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The Source with Kaitlan Collins
Henry Kissinger Has Died At Age 100; Less Than Three Hours Before Israel-Hamas Truce Expires; Israel Says It's Assessing Hamas Claim That Youngest Hostage, a 10-Month-Old Boy, And Family Members Are No Longer Alive. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 29, 2023 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN Breaking News.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: Good evening. This is THE SOURCE. I'm Kaitlan Collins, live from Tel Aviv, tonight. And we begin with two major breaking stories, at this hour.
Right now, we are three hours away, from a fragile truce, between Israel and Hamas, potentially coming to an end. Right now, there's a very real possibility that it may not be extended.
But first tonight, we start with this, which we have just confirmed moments ago, former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, has died. That's according to his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates. He was 100-years-old. A statement says that he passed away, at his home today, in Connecticut.
Kissinger, of course, was Secretary of State, under Presidents Nixon and Ford, the only person to ever serve as the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, at the same time.
More now on his legacy.
RICHARD NIXON, 37TH U.S. PRESIDENT: I know all of you will want to hear from the new Secretary of State.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Henry Kissinger never really needed an introduction, on the world stage, again. Kissinger, the most famous statesman, of the last half of the 20th Century, celebrated and controversial.
HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I'm not going to make any comment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): As Richard Nixon's National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State, the diplomat wielded enormous power and influence, so trusted that it was Kissinger, who went to China, on a secret mission, to explore a historic opening of U.S. relations, with Communist China.
KISSINGER: Whoever went would be alone in Beijing with no communication. And therefore, if he didn't know Nixon's mind, he might do foolish things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Initially, there were fears the U.S.- China Ping-Pong exchange match would affect the high stakes political gambit.
KISSINGER: Every once in a while something happens in diplomacy, which transcends the drafting of cables.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Vietnam, casualties mounted, as the Vietnamese gained territory. Nixon and an undiplomatic Kissinger thought more bombing of the North would help.
KISSINGER: I would then recommend that we start bombing the bejeezus out of them within 48 hours.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Kissinger approved secret bombings of North Vietnamese units, in Cambodia, without congressional approval. He would say, sometimes, statesmen have to choose among evils, moral compromises, in messy conflicts.
Kissinger and his Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Tho, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, for their role, in negotiating a ceasefire.
KISSINGER: I have to say, I have never dealt with a group of people, as treacherous as the North Vietnamese leadership.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Kissinger insisted trouble on the home-front hurt chances to succeed in Vietnam.
KISSINGER: We lost the war, because we were divided, and also because we were too uncertain about what we wanted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Kissinger's support, for a coup, in Chile, and pro-U.S. military strongmen, in other parts of the world, drew criticism.
(PROTESTERS SHOUTING "ARREST HENRY KISSINGER FOR WAR CRIMES")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Kissinger's legacy would be contested, decades later, when he testified, in Congress, at the age of 91.
Kissinger grew up in Germany, with war clouds swirling. His family fled when he was 15.
KISSINGER: About half of the people I went to school with, and about 13 members of my own family died, in concentration camps.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): A Jewish Secretary of State who would later listen to his President, criticize, American Jewish leaders.
NIXON: It's about goddamn time that the Jew in America realizes he's an American first and a Jew second. KISSINGER: Well, I couldn't agree more.
I only heard anti-Semitic comments when some Jewish group would attack him for something he had done.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): In the Middle East, Kissinger performed what came to be known as shuttle diplomacy, to separate Israeli and Arab forces, setting the stage for future peace accords.
When Nixon resigned, as President, Kissinger stayed on as Gerald Ford's Secretary of State. His opinion still widely sought after, by governments and businesses, after leaving public office.
KISSINGER: You want to leave your country better off than you found it. And there's nothing in private life you can do that's as interesting and as fulfilling.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): There was one job Kissinger said he never got to do in his life, a sports announcer.
KISSINGER: Derek who?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): However, the globe-trotting diplomat did star in some of history's biggest games.
COLLINS: For more now, on Henry Kissinger's legacy.
For those just tuning in, we have now confirmed Henry Kissinger has died at the age of 100.
I want to bring in CNN Presidential Historian, Tim Naftali, who joins me now, on the phone.
Tim, thank you, for hopping on the phone, for this breaking news.
I mean, just as we start here, and as we look at this moment, can you just put his long legacy in shaping foreign affairs into perspective?
ON THE PHONE: TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, Henry Kissinger was a towering figure, in U.S. foreign relations, both admired and hated. He was the most consequential foreign policy-maker of the superpower era.
He didn't do it alone. He and Richard Nixon were a powerful team. But Kissinger provided a genius, or multi-level -- playing multi-level diplomatic chess, which allowed the U.S. government, and the Nixon administration, to implement Nixon's policies, the most famous of which, of course, was the opening to China.
Henry Kissinger began his career, as a professor, as an academic at Harvard, thinking about U.S. foreign policy, in particular, thinking about nuclear weapons and their utility, in the struggle with the Soviet Union.
He sought power himself. He initially was an adviser to the Kennedy administration. When he didn't feel that he was listened to, he offered himself to Nelson Rockefeller, who was the Republican, Governor of New York. He later provided some assistance, to the Johnson administration.
But found his home, ultimately, as the implementer, and chief adviser to Richard Nixon. And it is the Nixon-Kissinger team that would be the most consequential of any team, in U.S. foreign policy, until the end of the Cold War.
After he left Washington, he remained significant, not only as a conduit, between American foreign policy leaders, and leaders that Kissinger had known. But Kissinger was the man to see if you wanted to meet the latest American president.
So Richard -- so Kissinger was not only significant in shaping the policies of one presidency, as both a National Security Advisor, then a Secretary of State, then both. But he would become a signal figure, an important figure, for those trying to understand U.S. foreign policy for decades.
Indeed, after his 100th birthday, Henry Kissinger was an honored guest in China. And for the Chinese, Kissinger was a symbol of a relationship, with the United States that, frankly, doesn't really exist anymore.
Kissinger was also extremely controversial, because he and Nixon had undertaken extremely controversial policies, the Christmas bombing, and at the overturning of the Allende government in Chile.
COLLINS: And you know what I'm thinking about just, Tim, being here on the ground, in Tel Aviv, as this news is breaking, is his role, here in the Middle East, I mean, and the efforts that he undertook to forge a peace, after the 1973 War, and what that looked like.
And just can you talk about that influence that he had?
ON THE PHONE: NAFTALI: Right.
COLLINS: Particularly on this region, in that moment?
ON THE PHONE: NAFTALI: Well, he had enormous influence, first of all, because the President of the United States was largely incapacitated, during the Yom Kippur War.
Nixon was, was dealing with the acceleration of the Watergate scandal, and the start of the impeachment inquiry. And for all intents and purposes, Richard -- Henry Kissinger was directing U.S. foreign policy during the Yom Kippur crisis.
After the crisis, Kissinger, with Nixon's approval, of course, but Kissinger undertook the most complicated set of negotiations, to establish a lasting ceasefire, on both the northern border with Syria, and the border with Egypt, in the south. That took enormous effort, and was a real diplomatic achievement, on the part of Henry Kissinger. So, he is remembered as a very significant figure, in the history of the Middle East.
And let's not also forget that he undertook very strenuous negotiations, with the Vietnamese, the North Vietnamese, which led to the end of the American dimension, of the Vietnam Civil War. So, Henry Kissinger was the most significant diplomatist of the Cold War, without exception.
COLLINS: Tim, I want you to stand by, because I want you to continue putting this legacy in perspective.
But we also have Susan Glasser of -- Staff Writer of The New Yorker.
Susan, I mean, just looking at putting his legacy in perspective, with how it's viewed now? I mean, this is someone, who was revered and also reviled. I mean, Secretary of State, the only person to ever serve as the White House National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.
I mean, how do you put his legacy in perspective to how people view it now, in 2023?
ON THE PHONE: SUSAN GLASSER, STAFF WRITER, THE NEW YORKER: Well, Kaitlan, thank you so much.
I mean, I would agree with you that he was a divisive figure in life, as he will now be in death, inevitably. For many liberals, really for multiple generations, Kissinger's what they would say, the evidence of his war crimes, and advising Richard Nixon, and in the secret bombing of Cambodia, those things loom large.
But equally so were the diplomatic achievements you were just speaking about. His enormous foreign policy vision and big brain shaped the later decades of the Cold War, in a way that we are still dealing with the legacy of it.
The Middle East. He basically created the notion of shuttle diplomacy and the peace process. He understood in many ways that it was the process itself that could bring a form of stability to the Middle East.
His opening with Nixon to China is something that has continued to shape the contours of U.S. policy towards China. You mentioned he just went to China, not that long ago, after turning 100-years-old, and was continually a voice, for engagement, between great powers, including the United States, Russia and China, despite the tensions of recent years.
COLLINS: Yes. I mean, that shuttle diplomacy helping stabilize relations, between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
The other thing, I think, Susan, that sticks out is obviously, his legacy, and his influence, continued to endure, long after he was not formally in office. I mean, the Bush administration consulted him. He spent a lot of time, at the White House, informally giving almost every president advice, since then.
ON THE PHONE: GLASSER: Well, that's exactly right, Kaitlan. He was -- continued to be advising. And, by the way, Democrats, many Democrats as well as Republicans, were very interested, at least privately, to hear his counsel, despite the view of many, about sort of his public- facing. He was speaking with Hillary Clinton.
He had the current Secretary of State Tony Blinken, I believe, attended his 100th birthday party celebration, in New York, earlier this year.
Henry Kissinger, in his late 90s, was still eager to be on the inside. He went and spoke with Donald Trump, when Trump was president.
Kissinger was someone for whom access was something he never gave up on. He always wanted to be in the thick of things.
COLLINS: Susan Glasser, standby.
I want to bring in former U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, who joins me now, who wrote the book, on Kissinger, "Master of the Game."
And thank you, Ambassador, for being here.
ON THE PHONE: MARTIN INDYK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: Thank you.
COLLINS: I mean, what do you make of the fact that, just the fact this is happening, in this moment, thinking about his relationship that he had, with Golda Meir, what -- his influence in the region after the 1973 War? What's your reaction to learning of his death tonight?
ON THE PHONE: INDYK: Well, there's a real echo, down 50 years from that time, in Yom Kippur, 1973, when Henry Kissinger, surprised by the war, intervened actively, and managed to negotiate a ceasefire after 16 days of fighting, and began a process of negotiating territory, for peace, which laid the foundations, not only for the American-led peace process, but essentially for American domination, in the Middle East, and exclusion of the Soviet Union, from that area.
He negotiated three agreements, two between Israel and Egypt, one between Israel and Syria. Two between Israel, and Egypt essentially took Egypt, out of the conflict with Israel, which made it impossible for any other Arab state to contemplate, going to war with Israel.
And the Israel-Syria disengagement agreement still exists today, and that asked to keep the peace on the Golan Heights. And something he said to me, when I was writing the book is, he was not disappointed that the fact that 50 years later, that agreement still held.
He was -- when I wrote the book "Master of the Game" of diplomacy. And even though his great acts of statesmanship, in terms of big time (ph) with the Soviet Union and arms control, and of course, he opened China, are remembered, as well as his other controversial involvement in Vietnam, Laos, Chile and other places.
The place where I think he may did the most good was in the Middle East, where he laid the foundations for peace, between Israel and the Arab states. He never managed to deal with the Palestinian problem. They were, in his mind (ph) nuisance, in those days, a terrorist organization, not a state. And Kissinger always dealt with state. He didn't have time for non-state actors.
But I think there's a lot that we can learn from the way that he dealt successfully, with the Arabs and Israelis, for the way that the United States can deal, with the horrendous conflict, between the Israelis and Palestinians, we face today.
COLLINS: What are those lessons, do you think? What would he think those lessons are, for the moment that we're in right now?
ON THE PHONE: INDYK: Well the first, and actually sought in Ukraine as well, is that you should always try to end the fighting as quickly as possible. That's controversial, in this case, because of the nature of Hamas. But that was his first instinct.
Second, was to try to get a negotiation going, but to be very careful about being too ambitious. I think his advice to Joe Biden today would be it's fine to talk about a two-state solution. But it's a big mistake to try to achieve it, in these circumstances. We cannot get there from here.
And so, his approach, which marked a lot of the way that he approached diplomacy, was incremental. He was conservative. He was a Republican. And he was conservative. And his approach was deeply skeptical of the pursuit of peace, because he feared that it would lead to war, because of the paradox of this.
Instead, he felt that it was important to try to ameliorate conflict, do his best to get the sides their interest, their animosity towards each other, to find ways to live with each other. And then, over time, eventually, it might be possible to reach the final peace agreement, end of conflict agreement.
But in the meantime, what was important was to ensure a balance of power, in favor of those, who sought to maintain order, stability, and give time, for everyone, to come to terms with each other.
For that to work, there had to be what he referred to as a modicum of justice, for all sides to feel that they were getting something out of this tried-out process of coming to terms with each other.
So, if you think about it today, Israelis and Palestinians are so frapper (ph) so mired in conflict, his advice would be, try to find a way to end the conflict, and begin small steps, towards reconciliation, with the ultimate goal of a two-state solution, but with very real understanding that it's going to take a long time, to get there from here.
COLLINS: Certainly that it's quite a legacy to reflect on, especially in this moment. Former ambassador, Martin Indyk, thank you, for that. [21:20:00]
Of course, we are following this news closely. A former Secretary of State, who shaped world affairs, certainly in the region that we're in, right now, has now died. Henry Kissinger, at age 100. We'll have more on that ahead.
Also, our major breaking story that we are following here, on the ground, in Tel Aviv. We are less than three hours away, from that truce deal, between Israel and Hamas, expiring. Right now, there is no extension in sight. We are waiting to see what is happening, in these critical talks, on the ground, right now. That's in a moment.
COLLINS: We're following our other major story, right now, as negotiations are still ongoing, to see what is going to happen, with this temporary truce, between Israel and Hamas. It is set to expire less than three hours from now. And right now, no extension has been announced.
What we were told by sources is that Israeli officials were waiting, for Hamas, to hand over a list of 10 names, women and children, of who were going to be released on the next day, in order to have another day, another pause, in the fighting.
So far, they have not gotten that list, certainly not one that they would accept, And so, there are major questions of whether or not that is going to be resolved, before the truce is set to expire, at Midnight Eastern, 7 AM here local. That leaves open the possibility that fighting could resume in just hours from now.
We are covering this breaking story, from every angle. We have experts, as -- expert analysis, here on the ground, in Tel Aviv. New reporting in Washington, and also hearing from the White House, what they are saying.
I want to start with Israeli journalist, Nadav Eyal, live here in Tel Aviv.
Obviously, we've been talking to you, Nadav, every single night about this. What is your sense of how much on the brink this deal really is?
NADAV EYAL, COLUMNIST, ISRAELI YEDIOT DAILY NEWSPAPER, AUTHOR, "REVOLT": Look, Hamas can supply Israel with a better list than it did in the last 24 hours. And the problem is this. There is a category of women and children that Hamas is committed to.
They have supplied the list that Israel is saying is not satisfactory. And that's the reason Israel has rejected this. There was a Cabinet meeting. The decision was to tell Hamas, "We're not accepting this list. And unless you supply us with a new list, by 7 AM, the truce is over. And fighting will resume." COLLINS: So basically, the list that Hamas gave to Israel tonight was not sufficient. It didn't have only women and children on it, even though there's women and children left to be released.
EYAL: Exactly, yes. And that's the reason.
Now, whether or not Israel will resume immediately at 7 AM, the fighting or not, it's a question. But both sides are basically playing chicken here, with each other. There is a very distinct possibility that we will see this whole thing collapse.
But right now, the negotiators are saying that both sides have an interest, to reach some sort of an agreement, until the morning.
And MJ, on that front, MJ Lee, at the White House, as we're watching this as well, I mean, Secretary of State, Blinken, just arrived here, a few hours ago. He is on the ground, in Tel Aviv, right now.
How closely is the White House watching to see what could be happening, in less than three hours from now?
MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kaitlan. It is a big, big priority, for the White House, right now, to see this truce extended. It is why we saw Bill Burns, the CIA Director, in Doha, yesterday, why Tony Blinken, as you mentioned, was in Israel, today.
The longer the pause, U.S. officials say, the more hostages that can come out, the more surge in humanitarian aid we can see, going into Gaza.
And earlier today, as you remember, one American citizen did end up being released, from Hamas' captivity. But we don't have any word on the second U.S. woman that is expected to be -- believed to be held hostage, not to account for the seven others unaccounted for Americans that are supposed to be believed to be held in Gaza as well.
So, what we're seeing, tonight, I think, is just how much this truce has been a day-by-day sort of ordeal, where all of the parties involved basically have to wait for Hamas to produce a list.
But it is worth noting that in previous nights, we have seen different problems, different issues come up. And they did eventually end up getting resolved.
Of course, there are so much focus on this, right now, because there is an actual deadline. And once that deadline is passed, Israel has made clear the fighting is going to continue.
COLLINS: Yes. I mean, that's the major question here.
And for on what could be next militarily, I mean, Colonel, you have been watching this, as Israel has now paused its operations, its military operations in Gaza there. It's very quiet, here in Tel Aviv. Previously, you could hear what was happening in Gaza, that constant bombardment, and then that ground invasion that was underway.
The troops are still on the ground. I mean, how quickly could the fighting resume if this truce, it doesn't get extended?
COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST, U.S. AIR FORCE (RET.): Yes, Kaitlan, it could resume fairly quickly, actually, because the Israelis are in significant positions, in northern and central Gaza. So, they have some tactical advantages that they could exploit.
By the same token, Hamas has also been active. They have been caught, in various places, trying to -- and place IEDs and things like that. And also, there have been a couple of skirmishes, with the Israeli forces, even in spite of the pause in the fighting.
So this, these hostilities could resume very quickly. And I'm fairly certain that the Israelis have some plans that they could execute at the drop of a hat. And that's, of course, something that spell danger, to the whole process of trying to extend this truce.
COLLINS: Colonel Cedric Leighton, we'll be watching closely. MJ Lee, at the White House, Nadav Eyal, thank you all, for this.
As we are watching so closely to see what does happen here, and whether or not this temporary truce that has been in place, for several days now is now about to come to an end, the youngest hostage taken, we do know, has become a symbol of the cruelty of this entire ongoing ordeal.
The world has been waiting anxiously, for the release of 10-month-old Kfir Bibas. Tonight, though Hamas is claiming, without any evidence, I should note that he has been killed, along with his 4-year-old brother, and their mother, who also were taken hostage on October 7th. We are learning more, from Israel, tonight, on how they're assessing that claim.
And we'll speak to a member of the Bibas family, right after this.
COLLINS: Perhaps one of the most glaring parts of today's list of hostages, who are released, is who was not on that list. The youngest hostage, 10-month-old Kfir Bibas.
Hamas is now claiming, tonight, without providing any evidence, I should note that he and his 4-year-old brother Ariel, and their mother, Shiri, were killed, in an Israeli airstrike. It's a claim that Israel says it is assessing. And there's also no word on their father, Yarden, who was also taken hostage, we believe, as well, that day, on October 7th.
Joining me now is the great-uncle of Kfir and Ariel, Maurice Shnaider (ph).
Thank you, Maurice (ph), for being here. We've been speaking with a lot of your family members, in the last several days.
And it's kind of hard for me to even know where to start with this conversation. I know Israeli officials have been in touch with the family. What are you hearing from them?
MAURICE SHNAIDER (ph), GREAT-UNCLE OF YOUNGEST HOSTAGE: First of all, thank you for having me, Ms. Collins.
So, what I'm hearing, from Israel, is the same news that you're hearing everywhere else. What we know that on October 7th, right after 8 o'clock, 8 AM, we have famous videos that show the terrifying image, of Shiri, holding her two -- raise her babies that has become such a -- so popular, she's holding them.
She's alive. Ariel and Kfir are alive. She's been pushed by Hamas terrorists. And there are videos, there, she's been taken alive. There are videos that show that she's taken to Gaza. They have her, and the two babies alive.
Then, they claimed that somebody else took them. Then, they claimed that they were somewhere else. They don't say anything. Then, they will say that they don't know where they are. And now, they're claiming that they are not alive.
It is Hamas' responsibility, for us, a 100 percent that they have them, they have to return them, like any -- like all the other hostages that they have to return, and all the other ones that they have returned already. It is their responsibility. They took them alive. They are alive in our --
SHNAIDER (ph): -- for us.
They have, like you said, just earlier, they have claimed that they are not alive. And they have no proof of it. There's no proof of it. So far, the news is that Hamas have them last, and Hamas is going to give them back.
COLLINS: Yes. Well, and I think it's also important to note that Hamas claimed, at one point, that another hostage, Hannah Katzir, had been killed, in an Israeli airstrike. She was released, on day one. It was a lie. There's also -- there have been no strikes, since the truce went into effect, on Friday. So, it does raise questions.
But have you gotten -- has the family gotten any kind of update, from the Israeli government, on whether or not they think Hamas is lying here?
SHNAIDER (ph): No.
COLLINS: Or what their assessment is?
SHNAIDER (ph): Like you said, Hamas had claimed before that people have died, and they are -- the person will be alive. And that's a great thing.
Like, from the Government of Israel, and the IDF, there is absolutely no -- has not been communication to my family, till even now. I've been checking information from them. Nothing has been told to them. Absolutely nothing.
Again, like I said, they were taken alive. There's evidence of videos that the whole world has been able to see. And we can repeat watching them, as many times as we want.
They were taken alive. They were taken to Gaza, alive. They were with Hamas. Hamas gave them to somebody else. That's what they claim. They claim they were in Khan Yunis. As far as I know, Israel never strike Khan Yunis. And as far as we know, Hamas has them. Hamas has to give them back.
COLLINS: Maurice (ph), I know you're holding out hope, tonight. We are too. Obviously, these two precious little boys and their parents. And we're just thinking of you guys. And thank you, for joining me, and for coming on to talk about something that is unimaginably difficult. I'm really grateful for that.
SHNAIDER (ph): It is --
COLLINS: And Maurice (ph), and please keep us updated.
SHNAIDER (ph): -- absolutely is difficult. And I hope that this turns to be to -- ends up to be a good story after all. Thank you.
COLLINS: So do we. Thank you, Maurice Shnaider (ph), great-uncle of Kfir and Ariel Bibas. We will continue to follow that story that has been so heartbreaking and painful to keep up with.
We'll also talk about the new details that we're learning, tonight, about what hostages, who have been released from captivity, what they endured, while they were in Gaza. A doctor, who has treated dozens of those, who are freed, will join me, right after a quick break.
COLLINS: As the current deal, to release hostages, expires in just a matter of moments, at midnight tonight, still no end in sight, whether or not there's going to be an extension.
But we have just seen video of one of the vans of hostages, arriving at Sheba Medical Center, here in Tel Aviv, not far from where I'm standing, now, as we're learning more about what some of the other hostages, who have been freed, what they endured, while they were in Hamas' captivity.
While several have suffered visible physical wounds, all of them are dealing with the psychological trauma, of what they have just been through. Family members say it is especially apparent in the children that have returned from captivity. Joining me now, on that, is Dr. Itai Pessach, who has treated more than two dozen of the returned hostages. He is the CEO of the largest pediatric ICU, here in Israel.
And you've been a doctor for more than 20 years. What has this past week been like for you?
DR. ITAI PESSACH, ISRAELI DOCTOR TREATING FREED HOSTAGES: It's been really crazy. It's been an emotional roller-coaster, shifting from the optimism and joy. When we see that hostages come back, unite, with their families, there's a lot of excitement there, and a lot of really heartwarming moments.
And on the other hand, a couple hours pass, the joy of the return kind of fades away. And then, we start hearing the stories of what it was like being in Hamas' captivity, for 50 days or more. And those stories are not simple.
COLLINS: What are those kinds of stories that you're hearing?
PESSACH: So, these people have went through so much, starting off, on October 7th, and the experience of being taken, from their homes, and then the uncertainty of what's going to happen. And then, the torture they underwent, when they were there.
And there's no single story that is like the other. Variability is really significant, especially when this comes from the kids that we see, and treat, and the experience those kids had, if you just think about even not talking about the physical and emotional stress.
We have a kid that was separated from her mum. She returned. Her mum stayed over. Just that moment of not knowing what's going to happen, when you're separated, from your mother, after spending 48 days with her?
COLLINS: I mean, it must have been so traumatic?
PESSACH: Yes. But I'm really happy to say that, like, right now, as we speak, they're reuniting, so.
COLLINS: That's Hila Rotem, and her mother --
PESSACH: Exactly, right.
COLLINS: -- who they were separated, inexplicably.
What we've heard from some of the parents is that the children, they're whispering, or they don't want to talk, or they just cry, in the middle of the night.
I mean, how do you even begin? I can't even imagine with an adult. But how do you even begin with a child, who's 4-years-old, 10-years-old, 13-years-old, to process this trauma with them? PESSACH: Right. So, we don't start. We just wait. There's a lot of very, very delicate interactions that you undertake. You wait for it a little bit.
The first steps, the things that we do in the hospital, when they come in, this is just a transitional period for them, is to kind of weighing down the experience -- the experience, the excitement.
We dim the lights, because they have not been exposed to light, some of them, for a long time. We keep everything really, really quiet. And gradually, you would see the child, kind of comes out of the shadow of a child that we see, when they come back.
And then, kids are kids. So, by playing with them, by interacting with them, throughout, through playing with the dogs, like treatment dogs, and things like that, you start seeing things come out.
But that's going to be a very, very long process, for them. We have availed for them the best teams in Israel, are all set, on actually writing the book, or the protocol, because this is something we have never encountered, as medical professionals.
COLLINS: Yes, there is no protocol.
Doctor, I know you're incredibly busy, doing this, and dealing with this, and your staff. Please, pass on our thanks to them. And thank you, for taking the time, to share what that's like with us.
PESSACH: Thank you.
COLLINS: Thank you very much, Doctor.
In addition to that, we showed you, last night, an 84-year-old grandmother. She was in a wheelchair. She was among the hostages who was being jeered, it appeared, by the crowds, in Gaza, as Hamas was handing them over, to the Red Cross. Her family is here next, to share what she has been through.
COLLINS: As we're waiting, right now, at this hour, to see if this temporary truce, between Israel and Hamas is going to expire, or whether or not it will be extended, what it's supposed to do, at Midnight Eastern Time? There's a tremendous amount of relief being felt, tonight, for the family of 84-year-old Ditza Heiman.
She was one of the 10 Israeli hostages, released yesterday. You saw her, in that video. She was the one in the wheelchair. And now, her family is learning details, about what her time was like, as a hostage of Hamas.
Joining me now is Ditza's grandson-in-law, Asaf Zohar.
And thank you so much for being here. ASAF ZOHAR, WIFE'S 84-YEAR-OLD GRANDMOTHER RELEASED BY HAMAS: Thank you.
COLLINS: How is she doing, tonight?
ZOHAR: Physically, she's doing OK. And we are extremely relieved that she is doing OK. Because, when we saw, the images of her, in a wheelchair, that was heartbreaking, because Ditza was never ever in a wheelchair.
She's an 84-years-old, extremely proud person. And she's independent, and she's living on -- living on her own. She cooks for herself. She cleans for herself. She used to play the host for all 25 of us, when we showed up at her house.
COLLINS: Yes, I loved those photos of everyone having a meal together.
I mean, but you're hearing more about what she went through? I know it's not -- you know, it's a slow process. But what have you heard from her?
ZOHAR: The story is coming out of her very, very slowly. And she keeps telling us that it's her story to tell. So, the only thing that we can tell, for now, is that she thinks she was up in an attic, for quite a while. And she was away from everybody else. She was being held isolated from everybody else.
But I got to tell you that the amazing thing about Ditza, that the story that Ditza is telling is the story of 240 other hostages that have been taken. And when you say these words, the hostages that have been taken, it doesn't even -- it doesn't even begin to describe what really happened there. It's just a crime against humanity.
And when you say a crime against humanity, you actually mean that they are taking an 84-years-old grandmother, from her home, in a kibbutz? That is, I can't even explain to you how easygoing the kibbutz was.
You go into the kibbutz, and everything is green, and everything is nice. And you live right next to Gaza Strip. And you try to imagine that it's a peaceful place.
And then, this happens, on October 7th, which explains to you that these guys, who live across the fence from us are just savages. There's no other way to describe the amount of pain that we are experiencing, right now, as a nation.
Yes, I'm her grandson-in-law, and I experience this pain very, very personally. But I also lost 17 friends. 17 of my friends are dead, right now, because of that attack. And four of my friends are still being held hostage. Yosef (ph), his two sons and his daughter --
ZOHAR: -- are still being held in Gaza Strip. And we don't even know what's going on with him.
So these crimes are crimes against me. They're crimes against you. They are crimes against entire the State of Israel and humanity.
COLLINS: And you mentioned the kibbutz, and what life is like there. These are like villages, where it's very familial, everyone knows everyone. And a lot of Gazans worked there. And there was, I mean, this was more of a left-leaning community than what you see. I think that's something that people outside of Israel may not know.
But you talked about your grandmother that Ditza was released. But she doesn't have a home to go to.
ZOHAR: That's one of the things that you have to tell your grandmother. How do you tell your grandmother that she doesn't have a home to go back to? Many of them --
COLLINS: Did she know about the full scope of what had happened to her home?
ZOHAR: We haven't talked about that yet because it's very emotional. I mean, you are talking about an entire community that's just gone. And there are several communities there that are gone right now.
I'm talking to my friends, on October 7th. I was talking to my friends, to three families. One of them has been murdered, as we were talking, on WhatsApp, texting each other back and forth.
ZOHAR: Some of them are hiding in the attic, waiting for this to be over. Some of them were in a bomb shelter, telling me that there are grenades thrown at the door. And I can't believe what I'm reading, and I'm texting back, and I'm trying to talk to them, and I'm trying to call them.
And one of them, Mae (ph) and Liz (ph), were actually murdered, as we were talking. And then, her sister is writing to me, "They have been shot. They have been killed." Their 7-years-old daughter is hiding in a closet, right now, texting me that "Mom and dad have been shot."
ZOHAR: And this has been going on everywhere, in Holit, Nir Yitzhak, I can tell you all these weird names of these kibbutzim. But you have to understand that these small communities have been trying to live, next to Gaza Strip, and have been trying to make a living, right next to the Palestinians, and trying to trade and trying to --
ZOHAR: Like you said, Palestinians were working there, with them together.
COLLINS: That's just heartbreaking. We're glad that she's safe. But I know it's a long road ahead.
COLLINS: Thank you for coming, to share what that's been like for her.
ZOHAR: Thank you.
COLLINS: And obviously, we're keeping her in our thoughts.
A lot more to come, on what the experience has been like, for many more of them. We'll be back in just a moment.
COLLINS: Thank you so much, for joining us, from Tel Aviv.
A new kind of conversation, with Gayle King and Charles Barkley, is starting, right now. "KING CHARLES" and its premiere, begins now.