of practical coexistence, with Hamas, and learning to live with Hamas, even though there'll be Military skirmishes. That was the policy.

Israel was misled. I mean, they misled themselves, in a sense, not deliberately, but they were -- they were fooled, into believing that Hamas was serious about governing when Hamas was, in the meantime, building the capability, to launch a sort of genocidal attack, against southern Israel.

So, Netanyahu's policy, and the Israeli government's policy, across many prime ministers, was a failure.

Of course, there's leaking. It's politics. You know politics here. People leak against each other -- people, there's finger pointing. And, I think, Netanyahu was trying to shut that down, and say, "Look, no one ever warned me." But of course, there was an unbelievable public backlash, against that statement.


SENOR: Because people have their sons and daughters serving, right now.

COLLINS: Including Benny Gantz, putting out a statement, saying --

SENOR: Right. And so, he felt like he had to clean it up.

And you're right. This is a man, who rarely issues an apology. But I do think it was this first time, it was inappropriate. And the apology was necessary.

COLLINS: Given the split that we have seen, not always overtly playing out, in the top of the Israeli government, I mean, this wartime cabinet that's happening? If Israel's even successful, if they go into Gaza, and they do what they want, which is to eradicate Hamas' terrorist capabilities, Military capabilities, however they put it? I mean, is it clear what happens after that?

Because even if they are successful in that, that doesn't mean the threat goes away. I mean, Iran is still there. Hezbollah potentially is still there.

SENOR: Yes. So first, there's some thinking been put into what a post- Hamas Gaza looks like. But they haven't figured it out yet. They're talking to a lot of people.

There's been indirect conversations, with Abu Mazen, and the Palestinian Authority, who were pushed out of Gaza, in 2007. So, there's talk about maybe them coming back in. Of course, they say they don't want to come in, on the backs of Israeli tanks.

There's possibly Arab countries that could serve in some kind of trustee role, overseeing it, at least on an interim basis.

But this was sprung on Israel. They were totally surprised by it. So, the idea they have some plan of what exists in Gaza, after Hamas, is just unrealistic.

And to your point, victory is not just defeating Hamas, or eradicating Hamas. Israel has a genocidal campaign, on its southern border. And it has a genocidal campaign, on its northern border, Hezbollah.

So the Israeli public's attitude, right now, and this could change, is Israel needs to get out of this jam, where it's in this impossible situation, in the south.

And we better come up with a plan to up north, because Hezbollah has 10 times the capabilities of Hamas, 10 times the manpower. And they've actually got trained, in Syria, fighting last few years. So, they're actually better-trained than Hamas.

And then while all this is happening, Iran could just sneak under the wire, and announce it has a nuclear weapons capability.


So, the mood, in Israel, right now, and it's fluid, but the mood, right now, is "We've got a big problem. We've got like, threats creeping up on us, all over the place. And we need a holistic solution. We've got to completely change your security doctrine." This is not just about sweeping away Hamas, in the south.

And I think that is what's concerning the Biden administration, because they recognize, for Israel, to really deal with its security predicament. Israeli leaders are going to feel that they have to escalate broader than just Gaza.

COLLINS: Yes, that is their fear.

Dan Senor, the podcast is "Call Me Back." It is excellent. It's a must listen to, these days. Thank you.


COLLINS: All of this is coming as there has been a disturbing rise, in anti-Semitic incidents, here, at home, on college campuses, threats of violence, against Jewish students, something that the White House, tonight, is calling, "Alarming."

Plus, after thinking that their brother, and their son, had been killed, in that attack, on October 7th, in Israel, a family, here in the U.S., has now gotten word that he's been taken hostage, by Hamas. His brother is fighting, to bring him home. And he's here with us, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COLLINS: Tonight, Police, at Cornell University, are standing guard, over the campus' Jewish center, after threats, against Jewish students, have been made. Threats so violent and so graphic, that the White House, and the FBI, are now tracking them, and doing so closely.

Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, of course, the nation's highest-ranking Jewish elected official, addressed this matter, on the Senate floor, earlier today.



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): The incident targeting Cornell's Jewish community is utterly revolting. But unfortunately, it was not an isolated occurrence. Across the country, on campuses and public spaces, the ancient poison of anti-Semitism has found new life.


COLLINS: These incidents of hate are not just spiking, but also spreading, to other corners of the world.

CNN's Nick Watt takes a closer look.



NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A scuffle, at Tulane, after a pro-Palestinian demonstrator, tried to burn an Israeli flag.

At Cornell, Jews were threatened with death, and called pigs, in an online forum, Saturday, according to The Cornell Daily Sun.

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): No one should be afraid to walk from their dorm, or their dining hall, to a classroom.

WATT (voice-over): But that's the reality.

Another post read, "Going to shoot up 104 West." That's the address of the College Center for Jewish Living and the kosher dining hall.

MARTHA POLLACK, PRESIDENT, CORNELL UNIVERSITY: We will not tolerate anti-Semitism, on this campus.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There's no place for hate in America. And we condemn any anti-Semitic threat, or incident, in the strongest, in the strongest terms.

To the students at Cornell, and on campuses, across the country, we're tracking these threats closely.

WATT (voice-over): At George Washington University, "Glory To Our Martyrs" among the messages, projected on a library wall. JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO & National Director, ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Celebrating the individuals, who murdered, and massacred Israeli civilians.

WATT (voice-over): And it's not just college campuses.

Slurs, painted on the building, in Beverly Hills, where a Holocaust survivor and her daughter live.

KLARA FIRESTONE (ph), DAUGHTER OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR: Anytime someone hates you, it hurts.

WATT (voice-over): A Florida congressman posted Saturday, "The temple I belong to was targeted by five people wearing ski masks and shouting "Kill the Jews" as congregants left."

REP. JARED MOSKOWITZ (D-FL): This has gone into a horrible place that reminds the Jewish community, quite frankly, of the reason why Israel was created in the first place.

WATT (voice-over): Anti-Semitic incidents, in the U.S., are up nearly 400 percent, since the Hamas terror attacks, of October 7th, according to preliminary data, just released, from the ADL.

GREENBLATT: And let's keep in mind that prior to October 7th, we had already seen the highest number of anti-Jewish acts, in America, that the ADL had ever tracked, in the last, you know, 45 years.

MOSKOWITZ: Quite frankly, there's -- there're a very few corners of the world, right now, in which you won't see that sort of craziness. Different levels, of course, but it's everywhere.

WATT (voice-over): Today, in Paris, four Jewish educational institutes received bomb threats.

In China, normally strict state censors, appear to be allowing extremist anti-Semitic posts, online.


WATT (voice-over): And in Southern Russia, a mob, some carrying anti- Semitic signs, broke into an airport, Sunday, apparently, to meet a flight, from Tel Aviv.

MOSKOWITZ: That was an angry mob that broke through security, in an airport, looking for Jews. And I'm pretty sure they were not looking to have a robust foreign policy conversation.


WATT (voice-over): At least 10 people were injured, say local officials. The airport had to close. Flights, from Israel, are now being diverted elsewhere.


WATT: Now, after watching that video, one U.S. State Department official said, "It looked like a pogrom to me."

Today, back home, in the U.S., the White House announced measures, to try and keep Jewish students safe, on American college campuses.

This feels different. I was speaking to a Jewish friend of mine, just this afternoon, who said that in all of her years, she's never felt physically afraid. But now she does.


COLLINS: It's hard to hear that.

Nick Watt, thank you, for that great report.

And for more perspective on what we are seeing, I want to bring in Yair Rosenberg, a Jewish American journalist, for The Atlantic, who has written extensively, about the intersection of politics, of culture and religion.

I mean, I know that you're no stranger. You have to even confront this yourself, online. But what do you make of just this summary, of what we have been seeing play out, in the last few days and weeks?

YAIR ROSENBERG, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Yes. So, Kaitlan, the thing about this is that it's not surprising. It's shocking, but not surprising.

Because every time Israel engages, in any form of Military conflict, we see these sorts of spikes, around the world. Scholars have done some research. And you can find that this happens around the world, particularly in Europe, and also in the Middle East.

And it goes way back, this sort of instinct, that "I'm upset about what some Jews are doing somewhere in the world." It might be thousands of miles away. "And so, I'm going to take it on, on Jews nearby." But that instinct is very, very old, and much older than Israel, which was founded in 1948.


You can think of one of the oldest anti-Semitic libels, the notion that the Jews killed Jesus, which was something that allegedly happened, in the Middle East, but led to centuries of persecution of Jews, in places, like Europe. We're totally different people, far, far away.

And so, when people today firebomb a synagogue, in Berlin, which is a thing that's happened, right, where they sent bomb threats, to synagogue, in Paris, they're actually going along a very well-trodden path, of holding all Jews accountable, for what any other Jew might do, anywhere else in the world.

And this is how bigots and racists think of minority groups, right? We've seen that happening to, say, Muslims in North America. When people are upset about events, in the Middle East, then they go and attack a mosque, in Canada. This is the way that bigots construct minority groups.


ROSENBERG: And it's how they treat them.

COLLINS: But the way we're seeing it play out, on campuses, I mean, what happened at Cornell, and the fact that they had to close the kosher dining hall, is something that I think -- I was just speaking to people, yesterday, about this.

I mean, how do you make of how school leaders, how administrators, on these campuses, are handling this? Are they -- do you think they're even coming close to addressing it?

ROSENBERG: So, I think it's a bit of a mixed bag.

I think some school presidents have done a much better job of like being forthrightly, in front of this issue, and condemning, from starting with October 7th, and the actual massacre that Hamas perpetrated, which was the worst anti-Jewish violence since the Holocaust, and deserve to be condemned, right?

And then, up to these incidents, really understanding that when this stuff happens, on your campus, you need to address it.

And then, there are others, who sort of have, fumbled the football.

I think you saw, in Cornell, like they reinforced the building with security. And then, you had the Governor make a statement, with the President of the University, right? They really did everything they possibly could to make those Jewish students feel that they were welcomed, and that they would be protected, which is basically all you can do, in that situation.

And we really don't know yet really what happened there. It's an anonymous threat, on a forum that's not affiliated specifically with the University. So, it really could be anybody, who's just trying to mess with Jews. And these are -- this is a time, when people want to do that.

COLLINS: Yes. And it's working, though. It's unsettling students, their families, I mean, Jewish communities, all throughout the U.S.

ROSENBERG: I've certainly, personally had many conversations, with people, who normally would feel very secure, who are now looking over their shoulders, and are concerned, because they all know somebody, who's dealt with this or that.

I also, as a reporter, I hear stories that people might not want to go public with, but they'll tell me about. And I'll hear about them, on college campuses, and elsewhere, things that people have experienced, that are happening, as a result of events, thousands of miles away, in the Middle East, that people then take out, on Jews, here. COLLINS: Yes.

Yair, thank you, for coming in, to talk about this. Obviously, really important topic, tonight.

ROSENBERG: Thank you for having me.

COLLINS: Up ahead, we mentioned, they thought he was among those, who was killed, in Israel. But three weeks, after that Hamas attack, a family, living here in the U.S., just found out yesterday, their loved one survived. But he is being held hostage, by Hamas.

We're going to speak to Uriel (ph) Baruch's brother. That's next.





ROBERTSON: So, we're about a mile, outside of the Gaza Strip, right at the north of the Gaza Strip.


ROBERTSON: That's some very sustained heavy machine gunfire.


COLLINS: That was CNN's Nic Robertson, at the top of this hour, here. He is near the Gaza border. You could hear that sustained artillery fire, in the background there. Of course, it's about 3 AM, where Nic is. We're keeping a close eye on that tonight.

Also, this comes as the IDF says that the number of hostages that are being held, by Hamas, in Gaza, has grown. I mean, as families, who feared that their loved ones were dead, are now reeling from whiplash of heartbreak, loved ones like 35-year-old Uriel (ph) Baruch, the married father of two young children, he is now one of the 239 people that Israel says Hamas is holding in its captivity.

More than three weeks ago, his family, like the rest of us, witnessed the horror, of that attack, on the Nova music festival. Uriel (ph) was there. In the days that followed, his family believed that he had been killed.

But then came this weekend, and Word, from the Israelis that in fact, he had survived. That news was followed immediately by the realization that he is being held hostage, by Hamas, likely trapped in or around the same parts of Gaza that we now see being targeted by the Israelis.

Of course, we know that so many of these hostages, according to the U.S., according to Israel, they do believe are being held in those underground tunnels. His brother, Ohad Baruch joins me now, for his first interview.

And Ohad, I am so grateful that you're joining me, tonight.

I can't even imagine what it was like, to go from believing that your brother had been killed, to learning he's alive, but he's also a hostage.

OHAD BARUCH, BROTHER BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY HAMAS: So first, we never -- we never thought that he was killed. We just didn't know what exactly happened to him. And from the first video, we saw the situation. We just knew like he did not was missing (ph) anymore, like in a Saturday morning. And then, we know he was missing.

COLLINS: And so, what did the --

BARUCH: But really --

COLLINS: -- what did the Israeli government tell you, when they called you, over the weekend? How did they find out that he was being held hostage?

BARUCH: They didn't give us any information. They just said, they know that he's a hostage. And then, this is all for now, like I believe in the future, we will know more information.

COLLINS: And so, your brother was at this music festival, like so many people, I mean, just there to have an enjoyable day. I know that you believe I was -- were supposed to go, supposed to be there as well. Can you just tell us what your brother -- what your brother's like?

BARUCH: Yes. So, my brother is like the happiest person in the world. He loved the life -- loved to enjoy life, and loved to go to music festivals. We're going all over the world, every year, we're going to get, to many music festival.

And besides that he loved to enjoy life, he's a great father. He have two kids, and one is 5-years-old, one is like 7-years-old. And they're all his life. He loved them so much. He loved to play with them. He loved to take them out. He loved to travel with them. And they're really like everything for him. And it's, I can't imagine what is for him, like to be so many days without his kids.

COLLINS: Oh, and I'm sure they miss him.

BARUCH: It's the hardest feeling in the world (ph).

COLLINS: Yes, I'm sure they miss him so much as well.


I mean, when you and your family, when you see these other hostages, or -- or today, we saw the IDF soldier, who was rescued. We've seen other hostages be released, but just one or two or three at a time. I mean, what does your family make of all of this? BARUCH: It's given, I believe, it's given, to any of this family, a

big hope that they will see, like a -- some hostages was released. And the biggest point is to get everyone back home safe, any hostage, to have him back to his family -- to have them back to the family. This is the big point.

COLLINS: I'm sure you want him back so badly.

Can you -- did you speak to him at all, that day, of October 7th, as the attack was unfolding? I know it was really early in the morning, in Israel, as all of this was going on.

BARUCH: So, I was in New York, in this time. I was in New York. And we actually spoke, when he was on the way, to the festival. This is the last time we talk. We didn't talk in Saturday morning. But we talk like, couple hours before, when he was on the way to the festival. He got to the festival, around like a 12:30, at night.

COLLINS: And that was the last time you heard from him?

BARUCH: Yes, this is the last time we talk.

And after, we start to see like some videos and some news. So, I tried to text him. I tried to talk to him. But then, his phone already was like, without signal. All the area there was without signal, like after an hour or two like that they also (ph) stopped.

COLLINS: Ohad, I mean, we're all thinking of you and your family. I can't imagine what these three weeks have been like. And we're all hoping for the best. And I'm grateful you came on, and joined me, tonight, to talk about your brother, Uriel (ph). And we'll be obviously hoping and praying for the best for him as well. So thank you for your time.

BARUCH: Thank you so much.

And I have just one last thing to say that there are hostages, from more than 30 countries. And I really hope that all the countries going to work together, with all the -- all the big organization, in the world, and to have all of them back home safe. Doesn't matter what their nationality. They all need to, in the end of the day, they all need to back home safe, as soon as possible.


BARUCH: Let's bring all of them, home.

COLLINS: They're all loved ones to somebody.

Ohad, thank you so much, for your time.

BARUCH: Thank you so much, of including me.

COLLINS: And of course, as we look at what's happening, on the ground, in Gaza, there has been some aid that has been trickling in, really just a little bit. But thousands have now been looting United Nations warehouses, in a sign of the desperation, on the ground that is so clearly growing.

We're going to speak to a former State Department official, who resigned because he said that he believes the U.S. has a blind spot, for one side. Why he quit? That's next.



COLLINS: You're looking at a live picture, of Gaza, right there. Of course, it is the early morning hours.

What we are learning, tonight, is that heavy artillery and airstrikes have hit, in Gaza, tonight. You heard it earlier in Nic Robertson's live shot.

But we are told now it's near the Al-Quds hospital, in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Red Cross Society. They said, quote, "The building is trembling," and that those sheltering inside were experiencing fear and panic.

Of course, it's the middle of the night, right now, there. We are still trying to learn more about what happened here.

All of this is coming as humanitarian organizations are warning of what they say could be a catastrophe, in Gaza.

This is the Head of Surgery, at Gaza's largest hospital, telling CNN that doctors there are overwhelmed, with no space, to deal with the constant influx of wounded people that they are seeing. Dr. Sai'ida recorded, and sent us this video, showing rows of patients, who are lining both sides, of a hospital corridor. There's no room for them.

While the United States has been touting the arrival of aid, entering Gaza, surely, it is not nearly enough. Even the U.S. has acknowledged that.

And also, one former State Department staffer says that he believes the U.S. needs to take more responsibility, for the civilian casualties. Josh Paul worked in the Bureau within the State Department that's responsible for arm sales. He resigned, in recent days, over America's support of Israel's response, to the October 7th attacks. And he joins me now.

Josh, thank you, for being here, tonight.

I was reading your resignation letter. It's quite lengthy. And in it, you accuse the U.S. of basically having a blind spot and blind support, for Israel, of supporting the occupation, and rushing into short-sighted, destructive and unjust policies. That's what you say, in your letter.

Can you just kind of walk me through what led to this decision, for you, to resign?

JOSH PAUL, FORMER DIRECTOR, STATE DEPARTMENT BUREAU OF POLITICAL- MILITARY AFFAIRS: Yes, I've worked in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, for over 11 years. This is the Bureau, responsible for arms transfers, to partners, around the world.

I have never seen a circumstance before, in which there is a clear risk, of civilian casualties, resulting from U.S. arms transfers. And in fact, we are seeing that manifesting, on the ground, with thousands of Palestinian civilian casualties.

And yet, no questions asked, not even a debate, about whether or not we should provide the arms that are being used to, to commit to those, I believe, human rights violations, but certainly to kill those civilians.

So, faced with the massive scope, of the crisis, that we are seeing, in Gaza, the massive scope of civilian casualties, the fact that I also believe that the policy has not led to peace, for Israel, or for Palestinians? It has been a dead-end policy. And -- but absent the ability to have even a discussion, about that, before shipping arms, I felt I had to resign.

COLLINS: In your letter, you also say that you made moral compromises, more that you said you can recall that they have weighed heavily on you.

But I mean, as you were in this job, for 11 and 12 years or so, the American Military aid, I mean, obviously goes to countries that have not even really dubious human rights records, just bad ones. Saudi Arabia obviously comes to mind.

I mean, why was it this that crossed the line, I think, some people would ask?

PAUL: Well, that's an interesting question. And it goes to the question you posed at the top, where you say that U.S. has a blind spot towards Israel.


In all of those previous circumstances, there has been extensive debate, and discussion, within administrations, present and past, about what we should do. In fact, the first thing the Biden administration did, upon coming to office, was to suspend two pending arms sales, to the Saudi-led coalition.

Even under the previous administration, the Trump administration, there were lengthy discussions, and debates, and steps taken, to mitigate some of the worst potential harm, provided -- of U.S.- provided arms.

That has not been the case in the context of Israel, in recent weeks. On the contrary, there has been no debate. There has been a chilling effect, within the State Department, I am told, by colleagues, who remain there. So, I think it's clearly a different case here.

COLLINS: What are you being told, by colleagues, who are still there? PAUL: So, I have heard, from so many individuals, some of whom I knew, some of whom I had never heard of before, some of whom are juniors, some of whom are actually very senior, who have reached out, to say that they fully agree with, the position, I'm taking. And they are finding this incredibly difficult morally challenging.

But when they try to raise their concerns, within the system, they're told they can seek emotional counseling, or they can give their portfolio, to someone else, for a while. "But do not ask us about the policy." It has been directed from the top. That is what they are being told. And I think they are finding that extremely difficult.

COLLINS: Josh Paul, that's all the time we have. But thank you, for joining us, tonight, on this resignation.

PAUL: Thank you for having me.

COLLINS: Tonight, we're also tracking new developments, out of Maine, disturbing ones, after the State, of course, is still facing in the aftermath, of that mass shooting, that happened, last week.

What we're learning now, there were actually serious warning signs, about the suspected shooter that were known by authorities, weeks before the attack. But the public is just now learning about them. That's next.



COLLINS: Disturbing new reporting, tonight, on the alarming, but seemingly unheated, determination, that was made by the U.S. Army, about the suspected gunman, who killed 18 people, in Maine.

After a medical evaluation, in July, the Army declared that Robert Card, and I'm quoting their assessment now, "Should not have a weapon, handle ammunition, and not participate in live fire activity." Robert Card, of course, was an Army Reservist. He was also determined to be quote, "Non-deployable," over concerns about his well-being.

This comes, as CNN has also learned that in July, just three months ago, he spent 14 days, at a psychiatric hospital, after another soldier was concerned that he was going to snap, and commit a mass shooting.

Joining me now is former FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe.

Andrew, I mean, we were covering this all last week, with your assessment of this. I mean, what's clear is there were multiple warning signs. But despite that 18 people have still been killed.

Who failed here, do you think?

ANDREW MCCABE, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Kaitlan, it's really complicated, I think. There were many, many warning signs. And some people, in this story, tried to do the right thing. I think the bottom line is, when we look at the details, you can understand that our system of gun safety laws, is entirely insufficient, to prevent a tragedy, along these lines.

Let's talk just for a minute, about the fact that he was committed, or he attended, or went to a mental institution, last July, for two weeks. In our -- in federal law, you can be prohibited, from purchasing a firearm, if you've been adjudicated a mental defective. So, that means you were involuntarily committed by a court.

In this case, if he voluntarily went to an institution, for two weeks of treatment, that would not preclude him, from ever buying guns. And any guns that you had purchased before you'd been involuntary committed, you still get to keep those. So, there's all sorts of ways that our system is not really effectively geared, to stop people, who are in crisis, from acquiring or continuing to possess firearms.

COLLINS: Clearly, that is the case. I mean, just looking at this.

And I think what people are so taken aback by is, if the Army is saying, someone should not have a gun, they shouldn't have access to ammunition, they are non-deployable, because they're so worried about their mental health? I mean, how did they -- how does that message get lost, to where someone can go buy a gun, legally, as he did, just days before that -- days after that?

MCCABE: Yes, so it's a great question. So, that's basically the Army saying, "We're not comfortable with this person having a gun, when they are performing duties for us."

But that doesn't impact his, what he does as a private citizen, right? So, he goes back to his home, in Maine. He's never been adjudicated a mental defective. He can continue to arm himself and buy more guns.

Maine also does not have a Red Flag Law. They have what's known as a Yellow Flag Law, which is not as effective. It requires you to be already in custody, before a Police officer can basically require you, to be submitted to a mental examination. That never happened here either.

We had sheriffs, who received disturbing information, from the Army, went out to his house, in an effort to try to talk to him, to conduct some sort of an assessment. He refused to speak to them, which is his right. So, at that point, they really didn't have a lot of directions to go.

And I think we know enough now to know what happened here that more needs to be investigated. The Sheriff's Office, the authorities, in Maine, really need to peel this thing back, to understand whether opportunities were missed. But overall, the situation is very concerning.

COLLINS: Yes. I mean, it's so concerning.

And you mentioned those welfare checks. I'm glad you brought that up, because that was six weeks, before this shooting happened, September 15th and 16th. He didn't open the door, or they said he wasn't there.

I mean, when there is no follow-up, or if someone doesn't want to open the door, did they just leave it? Does law enforcement just say "Well, he didn't answer. Someone called. But that's as far as we can go?"

MCCABE: That's not ideal, obviously.

But let's remember that this is Maine. So, if they had a Red Flag Law, Police might be able to independently go to a judge, and say, "This person is dangerous. His weapons should be removed from him, for this period of time." But they don't have that.


They have a Yellow Flag Law, which means he has to literally be in custody, first. So, they would have had to have had some reason to arrest him, take him to jail, and then submit him to some sort of a mental evaluation. Obviously, that didn't happen here.

Whether or not they could have, or not, is a little bit questionable. As I said, we need to really dig down on this, a little deeper, to understand what sort of decisions were made. But the path, for law enforcement, in Maine, to react well to a situation like this, is not very clear.


Just so hard to hear this, thinking of those families, of those 18 people, who were killed.

Andrew McCabe, thank you, for your time, tonight.

MCCABE: Thanks.

COLLINS: Ahead, remembering a friend. Tonight, the cast of "Friends," is honoring their late co-star, Matthew Perry, after he died. Their first joint statement, on his death, that's next.





GELLER: Pivot.






COLLINS: I don't think anyone has ever moved a couch, since that scene, without thinking of that moment, on the show, "Friends."

And tonight, the cast, of that show, has broken their silence, about the death, of their co-star, Matthew Perry.

In a statement, to CNN, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc, have all written, quote, "We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty's family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world."

Thank you so much, for joining us, tonight.

"CNN NEWS NIGHT" with Abby Phillip, is up next.