Mideast on the Brink

Christiane Amanpour and Alex Marquardt on violence in Israel and Gaza.
3:00 | 11/18/12

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Transcript for Mideast on the Brink
Welcome to "this week." Firestorm, one week after his re-election, the president faces the middle east on the brink. A deepening sex scandal. David petraeus in the hot seat. The scandal spreads. This is "the national enquirer." New questions about benghazi. What did the president know, and what did he do about it? And a fiscal cliffhanger holding the economy hostage. The politics, the policy and what it all means for you with our headliners, house democratic leader, nancy pelosi, house homeland security chair, peter king, and carl levin of the senate armed services committee, and insights and analysis with our powerhouse roundtable with george will, donna brazile, jonathan karl, newt gingrich and congressman xavier becerra. Plus -- ♪ sugar sugar ♪ america's favorite tasty treat turns into another political football. Is it twilight for the twinkie? Good morning. George stephanopoulos has the weekend off. We begin with breaking news from the middle east where despite talks of a possible cease-fire, the air war between hamas and israel is continuing. So let's get right to it. We have alex marquardt in gaza city and christiane amanpour in jerusalem, and, alex, let me begin with you. Give us a sense of what's been going there on in gaza. Reporter: Good morning, martha. It's been very consistent pummeling of gaza by the israeli air force and a consistent launching of rockets by these palestinian militant groups. We are hearing the bombings going off rather incessantly. Just a short while ago, a palestinian group launched a rocket from just a short distance away. This goes on throughout the day, into the night. Around 2:00 a.M. We were woken up by this barrage of artillery fire coming from the navy ship just offshore, the israeli ship. The big question today, whether we'll see a cease-fire brokered by egypt and turkey obviously with the pressure of the u.S. And great britain, or are we going to see that ground invasion by israel? Prime minister netanyahu said today they are ready to expand their ground operation. We know egypt and turkey are working feverishly to strike some sort of deal, but the signal, the sounds coming out of jerusalem is they aren't finished with this operation yet, but certainly here in gaza people are hoping that some sort of cease-fire will come about very soon. Thanks to alex, and now let's bring in abc's global affairs anchor christiane amanpour who joins us from jerusalem. Christiane, what is the situation there militarily? Are there still fears of a ground war? Reporter: Martha, from the military point of view, they want to just get rid of as much of hamas' rocket-launching capability as possible. I just talked to a senior military official here, an israeli official, who said they seemed to be quite pleased with what they've done so far. In about a thousand sorties, they've taken out quite a lot of the rocket-launching capability, so if there is to be a ground offensive, it looks like they're amassing to keep the military track going to give a threat to hamas to say they're serious or as they say to me, cocking the trigger ready to pull it if hamas does something like kill a huge number of israeli civilians here in jerusalem or tel aviv, and from hamas' point of view they have have shown something that can reach the distances of to tel aviv and jerusalem. Will that be enough for both to get off the exit ramp? We'll see. Just quickly, christiane, could you tell us diplomatically what's going on, the reaction of the u.S., Turkey and egypt? In short, there is a huge amount of effort to de-escalate it. The united states trying to get egypt and turkey to de-escalate it and seek a way out and the israelis are working hard as well to make sure it's resolved diplomatically. So in short it's a two-track situation right now. Still very serious. Thank you very much, christiane and alex.

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

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