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The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper
The Whole Story With Anderson Cooper: Hostage To Terror. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired November 23, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to THE WHOLE STORY. I'm Anderson Cooper in Tel Aviv.
As we've seen this weekend, Israel's war against Hamas has entered a new phase. What that means for the more than 200 people held hostage in Gaza is unclear. Most of those hostages were taken on October 7th from Israeli communities or kibbutzim close to the Gaza border.
On a kibbutz called Nir Oz, it's estimated a quarter of the 400 or so people who lived there were either killed or captured. The whole story of what happened is only now really coming to light.
Tonight, we want you to meet those who survived the attack and are now fighting for answers about what happened to their missing loved ones and neighbors.
SUBTITLE: Hostage to Terror.
COOPER (voice-over): This was the Nir Oz kibbutz before October 7.
NOAM PERI, FATHER ABDUCTED FROM NIR OZ: Nir Oz has huge and beautiful fields all around it. Many of them are potatoes with some peanuts and carrots and many, many other crops.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like you walk without shoes, with your dogs.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is one of the places you could still come and hear the birds singing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's paradise.
COOPER: It was a tightly knit community of some 400 men, women, and children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like a big family.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The community of the kibbutz is very close.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a special place, Nir Oz.
COOPER: Sharone Lifshitz grew up in Nir Oz just a mile and a half from Gaza.
SHARONE LIFSHITZ, RESIDENT: The kibbutz was a socialist utopia if you wish. I always try to explain to tell people that we were brought up in utopia and in many ways it was wonderful.
COOPER: Her parents Yocheved and Oded Lifshitz (ph) were peace activists who helped found the kibbutz in the 1950s.
LIFSHITZ: It was built by a lot of people that came from cities that already grew up in Israel. They were not holocaust survivors. So they had kind of a light atmosphere I think than many other places.
PERI: What brought them together is they believe in human rights. They believe in peace. They believe that everybody in on nations, all religions, deserve to live in peace.
COOPER: Noam Peri's parents were among the founders as well.
PERI: Members of the kibbutz each have their own job and way of life but they gather a lot for joint meals and holidays and other occasions and they have this community both for taking together decisions and celebrating holidays.
COOPER: On October 7th, the kibbutz had just finished celebrating the last day of a religious holiday. At dawn as the security cameras show, there was no sign of danger.
ITAI ANGHEL, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER, UVDA, CHANNEL 12: At 6:00 in the morning everything looks rather normal. You know, most of the people are sleeping. A couple wake up early in order to go on a walk.
COOPER: At 6:06 a.m., Gad Haggai and his wife Judy Weinstein headed out the front gate for their morning walk. Around 6:30, they recorded this video showing in the distance rockets firing from Gaza. A red alert was called immediately.
The couple sent this video to a group chat at 6:42 a.m. they haven't been heard from since.
HADAS KALDERON, RESIDENT: I could hear the red color, which means we have to go to the safe room, to the shelter. I am all alone in my own house, my children with their father in the other house.
COOPER: Hadas Kalderon's youngest kids, Sahar and Erez, were with their father Ofer in his house nearby. Hadas 19-year-old son Rotem was in his own house. And Hadas' mother Carmela Dan was in her home with her 13-year-old granddaughter Noya who is autistic.
GAIA KALDERON, HADAS' DAUGHTER: Our grandma was her best friend. That is why she was with her.
COOPER: That is her oldest daughter who lives in tel aviv.
G. KALDERON: When everything is happening I talk to my mom, my dad, my sister, my grandma.
COOPER: By 6:49 a.m., Hamas gunmen were at the front gate. A security camera shows bullets hitting and empty guard house.
ANGHEL: By the yellow man gate, you have a booth which someone usually guards the entrance. No one is there and you see shots over there and then you see the hole in the glass and everything is shattered.
COOPER: Seconds later, gunmen enter the kibbutz.
Others from Gaza besides Hamas gunmen also appeared -- men and some young people wanting to be part of the attack or just witness it up close. Hadas Kalderon was in her safe room exchanging messages with her family and neighbors.
H. KALDERON: Even one girl she tell me, I have a picture that my mom is on the floor with blood and the terrorist with a gun is just behind her.
COOPER: That's Bracha Levinson.
H. KALDERON: Yes, you know that. The daughter she called me. She asked me. Do you know about that? Is it a fake picture? Is it true?
COOPER: It was true. The 74-year-old woman Bracha Levinson, adored by generations of kids she helped raise on the kibbutz was among the first to be murdered.
This is Bracha Levinson's home. It is completely torched. We know the gunmen broke in and killed her here. They murdered her. They gained access to her Facebook account and posted a live image of her lying on the ground in a pool of blood surrounded by armed men. They wanted her friends and family to see.
Groups of gunmen went house to house, block by block, capturing some, killing others.
ANGHEL: One of the terrorists is hiding then apparently he heard something, an engine of a car, an Israeli car approaching the gate so he stands up immediately approaching the gate and fires and fires.
H. KALDERON: Our kibbutz had a pogrom. They came and they went house by house, house by house.
COOPER: Many residents had made it to their safe rooms but the fortified shelters were built to protect from rockets not terrorists on the ground.
You can tell gunmen tried to pry this door open. This handle has nearly been pulled off from tugging it. It looks like they tried to pry open the door as well. You can fit your hand through here. They could just maybe look in but they couldn't actually break through this door. The family in this house survived in their safe room though at least one of them was wounded. There is blood all over the bed and sheets.
Like many, Hadas's safe room didn't lock from the inside. For hours she held the door handle to stop gunmen from getting in H. KALDERON: I am in the safe room but I am holding my door. I am all
alone and I have to survive. I hold it with my leg. After a while I cry of pain. I take metal, that my son used to make from sports, you know, I took the metal.
COOPER: A pull up bar.
H. KALDERON: Yes. I put it in the door. I didn't think I'm going to survive this. I send a message to my family.
COOPER: Hadas' 12-year-old son texted her at 8:15 a.m. mom, be silent he wrote. I really love you. Minutes later she wrote in her family group chat you are my life. Hope that we'll go through this and survive. Love you so much.
Her 16-year-old daughter Sahar wrote back, mom, take care of yourself. Love you.
Ofer, the father of her kids, texted Hadas to say he had escaped the safe room through the window with their kids and they were hiding in the bushes. She responded, are you crazy? Go back to the shelter quickly.
H. KALDERON: Then my battery is gone. I don't have a phone. Light is gone. I am in the dark. No water. No food. No nothing. Just me and God, and the terrorists. Eight hours from 6:30 in the morning until 3:00 afternoon.
COOPER: Her daughter Gaia in Tel Aviv cut off from her family started to scroll through social media where Hamas was now posting horrific images.
G. KALDERON: It was so hard but I knew I had to do it, so I was trying to find something and then I saw Erez, that was so hard to watch but then I told myself, okay. He's okay. He's alive.
COOPER: Gaia and her family want people to know what happened. This video shows him being dragged by gunmen, one of whom appears to have blood on his hand. We geolocated where the video was shot.
This is the last known location of Erez Kalderon. He was kidnapped by Hamas gunmen and he was videotaped as they were dragging him away in this direction. This is the fence to the kibbutz. Gaza is only about a mile and a half away.
H. KALDERON: I miss him so much. He is small. He is 12 years old. He's never been so far for so many days so far from me even in normal conditions.
Erez is a very, very funny guy. He make everybody laugh around him. We always sit together and we laugh. He is small but he have a huge humor. And he love to ride horses. He love to ride bike, mountain bike. He love to play football, ping-pong. COOPER: Erez's dad Ofer has not appeared in any videos nor has his
sister Sahar. Hadas and Gaia believe they are being held hostage in Gaza.
H. KALDERON: She love to draw
G. KALDERON: I can show you something we did.
COOPER: That's her.
G. KALDERON: Yeah. It's just the beginning.
H. KALDERON: You know I can hear them all the time in my ear even. Mom, mom, save me. Save me. Come to get me. I miss you. I miss you.
COOPER: The bodies of Hadas's mother Carmela Dan and Carmela's granddaughter Noya were identified about a week ago. They were among the more than two dozen residents in Nir Oz known to have been murdered during the attack.
H. KALDERON: You want to tell me about your grandma?
G. KALDERON: The best grandma in the world. I used to stay with her for hours and just talk to her about my problems.
COOPER: She was good to talk to.
G. KALDERON: Yes. She always want to know about everything that's going on.
COOPER: Carmela Dan was 80 years old. Her granddaughter Noya was 13.
Ahead, more on the hostages taken from Nir Oz.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I recognize her immediately.
ANGHEL: I was the first journalist to step inside Nir Oz and I came and started documenting two days after the atrocities took place.
COOPER: Itai Anghel is a war correspondent and documentary filmmaker for Israel's Channel 12.
ANGHEL: The first impression is the smell, because you smell death. Imagine you see nylon bags with body parts. Imagine you see tiny little bags of babies. And then there is the sound, which is absolutely silent, nothing but birds, birds and the chimes.
COOPER: More than a week later when we were able to get to Nir Oz and take these images there was still that strange, sickening silence. The birds, flies, breeze blowing through broken windows.
The residents were gone. Only their cats remained. No family, no home was untouched by terror.
The gunmen who came to this kibbutz had hours to roam the grounds freely. They killed men, women, and children in their homes, on the streets, in their cars, and they spent a lot of time rifling through people's possessions, seeing what they could take, looting whatever they wanted.
People's possessions were still strewn about. It appears someone tried to hot wire this car. Nearly every home had been defiled.
This is what was left of Adina and David Moshe's home. Torched by gunmen, you can still see plates in the dishwasher.
ANAT SHOSHANY, GRANDDAUGHTER: My grandmother, she always told me this is the best place to live.
COOPER: Adina's granddaughter said the couple lived in Nir Oz for more than 50 years.
SHOSHANY: I grew up in their house, spent every joyful, family moment. It all burned down.
COOPER: Anat recorded this video when she went back to her grandparents' house. She knew what to expect but still it was overwhelming.
SHOSHANY: I still had my grandmother's -- she gave it to me. Yeah. She gave it to me one month ago before everything happened.
COOPER: Her grandparents hid in their safe room when the gunmen came. Adina messaged everyone they were okay.
We are perfectly all right, Adina wrote. There are still noises of light guns shooting outside. Other than that, locked in the shelter until further instructions.
SHOSHANY: My grandmother was a very, very strong woman. She didn't want us to be panicked.
COOPER: Your grandmother was worried about you in that moment.
SHOSHANY: Yes. She is this kind of woman. She always takes care of us. We found her phone from inside the shelter.
COOPER: Anat says David Moshe was shot through the door of their safe room. Three bullet holes are visible. His dried blood is all over the floor. This is where he died, crouching, holding on to the door handle. At 9:44 a.m., Adina sent her last message. She wrote her husband was gravely wounded and gunmen were still trying to enter the shelter. The door handle David held on to is still on the floor. Gunmen took her through the safe room window.
By midday, this video appeared online
SHOSHANY: I recognized her immediately.
COOPER: That is Adina between two gunmen on a motor bike in Gaza.
G. KALDERON: Did you see Adina? The red shirt. And they took her.
When I was young, she used to call me and give me candies always. She would be like come, come, come. I will give you some candies and she was so sweet.
PERI: Adina was one of the people who when we were in the elementary school, she was the one that was taking care of us. And still as a grown up when I would come to visit the kibbutz she always gives me a hug and asked how am I and she is happy to see my kids grow.
COOPER: David Moshe was buried in Nir Oz a week after the attack.
He had been married to Adina for 53 years.
SHOSHANY: We promised him to fight for my grandmother but I will not live in an angry way.
COOPER: You don't want to live with hate in your heart.
SHOSHANY: No. This is not our way.
COOPER: At his funeral, Anat played this video from a celebration in Nir Oz earlier this year. That is David singing. Then one by one other members of the kibbutz join in.
SHOSHANY: This is what the song means. Time will fix all the breaks. You are allowed to be afraid. You are allowed to be sad. But tomorrow, we can rebuild and recover.
COOPER: When we return -- two more hostages, more than 200 still being held are on their way home -- hostages are set free.
LIFSHITZ: My mom is back.
COOPER: And survivors demand answers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were betrayed by the state.
COOPER: It is 3:00 a.m. in Israel the early hours of freedom for an American mother and daughter held hostage nearly two weeks by Hamas.
Judith and Natalie Raanan were the first hostages to be released from captivity. The two Americans were visiting Judith's mother, Natalie's grandmother at a kibbutz called Nahal Oz, about 18 miles north of Nir Oz when they were kidnapped.
How are Judith and Natalie doing?
AYELET SELLA, JUDITH AND NATALIE'S COUSIN: Judith and Natalie, they are doing -- they are doing okay. They are taking their time to heal and to process what they have been through, what the entire family and the entire nation has been through.
COOPER: While Judith and Natalie made it out, their cousin Ayelet believes nine more of their family members are still being held hostage.
SELLA: We have a 3-year-old and an 18-year-old brother and sister, Yahel and Naveh. And we have Noam, who is 12. So three children in our family. We haven't been given a sign of life or any indication as to how they're doing.
This is truly heart breaking. It's very hard to sleep at night.
COOPER: A few days later, two elderly women were also released. A 79- year-old Nurit Cooper, and 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz, both were from Nir Oz.
Yocheved's daughter Sharone was by her mother's side at the hospital in Tel Aviv where she described her harrowing journey to reporters.
YOCHEVED LIFSHITZ, NIR OZ HOSTAGE SURVIVOR (through translator): I went through hell. They went on a rampage in our kibbutz. I was kidnapped. As I was lying on the side on the side on the motor bike, legs here, body there. The Shabab hit me with sticks. They didn't break my ribs but it was very painful and made it hard for me to breathe.
COOPER: Yocheved said she was taken into an underground tunnel.
S. LIFSHITZ: There they walked for a few kilometers on the wet ground. There are a huge network of tunnels underneath. It looks like a spider web.
When she first arrived they told them that they are Muslims and they are not going to hurt them.
COOPER: How is your mother doing?
S. LIFSHITZ: My mom is looking okay. A bit thinner. It seems she did get basic medical care. The doctor said she is very sharp and communicative and wants to tell everybody what she knows. I think your body, your mind, everything goes into quite a different state, so it seems to me she somehow had that spirit that carried her through.
COOPER: Sharone's mother was criticized in Israel because when she was released she shook the hand of a Hamas gunman.
What did you think when you saw that?
S. LIFSHITZ: It is very typical of my mom. She loves humans. So --
COOPER: Even though these people were holding her hostage she is the kind of person who sees them as a human being.
S. LIFSHITZ: Yes. She acknowledged him as a human being. Horrific as everything is she kind of couldn't stop herself.
COOPER: Sharone's father, 83 years old Oded Lifshitz, is still missing. They believe he is being held hostage.
S. LIFSHITZ: My father and mother got separated early on. My father it seems was injured and we don't know more about him. So we are still in the dark.
You know, my mom is back and that is a ray of light, an amazing, beautiful bright ray of light. But there is a lot of darkness. You've been to the kibbutz. You have seen what we are facing. People are going for funerals every day.
I'm sitting here talking to you not just to rejoice about my mom's return, wonderful as it is, but to remind everyone that we are still in the situation, that there's over 200 people missing and that we want them back.
COOPER: Sharone grew up in Nir Oz and knows many of the families who lost loved ones.
Were you shocked by the scale, the brutality?
S. LIFSHITZ: Horrified. It was beyond anything, anything we ever imagined. And the army did not come for seven, eight hours. This is exactly what Israel was built for, isn't it? To protect the Jewish people. It totally failed in that this time.
COOPER: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to publicly accept any responsibility for his government's failures on October 7th, but several high ranking members of the military and intelligence services have.
Y. LIFSHITZ: The lack of awareness by IDF and Shin Bet did great damage to us.
ANGHEL: These people in Nir Oz are what we call the salt of the earth. They were betrayed by the state. The people of the kibbutz smuggled me inside. The army prevented people from coming, filming, and documenting it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): My God, and where was the IDF? Everyone called for the IDF. No one answered. No one came.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (translated): Personally, the worst thing is how the government had left us for dead. We never thought there could be such a thing.
COOPER: When Hadas Kalderon was hiding alone in her safe room, she messaged her children that help was on the way. This will end very soon and IDF will help. Don't worry. We are stronger than them.
Now she, too, feels betrayed.
H. KALDERON: Eight hours we've been alone, alone, alone. Nobody helps us. COOPER: No army.
H. KALDERON: Nobody helps us. We've been alone.
COOPER: The government has abandoned you now.
H. KALDERON: Yes. They are. Where are they? Where are they? They say the war to kill Hamas is more important.
You can't make war on expense of children and babies and old, sick people.
COOPER: How do you get through each day?
H. KALDERON: When I start to think about it, I am crushed. It's like crushed. How can I save them?
COOPER: Sharone knows Hadas' family well, including her niece Noya who was killed.
S. LIFSHITZ: To lose Noya and to lose all these kids, that will break my parents' hearts.
COOPER: Your mom and dad would have wanted the children to be released first.
S. LIFSHITZ: Yeah. My father taught Noya the piano and my mom would make her cookies. She was one of her kibbutz grandchildren.
COOPER: There is nobody in this kibbutz in this community who is not intimately connected with somebody else who was taken.
S. LIFSHITZ: There is no one. We are devastated.
How do we come out of this trauma? I don't know. How do we make something that is worth living for?
COOPER: Do you have that answer?
S. LIFSHITZ: I just think, be kind. I really do believe that we should all participate in the little acts of kindness that makes a difference.
COOPER: Even now.
S. LIFSHITZ: What is the alternative? What is the alternative? You know, the bloodshed now. I don't enjoy any death. Not for anyone. It just makes me so sad that's in our world we are creating so many stories of trauma and destruction.
COOPER: Coming up, a mother from Nir Oz kidnapped while clutching her two children.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) YIFAT ZAILER, COUSINS KIDNAPPED FROM THEIR HOME: We are in a nightmare.
COOPER: I first began to focus on what happened at Nir Oz when I saw this woman on CNN two days after the attack.
ZAILER: We need everyone's help.
COOPER: She was speaking about her cousin Shiri Bibas and Shiri's two children a 4-year-old boy named Ariel and 9-month-old boy Kfir whose kidnapping from Nir Oz was recorded and posted online.
ZAILER: We need everyone to help us. Please.
COOPER: Shiri's children were so young and her cousin's pain was so raw.
The day after this interview aired, I met with Yifat in Tel Aviv.
What do you want people to know about your cousin?
ZAILER: She is a peaceful girl. She's woman. She is amazing. She is beloved by everyone. She is an incredible mother.
COOPER: Shiri's parents, Margit and Yosi Silberman, were also missing as was her husband, Yarden.
ZAILER: He was texting his family while the terrorists entered their home.
COOPER: Yarden told his sister it feels like the end. I'm scared to death. They're with automatic weapons.
ZAILER: His sister is telling him to be quiet. He is telling her, we're trying.
COOPER: They lost contact around 10:00 a.m. and not long after this video was posted online. She and her kids are being taken hostage
ZAILER: I see my cousin outside our house in the kibbutz where she lives holding her two babies, covered in a blanket. I can see the horror in her face.
COOPER: Yifat wants the world to pay attention to what happened to her family.
In that video, you see Shiri's two little children. They are silent, not crying. How did they look to you?
ZAILER: I think they might have been in a state of shock. She was trying to remain calm for them.
COOPER: If they knew she was terrified, then they would be terrified. ZAILER: Of course. We are all parents. We know that our children can
tell everything about us, if we are sad, if we are afraid, and she is really brave. I can only imagine.
COOPER: As horrible as it was for Yifat to see this video, it did give her some hope.
ZAILER: It is the only proof of life we have. Other families don't have that. I can see her there. I can see they're alive. I know she was taken alive. It gives me something to hold on to.
COOPER: Yifat did find these images of Shiri's husband Yarden with blood on his head and hands apparently in captivity but she doesn't know what happened to him.
ZAILER: We're a small family and half of them are kidnapped.
COOPER: Half of your family is --
COOPER: Nearly two weeks later, Yifat learned her aunt and uncle, Shiri's parents were dead. She is still waiting for word on the rest of her family.
ZAILER: We need a sign of life. I have a 7 months old myself and when I hold him I think about her and I think about feeling her sad and I think about Ariel.
I want to know that they are being fed, if their diaper was changed, if he's still got his formula, his bottle, something to eat.
This is the only thing that I can do. This is the only thing that helps me be sane right now is sitting here with you and talking to reporters and showing their faces and telling their story.
I want my family back. I want my family back. I try to be strong and stoic and speak clearly but I'm devastated. I'm devastated, Anderson. I don't know what else to do. We need institutions from the world. We need someone to take care of those captive people, civilians.
Every hour, every day it's getting worse. I want my family if they are by any chance watching this, I want them to know that we love them and we are doing everything we can to get them. We want this to end in the best way possible.
COOPER: Two weeks ago, Yifat made this video, hoping to keep attention on her family and the plight of all the hostages.
COOPER: Five days of a Hamas attack, I went to the site of the Supernova Music Festival where more than 260 people were slaughtered and an unknown number of others were taken hostage. While I was there, a soldier showed me a video of the attacks on the
phone. And one of them, a badly-wounded young man was taken hostage.
Jesus. His hand has been blown off.
Days later, I was interviewing two American-Israelis Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin on CNN about their son Hersh that they believe was taken hostage from the music festival.
RACHEL GOLDBERG, MOTHER: I saw two texts pop up at 8:11 in the morning. The first one said I love you. The second one said, I'm sorry.
JON POLIN: Our son, by all accounts of the witnesses, had his left arm blown off at some point during the attack. He fashioned some sort of bandage, tourniquet.
COOPER: When Jon said that and I saw the pictures of Hersh, I realized he was the wounded man I had seen. It had never been shown publicly.
I didn't want to shock Jon and Rachel on live television.
Thank you, both.
Is it all right if I give you a call after this?
COOPER: So after the interview was done, I called them immediately and sent them the video. They now want you to see what happened to their son and they want the world to know there are seriously wounded people who were taken by Hamas who need medical attention. We blurred out parts of the media, but we want to warn you, it's disturbing.
POLIN: It's a crazy sequence of events that we talked to you through a computer screen and got a phone call of you saying I've got a video of your son.
COOPER: I didn't want to say on live television.
GOLDBERG: Which we so appreciated. The way everything has unfolded, the gentleness you used because at the end of the day, you're a journalist and journalists want a story.
And that could have been dealt with in ways that were not kind and gentle.
COOPER: They also say the video has given them hope their son is alive.
POLIN: Seeing that video in general gave us a dose of optimism. And as horrible as it is as a parent, to see your kid under gun point being pushed with one arm. He's a lefty and his one arm was blown off holding with one weak hand with that kind of composure gave me a real dose of strength that he's handling a horrible situation and he's doing it with composure.
COOPER: Jon and Rachel often visit their son's room which is also their bomb shelter.
This is Hersh's room.
GOLDBERG: This is Hersh's room.
COOPER: You can feel him here close. His globe, his books and mementos. It's all just as he left them.
Rachel did make his bed, however. She wants it ready for when he returned.
GOLDBERG: We have a porch that's facing south. I went out Friday night and screamed to him. Hoping. Because Friday night we bless our children, traditionally. In Jewish homes, you bless your children on Friday night. It's a traditional blessing from the Bible.
And so, I was screaming the blessing to him, my hands up. I was usually my hands on his head when he's home.
COOPER: What does the blessing say?
GOLDBERG: It says, may God bless you and keep you. My God's face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May God's countenance be lifted up towards you and give you peace. So --
COOPER: What do you want people to know about him?
GOLDBERG: He's a super curious kid, and this wanderlust when he was, you know, six, or seven years old has been his life obsession, always asking for maps, and globes, atlases. For his bar mitzvah, he got six globes. That was what he wanted. He really, you know, these last few years, he saved every penny to go on this trip that he has a ticket for on December 27th to India and then all points east.
COOPER: How are you able to get through each day?
GOLDBERG: We have to try to go believing that somehow he got treatment and he's there, and he's in pain and he's suffering but he's alive and he's there. And there are also the moments in this universe that we all live where you say maybe he died on the truck. Maybe he bled out on that truck. Maybe he died yesterday. Maybe he died five minutes ago.
And there are those moments where you think, how are these thoughts? I don't understand these thoughts but they're real thoughts. We're trying to balance on the head of the pen and get everything done with the hope he'll come home to us alive and he'll go on that trip with one hand.
I personally think we have to keep running to the end of the earth to save him. COOPER: Shortly after I interviewed them, Rachel and Jon appeared at the United Nations in New York, along with other families to demand world leaders do more to get the hostages home.
GOLDBERG: My name is Rachel and I'm the mom of Hersh Goldberg-Polin. I live in a different universe than all of you. You are right there, we seem like we live in the same place, but I, like all of the mothers, and all of the fathers, and wives, and husbands, and children and brothers and sisters and loved ones of the stolen, we all actually live on a different planet -- this planet of beyond pain. Our planet of no sleep. Our planet of despair. Our planet of tears.
COOPER: Tonight, Rachel and Jon and thousands of other family members are still waiting, waiting for a call or knock on the door, a voice on phone from their loved one saying, I'm alive. I'm okay. I'm coming home.
We leave you tonight with the faces and names of some of the more than 220 people currently believe to be held hostage in Gaza.