In an exclusive report from Israel, a country embroiled in an all-out conflict against Hamas and other Palestinian factions, a rocket struck dangerously close to a hotel in Ashkelon, located just a few kilometers from the Gaza Strip. The incident occurred this morning as NDTV journalists were on the verge of checking in. The blaring air raid sirens sent the crew scrambling for the basement shelter, leaving their luggage behind. These chilling visuals underscore the harrowing situation facing Israelis.
NDTV presents this exclusive on-ground report from Israel, where a relentless battle rages against Hamas and other Palestinian groups.
As our crew journeyed from Tel Aviv airport to Ashkelon, a coastal city in close proximity to Gaza, they bore witness to illuminated skies marked by rocket trajectories. Numerous roads were cordoned off, serving as stark indicators of the region’s precarious security environment.
The path to Ashkelon, once teeming with bustling civilians, now lay deserted and eerily quiet—an unusual sight for a city that was once vibrant with life.
The driver received explicit instructions: if the air raid siren sounded, the vehicle would come to an abrupt halt, and passengers were to disembark onto the road and take cover.
Just as they arrived at the hotel and began unloading their luggage, the sirens wailed, leaving no room for ambiguity—abandon everything and seek refuge. Their belongings remained on the road as the crew hurriedly descended into the basement.
Gaza looms a mere 10-12 kilometers away, and the repercussions of Israel’s retaliatory strikes are palpable in this city. The skies reverberate with the sounds of rockets and the constant hum of fighter jets, a chilling backdrop to the unfolding events. Live visuals capture rockets piercing the heavens.
Tragically, the ongoing conflict has claimed the lives of over 1,100 civilians and soldiers on both sides since it erupted on a fateful Saturday morning following a relentless barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza. This toll includes more than 700 lives lost in Israel.
Israel has launched a formidable counteroffensive, determined to “alter the course of reality” in Gaza.
The Israeli Iron Dome system stands vigilant in Ashkelon, approximately 10-12 kilometers from Gaza, intercepting rockets launched from the besieged coastal enclave. However, given the sheer volume of rockets unleashed by Hamas, there remains the possibility that some may breach these defenses.