msnbc | November 17, 2012
>>> us live. let's get to what's happening right up now around you.
>> reporter: well let's start off here with the situation in gaza . right now it is really quiet behind me. the streets of gaza are really empty. most people this time of night go to their homes. the streets are pretty much quiet. people here really bracing themselves for what the night usually brings. what we've seen over the course of the last several nights is an intense aerial campaign by the israeli forces . as you mentioned yesterday, the palestinian prime minister 's office was destroyed. these air strikes will be intensifying in the coming hours. that's been the pattern. there's also been palestinian rocket fire coming out of gaza into southern israel . the fear that grips the people here is one that can't be described. people here extremely nervous, extremely anxious about the conditions. you mentioned there were sirens going off in israel . there are no sirens that go off here in gaza . people very much feel a sense of anxiety waiting for that next possible israeli air strike . there was in the last hour or so an air strike that took place in the central part of gaza , according to a spokesperson for hamas. earlier today, a residential building in the northern part of the gaza strip was levelled by an israeli air strike . 35 people in that building believed to have been trapped but no casualties as a result of that air strike . one of the problems that we've been talking about, and one of the fierce that many palestinians describe for us, is the fact that gaza is so densely populated. israel may be trying to carry out precision strikes and targeting specific buildings or vehicles, but the way gaza is when you carry out a strike of that magnitude it is bound to have civilian consequences and damage to the civilian infrastructure here. that's also the growing concern if indeed a ground invasion happens with thousands of israeli soldiers possibly going into gaza it would lead to your ban warfare. that type of urban warfare would undoubtedly have civilian consequences as we've seen time and time again. palestinian officials have been telling us the death toll of the operations, israeli air strikes , so far has topped 40 people. eight children, two women. hamas has claimed in the last 24 hours four of its fighters were killed by an israeli air strike . so there's no doubt there's a great sense of tension and fear among the people of gaza . there are diplomatic efforts under way in egypt to try to put a 48-hour period cessation of hostilities but there's still no confirmation that has gone into effect.
>> thank you for that comprehensive wrap-up. we appreciate that.