His unit was creeping into a house in Gaza looking for Hamas militants when it happened. They tripped a wire. The house was booby-trapped and three improvised explosive devices detonated, spraying them with sharp metal shrapnel. His commander and two of his buddies collapsed, killed by the impact. Doron Ziv, a soldier with the Israeli Defense Forces, had a searing pain a few inches from his eye where a pellet from the bombs lodged in his face. Three inches closer to the socket and he would be blind now.
At least 35 Israeli soldiers have been killed and scores injured since the start of the current conflict with Hamas, along with hundreds of casualties inside Gaza. The IDF rarely allows soldiers to speak on camera, but they gave NBC News unprecedented access. At 21, Ziv is two years into his three-year obligatory service. He has spent the past week fighting up close and personal with an enemy he sometimes can't even recognize. Hamas fighters often disguise themselves by wearing IDF uniforms. So you can't know if the solider is from the IDF or someone who wants to shoot you, he says.
Ziv will visit the families of his fallen comrades next week and "tell them the story from there and to tell them how much I loved their boys and children ... How brave they are."
First published July 25 2014, 12:14 PM
Kate Snow is a national correspondent for NBC News, contributing stories to "Nightly News with Brian Williams," the "TODAY" show and Dateline. In this role, she also serves as a fill-in anchor for "Nightly News with Brian Williams" and the "TODAY" show. Prior to being named national correspondent, Snow served as correspondent for "Rock Center with Brian Williams".
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Over her career, Snow has covered politics, four presidential elections, the White House and Congress. She continues to cover breaking news stories -- from the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., to the mall attack in Kenya and the oil spill in the Gulf.
An Emmy-winning journalist, Snow has traveled extensively and told stories that created change. Her Rock Center piece on teenage foreign exchange students being abused by host parents led to new policies at the State Department. Snowâ€™s investigative reports on texting while driving and soccer concussions among young female soccer players sparked national conversations. She was the first reporter to sit down with one of the victims in the Jerry Sandusky scandal and tell his story, as well as the first to speak with kidnap victim Hannah Anderson.
Snow has interviewed a wide range of newsmakers -- from President Obama to Bono. She pointedly questioned President Bill Clinton in his first interview after his wife lost the 2008 nomination. But she can just as easily sing a tune with Rick Springfield.
Prior to joining NBC News as a "Dateline" correspondent in 2010, Snow was the anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America, a program she anchored from its inception. Previously, she was a White House correspondent for ABC News and a Congressional Correspondent for CNN.
Snow is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a masterâ€™s degree in international affairs from Georgetown Universityâ€™s School of Foreign Service. She serves on the national board of the charity Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Snow and her husband have two children.