Full Special Report: Dozens of Israelis killed in Hamas attack

Video Transcript of Full Special Report: Dozens of Israelis killed in Hamas attack

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>>> THIS IS AN NBC SPECIAL REPORT. HERE’S KRISTEN WELKER. >> GOOD MORNING, WE ARE COMING ON THE AIR WITH BREAKING NEWS. ISRAEL HAS DECLARED IT IS AT WAR AFTER A SUDDEN AND UNPRECEDENTED DEADLY ATTACK BY HAMAS THIS MORNING. THE PALESTINIAN MILITARY GROUP ESSENTIALLY INVADED PARTS OF

ISRAEL TODAY, INFILTRATING BY LAND, SEE, EVEN AIR. ALSO LAUNCHING THOUSANDS OF ROCKET ATTACKS OVERWHELMING ISRAEL’S ROBUST DEFENSES AND SENDING ARMED MILITANTS INTO THE STREETS OF ISRAEL, SOME SEEN CUTTING FENCES AT ISRAEL’S BORDER WITH GAZA CITY TO GET INTO THE COUNTRY. DOZENS OF ISRAELIS ARE DEAD,

HUNDREDS ARE INJURED AND HAMAS HAS CLAIMED TO HAVE TAKEN HOSTAGES BRINGING THEM BACK TO THE GAZA STRIP. ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU DECLARING THE COUNTRY IS IN A STATE OF WAR AND VOWING SWIFT RETALIATION, WHICH IS ALREADY UNDER WAY. PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS SAY AT

LEAST 200 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED BY THE RETALIATION. AND WHAT IS THE VERY LATEST THERE THAT YOU ARE SEEING AND HEARING? >> Reporter: KRISTEN, WE ARE NOW MORE THAN TEN HOURS INTO THIS UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK AND THIS CHAOTIC AND VIOLENT SITUATION IS STILL UNFOLDING.

I JUST WANT TO GIVE YOU THE SENSE OF THE GEOGRAPHY. WE ARE ABOUT SIX MILES FROM THE ISRAELI BORDER WITH GAZA. ISRAELI FORCES HAVE CLOSED WHAT IS NORMALLY ONE OF THE MAJOR HIGHWAYS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS CHECK

POINT, KRISTEN, IS THIS ISRAELI TOWN, ONE OF THE MAJOR COMMUNITIES CLOSE TO THE GAZA BORDER. I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH AN ISRAELI OFFICIAL THAT TELLS ME FIGHTING WITH SEVERAL COMMUNITIES ALONG THE GAZA BORDER IS STILL UNDER WAY. THAT IS A SENTENCE THAT IF YOU

HAD ASKED ME YESTERDAY I WOULD NOT HAVE TOLD YOU IS PLAUSIBLE. THE IDEA THAT PALESTINIAN GUNMEN ARE INSIDE OF ISRAELI COMMUNITIES IS WHAT HAS TAKEN THIS COUNTRY SO BY SURPRISE AND IT IS THE METHOD AND THE LEVEL OF SOPHISTICATION WITH WHICH THEY HAVE CARRIED OUT THIS

ATTACK. AS YOU SAID, PALESTINIAN GUNMEN ARRIVING BY LAND, BY SEA AND FOR THE FIRST TIME BY AIR USING PARAGLIDERS AND HANG GLIDERS TO CROSS THE ISRAELI BORDER. THEY DID IT UNDER COVER OF SOME 2,000 ROCKETS, WHICH SEEMS TO HAVE OVERWHELMED ISRAEL’S CUTTING EDGE LEADING MISSILES SYSTEMS.

THROUGHOUT THE DAY WE HAVE SEEN PLUMES OF BLACK SMOKE WHERE THE PALESTINIAN ROCKETS HAVE GOT THROUGH THE ISRAELI DEFENSES AND THEY HAVE STRUCK HOME. I WANT TO GIVE YOU THE LATEST NUMBERS WE HAVE. ISRAELI’S EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE SAYING 70 PEOPLE ARE CONFIRMED DEAD INSIDE OF ISRAEL.

THAT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST LOSSES OF LIFE ON A SINGLE DAY IN DECADES HERE. SOME 800 ISRAELIS ARE WOUNDED AND, KRISTEN, INSIDE OF GAZA WHERE ISRAELI AIR STRIKES HAVE NOW BEGUN, THE PALESTINIAN HEALTH MINISTRY IS SAYING 200 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED ALREADY.

1,600 WOULD YOU KNOWED. KRISTEN, I’LL JUST CLOSE WITH SAYING THAT PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT DYNAMIC HERE, THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING WHAT COMES NEXT IS THE FACT THAT HAMAS AND THE SMALLER MILITANT GROUP ISLAMIC JIHAD HAVE ISRAELIS CAPTIVE INSIDE OF GAZA AND THE WORLD IS

WATCHING TO SEE WHAT THEY’LL DO NEXT TO GET ITS PEOPLE HOME. >> AND AS YOU DESCRIBE THAT CHAOTIC AND DEVASTATING SCENE THERE THAT IS UNFOLDING ALL AROUND YOU, LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON THAT VERY QUESTION BECAUSE PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU

IS SAYING ISRAEL IS IN A STATE OF WAR. SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN POTENTIALLY IN TERMS OF NEXT STEPS THAT WE MIGHT SEE BY ISRAEL? >> SO THE PRIME MINISTER WAS VERY CLEAR WITH THE ISRAELI PEOPLE. WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IS

AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE ABOVE AND BEYOND THE ROUNDS OF FIGHTING WE HAVE SEEN BETWEEN ISRAELI AND HAMAS OVER THE LAST DECADE, ROUNDS OF FIGHTING WHICH FRANKLY THE WORLD HAS BECOME A LITTLE BIT NUMB TO. THIS IS UNLIKE ANYTHING ISRAEL HAS SEEN IN 50 YEARS, AND IT MAY

VERY WELL BE THAT PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU, THE HEAD OF THIS EXTREME RIGHT-WING GOVERNMENT HERE IN ISRAEL FEELS THAT HE HAS NO CHOICE, KNOWING THAT THERE ARE ISRAELIS HELD CAPTIVE, HELD HOSTAGE INSIDE OF GAZA. HE MAY FEEL HE HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO ORDER A LARGE SCALE GROUND

OFFENSIVE INSIDE OF GAZA. AND, KRISTEN, AS WE KNOW, GAZA IS ONE OF THE MOST DENSELY POPULATED PLACES ON EARTH. THERE ARE TWO MILLION CIVILIANS IN THERE AS WELL AS THESE PALESTINIAN MILITANT GROUPS. THERE IS NO WHERE TO RUN, NOWHERE TO HIDE. IF THE FIGHTING GOES TO THE

HEART OF GAZA CITY AND THESE OTHER POPULATION CENTERS, WE ARE LOOKING AT POF TNGSLY DEVASTATING CASUALTIES IN THE DAY AHEAD. >> THERE’S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT. AS YOU WERE TALKING WE WERE WATCHING VIDEO OF SOMEONE WHO APPEARED TO BE TAKEN CAPTIVE. WE JUST GOT THIS REPORTING FROM

ANDREA MITCHELL AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT THAT BLINKEN, THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS AT THE WHITE HOUSE NOW CALLING FOREIGN COUNTERPARTS ABOUT THIS SITUATION. THAT IS ACCORDING TO STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON MATTHEW MILLER. JUST TALK ABOUT THE TIMING OF THIS. THIS IS COMING ON THE 50th

ANNIVERSARY OF THE YOM KIPPUR WAR WHEN ISRAEL SUFFERED A SURPRISE ATTACK 50 YEARS AGO. >> Reporter: YEAH, KRISTEN, THE SYMBOLISM OF THIS IS SO, SO STRIKING. 50 YEARS ALMOST TO THE DAY SINCE THE YOM KIPPUR WAR WHEN ISRAEL WAS LAST CAUGHT OFF GUARD BY A

COMBINED EGYPTIAN/SYRIAN INVASION. THAT WAS A WAR THAT PEOPLE GENERALLY THOUGHT THIS COUNTRY MIGHT BE ABOUT TO BE WIPED OFF THE MAP. THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT THE PALESTINIAN GUNMEN WILL BE ABLE IT DESTROY THE STATE OF TRILLION BUT THEY HAVE SHATTERED ISRAEL’S SENSE OF SECURITY, THE SENSE

THAT THE PROBLEMS COULD BE CON CONTAINED AND KEPT INSIDE THE BORDER. THIS IS A MASSIVE FAILURE THAT ISRAEL WAS CAUGHT OFF GUARD AT THE END OF THE HOLIDAY AND YOU MAY BE ABLE TO HEAR ISRAELI AIR DEFENSES GOING OFF IN THE DISTANCE.

THERE ARE STILL ROCKETS COMING FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL. THERE’S NO SIRENS GOING OFF IN THIS AREA RIGHT NOW. SO WE’RE OKAY TO KEEP TALKING TO YOU. BUT IT APPEARS THAT ISRAEL CAUGHT OFF GUARD WHETHER IT’S A FAILURE OF INTELLIGENCE, WHETHER THIS IS A FAILURE OF IMAGINATION.

SO THINK THE PALESTINIAN GUNMEN COULD TAKE PARAGLIDERS TO FLY INTO ISRAELI COMMUNITIES, ATTACK HOMES, TAKE PEOPLE HOSTAGE AND THERE ARE VERY, VERY DIFFICULT QUESTIONS IN THE DAYS AHEAD FOR ISRAELI SECURITY OFFICIALS. I CAN TELL YOU THEIR ABSOLUTE TOP PRIORITY RIGHT NOW IS WHAT

IS GOING ON DOWN THE ROAD WHERE THEY ARE FIGHTING STREET BY STREET, HOUSE BY HOUSE, TRYING TO RETAKE CONTROL. >> AND WE ARE LOOKING AT VIDEO OF ONE OF THOSE PARAGLIDERS THAT YOU MENTIONED. PLEASE STAY SAFE AND DO STAY WITH US.

I DO WANT TO BRING IN OUR SENIOR CORRESPONDENT KELLY O’DONNELL. THE NATIONAL SECURITY RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING THE U.S. UNEVQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS THE ATTACKS. >> Reporter: WHAT WE CAN SAY IS THE PRESIDENT IS ENGAGED IN CONVERSATIONS WITH HIS TOP ADVISERS, NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIALS AND WE KNOW THE

CONVERSATION WITH PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU HAS TAKEN PLACE. WE ARE EXPECTING TO GET A SPECIFIC READ-OUT MEANING SOME OF THE DETAILS OF WHAT WAS DISCUSSED TO BE MADE PUBLIC AT SOME TIME HERE SHORTLY. I’M ALSO TOLD BY A SENIOR OFFICIAL THAT VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS IS CURRENTLY TALKING WITH

PRESIDENT BIDEN. SHE WAS BRIEFED SEPARATELY BY HER OWN NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM. WE KNOW SECRETARY BLINKEN IS HERE AT THE WHITE HOUSE AND CERTAINLY WHAT HAPPENS IN A MOMENT LIKE THIS IS IS FROM THAT EARLIER CALL WHEN THE WHITE HOUSE WAS ALERTED AND OFFICIALS

I SPOKE TO HAD ACKNOWLEDGED THEY WERE SURPRISED BY THE ATTACKS, THERE WAS A WAVE OF INFORMATION THAT FLOWS TO THE PRESIDENT. FIRST HE WAS BRIEFED AND THEN CONVENES CONVERSATIONS WITH HIS TOP OFFICIALS AND THEN THE OUTREACH TO THE ISRAELI LEADERSHIP AND OF COURSE ON AN

ONGOING BASIS WE EXPECT THAT NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIALS WILL BE DEALING WITH THEIR COUNTERPARTS, NOT ONLY IN ISRAELI BUT AMONG THE ALLY COMMUNITY. AT THIS FORM WE EXPECT A FORMAL PAPER STAYED FROM PRESIDENT BIDEN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT THIS. AT THIS TIME WE ARE NOT

ANTICIPATING THAT HE WOULD APPEAR ON CAMERA. THAT’S ALWAYS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. A LOT OF THIS OF COURSE TAKES ON THE CONTEST AS YOU KNOW FROM YOUR YEARS AT THE WHITE HOUSE OF THE URGENT MOMENT OF WHAT MUST BE DEALT WITH AND IT’S AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF THE RELATIONSHIP.

PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS KNOWN BENJAMIN NETANYAHU FOR YEARS AND THERE ARE TENSION POINTS THAT PROCEED WHERE ISRAEL IS UNDER ATTACK. THE U.S. HAS A LONGSTANDING FOR THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE ISRAELI STATE, A PARTNERSHIP THAT IS DESCRIBED AS IRONCLAD, BEING THE BEST FRIEND TO ISRAEL

ON THE PLANET AND CERTAINLY ISRAEL IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PARTNER WITH THE U.S. IN THE MIDDLE EAST. SO THIS IS SIGNIFICANT. IN TALKING WITH NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIALS THIS MORNING, I WAS TOLD THAT ISRAELI HAD NOT MADE ANY SPECIFIC ASK OF MILITARY AID IN ADDITION TO THE

NORMAL CADENCE OF WHAT THE U.S. PROVIDES AT THIS TIME, NOTING THAT ISRAEL HAS — THE U.S. HAS BEEN TRYING TO PARTNER WITH ISRAEL. HOW IS THAT GOING TO BE AFFECTED NOW? THE PICTURES THERE ARE FROM THE MOST RECENT MEETING FROM THE PRESIDENT AND NETANYAHU, WHICH

WAS DONE NOT WHITE HOUSE BUT IN NEW YORK DURING THE PERIOD OF THE NEW YORK GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGS WHERE NETANYAHU WAS ATTENDING AS THE HEAD OF GOVERNMENT AND SO WAS OUR PRESIDENT. SO THAT’S WHERE WE ARE AT THIS POINT, WHERE IT IS GATHERING

INFORMATION, WHERE IT IS TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH ALLIES AND PARTNERS AND TRYING TO DELIVER A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE OF CONDEMNATION OF WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE AND THEN PLOTTING NEXT STEPS. KRISTEN. >> AND, KELLY, AS IS SO OFTEN THE CASE, THIS IS A DEVELOPING SITUATION.

WHILE YOU WERE SPEAKING WE GOT THE STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT BIDEN. LET ME READ IT. STAY WITH ME. I’M GOING TO GET YOUR REACTION ON THE OTHER SIDE. HE SAYS THIS MORNING I SPOKE WITH PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU ABOUT THE HORRIFIC AND ONGOING ATTACKS IN ISRAEL, UNITED STATES

AND EQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS THIS APPALLING ASSAULT AGAINST ISRAEL BY HAMAS TERRORISTS FROM GAZA. I MADE CLEAR WE STAND READY TO OFFER ALL APPROPRIATE MEANS OF SUPPORT TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF ISRAELI. TERRORISM IS NEVER JUSTIFIED. ISRAELI HAS A RIGHT TO DEFEND ITSELF AND ITS PEOPLE.

THE UNITED STATES WARNS AGAINST ANY OTHER PARTY, HOSTILE TO ISRAELI SEEKING ADVANTAGE IN THIS SITUATION. MY ADMINISTRATION’S SUPPORT FOR ISRAELI’S SECURITY IS ROCK SOLID AND UNWAVERING. HE GOES ON TO SAY THAT HE AND HIS TEAM ARE TRACKING THIS SITUATION CLOSELY AND THAT HE

WILL REMAIN IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU. WE ARE LOOKING AT LIVE PICTURES OF THE AFTERMATH THERE IN ISRAEL. KELLY, BIG PICTURE HERE. TALK IF YOU WILL A BIT ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRESIDENT BIDEN AND PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU. HE HAS BEEN SOMEWHAT CRITICAL OF

SOME THE RECENT MOVES AS IT RECEIPTS TO THE FORMS OF PT JUDICIARY THERE. >> THAT’S SOMETHING WE’LL BE WATCHING CLOSELY THERE BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF BEEN CRITICAL IN A FRIENDLY WAY, MEANING WANTING TO MAINTAIN THE STRENGTH. RELATIONSHIP BUT POINTED IN HIS

CONCERNS ABOUT CHECKS AND BALANCES IN THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT AND CONCERNS ABOUT REFORMS THE U.S. WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. I THINK IN THIS MOMENT WHAT WE WILL SEE IS A TRANSITION FROM OPENLY MAKING THOSE CRITICISMS AND PUTTING ON THE SIDE, DEALING

WITH THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT FROM THIS KIND OF ATTACK, ESPECIALLY WITH ISRAELI CITIZENS, NOT COMBATANTS, MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY BEING HELD, BEING HARMED AND SO FORTH. SO THE RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN STRESSED. IT HAS BEEN AT A POINT WHERE THE U.S. WOULD LIKE SOME CONCESSIONS

FROM ISRAEL WHEN IT COMES TO TRYING TO HAVE NORMALIZATION WITH OTHER PARTNERS IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD, NAMELY, SAUDI ARABIA, WE SAW WITH THE ABRAHAM ACCORDS FROM THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION, PARTNERSHIP, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL, ALL OF THAT IS IMPORTANT, COMPELLING BUT WHEN

THERE IS ACTIVE HOT WAR, IT SHIFTS INTO A DIFFERENT KIND OF DIALOGUE. SO YOU SEE THE ABSOLUTELY UNWAVERING SUPPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT ON THESE IMPORTANT MOMENTS OF THE IRONCLAD PARTNERSHIP, THE NEED FOR ANY MILITARY OR OTHERWISE SUPPORT FROM THE U.S. AND ON THE

PERSONAL LEVEL KEEPING ALL OF THOSE WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THIS IN THE PRAYERS AND IN THE HEARTS OF THE BIDENS AND CERTAINLY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE UNITED STATES IS ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT OF ALL OF ALLIED PARTNERSHIPS AND IT MAY

BE TESTED AT TIMES BY DIFFERING GOVERNMENTS THAT COME INTO POWER AND DIFFERING POLICY VIEWS BUT WHEN A HOT WAR IS UNFOLDING, THINGS CERTAINLY REVERT TO THAT PRIMARY RELATIONSHIP OF PARTNERSHIP AND PROTECTION. >> KRISTEN. >> A CRITICAL POINT AND CONTEXT THERE. PLEASE STAY WITH YOU.

I WANT TO BRING IN NBC’S CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT ANDREA MITCHELL. SHE IS ON THE PHONE FOR US. ANDREA, GOOD MORNING TO YOU. WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING ABOUT THESE HORRIFIC ATTACKS AND WHAT KELLY WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT, THE RELAUGSSHIP BETWEEN THE U.S. AND ISRAEL? >> INDEED.

I WAS TALKING TO PEOPLE AT THE ISRAELI EMBASSY HERE IN WASHINGTON WHO TOLD ME THAT THERE ARE HOSTAGES INSIDE GAZA. THE ISRAELI DEFENSES FOR HAS CONFIRMED THAT. ISRAELI MISSION HAS BEEN NO MAN OR WOMAN LEFT BEHIND. THEY TRADED 1,000 PALESTINIANS FOR ONE ISRAELI SOLDIER CAPTURED

AND HELD FOR YEARS IN GAZA. THERE’S NO PRICE TOO HIGH TO PAY. THEY WILL RESPOND TO TRY TO CONTROL THE SITUATION, WHICH IS UNPRECEDENTED, WE’VE SEEN NOTHING LIKE THIS, LAND, SEA AND AIR INVASION AS THEY ARE DESCRIBING IT BUT CROSSING THAT BORDER FROM GAZA INTO ISRAEL HAS

NEVER HAPPENED. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE YOM KIPPUR WAR THAT WE’VE SEEN ISRAEL UNDER SUCH THREAT. SO IMMEDIATELY THEIR CHALLENGE IS TO TRY TO CONTROL AND CONTAIN THE CURRENT SITUATION. THERE WILL BE OVERWHELMING REPRISALS AND WE DON’T KNOW WHERE IT WILL STOP BECAUSE THIS

ADMINISTRATION, THIS COALITION IS THE MOST SELF-DEFINED RIGHT-WING COALITION THAT HAS EVER EXISTED IN ISRAEL AND NETANYU HAS BEEN THE MOST HARDLINED PRIME MINISTER, CERTAINLY IN RECENT DECADES IN ISRAEL. SO TO THAT EXTENT, THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE THE LAST OF IT BY

ANY MEANS. BUT THE SHORT TERM IS TO CONTROL THE MILITARY SITUATION THERE KEEPING A VERY CLOSE EYE ON THE NORTH WHERE IRAN-BACKED HEZBOLLAH HAS A LOT OF CONTROL AND HUNDREDS OF ROCKETS, SO FAR NO ACTION THERE. MOST IMMEDIATELY THE WEST BANK WILL CERTAINLY HAVE A GREAT DEAL

OF SYMPATHY. NO NEGOTIATIONS FROM BOTH SIDES, VERY WEAK LEADERSHIP IN THE WEST BANK AND THAT IS CONTIGUOUS TO ISRAEL PROPERTY, IT IS INTERWOVEN AND ASSIMILATED WITH ISRAELI SOCIETY AND ISRAELI ECONOMICS, DESPITE THE BARRIERS, THE WALLS AND THE OTHER DEFENSES. SO THAT IS ANOTHER IMMEDIATE CONCERN.

OBVIOUSLY TENSIONS HAVE BEEN VERY HIGH, A KELLY WAS SAYING, TENSIONS WITH THE U.S. BUT AS SOMETHING LIKE THIS BREAKS OUT, IT IS AS THE PRESIDENT SAYS A ROCK SOLID COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION THAT THE MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT WILL BE THERE.

IT’S STILL TO BE DETERMINED HOW ISRAEL HAD SUCH AN INCREDIBLE INTELLIGENCE FAILURE. AS WELL AS THE U.S. THERE WAS NO WARNING. NO ONE HERE ANTICIPATED THIS HAPPENING. AS TO THE MEETING THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE U.N., THAT WAS PATCHING OVER PROBLEMS THAT HAD EXISTED.

NETANYAHU HAD WANTED A MEETING IN THE OVAL OFFICE FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS THAT HAD BEEN DENIED BECAUSE OF HIS POLICY TOWARD THE PALESTINIANS AND BECAUSE OF THE DOMESTIC SITUATION WHERE HE WAS PURSUING JUDICIAL CHANGES TO THE SUPREME COURT THAT WERE VERY MUCH OPPOSED BY PRESIDENT BIDEN

IN WRITTEN STATEMENTS AND PRIVATELY TO NETANYAHU. SO THAT WAS ONLY A U.N. MEETING, WHICH AS YOU KNOW, KRISTEN, FROM ALL OF YOUR YEARS OF WHITE HOUSE COVERAGE WAS NOT THE STATUS OF A WHITE HOUSE MEETING THAT NETANYAHU WANTED BUT THEY PATCHED IT OVER. HE WAS PROMISED A WHITE HOUSE

MEETING THIS MONTH IN FACT AS THEY PURSUE A LARGER PIECE, WHICH THEY THOUGHT MIGHT EVEN BE POSSIBLE WITH THE SAUDIS, WHICH WOULD BE MIDDLE EAST PEACE AND WE HAD NOT KNOWN THAT SINCE 1948. BUT THAT IS NOW BEYOND ANY COMPREHENSION WHEN THERE IS AN

ALL-OUT WAR IN GAZA. >> AND AS WE THINK ABOUT THE TIMING OF THIS, ANDREA, JUST VERY QUICKLY BEFORE I GO BACK TO RAF SANCHEZ IN ISRAEL, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THOSE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT A POTENTIAL NEGOTIATION BETWEEN SAUDI ARABIA AND ISRAEL, AN ATTEMPT TO NORMALIZE

RELATIONS THERE AND FURTHER ISOLATE IRAN MAY HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE FACTORS AND I UNDERSCORE THAT WORD MAY HAVE BECAUSE IT’S STILL VERY EARLY BUT IT’S CERTAINLY A PIECE OF THE BACKDROP TO THESE HORRIFIC ATTACKS, ANDREA. >> IT’S A VERY INTERESTING QUESTION EXACTLY, KRISTEN,

BECAUSE OF IT WAS MOVING AND JUST THREE OR FOUR DAYS AGO, IN THE SENATE, A LARGE GROUP OF SENATORS PUT OUT A STATEMENT SAYING THEY SUPPORTED IT IN PRINCIPLE BUT DID NOT SUPPORT SOME OF THE ELEMENTS WITHOUT SECURITY GUARANTEES AND ON A

NUCLEAR CIVIL PLAN THAT SAUDI ARABIA WAS DEMANDING AS ONE OF THE PRICES FROM THE U.S. THERE WERE A NUMBER OF CONDITIONS. I TALKED TO PEOPLE VERY HIGH IN OUR GOVERNMENT JUST A FEW DAYS AGO AND THEY SAID IT’S REALLY GOING TO BE A STRETCH TO GET

THIS THROUGH THE RIGHT WING COALITION IN ISRAEL AND THROUGH OUR SENATE BUT IT’S SOMETHING THAT NETANYAHU, YOU KNOW AS WELL AS I, WANTED VERY MUCH AND SO DID MOHAMED BIN SALMAN, THE DEFACTO LEADER OF SAUDI ARABIA AND SO DID THE WHITE HOUSE.

AND JAKE RIYADH HAS BEEN OPENLY ENGAGING IN THIS. IT’S SOMETHING THAT PRESIDENT BIDEN THOUGHT MIGHT BE POSSIBLE. WHAT HE TOLD NETANYAHU WAS NOT WITHOUT GUARANTEES FOR THE PALESTINIANS. SO THAT WAS HIS DEMAND AS WELL AS THE SAUDIS AT LEAST. SO THAT WOULD BE ANOTHER VERY

HARD PIECE FOR THE ISRAELI RIGHT WING COALITION TO SWALLOW. >> THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR INSIGHTS AND YOUR REPORTING. I DO WANT TO GO BACK TO RAF SANCHEZ IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL. WE UNDERSTAND THAT ISRAEL HAS NOW CONFIRMED THAT SOME ISRAELIS HAVE BEEN TAKEN HOSTAGE.

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT? >> Reporter: YEAH, KRISTEN. THIS IS NEWS BREAKING IN JUST THE LAST COUPLE OF MINUTES. THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES APPEARING ON ISRAELI NATIONAL TELEVISION AND FOR THE FIRST TIME ISRAELI OFFICIALS ARE CONFIRMING THAT BOTH ISRAELI CIVILIANS AND

ISRAELI SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN TAKEN INSIDE OF GAZA, ARE BEING HELD CAPTIVE, ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE INSIDE THERE AND I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW HEAVILY THAT WILL WEIGH ON THE MINDS OF DECISION MAKERS FROM PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU TO ON DOWN. THIS IS ONE THING TO BE CAUGHT

OFF GUARD IN A MAJOR SURPRISE ATTACK THAT LEADS TO A MAJOR LOSS OF LIFE. IT IS ANOTHER THING TO NOW BE DEALING WITH A LARGE SCALE HOSTAGE SITUATION INSIDE OF THE GAZA STRIP. THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE ISRAELI MILITARY SAYS ALL OPTIONS ARE ON

THE TABLE IN TERMS OF A LARGE SCALE ISRAELI MILITARY INCURSION, A GROUND OFFENSIVE INTO GAZA. I CAN TELL YOU THIS ATTACK HAS TRULY SHATTERED ISRAEL’S SENSE OF SECURITY WHEN IT COMES TO THE SITUATION IN GAZA, IT COULD BE PROBLEMS COULD BE CAPS ON THE

OTHER SIDE OF THE FENCE. IT HAS PHYSICALLY SHATTERED THIS BARRIER THAT SEPARATED ISRAEL FROM THE GAZA STRIP. THIS IS A BARRIER THAT WAS BUILT OVER MANY YEARS AT THE COST OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. IT WAS A BARRIER, A WALL THAT OFFICIALS WERE EXTREMELY PROUD OF —

>> I’M SORRY TO INTERRUPT YOU BUT AS YOU ARE SPEAKING, WE ARE LOOKING AT HUGE PLUMES OF SMOKE IN GAZA CITY. WE’RE TRYING TO GET A SENSE OF WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT SPECIFICALLY, IS THIS NEW ATTACK PART OF THE AFTERMATH BUT A

DRAMATIC IMAGE OF HUGE PLUMES OF SMOKE. RAF, PLEASE DO CONTINUE. >> Reporter: SO, KRISTEN, I CAN’T SEE THE PICTURES YOU’RE SEEING BUT WE’RE HEARING ISRAELI AIRCRAFT OVERHEAD ALL DAY STRIKING TARGETS INSIDE OF GAZA CITY. IF YOU’RE SEEING SMOKE OVER THE GAZA AIRLINE, IT’S POSSIBLE IT’S

ONE OF THOSE DOZENS AND DOZENS OF AIR STRIKES. THE GAZA HEALTH MINISTRY IS SAYING 200 ARE DEAD OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF HOURS AS A RESULT OF THOSE STRIKES. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THE BREAKDOWNS ARE IN TERMS OF HOW MANY OF THOSE ARE CIVILIANS AND

HOW MANY ARE MILITANTS. THIS INITIAL WAVE OF AIR STRIKES I THINK SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD AS ISRAEL DESPERATELY TRYING TO REGAIN CONTROL OF THE SITUATION, TRYING TO FORCE THESE MILITANTS BACK. IT SHOULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD AS THE TOTALITY OF THE ISRAELI RESPONSE AND WHAT THE WHOLE

WORLD IS WATCHING RIGHT NOW IS WHETHER ISRAELI FORCES ARE GOING TO ROLL THROUGH THAT SHATTERED SECURITY BARRIER, THE BARRIER THE PALESTINIAN MILITANTS CROSSED THIS MORNING AND WHETHER ISRAELI WILL GO IN THE OTHER DIRECTION AND TAKE THE FIGHT INTO GAZA. KRISTEN. >> Reporter: I THINK YOU RAISED

THE CRITICAL QUESTIONS RAF SANCHEZ. THANK YOU FOR BRINGING US THAT NEW REPORTING. I WANT TO BRING IN FORMER DEPUTY COMMANDER OF THE EUROPEAN COMMAND. GENERAL TWITTY, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. WE ARE SEEING THESE NEW EXPLOSIONS. WE JUST HEARD MORE EXPLOSIONS OVER GAZA CITY.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THIS? IS THIS AN ATTEMPT BY ISRAEL TO REGAIN ITS FOOTING IN THE WAKE OF THESE UNPRECEDENTED ATTACKS? >> GOOD TO BE WITH YOU, KRISTEN. WHAT YOU’RE SEEING HERE IS STRATEGIC TARGETING. SO THE ISRAELIS, THEY HAVE INTELLIGENCE ON WHERE COMMAND

CENTERS ARE LOCATED AND SO THEY’RE GOING AFTER THESE COMMAND CENTERS IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE COMMAND AND CONTROL THAT HAMAS WILL HAVE WITH ITS MILITANTS. THEY’RE GOING AFTER THE AMMUNITION DEPOTS TO REDUCE THE AMMUNITION THAT HAMAS CAN USE. THIS WILL CONTINUE BUT FOLLOWED

BY THIS, YOU CAN ANTICIPATE A GROUND OFFENSE, PARTICULARLY KNOWING THAT THERE ARE ISRAELI CITIZENS AND ISRAELI SOLDIERS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN HOSTAGE INSIDE GAZA. >> GENERAL TWITTY, LET’S DELVE INTO THAT A LITTLE BIT FURTHER. WHAT EXACTLY MIGHT A GROUND OFFENSIVE LOOK LIKE?

HOW LONG WOULD IT TAKE FOR ISRAEL TO LAUNCH SUCH AN OFFENSIVE AND WHAT WOULD THE POTENTIAL FALLOUT BE? >> YEAH. YOU HAVE A COUPLE OF THINGS AT PLAY HERE. NUMBER ONE, THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED IN THE SENSE THAT YOU HAVE HAMAS MILITANTS THAT

HAVE CROSSED OVER INTO ISRAEL AND THAT THEY’RE IN THE CITIES, THE TOWNS WITHIN ISRAEL. AND OBVIOUSLY THE ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES WILL HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT PIECE. THE OTHER PIECE IS THE BORDER HAS BEEN BREACHED IN A NUMBER OF PLACES. I’VE BEEN THERE, I’VE SEEN THAT

BORDER. IT HAS RADAR, SENSORS, CAMERAS AND HAS BEEN BREACHED BY HAMAS. THAT HAS TO BE REBUILT TO PREVENT OTHER HAMAS FORCES FROM COMING IN AND CONTINUING TO WREAK HAVOC IN THESE CITIES. THEN YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT PERHAPS THE WEST BANK, WHETHER

OR NOT THEY’RE GOING TO STAY QUIET OR NOT AND NOT TRY AND PUSH ADDITIONAL MILITANTS INTO THIS WAR TO ASSIST HAMAS. AND, OH, BY THE WAY, HEZBOLLAH, NORTH OF THE GOLDEN HEIGHTS, I’M SURE THEY’RE WATCHING THIS VERY CLOSELY AND THEN IRAN AT LARGE

WITH IRANIAN PROXY FORCES TRYING TO GET INTO THE FIGHT AS WELL. AND SO THAT’S THE STRATEGIC PICTURE THAT THE ISRAELIS WILL HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT AND THEN YOU HAVE THE HOSTAGE SITUATION IN WHICH NETANYAHU WILL CERTAINLY GO IN AND TRY AND TAKE CARE OF THE HOSTAGE SITUATION.

IT’S GOING TO BE A COMPLEX FIGHT. YOU GOT ABOUT 2 MILLION PALESTINIANS LIVING IN GAZA AND IS A HIGHLY POPULATED AREA. SO YOU’RE LOOKING AT MANY CASUALTIES. THE ISRAELI SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS WILL PROBABLY BE USED AS HUMAN SHIELDS. SO THE ENFORCEMENT IS WHAT WE

SHOULD BE LOOKING AT AS WELL. >> WE ARE LOOKING AT VIDEO FROM EARLIER TODAY, CHEERING PRESUMABLY BY HAMAS, INCLUDING A LITTLE GIRL THERE HOLDING A GUN. I WANT TO BRING IN NOW NBC NEWS TEL AVIV BUREAU CHIEF MARTIN FLETCHER. TALK TO US, IF YOU WILL, ABOUT

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS ATTACK COMING ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE YOM KIPPUR WAR. >> I SHOULD SAY FORMER TEL AVIV BUREAU CHIEF. THE SIGNIFICANCE IS QUITE EXTRAORDINARY. I WAS ACTUALLY IN ISRAEL 50 YEARS AGO ON THIS DAY 50 YEARS AGO WHEN ISRAEL WAS SURPRISED BY

JORDAN, BY SYRIA AND EGYPT. SO THE COMPARISON IS JUST EARTH SHATTERING. THE IDEA THAT THE HAMAS FIGHTERS WOULD BE INSIDE ISRAEL HOLDING HOSTAGES, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, I’VE BEEN ON THE PHONE ALL HOURS WITH CONTACTS IN ISRAEL AND THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT 40 ISRAELI CAPTIVES, SOLDIERS, CIVILIANS

AND FEMALE SOLDIERS AS WELL AS THE MALE SOLDIERS. SO THE PROBLEM WITH THE GROUND INVASION, WITH THE PEOPLE WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IS THAT THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAMAS WANTS. HAMAS HAS BEEN TRYING TO ENTICE ISRAELI FORCES INSIDE GAZA FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS AND THEY’RE

READY FOR THIS. AND IT’S GOING TO BE — IF THERE IS A GROUND INVASION, IT’S GOING TO BE A BLOODY FIGHT, DIFFICULT FIGHT BUT ISRAELI REALLY DOESN’T HAVE ANY ALTERNATIVE IF THEY WANT TO GET OUT THOSE 40-ISH ISRAELI WHO ARE HELD CAPTIVES INSIDE GAZA.

IT’S GOING TO BE A TERRIBLE FIGHT COMING. >> MARTIN FLETCHER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AS WE CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS DEVELOPING SITUATION WITH ISRAELI DECLARING WAR AFTER A SURPRISED ATTACK BY HAMAS. THAT CONCLUDES THIS NBC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT, WE’LL HAVE

ENOUGH MORE ON OUR STREAMING CHANNEL, NBC NEWS AND TOMORROW ON “MEET THE PRESS.” I’M KRISTEN WELKER. THIS HAS BEEN

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