Crisis in the Middle East: American Exodus

Hundreds of US citizens fleeing as Israel attacks the Gaza strip.
2:26 | 07/12/14

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Transcript for Crisis in the Middle East: American Exodus
And now we go overseas to the middle east, where missile filled the air for a fifth straight day. After dark, Palestinian rockets rained down on tel aviv, but all of them were deflected by Israel's defenses. And on the ground, Israeli tanks have been on the move, gathering at the gaza border, also raising the possibility of a ground war. We have team coverage tonight, and begin with ABC's Alex Marquardt in gaza. Alex? Reporter: Good evening, Cecilia. This conflict escalated significantly tonight, with hamas bombarding tel aviv with the most rockets yet. Israel responding by pummeling the gaza strip, sending the death toll even higher. The night skies over tel aviv filled with hamas rockets. Ten fired in all, they said, but in the end, they were unable to pierce Israel's iron dome anti-missile shield. It comes after five days of relentless Palestinian rocket fire. More than 1,200 Israeli air strikes on gaza. The unyielding bombardment has hundreds of Palestinian families with foreign passports, including around 300 Americans, now packing up to escape. We met this man, who lived in Houston for eight years, and came back to have kids in gaza. It's really very, very terrifying, actually. I feel we barely sleep. You know, the night, you know, the bombing here. Reporter: Tomorrow, Israel will start letting them and around 800 others leave gaza. They'll head to Egypt first, and then maybe back to the states. But Israel won't let most gazans leave. And now a growing number have no homes. These women in shock and clearly extremely distraught. They just got back and saw the shape that their house is in after the Israeli strike. They escaped with their lives. Unlike their neighbors, in a center for the disabled, where a missile came through the roof, killing two mentally handicapped women. No one can believe that they can destroy society like this. Reporter: Anger soaring here over the death toll that tonight passed 140. So many of them civilians. Israel accuses hamas of hiding behind the innocent and storing weapons in their homes. And with the rocket fire not letting up, more and more Israeli troops are gathering along the border with gaza, just waiting for the order to launch a ground invasion. For the first time, Israel tonight told people living in northern gaza to leave their homes. A sign a ground invasion could be on the way.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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