This day marked a major escalation in the intensifying standoff in the middle east, as rockets sailed from the hamas-controlled gaza strip towards the holy city of jerusalem for the first time in 40... See More
This day marked a major escalation in the intensifying standoff in the middle east, as rockets sailed from the hamas-controlled gaza strip towards the holy city of jerusalem for the first time in 40 years. Abc's christiane aman reports from a middle east on the brink. Reporter: Bill, we were outdoors shooting today when all of a sudden, the air raid siren went off. Really unusual here in jerusalem, to know that missiles were being launched towards this city. A rocket was launched, hamas made a public statement saying they were targeting jerusalem, but it didn't reach here. It did not fall in the city. I spoke to the mayor who said that it did not hit this city. It was slightly south, there was no damage and no casualties. But it does raise the question of how this whole equation is changing, now that there is a new middle east. The post-arab spring middle east. Egypt, which used to be the one who would pressure hamas, who would come in and try to demand a cease-fire and try to mediate, now egyptian officials have come to gaza, stood shoulder to shoulder with the hamas prime minister and called this aggression untenable. The president of egypt warned stop this aggression, as he called it, or else. Hamas also wants to show that this is a new middle east. Hamas is part of this muslim brotherhood that is here in this part of the arab world, that it has new friends, it believes, and it is not going to take it lying down. We're waiting to see how this develops. It could escalate the next 24 to 48 hours. That's going to be critical. Bill? Thank you, christiane. It will's turn to the other side, hamas may be considered a terrorist organization by the u.S. And israeli governments, but in gaza, they are the elected leaders, embolden by new allies after the arab spring. And abc's alex marquardt has been reporting amid relentless air strikes there. Reporter: As of tonight, israel has carried out more than 600 air strikes on this narrow strip of land with almost 2 million people. They've left some 30 palestinians dead and scores wounded. Most of them civilians, according to gaza health officials. Here at gaza's biggest hospital today, we saw a steady stream of wounded arrivi including children. We were taken back to the intensive care unit, its beds filled with men in comas. Are you able to cope if this escalation continues? No. No. Because up to now, the situation is stable. And if it continues, we can't. Reporter: Israel says it is targeting terror site us, today hitting gaza's interior ministry, which secures. One of the main groups firing on israel, islamic jihad, told us today they won't stop until israel stops its air strikes. "Of course," he said. "He wouldn't fire rockets if israel wasn't killing us." Israel says the operation is in response to the relentless barrage of rockets flying into southern israel. The israeli defense forces say militants have launched almost 600 rockets into the country in the past three days alone. Around a third of which have been intercepted by israel's famed iron dome anti-missile system. Since wednesday, three people have died in israel and, for the first time since the gulf war in 1991, the commercial center, tel aviv, has also come under attack. The attempt last night by the terrorists in gaza to launch rockets on tel aviv only underscores the danger that the israeli public faces. Reporter: Tonight, a neighborhood of tel aviv, a popular night spot, was quiet. I'm stressed, also, but you know, life is continuing. Reporter: The israeli military isn't taking any chances, as soldiers and armored vehicles mass near the gaza border, preparing for a ground offensive. We are preparing for any possibility. A ground operation is a possibility, though it hasn't been decided on at this point. Reporter: Another sign a ground invasion may be imminent. Israel today called up 20,000 reservis reservists. As some arrived at their base, air raid sirens sounded in the distance. The end of this latest flairup may not be ne. Israeli authorities have prepared for seven weeks of fighting. Israel says it is responding as any other country world. Gazans says they are resisting an occupation. This violence further destabilizes an already unstable region, testing leaders and relationships. And neither side is showing any sign of backing down. For "nightline," I'm alex marquardt in the gaza strip.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.