Aaron and Tamar Greene were preparing for one of the most special days of their lives, their wedding day, when bombs began to rock Israel, where they both live.
"Our wedding planner had texted us, 'Have a restful Shabbat because next week's going to be crazy,'" Aaron Greene told "Good Morning America" of a text he received last Friday, a few days before the couple's planned Oct. 11 wedding. "And then Saturday ... all of a sudden I hear sirens go off and I hear my older brother yelling, 'Sirens, sirens.'"
The couple suddenly found themselves caught in the middle of a surprise attack on Israel by the militant group Hamas, which fired thousands of rockets and sent an estimated 1,000 Hamas terrorists into the country from the neighboring Gaza Strip.
On ABC News Live at 8:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 12, ABC News' James Longman, Matt Gutman and Ian Pannell look at the horrendous toll from Hamas’ massacre, the Israelis and Palestinians caught in middle and what comes next.
Since Saturday, when the attack started, at least 900 people have died and 2,600 others have been injured, Israeli authorities said.
The Israel Defense Forces has since declared war and launched retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza, where 2 million Palestinians have lived under a blockade imposed by neighboring Israel and Egypt since Hamas seized power in 2007. Palestinian authorities said this week that at least 900 people have died and another 4,500 have been wounded in Gaza since Saturday.
"One minute we're expecting a wedding and the next moment we're in a war," said Aaron Greene, who moved to Jerusalem from Georgia in 2017 with his parents and three brothers.
Tamar Greene recalled that at the time the attack started, she and Aaron Greene were separated from each other, following tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other the week before the wedding.
"We just had to cancel everything, cancel all the celebrations, and were constantly running back and forth into the bomb shelter," said Tamar Greene, who was with family and friends who had flown in from around the world for the wedding. "I remember looking out my balcony and just seeing all these people who were in reserve duty quickly get dressed in the car, into their uniforms, and just speed off and go to their reserve duty."
The start of the conflict was especially worrisome for the couple because Aaron Greene is also a reservist with the Israel Defense Forces. Aaron Greene, a paratrooper, said he first watched as his friends got called into duty, and then received the call to serve himself.
"It's really difficult," he said. "On one hand, I'm with the girl I love, that I want to be with my entire life, and on the other hand I also have my brothers -- my brothers-in-arm -- that I love and would do anything for them ... They're there protecting our people and they're protecting me, and I'm not there with them."
Knowing that he would soon be deployed for an unknown length of time, Aaron and Tamar Greene decided to expedite their wedding plans.
The couple wed Monday, two days ahead of their planned date, in a ceremony held on the roof of the multi-family building where Aaron Greene's family lives. Family and friends already in Jerusalem in advance of the original wedding date attended the ceremony in-person, and it was livestreamed for those not able to be there.
The ceremony, like so many parts of life in Israel today, was disrupted at its start by sirens, according to Tamar Greene.
"We feel, first of all, incredibly privileged that we were able to [get married] and every step of the way was just such a wake-up call to the reality of what was happening," she said. "Right before [the ceremony] started, there were rockets and all the wedding guests had to run and go hide in the bomb shelters."
Despite everything, the Greenes said they also experienced a joyful memory they'll never forget when, while taking their wedding photos, people started dancing and playing music in the streets to celebrate them.
"Hundreds of strangers just came to dance with us and make us feel so happy and to make each other feel a little bit more resilient at this time and know that everything's going to be OK," said Tamar Greene. "It was so, so special for us."
The couple said they will hold onto that memory dearly as they brace for an uncertain future. Aaron Greene is still waiting to hear when and where he will be deployed, and it remains uncertain how long he will be gone.
"It's hard to really think about it," Aaron Greene said. "You have people that have families and they leave their loved ones to go and defend Israel."