Streets of Tel Aviv empty as death toll grows from conflict in Israel

At least 59 people have been killed in the violence on both sides as it now spreads to mixed Arab-Jewish towns inside Israel.
8:23 | 05/12/21

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Transcript for Streets of Tel Aviv empty as death toll grows from conflict in Israel
Meanwhile delta American and United Airlines are canceling flights to and from Israel. And a growing violence there secretary of state and sink Lincoln says a senior State Department official travel to the Middle East. And meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in hopes of Israel's military has launched airstrikes on hundreds of targets in Gaza. Hamas and other militants have also launched hundreds of rockets. Into densely populated areas in Israel now the violence is spreading to several mixed Arab Jewish towns inside Israel. At least 53 people have been killed in the region's heaviest fighting since 2014. And our chief national correspondent had gotten in is there in Tel Aviv with more Matt what's happening there right now. Nothing is happening Diane and that's what's so strange because this is. The heart of Tel Aviv one of the busiest streets Ben Yehuda in typically. There is so much going on here there's hustle and bustle and people out in cafes. Thank going out but because of the sirens in because of the warnings that additional barrages of rockets from Gaza are headed this way. It's essentially become a ghost town and you know you mention all those things. The violence in Gaza the rockets falling in Israel proper. The clashes between. Israeli citizens of Palestinian heritage and police and now. I'm Jewish Israeli citizens. And those Palestinian residents with Israeli citizenship here in Israel so everything seems to be happening at once. During a time of political instability both for the Israelis. And the Palestinians which is. Causing this this simmering cauldron right now and that's why everything seems. So very much right on the knights edged earlier tonight at leaders in the Israeli military saying that. There is no playbook there is no calendar there. Sorties and bombing strikes on Gaza are gonna. Last as long as they need to last they're targeting infrastructure and Hamas leaders. But as we've noted many additional people have been killed including children in those bombings. And another Israeli child on this side tonight badly wounded in a rocket strike so. I it seems that casualties on both sides are bearing. The brunt of this latest conflict. Diane and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu he spoke with secretary of state and Abe Lincoln today on the fall and what's the message from the administration and a the administration is urging calm it's urging its calling and hoping for a cessation of violence. It says that Israel has the right to defend itself against these rocket attacks but it. It also notes that Palestinians living in Gaza have a right to safety and security as well so it's towing of very. Fine line guy and a line that you know previous administrations have tried to tow it. It hasn't succeeded that well for everyone bombed it has been obviously a very problematic region for. Decades nobody has been able to sell this particular problem. And it seems that the by the administration is also saddled. With this conflict what do you do how much do you push. Is it even worth the effort at this point given how long this conflict has been going on in. How intractable it seems plan. Matt did its terrorist they're in 20142008. That Gaza. Situation has always been tough and I want to ask about. A lot of men don't realize how how small a place Israel is it for all war essentially what is it like for Israeli families right now. And four Palestinian famines I was in Gaza when it was being bonded it is a very small place how or people getting choose what's the mood there. I was just going to note that I remember that you were in Gaza and I was in Israel 2014. During the last major comply duration. And it and you know exactly. How densely packed Natalie how small the places geographically but how tightly people live come from one of the most startling things. Watching some these videos out of guys these Bonnie sorties by. The Israeli military they've said they targeted probably by now near a thousand. Hamas Islamic Jihad targets with this air this targets. Those bonds are. Blowing up buildings right next door people live in some of these videos and hear people screaming out you know dear god allowed by. The EU continued you can steal the building shattering the trembling of everything around them the very foundations of you know that part of the CD you can see your glass shattering children and women. Screaming as those explosions erupt clearly darkening the entire horizon in Gaza. And here in Israel you know. What Hamas targets. And some Jihad target central Israel that's nearly half of the entire population of the country which means that everybody is essentially. On lockdown everybody hunt Crist down in those safety rooms that most people had here. But still these rockets are becoming increasingly more powerful with stronger warheads. And it's. Again it's the civilians are hit on both sides mostly those rockets they're not really aimed very well they're just sort of directed towards central Israel they have an approximate range. So even Hamas and Islamic Jihad don't really know where they're going to land. Neither do Israelis most of those rockets are intercepted with Israel's iron dome defense system but. Many of them get through when we saw the damage that one of them caused in a town just south of here. And Tel Aviv and it just the city incinerated. Part of a neighborhood and cars and fired shrapnel into this person's house that killed the woman so. Again. Did the proximity we're talking from security guys. Terry you know it's I think about forty miles from security Jerusalem as the crow flies it's less than that. Israel's extremely narrow it its narrowest about nine or ten miles so everything's very close. And I think that that feeds all the intensity that we're seeing right now. And now we're also learning about the first Israeli military. Fatality in this latest conflict can that escalate things further. I don't think so I think that. The Israelis understand it if they have. Military personnel right on the Gaza border. They are likely to get shot at by Islamic Jihad militants who are or Hamas. Obviously nobody wants that but. I think the bigger problem is two fold one. Though the rockets that were fired towards Jerusalem at the beginning of this or most recent escalation for Israel that is a red line and of course. The deaths of civilians were hearing of dozens of additional casualties wounded tonight come from the latest salvo of rocket attacks I think. That's really what. Causes Israel to be on its guarded and for the politicians in the country to direct the military to continue to hit Gaza hard again. We don't know when this is gonna end we don't know for gonna C a and actual military incursion which troops and boots on the ground. Inside Gaza by the Israelis as a very dangerous thing hasn't worked out very well in the past. We don't know if that's going to happen we do know that Israel has called up at least 3000 reservists their apparently reportedly. In and around the Gaza Strip right now. Don't exactly know where that's going to end the Israeli military is in telling us what its plans are nor is Hamas telling us how its sees this and didn't. So for now. This is very much in flux with a tremendous amount of tension one last word. It's that intro Israel tension that we're seeing that really makes this difference well. Jewish Israelis attacking Israelis of Palestinian ethnicity. In the town just south of here. Haven't seen that before also anti Tearrius. And those Israeli citizens of Palestinian ethnicity. In their towns. Rising up fighting with police in clashes that have left hundreds of people wounded destroyed cars and stores and restaurants etc. so. There is the external violence that we're seeing Israel against Hamas Hamas against Israel that an Islamic Jihad. And these internal battles as well. And we haven't seen the confluence of all those things at once. In at least a generation Diane. Now we have and it's a scary thought Matt Gutman an Israel stay safe Matt thanks.

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

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