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Crossing from Israel into the Gaza Strip is a journey that few are permitted to make. The Palestinian territory has been effectively under siege since it was taken over by a government led by Hamas, which has dedicated itself to the destruction of Israel. It has been described as "the world's largest outdoor prison" as Israel limits access to medical cases and a few other exceptions, measures that Israel says are essential for its security. The recent escalation of fighting has only ratcheted up the tension.

NBC News' Ayman Mohyhedin made the trek Thursday, as Palestinian rockets were going off and Israeli strikes could be heard hitting targets in the background.

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— Ayman Mohyeldin