NEW YORK (PIX11) – The war in Israel hits home for so many New Yorkers, and that includes our PIX11 family.

Former reporter Rebecca Solomon is in Israel with her family, including her baby daughter Mia. She’s working to get back to the United States, but in the meantime, she joined the PIX11 News at 4 to talk about her experience.

“We’re doing as good as we can do. This is an absolutely horrific experience, and we’re just trying to take it minute by minute,” she told PIX11 News. 

Solomon said her family awoke to the sounds of sirens on Saturday morning as the attack by Hamas began.

“We immediately went into the bomb shelter … you go in there for a few minutes, you come out and then the next siren goes off,” Solomon said. “When you’re on a break and there are no bombs coming down on you, you’re glued to the TV, and what you’re seeing down near Gaza … it’s just gut-wrenching.”

Watch the video player for the full interview.

Nearly 1,600 people on both sides of the Israel-Hamas conflict have died since Saturday. 

On Monday, Israel increased airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and sealed it off from food, fuel, and other supplies in retaliation for the bloody incursion by Hamas militants. Hamas also escalated on Monday, pledging to kill captured Israelis if attacks targeted civilians without warning.

In the war’s third day, Israel was still finding bodies from Hamas’ stunning weekend attack into southern Israeli towns. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to destroy the militants’ “military and governing capabilities.”

New York City is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel, with about 2 million Jewish people living in the city and surrounding areas.

This story includes reporting from The Associated Press.

Lauren Cook is a digital journalist who has covered local news in the New York City area for over a decade. She has been with PIX11 since 2020. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.