SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As the Middle East erupts in chaos, a Bay Area expert warns it could get worse.
"I think this is one of the most significant moments of Palestinian resistance to Israel that we have ever seen," said George Bisharat, emeritus professor of UC Law San Francisco. "Certainly the most significant military act of resistance ever against Israel by the Palestinians."
Bisharat believes the attack was likely long in planning.
"For Hamas to be able to pull this off in a surprise way like this, is an incredible feat. Whatever you make of it, as a matter of military operation pretty incredible, incredibly sophisticated," Bisharat said.
"Israel is not perfect by any stretch," said State Senator Scott Wiener. "I have my own very public criticisms, but what happened today crosses a red line. Nothing justifies the terrorist attacks that we saw today."
The state senator is a member of California Legislative Jewish Caucus.
"As a Jew -- and I know I speak for my Jewish colleagues in the legislature -- we are all both horrified and terrified about what's happening in Israel," Wiener said.
"This is a horrific day. The violence that we're seeing today is disturbing to everyone who cares about peace and justice," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, national deputy executive director, Council On American-Islamic Relations. "Until the occupation ends, I fear we're going to keep seeing that cycle of violence repeat itself."
And, as far as what comes next, Bisharat says it could go several ways.
"The fact of the number of hostages provides the Palestinians with a significant leverage against the Israeli state power and may cause a quicker end to this, than in less violent into this, than we might otherwise see," Bisharat said. "The other scenario is that Israel will massively go ahead and and do as it has done in the past, and possibly even worse."
If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live