A prominent Tuscaloosa businessman and his wife are among many Alabama residents who have been trapped in Israel since war broke out there this weekend.

Peace was shattered Saturday in one of the deadliest days in the country's modern history when Hamas fighters poured into Israel from Gaza and allegedly began killing indiscriminately. The weekend's death toll is nearing 1,000 in Israel with thousands wounded and casualties are also mounting in Gaza as Israeli forces strike back.

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Amid the chaos is Tuscaloosa's Gene "Poodgie" Poole and his wife Jamie, who were in Israel with two other local couples this weekend when the conflict broke out. Poole is the owner of Hudson-Poole Fine Jewelers.

Poole joined the Steve & DC show on 95.3 the Bear Monday morning to describe what they are experiencing and their efforts to leave the country, which has been near impossible as attacks continue there.

"We woke up I guess it was Friday morning to air raid sirens and explosions," Poole said. "We were in Bethlehem at that point and these explosions were missiles and they weren't in the city of Bethlehem, they were on the outskirts, on the borders. We could see the smoke and see where they hit, and that went on most of that morning, we stayed pretty low that day."

Things are calmer on Monday, he said.

"We're good right now. we're a little bit safe but airline flights are trouble, we may have to go to Istanbul or Amman, Jordan to get back to the States," Poole told the morning show.

Poole said the Tuscaloosa contingent, unable to leave the country, has continued touring parts of Israel while they figure out a plan to get back to Alabama safely, but have heard and experienced missile attacks and more since the conflict exploded Saturday.

"Today, we were at the Wailing Wall and we came under missile attack - there were no sirens or anything, they just told everyone to get the heck into the buildings and get low so we did," Poole said.

He said a missile did land somewhat nearby, but that Jerusalem has been mostly safe amid the chaos of the weekend.

Listen to the entire interview below, as this developing story continues to be updated with information from their time in Israel.

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