Reporter dons bullet proof clothes live on air as stun grenades explode in Israel

12 May 2021, 18:08

By Fiona Jones

Middle East correspondent for the Independent Bel Trew had to don a bulletproof protection live on air as stun grenades interrupted her LBC report on the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Her report came amidst growing violence between Israel and Palestine which has already claimed at least 35 lives, with the UN warning the situation is on the brink of a "full scale war."

Hamas fired around 130 rockets at targets in Israel after another day of intensifying conflict which saw the destruction of a tower block in Gaza in an Israeli air strike.

The barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip and air strikes into the territory continued almost non-stop throughout Tuesday, in what appeared to be some of the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas since their 2014 war.

Correspondent Bel Trew, reporting live from Lod, Israel, told Tom Swarbrick, "I was actually just lying on the floor taking cover.

"There have been rocket barrages in this city which is also at the moment in the middle of clashes between Arab-Israeli citizens and Jewish citizens, as well as police force. It's like conflict upon conflict at the moment in Lod."

Ms Trew said she "honestly cannot see" how this violence will deescalate as, despite covering previous wars in the Israeli area, "this certainly feels very different."

As she continued to explain the situation, stun grenades could be heard exploding in the background.

She told LBC, "That was stun grenades you heard in the background by the police force because fighting has already erupted here. So you've got an eternal conflict, as well as the conflict between the Israeli military and Gaza militants."

Ms Trew donned her bulletproof hat and jacket, and continued, "There is civil unrest which is boiling over...it feels like a protracted conflict between Arab citizens and Jewish-Israeli citizens, on top of the fact you have these barrages of rocket fire.

"Just like we had over the last five minutes, we have people throwing stones at each other and police having stun grenades and tear gas.

Then a rocket siren, so everyone has to stop what they're doing and dive for cover all at the same time. It really does feel like this region is on edge in really quite an extraordinary way."

In response to the conflict, the Prime Minister today tweeted: "I am urging Israel and the Palestinians to step back from the brink and for both sides to show restraint.

"The UK is deeply concerned by the growing violence and civilian casualties and we want to see an urgent de-escalation of tensions."

35 Palestinians and five Israelis have lost their lives in the latest clashes.The death toll in Gaza rose to 35 Palestinians, including 10 children, according to the Health Ministry, which said more than 200 people were wounded.

In a nationally televised speech late on Tuesday, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Hamas and Islamic Jihad "have paid, and will pay, a heavy price", adding: "This campaign will take time, with determination, unity and strength."