Reports show Israel bombed an area of northern Gaza and damaged an Orthodox Christian church in which residents had taken refuge from the fighting.
Israeli soldiers reportedly hit Gaza City’s Church of Saint Porphyrius, where a number of Christians and Muslims had taken refuge, according to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the largest Palestinian Christian group.
One of the oldest and largest churches in the area is the Church of Saint Porphyrios. It’s considered to be the third-oldest church in existence. The first temple on this site was built around 425 CE. The Crusaders constructed the present-day church in the 1150s. Its devotion to the Virgin Mary is also mentioned in historical sources dating back to the 15th century. It was repaired in 1856 and has remained intact since then.
An injured boy was seen carried out of the rubble late at night in a video taken at the spot. A civil defense member stated that just two persons from the top levels had made it out alive; the remains of the others were still buried under the debris.
A man was heard saying that they felt secure there. They fled the bombing and damage, thinking they were going to be safe, only to be followed by more catastrophe.
Reports of the deaths of 18 Christian Palestinians came from the Hamas terrorist-controlled media office in Gaza. It said that attacking churches that were being utilized as safe havens by civilians trying to escape the fighting constituted a war crime.
The church has not yet released a definitive death toll.
The Israeli military has said they are evaluating the event after a portion of a church was destroyed in an attack on a terrorist command center.
The Palestinians claim that Israel’s decision to prevent assistance from entering Gaza from Israeli territory until over 200 hostages held by the terrorists are released constitutes illegal retaliation against civilians in the area.
With the Biden administration’s efforts, Israel has agreed to let some assistance into Gaza from Egypt so long as it is closely supervised to ensure none of it goes to Hamas. There is still a backup of trucks located on the Egyptian portion of the border crossing.