'I'm scared now, just terrified. We heard bombing, we heard rockets,' said one New Jersey woman visiting Israel.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Israeli government formally declared war on Sunday and gave the green light for "significant military steps" to retaliate against Hamas for its surprise attack, as the military tried to crush fighters still in southern towns and intensified its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
The death toll passed 1,100 people killed and thousands wounded on both sides.
Our Philadelphia sister station, 6ABC Action News, spoke with two women who gave personal accounts about what they are going through regarding the conflict.
One is currently in Israel visiting, while the other has family there.
"We're fighting against people who have no rules, and they're doing inhumane things," said Eden Ankri, who lives in Philadelphia.
Ankri, 22, sat with her hands over her face, sobbing while she spoke to us. She has family living in Israel as Hamas continues its unprecedented attack.
"I've never seen anything like that getting all of the videos and all those parents that are terrified for their kid's lives," said Ankri.
While she has a personal connection to the attacks, she is urging people in the Delaware Valley to follow what is happening in Israel.
"You remember 9/11, a terrorist attack that people would forever remember. That's how I feel about what happened yesterday. We've never seen anything like it. I've seen people and women my age being kidnapped and raped and people being decapitated," said Ankri.
While Ankri's heart is with family in Israel, Tomeeka Collins is in Jerusalem on a religious tour. Action News spoke with her about what she's seeing and hearing.
"We heard a bomb and we heard a siren, so then we had to drop down, keep our heads down, I guess it was like 60 of us," said Collins from Sewell, New Jersey.
She, like many Americans, wants to come home. Collins is concerned about her flight scheduled to leave Tuesday, now that airports in Israel have canceled flights.
"Scared, I'm scared now, just terrified. We heard bombing, we heard rockets, then we're hearing all these sirens," said Collins.