▶ Watch Video: “CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil says his 2 kids in Israel “safe”: “Roller coaster weekend”

“CBS Mornings” co-host Tony Dokoupil told viewers on Monday that two of his kids and his ex-wife are in Israel as fighting rages after a large-scale surprise attack by Hamas, saying “it’s been a roller coaster weekend.”

“It’s tough. I have an 11-year-old and a 14-year old who live in Israel. They live there with their mother, my ex-wife. They are safe,” Dokoupil said on “CBS Mornings.” “But just as a father, I think people can understand, if somebody, anybody, is firing rockets in the direction of your children without regard to whether they are struck or not, you’re going to feel a thing or two.”

Dokoupil co-hosted Monday’s show, which heavily covered the fighting that has raged since Hamas — long designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Israel — launched an assault on Israel on Saturday. Some Hamas fighters smashed through an Israel-Gaza border barrier, while others infiltrated Israel by air and sea. Thousands of rockets rained down, and militants have slaughtered civilians in the streets and kidnapped scores of people who were believed to be taken into Gaza. 

“I come to this fairly as a journalist, but I’m also a father,” Dokoupil said, adding, “you can’t separate those two at a certain point.”

As of Monday, the death toll on both sides had soared above 1,200, including hundreds who were killed at a music festival in Israel near Gaza. 

Dokoupil said he has talked to his kids, including “as the sirens went off the first time” amid rocket fire. 

“But the rockets are just step one. I mean, that’s the beginning of it,” he said. “I’ve been sad and angry and disgusted to see the news that unfolded in the 48 hours since. We’re talking about the direct, close-range murder of more than 700 civilians in their cars, in their homes, at a festival. And then the kidnappings, and then the hostage taking, and then the evidence of rape. And I think there’s enough moral clarity in the world to say that this is wrong, it’s terrorism, and if it’s being done in your name, speak up, speak up.”

“I’m also heartbroken for the innocent people who are in Gaza and their children and what will happen to them in the days ahead,” he said. “And I’m disappointed and frustrated that … 75 years after the United Nations and the world said, ‘Jews, Arabs, live in peace’ … the two people have been unable to do so.”

He noted that three generations “have been living through war and terror and trauma, and now it’s my kids, it’s other people’s kids. What’s the solution here? What now?”  

Dokoupil is now married to MSNBC anchor Katy Tur and they have two children together