Devastation grows as Israeli rockets bombard Gaza in retaliation for Hamas attacks on Israel

Josh Haskell Image
Tuesday, October 10, 2023
Devastation grows as hundreds of Israeli rockets bombard Gaza
The situation in the Middle East is changing by the minute, and those who witnessed the violence first-hand are simply trying to comprehend the gut-wrenching reality.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The situation in the Middle East is changing by the minute, and those who witnessed the violence first-hand are simply trying to comprehend the gut-wrenching reality.

"Seriously, it's a real living hell," said Herziliya Sahar Ben Sela, who survived a Hamas attack on an Israeli music festival. "I've never seen something like this. I've been in wars, in two wars in my life, and never seen anything like this. Bodies at all places. Full Slaughter ... they didn't care if you are a man or a woman. If you are young or an old man. They are killers. They are murderers."

Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel and Israel has escalated their attack on Gaza. This comes as 100 civilians and soldiers are being held hostage in Gaza, which could include Americans.

Intense bombing continued in Gaza Monday as Israel continues its retaliation against Hamas for Saturday's surprise attack that has so far killed more than 900 Israelis and at least 11 Americans. Israeli officials said they have struck 130 targets in the area in a 3-hour span and have begun a total blockade on Gaza, banning the admission of food, electricity, and fuel.

A main communication center in Gaza has been destroyed and its main hospital is currently out of service. The death toll in Gaza is now at 687, according to Palestinian officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strikes on Hamas have only begun. Roughly, 100 Israelis are still missing after they were kidnapped and taken to Gaza as hostages. Hamas warned it will start executing Israeli hostages if the shelling in Gaza doesn't stop.

One of the hostages is a Jewish grandmother.

"I'm sure she's very scared, and I'm sure she feels very alone, and that's not a way to live when you're 85, being taken away from your bed, from your house," said the woman's granddaughter Adva Adar.

Family members at Los Angeles International Airport greeted loved ones who came in from Tel Aviv with tears in their eyes as a sense of relief came over them.

Passengers arrived just 48 hours after Hamas fighters stormed into Israeli towns. Passengers described to Eyewitness News the terrifying moments they realized Israel was under attack.

"My brother and I were eating at a restaurant and a rocket actually fell, like, half a block ... the one that hit Tel Aviv," said Jonathan David, who was visiting Israel. "It's a numbness. I've never experienced this feeling before. I guess that's what terrorism is."

Anat Aizenkut said she's still in shock.

"I don't believe this is what's happening to my country," she said. "I came here with a broken heart, and I wish I can stay there and help because this is unreal. This is the second Holocaust definitely."

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles is warning the hundreds of thousands of Jewish people in L.A. to remain vigilant.

"When something like this occurs, you have people that are here in the United States, that are anti-Semitic, and sometimes, they act out on it," said Larry Mead, the organization's new vice president of its Community Security Initiative (CSI). "They're very upset. They're apprehensive. They should be. Historically, when there's an attack on Israel, the homeland, you have sympathizers around the world who feel they should continue attacking Jews with the intent of eradicating the Jewish community, so we are preparing ourselves for things like that by telling the local Jewish community to increase security. Be alert. Follow their protocols. If you see an emergency, dial 911."

RELATED: Passengers land at LAX after sheltering in place at Tel Aviv airport

Hundreds of shaken passengers arrived in Los Angeles from Tel Aviv Sunday morning after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, plunging the country into a state of violence and leaving over 1,000 dead on both sides.

Two million Palestinians live in Gaza, and although a ground invasion by Israel is not underway yet, Israel is clearly gearing up for one. Israel Defense Forces has called up 300,000 reserves, the largest and quickest in the country's history.

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