Loud explosion heard in Gaza halts BBC journalist’s on air report
Live footage has shown the moment a BBC reporter in Gaza is forced to duck after a massive explosion just yards behind him.
Rushdi Abu Alouf was speaking to presenter Maryam Moshiri last night when the huge blast shakes the ground.
The visibly shaken journalist struggles to compose himself as Ms Moshiri asks him if he is okay to continue, admitting: “That was quite close”.
Ms Moshiri, who shared the clp on X, formerly Twitter, later posted: “Rushdi and his teams moved away as soon as possible.”
Israel intensified bombing bombing of the Gaza Strip on this morning after declaring war and pledging to destroy the “military and governing capabilities” of the enclave’s Hamas rulers, as Israeli soldiers fought to secure the border and dislodge Gaza gunmen from areas of southern Israel.
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At least 700 people are believed to have been killed in Israel after thousands of rocket attacks on Saturday, with more than 400 thought to have been killed in Gaza after Israel hit back. Palestinian militants claimed to be holding more than 130 captives from the Israeli side.
Major Nir Dinar, a spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces, said: “This is our 9/11. “They got us.”
“They surprised us and they came fast from many spots – both from the air and the ground and the sea.”
Chuck Freilich, Israel’s former deputy national security adviser, pointed out that the attack came 50 years and one day after the start of the 1973 Yom Kippur war.
He told Politico: “That was a catastrophic failure in regards to Egypt and Syria.
“It’s a failure in terms of intelligence, operationally.
“It’s clear we were caught totally unprepared by this.
”The divisional headquarters responsible for Gaza was occupied, they’re in disarray, and so the whole response has been delayed.”
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Israel hit more than 1,000 targets in Gaza, its military said, including airstrikes that leveled much of the town of Beit Hanoun in the enclave’s northeast corner.
Israeli Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters Hamas was using the town as a staging ground for attacks.
There was no immediate word on casualties, and most of the community’s population of tens of thousands likely fled beforehand.
Mr Hagari vowed to “continue to attack in this way, with this force, continuously, on all gathering places and routes” used by Hamas.
Meanwhile the UK Government is working to establish the status of UK citizens in Israel after a British man serving in the country’s army was killed during attacks by Hamas.
Rishi Sunak condemned the incursion as an “appalling act of terror”, with 20-year-old Nathanel Young, a Briton serving in the Israeli Defence Services , among those killed on the Gaza border on Saturday.
Two other UK nationals – 26-year-old Jake Marlowe, who went to the same London school as Mr Young, and photographer Dan Darlington – are also believed to be missing.
Speaking to reporters at his Chequers country residence, the Prime Minister said he had spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahi yesterday to offer the UK’s ongoing support, adding: “Terrorism will not prevail.”
Asked what assistance is being provided to British citizens caught up in the conflict, he told reporters: “I know that there will be families who are anxious about their loved ones.
“I want to reassure them that the Foreign Office and the Government here is in close contact with our Israeli counterpart to establish the status of any British nationals on the ground.”
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