ASHLEY HALL: A hundred Palestinians have been killed since the
start of Israel's bombing of Gaza, almost a week ago.
In the small coastal territory, the pressure has been intense as Israeli jets, drones, helicopters and warships attack.
At the same time, Palestinian militants have launched rockets every day, sending Israelis scurrying for
Middle East correspondent Hayden Cooper has experienced both sides of the frontline this week. He filed this report from Jerusalem after returning from a trip to Gaza.
HAYDEN COOPER: Crossing from Israel into Gaza is a bizarre experience, almost like a scene from a science fiction film.
After passing through Israeli customs at the Erez crossing at the north end of Gaza, visitors are basically on their own. There's a walk down a short outdoor corridor to a concrete wall and three firm metal doors, all closed.
At first it feels like you've taken a wrong turn, until suddenly one slowly opens.
I walk through it and now I'm faced with a long caged pathway that runs for about 500 metres to the other side.
Thankfully, a Palestinian porter gives me a ride in his golf buggy.
Any bombings today? Airstrikes?
PORTER: Yes. Israeli shot a (inaudible).
HAYDEN COOPER: This trip to Gaza is even more surreal, because every few seconds there's the boom of an explosion.
I pass what used to be the Palestinian entry terminal, but it was blown up by the Israelis that very morning. So now, passport control is a small wooden desk on the side of a dusty road.
Welcome to Gaza.
Four tired-looking Arab men wave me through, copying the details of my passport into a notepad.
And so, I'm inside one of the most isolated and besieged places on earth.
This week has been more of a struggle than most for the resident of Gaza. It's Ramadan for a start, so everything moves slower than usual as the population fasts until sunset.
But now there's a constant threat of airstrikes and no one knows where is safe and where is not.
My first stop is the Shifa Hospital, a facility overwhelmed with patients.
At one bed, a boy in his late teens lies comatose, his legs covered in shrapnel wounds. Seven or eight of his friends are sitting with him.
It turns out, his neighbour tells me, that he was out buying bread when an airstrike hit nearby.
(Sound of Gaza teenager speaking)
"We are scared," the teenager says. "We don't know what to do. There's nowhere safe in Gaza. Even mosques and universities: it's all dangerous."
But he supports the Palestinian resistance effort, despite the violent blowback from Israel.
"It's our right to fight against this total aggression," he says. "This is our land. It's our right to fight and save it."
Over in Israel earlier in the week, I'd been on the complete flipside of this bitter and bloody conflict.
I was at home in Jerusalem when suddenly a piercing noise filled the night time air.
(Sound of air raid siren)
It's an air raid siren, as Palestinian-launched missiles come hurtling towards Jerusalem.
This sound has dominated life for many Israelis this week.
Most homes here have safe rooms: a solid brick room considered strong enough to withstand a rocket. When the sirens go off, people run for it.
Even outside, I was shocked to see drivers pulling over and lying face-down on the side of the road in case the missile landed nearby.
I preferred to take my chances, probably foolishly, but also in the knowledge that Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system does a pretty good job of shooting these rockets out of the sky.
In Gaza: no such luck. There's nowhere to run or hide when an Israeli airstrike comes down on your house.
And there are no air raid sirens.
I find one family from which six people were killed in a bombing last week.
They're still in shock, obviously. But the young men here are only strengthened in their resolve.
"If something happens to us," one of them tells me, "we have to accept it, because we have to sacrifice for this land and Palestine is more important than our lives."
Israelis, of course, say the same thing about what they consider to be their God-given territory.
Either way, when under threat or attack, people here pull together, whether Israelis or Palestinians, and they come out of the ordeal even more determined than before.
I can't help but wonder how many new young militants these attacks are breeding on both sides of the divide.
As I'm leaving Gaza, I say goodbye and thanks to the cameraman and translator I've been working with there and I feel guilty that I can get out and they probably can't.
"This is our life," one of them says to me. "We don't necessarily like it."