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The Source with Kaitlan Collins
24 Hostages Released On Day One Of Israel-Hamas Truce; Biden: Unclear If Americans Among Next Hostages Freed; Hezbollah Launches Attacks On Israeli Military Base. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 24, 2023 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CO-HOST: Good evening. You're watching a special edition, of THE SOURCE, tonight. I'm Kaitlan Collins, live in Tel Aviv, alongside my colleague, Pamela Brown, who is in Washington.
We're getting new information tonight that Israel does have the list of hostages, who are set to be released, on Saturday, the second day of this temporary agreement that they have struck with Hamas.
Sources telling me that there are several children, on that list. Though, of course, what actually happens, remains to be seen. We saw it happen today. It was really a minute-by-minute basis.
But right now, we are just hours away, from what is expected to be day two of that expected four-day truce.
We know that the first group of hostages that were held by Hamas, are back in Israel, tonight. They're receiving medical treatment, after a journey that took them through Egypt, and then eventually here, back home.
That includes this children's hospital, near Tel Aviv, where eight hostages are being treated tonight, four children, their mothers and one grandmother. Doctors are telling us that they are in good condition. They are getting this initial medical assessment, underway.
In total, today, what we watched happen, 24 hostages, 13 Israelis, 10 Thai citizens, one Filipino, all evacuated, earlier today, from war- torn Gaza.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CO-HOST, THE SOURCE WITH KAITLAN COLLINS: And of those released today, none were American. But despite that President Biden says he is hopeful that at least a few will be freed, in the coming days.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We don't know when that will occur, but we're going to be -- expect it to occur. And we don't know what the list of all the hostages are and when they'll be released, but we know the numbers that are going to be released. So, it is my hope and expectation it will be soon.
REPORTER: And of the 10 Americans that are unaccounted for, do you know all of their conditions? Are they all alive?
BIDEN: We don't know all their conditions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: By the end of this four-day pause, in fighting, 50 hostages are expected to be freed. Also part of the deal, dozens of Palestinian prisoners will be released, and critical aid will flow into Gaza.
COLLINS: I want to bring in CNN's Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, Matthew Chance, who has been covering this entire story, closely today.
And what we're seeing, tonight, is this video, being put out by Hamas, obviously a propagator video, and we should note that there's all the caveats with this video. But what do we see in it, when it comes to how they were releasing these hostages?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CHIEF GLOBAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, a pretty extraordinary video actually. It's, first of all, there's no sound on it. And so, you just see the picture. They've taken the sound away.
But you see these masked Hamas gunmen, dressed in military fatigues, essentially escorting their prisoners, the hostages, Israelis and others, to the Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross, which is part of the handover, as the crowds around them, you can see them, sort of jeering and taking photographs, and things like that.
It's particularly disturbing, couple of shots disturbing. There's this one 9-year-old Ohad Munder, little boy, he's being held, very tightly hugged, sort of embraced this -- by a masked gunman, as he's taken to the ICRC. There's another shot as well of lots of -- elderly people were released today in this.
CHANCE: Hamas gunmen carrying one of these elderly women, in his arms, and putting them inside the truck.
I mean, it's particularly disturbing, because you got to remember, a lot of these people are from Nir Oz, which is a small kibbutz, in southern Israel, near to Gaza. And there were so many people there, killed -- 38 people were killed, their neighbors, their friends, their family members, 77 people were abducted.
So, there's been some, kind of released today. But there's lots more of their neighbors that are still inside Gaza, being held by those same people, essentially, who were escorting them out.
COLLINS: What I was so struck by is the crowd around them, in this video that it's not just the Hamas fighters, taking these hostages.
COLLINS: There's all these people, that you can see in the video, surrounding them.
CHANCE: Yes. I mean, look, I mean this -- they look very popular as well, like they're really, you know, it was one of the things that I think was making the hostages, as they were released, look so sort of traumatized.
They look stunned. They look very worried. There's lots of sort of people around them. We've been in situations, where there's so many sort of noisy crowds around you. This must have been absolutely terrifying for them.
CHANCE: And people who have already been massively traumatized, by what's happened to them, October 7th. And of course, the conditions, we don't really know much about this, but the conditions in which they've been kept, over the past 49 days, before they were released.
Some of them may have not even seen light. And one of the things the Israelis were telling us, earlier, is they had to give everybody eye tests, to make sure their eyes had not deteriorated, because they may have been deprived of light, for so many weeks.
COLLINS: Because they've been underground, potentially, for so long.
COLLINS: And this is just the beginning. We're expecting another list, if everything goes according to plan. Is tomorrow going to look like what we saw today, where we were just watching, with bated breath, these different stops?
CHANCE: Well, I think the hope is that it will go as it went today. Because when you think about it, the fact that there was a pause in hostilities, today, the fact that there was a release of the hostages, like the ones we just saw, the prisoners released, from Israeli jails, the delivery of aid, which is important as well, into Gaza? I mean, that went remarkably well.
There wasn't -- there weren't really many, many hiccups in that. And it played out. And the hostages came out, and they were alive. I think the hope is, is that that can be repeated again and again and again. And certainly, we expect to see it in the next few days.
But, I mean, obviously the offer is there. If they can release more hostages, the Israelis are willing to continue that pause. And so, I think that's something that many people are aiming for.
COLLINS: Yes. We'll wait to see what that looks like.
Matthew Chance, thank you. CHANCE: Thank you
COLLINS: Great reporting, today.
Of course, tonight, it's not just the families of the hostages that are rejoicing here. The families of those, who were killed, by Hamas, on October 7th, they're balancing the joy of seeing people, now go free, now be reunited, with their families, with also still processing, the murder of their loved ones, still very fresh in their minds.
One of those is Tami Raviv. Her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend were murdered, by Hamas, while they were inside their home, on that day, on October 7th.
Tami, I just want to say thank you, for joining me, tonight, given just the circumstances here. I can't imagine how hard it is to come on, on television, and talk about this.
I wonder what went through your mind as you're watching those 24 people, 13 Israeli hostages make it back home to Israel, today.
TAMI RAVIV, DAUGHTER NIV & HER BOYFRIEND NIREL MURDERED ON OCTOBER 7: Thank you for having me.
These pictures are, on one side, happy that we're getting these kids and elderly people back. And hopefully, they will all come back.
But after the 7th of October, I have -- my feeling is that I have a duty to tell what happened to my daughter, and to make sure that the world doesn't forget what had happened on that day.
COLLINS: I can promise you, the world won't forget.
Can you tell us what happened to your daughter, and her boyfriend? I know, they had just been -- they had only been living there, for a few months, and moving into this kibbutz.
But there was, that day it happened, there was a phone call between you. Can you just walk us through that?
RAVIV: Yes. 6:30 in the morning, we got a call that -- hysterical call that there's shooting from everywhere, and building, and silence, and she's terrified. She was under her bed, sheltering.
And I didn't know what to do. I said, just stay under the bed, shut the door. And we didn't have any idea as to what was going on. But at around 10, her boyfriend wrote a message that he's putting the phone down, and he said, please pray for us.
And my husband got in the car and drove down to try to assist them. But he was stopped by policemen, on the way. They told him that area (ph) became a warzone. And it was terrifying. We didn't know how to help.
And it was (ph) using terrible place, with hundreds of thousands of Hamas terrorists, and it was really unbearable feel. For three days, we tried to assist them, to get out of this chat room (ph). We tried to send people to their place, and everyone told us that they cannot reach the place because the war is actually beginning on -- on the home. So, we were hoping she's under the bed, and managing to keep herself, both of them actually.
And then, on Thursday (ph), someone came to the house, and said that there's no one there anymore, and the shelter was open, but actually no bodies were taking -- were taken out of them. So, we were hoping, incredibly, really, we were hoping that they were kidnapped. This is not something--
RAVIV: --a normal mother would hope. But for three days, we also had some hope that they were still alive.
But then, on the 13th of October, we were told, four men came to our door, and notified us that they were murdered. And they, a few hours later, they notified her boyfriend, the same, her boyfriend's parents, of course.
RAVIV: And today, we know what had happened. We know that the house was burnt. And they had no choice, but to try to escape through the window. There is actually a film that came out that someone managed to get, the situation. I didn't see it. But I was told what they've seen. And as soon as she jumped out of the window, and then he did, they were shot, and killed on the morning of Saturday.
COLLINS: Tami, I'm so sorry. And I know that days like today only revive that pain, even more than it's already there.
And I can promise you that everyone is keeping you, in our thoughts, as you're processing this grief, and just dealing with this unimaginable loss. And I'm so sorry. But well I just want to say thank you, for joining me, tonight, to talk about it. And we're still thinking of you.
Tami Raviv, thank you.
RAVIV: Thank you. Thank you. I hope that people do remember that day, because it's a day that the world shouldn't ever forget. Thank you for having me.
COLLINS: Absolutely. Tami, thank you so much.
Of course, there are so many families, like Tami's that are processing this today, seeing these hostages come home. The families of the hostages themselves are welcoming this, in a bittersweet way. We'll talk about who those hostages are, who was in this first group, and why. We're also, later, hoping to speak with a friend, of one of the hostages, who was released today. What this moment means for them? That's after a quick break.
COLLINS: You're watching a special edition, of THE SOURCE, tonight.
I'm Kaitlan Collins, live on the ground, here in Tel Aviv, as tonight, 24 hostages, who have lived through hell, for seven weeks, are now free, and they are back home.
But the majority of those, who were taken, on October 7th, are not. They are still in Gaza, tonight. And that includes Americans that we do believe are among those hostages.
President Biden spoke today, after the successful release, of this first group of hostages, and said he's hopeful that at least some U.S. citizens will be included, in the next group that's going to be released, which could be as soon as tomorrow.
CNN's Alex Marquardt is tracking all of this, from Washington.
Alex, we heard from President Biden. The question is whether or not they have any indication of whether or not Americans would actually be, in this next group that we expect to be released, on day two, of this temporary agreement?
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, if they do, they certainly aren't sharing it. And I think it's fair to say there was some disappointment, today, from the Administration, that none of these 10 American hostages were released.
I don't think there was necessarily an expectation because, as you know, the Israelis, or the rather, Hamas has been releasing the list of hostages, to the Israelis, every night, before the next day's release. And we understand that has happened, again tonight.
So, the question, right now, and this is one that we've been putting to the White House, is whether they know, if any Americans are going to be released, in this second wave, tomorrow.
Now, we have not gotten a response back, from the National Security Council, or from the White House.
What we have heard from President Biden, earlier today, was that he is hoping, and he is expecting that the three Americans, who fall within this category of women and children, the two women, and young Abigail Edan, will come out, in the next three days.
Of course, this is a planned four-day pause, if everything goes according to plan. The administration is encouraged by what they have seen today. It's a good first step that President Biden said earlier that it has
gone well so far. But, of course, they are waiting, with bated breath, to see these three Americans get released by Hamas.
Here's a little bit more of what he has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We also remember all those who are still being held and renew our commitment to work for their release as well. Two American women and one 4-year-old child, Abigail, who remains among those missing.
We also will not stop until we get these hostages brought home and an answer to their whereabouts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: So, Abigail Edan, for these almost 50 days that she has been held, by Hamas, in who knows what kind of awful conditions, she was just 3-years-old, and then she turned 4-years-old today. Today is her birthday.
She will hopefully emerge, from Gaza, in the next few days, at which point she will discover that her two parents were killed, in the October 7th massacre. And one can only imagine how that news will be delivered, and how she would receive it, and how she will then grow up, of course, without those parents.
But Kaitlan, we are really trying to get to get a sense of what Americans, if any, may be on this list that the Israelis do have, about who will be released tomorrow.
COLLINS: Yes, everyone's just thinking about Abigail's family. They just wanted her home, on her birthday.
Alex, the other thing that stood out to me, as President Biden was speaking, is he was asked does he trust Hamas. He said, absolutely he doesn't.
But he did sound hopeful, about whether or not what is supposed to be this 96-hour truce, in total, could turn into something longer-term. I mean, what's the anticipation, among U.S. officials, about whether or not that could actually happen?
MARQUARDT: I think they really are quite optimistic that it could extend beyond these 96 hours, and that we could see several more days of pause. This really is a quid pro quo. And that's the way that it was designed.
I mean, the Biden administration officials have said, there are incentives that are built into this deal. And essentially, the more hostages that Hamas releases, the longer the pause there is, the easier it will be, for aid to get into Gaza, the more Palestinian prisoners will be released from Israeli prisons. Obviously, those are, that's a real priority for Hamas.
It's, the onus really now is on Hamas, Kaitlan, to come up with more hostages. They were clear that they were able to identify these 50, in this initial group.
And they're going to be using these days of pauses, to go out and try to identify more, find others, who may be spread around elsewhere, in the Gaza Strip, who may be with other groups, other factions, may be with gangs, so that they can release them. There really is an incentive, for Hamas, to release more of these hostages.
I thought that question about whether he trusts Hamas was really interesting, because he said, "Of course, I don't trust Hamas." He said Hamas doesn't give a damn about the Palestinian people. And he said the only thing that Hamas responds to his pressure, which is interesting, because that has been the Israeli argument.
Israel was pressured, in the beginning of this war, to delay their effort, to delay their ground incursion, to give more time. But they thought that military pressure would get more hostages out.
And so, here he is, making the Israeli argument, when in actual fact the deal that the U.S. actually helped in a major way, to broker, is really built on incentives, and getting incentives to Hamas, so that they will release these more than 200 hostages.
COLLINS: Yes, that's a good point. You hear that from Israeli officials. They do believe that ground invasion going into Gaza is what led them to this point. Of course, the question is the leverage that Hamas continues to use, with these hostages.
Alex Marquardt, thank you.
Up next, children, their mothers, even their grandmothers, all being reunited with their families, tonight. We have more on the hostages, who are released, today, their stories, what comes next for them?
Right after a quick break, our special coverage continues.
COLLINS: Tonight, the President of the Philippines confirming that 33- year-old Filipino father of three was among those hostages released, by Hamas, today.
Jimmy Pacheco was the caretaker for 80-year-old Amitai Ben Zvi. On October 7th, Amitai was murdered, by Hamas, inside of his home, while Jimmy who was caring for him, was taken into Gaza.
Tonight, for the first time, we are seeing the pictures of Jimmy, back in Israel, being treated, tonight, at a hospital, south of Tel Aviv. Remarkable moments that you can see here.
And joining me now is Amitai's son, Avishay Ben Zvi.
And Avishay, I just want to say thank you, for joining us, tonight, because I can't even imagine the whirlwind of emotions that have been happening for you, and for your family, today.
What was the -- how is Jimmy doing, first off? What's his condition? What do you know about how he's doing?
AVISHAY BEN ZVI, FATHER'S CARETAKER AMONG HOSTAGES FREED FRIDAY: My brothers met with him. And as far as I know, he's OK. And I don't know, again, I don't have any specific details. I know -- you can see in the pictures that we send that he is fine. He was talking to his wife, tonight. And so, again, better than expected, I would say.
COLLINS: Yes, there's that picture. He's FaceTiming with his wife, and one of his daughters, and just having this chance.
Do you know that if he's going -- if he's expected to be able to go home, to see his family, in the Philippines?
BEN ZVI: Probably yes. Again, they're going to do some tests of -- medical tests and emotional tests and treatment. But yes, most likely he will go to meet his family, I guess. It's I'm just assuming. Again, I didn't talk with him.
COLLINS: What was your reaction, when you found out that Jimmy was going to be part of this group, today, that was getting released?
BEN ZVI: So, for us, it actually came as a surprise, because we knew that there were 13 being released, but they were all Israelis with the Israeli ID. We knew that there were some guys from Thailand.
We saw his picture, in the videos, this morning. And then, among the brothers, we talked about it. We verified with his wife later. So, we were very, very happy obviously, to see. But it was a surprise to us. We didn't know in advance.
COLLINS: Yes. I think it was a surprise to everyone.
And just, again, I want everyone to know the relationship that your dad and Jimmy had.
I mean, that Day, on October 7th, when Hamas came into the kibbutz, Jimmy was with your dad. He was the one messaging with your sister, I believe, about what was going on, and initially saying that they were OK. They were in the shelter and then all of a sudden, saying that the terrorists had broken into the home.
BEN ZVI: Yes. And both my brother and sister were in touch with him, on WhatsApp, the morning of the attack. And my sister is in California. And one of my brothers is in Israel. Both of them were chatting in WhatsApp.
[21:30:00] At first, Jimmy told everyone that they got to the safe room, on time, even sent us a picture, of my father, lying on the bed, in the safe room, watching TV. And my brother and sister asked him to hold the door, hold them at my door, obviously.
Later, he sent another picture of Hamas, in the house, and that he was afraid, OK? And I think, at some point, we just, they just couldn't hear any more like, replies for their messages. So that's how we -- at least on the WhatsApp, that's how it ended.
And a few hours later, we got a message that he was able to send, to one of his relatives that told us that my father was shot, and that he was kidnapped. And a few hours, even later that day, we saw a short video of him, in Gaza, like with hands cuffed, being kidnapped.
COLLINS: The story, I mean, is just -- the fact that this is someone, who had worked with your dad, for several years? There were all these photos that your sister had posted, of the two of them together. You can just see the close relationship that they had. And now, the fact that he's been released today, I mean, it must be a bittersweet moment for you, I imagine.
BEN ZVI: It's a mix. Again, we are very, very excited about the releases. But obviously, that's only the beginning.
We are part of Kibbutz Nir Oz community, as you probably know. And in this community, it's there are many more still waiting to be released. And we know all of them. I grew up in this kibbutz. I was there until I was 25. I know all the people, who are either murdered or kidnapped.
And this is just the beginning. We have to wait until each and every one of them will be released. That's how it should go. So, it's a mixed reaction. We are very excited. We are very happy for Jimmy. But we are very much concerned about the rest of the group that is still there.
COLLINS: Yes. I mean, 12 of the 13 that were released today, the Israeli hostages were from Nir Oz. Obviously, Nir Oz suffered some of the worst damage that day.
And so many of them are still there.
BEN ZVI: Right.
COLLINS: I mean, what goes through your mind, when you think about how many of your dad's neighbors, were not only murdered that day, alongside your father, but also that were kidnapped into Gaza?
BEN ZVI: We are devastated, obviously, again, and we are angry, and about the state. There was almost no gunshots, in the kibbutz, while the terrorists were there inside. They could do whatever they wanted. You could see it in other videos.
Again, when the army came to try to help, it was too late. The terrorists were already gone. They were able to take their bodies with them. It was so late. So yes, we are still very much angry, about the reality, about the fact that it was not treated the way it should have been.
But again, we are waiting for them to be released. That's how we want it. It's the duty of the country, of the state, OK, Israel, to release each and every one of them.
COLLINS: Jimmy is someone, who spent your dad's final moments with him.
What do you want people to know about your dad, tonight?
BEN ZVI: My dad was -- he spent about 15 (ph) years, in the kibbutz, OK? This is the way he chose to live his life. He was a truck driver, OK? He drove a truck, all over Israel. By the way, he was an American citizen also, OK? He was born in the States.
BEN ZVI: His parents were Americans. He even voted in the elections, in 2016, in here.
And my dad was a person of peace. Again, I don't think -- he was very quiet. He didn't talk much. He was also, he had Parkinson's disease. And so, his later days, he couldn't talk and communicate very much. But he was -- he understood everything, OK, it's?
So we, obviously again, we are very sad, for what happened to him. We are very concerned about the others, at this time.
COLLINS: Yes. And we're also grateful that Jimmy is home tonight. To see these remarkable images of him, in a hospital, in Israel, tonight, after what he's been through.
Avishay Ben Zvi, thank you, for joining me, to talk about Jimmy, and about your dad, tonight.
BEN ZVI: Thank you.
COLLINS: Up next, what happens after this four-day truce, these 96 hours, if it holds? There's a question. Does it keep going? Could we see more hostages released? That is a pertinent question here, for so many of these families. More on that, when we're back in just a moment.
COLLINS: Israel's Chief Nurse said there wasn't a dry eye, in the room, as hostages were reunited, with their families, today.
The 13 Israeli hostages released, all women and children, who have been held captive, for nearly seven weeks. We're learning more about just who these people are. A lot of them come from Kibbutz Nir Oz, when we're just speaking with the family of Amitai, who was killed there. The list today, and that was released from Hamas today, includes 9-
year-old Ohad Munder, who celebrated his birthday, last month, in captivity. He, his grandmother, and his mother, all were released. His grandfather though is still believed to being held, in Gaza, tonight.
Daniel Aloni and her 5-year-old daughter, Amelia, are also free. Four of their family members also remain in captivity, tonight.
85-year-old Yafa Adar lived on Nir Oz kibbutz -- the kibbutz Nir Oz, along with 11 other of the hostages, who were released.
Margalit Moses, 77-year-old mother of three, a grandmother of 10, she's home, tonight.
Also, 79-year-old Channa (ph) Peri, one of her children was murdered on October 7th. Another tonight, is still being held by Hamas.
Doron Katz Asher, along with her two daughters, Aviv and Raz, also back in Israel, this evening.
76-year-old Chana (ph) Katzir, and 72-year-old Adina Moshe, also among those who have been released, tonight.
Obviously, you can see what a bittersweet moment this is, for so many of these families.
Joining me now, Dan Senor. He's a former foreign policy adviser, in the George W. Bush administration. Also, the Co-author of the timely book, "The Genius of Israel" that, just came out last month.
Dan, first of all, let me just get your reaction, to what we've seen today, these hostages, not just the 13 Israeli hostages, also the 11 others, the Thai nationals, the Filipino that have all been released today. What's your reaction to what you saw?
DAN SENOR, FORMER WHITE HOUSE FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER, CO-AUTHOR, "THE GENIUS OF ISRAEL": My reaction, Kaitlan is this has been a country that's been in trauma, of people that's been in trauma, since October 7th, and a country that's been at war. And I think the war and the task at hand, has kind of muted, for many people, many Israelis, just the trauma it is going through.
And I feel like the last few hours, there's obviously been a pause, in the war-fighting, and the real trauma of what Israel is dealing with, in the some 50 days, since October 7th, and will be dealing with, for an extremely long time, is really settling in, in ways that I think is, for those of us not in Israel, day to day, but are in touch with Israelis, are sometimes, it's sometimes hard to imagine.
But just to put it in numerical context. There's for every, the ratio of about for every one Israeli, there's about 35 Americans. So, this would be equivalent, over the next few days, in terms of the hostages being released, to 1,750 Americans, just on a proportional basis, being released. I mean, just imagine that. 1,750 Americans being released, most of them as we're seeing are women, elderly women and children.
And while that's happening, Israelis know that there are still the equivalent in proportional terms to over four -- to be like over 40,000 Americans, still being held hostage. I mean, for you and me that would be like we would -- everyone we know would know someone connected to it.
And I think that's what Israelis are experiencing now, as these people are coming home, the reality of this trauma, the trauma that will be permeating Israeli society, in ways that connect almost every single Israeli, either directly or one degree of separation removed, is just, it's like nothing Israel has ever experienced.
COLLINS: Yes. And just to think of the more than 200 that are still being held in Gaza, by Hamas. I mean, as this pause is going on, though, as we've seen, it is so quiet here, in Tel Aviv. Typically, the last time I was here, you could hear the activity that was happening, in the south, in Gaza.
It's not a stretch that international pressure is going to intensify on Israel, and also by extension, the U.S., to potentially keep this pause going, for longer than just the 96 hours. I wonder how you see that potentially playing out.
SENOR: I've gone back and forth quite a bit, on this particular point, because sort of the opportunity and the danger, and the promise and the peril for Israel, is that after these four days? Hamas, you know, Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, will basically say, "OK, 10 more hostages, another day of ceasefire. 10 more -- one more hostage, another day of ceasefire. A few more hostages, a week of ceasefire."
I mean, in a sense, Sinwar controls the clock now, because he started to demonstrate that with handing over hostages, he buys time.
I think, with you being over there, you're sensing there, despite this desire, this urgency, to get hostages back, there's also an urgency to eradicate Hamas, to remove this threat, from the south.
And I just think that even though there will be pressure on Israel, and opportunities for Israel, to pause, I can -- like extend the pause, to almost have like a slow-walk, into a semi-permanent ceasefire, I don't think that's on the table.
I think despite the pressure, the mindset in Israel, the political consensus, in Israel, from left to right? Go all the way to the left, the Israeli political left, the Israeli Labor Party, Michaeli, who leads the Labour Party, where she is, and you move all the way to the right? There's basically not that much difference between the various players, and various parties, across the political spectrum, as it relates to a ceasefire, as it relates to responding to the international pressure, dealing with a possible ceasefire.
And that, look, there's differences on some of the rhetoric, that's being used by, some on the left are critical, some on the right. But in terms of whether or not there should be a ceasefire, where Israel should transition slowly, into a ceasefire, I think there's no appetite, for that, anywhere on the political spectrum.
And I think that reflects the broad Israeli consensus that they really let their guard down, in the south, with, in the relationship with Hamas. And that they will never let that happen again. I'm not saying they won't ever let that happen again. But the mindset is they have to do everything, in their control, to never let that happen again.
SENOR: And that's why their attitude is, international pressure be damned.
COLLINS: So, we heard from Prime Minister Netanyahu, tonight, saying that one of the war goals is to get all the hostages home. That is something they want to happen. The other one is what you just mentioned there, eradicating Hamas, not diminishing it, not demeaning it, eradicating it. Can both of those things be achieved, though, realistically?
SENOR: This is a -- it's a great question. It's one I've been wrestling with, since October 7th, because the Israelis say that. They say we have twin goals, which is eradicate Hamas, and get the hostages back.
And sometimes, some members of the War Cabinet, actually say the primary goal is getting the hostages back. Gadi Eizenkot, who's a former IDF Chief of Staff, who's a member of the War Council, has said, apparently in private meetings, the goal is to get the hostages back, as though that the war-fighting, the eradication of Hamas is subordinated. But by and large, the attitude is, both goals.
Now, what I've been wrestling with is do those two goals conflict with one another or reinforce one another? I have believed that they conflict with one another. That if your sole goal is to eradicate Hamas, you have to do that differently, when you know that hostages hang in the balance.
It's just the nature of the war-fighting. The operational decisions you make are different, when you know there are hostages in those tunnels, that you are trying to get home, or there's a possibility for negotiating to get them home.
I think one bright spot, of the last couple weeks, from Israel's perspective, is there may be a case to be made that the two goals reinforce one another.
That is to say that that Sinwar and Deif, the two leaders of Hamas, in Gaza, would never have accepted this deal, in the early days of the war-fighting. And it's purely of a function -- it's a purely a result of how successful the IDF has been, at least in north Gaza, that the leadership of Hamas, in Gaza, feels under so much pressure, that they were willing to start negotiating this aggressively.
So, there is a case to be made. I've been skeptical of this case. But I must say the last few days have demonstrated perhaps that there's a case to be made, that the success of the Israeli war-fighting, and the pursuit of Hamas, has actually delivered results, on the hostage front that they otherwise may not have.
COLLINS: Yes, we'll see what happens there. Obviously, time will tell on that front.
Dan Senor, as always, thank you.
SENOR: Thanks, Kaitlan.
COLLINS: It may be quiet, in Gaza, tonight. But Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets, at a base, in northern Israel, just yesterday.
There are major questions, tonight, about how that could complicate efforts to free more hostages, what that means, given they're not party to this temporary truce that is underway. We'll discuss it with our experts, right after this.
BROWN: Well, the truce that led to some two dozen hostages, returning to Israel, is between the IDF and Hamas.
But just yesterday, Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets, at a base, in northern Israel.
I'm joined now by retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, Cedric Leighton.
So, give us some perspective on this, if you would, Colonel. Hezbollah launched nine other attacks, on Israeli military posts, yesterday. How does the truce, between Israel and Hamas, fit into the broader regional picture here?
CEDRIC LEIGHTON, U.S. AIR FORCE COLONEL (RET.): Yes, Pam, that's a very good question.
Because Hezbollah is not a party, as you mentioned, to this truce, between Hamas and Israel. So, Hezbollah is kind of watching what's going on here. They're looking at this, from the standpoint of "Do I enter Israel at this point? Do I attack Israel? Or do I put the kettle on a low boil, just to keep the Israelis occupied?" And that seems to be what they're doing.
They're trying to in essence, foment a degree of tension in the north, so that Israel is at least paying attention to them, and to some extent, even a little bit distracted, from a military standpoint.
We, in the press, are covering it, covering the hostage situation. We're covering the south quite well. But in the north, the forces from Hezbollah are kind of poised to go in, and perhaps do a little bit of damage, in the north, while we're focused on other things.
BROWN: And Hezbollah's leader met with Iran's Foreign Minister, yesterday. What does that signal to you?
LEIGHTON: Well, they're clearly coordinating. And it's no secret that Hezbollah is part of, in essence, the Iranian axis of influence, throughout the Middle East.
Iran has influence over Hezbollah, a great deal of influence over Hezbollah, and some influence also, over Hamas. Plus, they work with Syria. And there is a big relationship, with some of the paramilitary forces, in Iraq.
So, Iran has a lot of tentacles, out, in the rest of the Middle East. And they are in essence, looking to foment just enough conflict, in these areas, so that they keep Israel occupied, because they -- their stated goal is to eliminate the Jewish state.
Plus, they also want to keep America occupied. They want to make sure that when we are engaged, that it's dangerous for us, that we put our forces at risk. And that's why you're seeing a lot of attacks, on American bases, in both Iraq and in Syria.
And that's the kind of thing that the Iranians, really like to do, because they want to keep us somewhat engaged. But they don't want us to get so engaged that there's actually a broad shooting, where at least at the moment, that's the way they're looking at it, right now.
BROWN: All right, Colonel Cedric Leighton, thank you so much.
LEIGHTON: You bet, Pam.
BROWN: We are just hours away from the next expected release of hostages. Israel has that list of names. And we'll have the very latest on that.
Plus, more on how today's newly-freed former hostages are doing.
COLLINS: Good evening. And welcome to a special edition of THE SOURCE. I'm Kaitlan Collins, live in Tel Aviv, tonight, alongside my colleague, Pamela Brown, in Washington.
New tonight, Israel now has the list of hostages, who are supposed to be released, on Saturday. Right now, we don't know the details yet. But we are hearing from sources that are telling me, several children are on that list. It's all expected to start, again, just hours from now, as part of this expected four-day truce.
One big question that we still don't have an answer to yet, and we have not heard anything from the White House on, is whether or not Americans will be included, in this next group.
As for today's 24 freed hostages, they are back on Israeli soil, tonight, receiving medical treatment, being reunited, with their families.