Orthodox church condemns Israel for bombing its Gaza centre

AFP , Tuesday 31 Oct 2023

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem blamed Israel Tuesday for the overnight bombing of its cultural centre in Gaza City and condemned the "direct and unjustified attack".

Gaza City
People check the destruction following Israeli strikes in Gaza City. AFP


"This attack represents a stark embodiment of Israel's unwarranted determination to destroy the civil infrastructure and social service centres, as well as shelters for civilians trapped in the besieged enclave," the church said in a statement.

An AFP journalist saw the ruins of the Orthodox cultural centre and school in Gaza City, with smoke still rising from the rubble.

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip indiscriminately killing more than 8,500 people, according to the Palestinian health ministry, since its war on Gaza erupted on 7 October

A resident living near the Orthodox cultural centre told AFP he "woke up to this destruction".

"This church (property) has been targeted by missiles, what's in it? Why is all this happening?" asked Hassan Abu Mersa.

The Patriarchate said 19 places of worship, including churches and mosques, have been hit by Israeli strikes since October 7.

Several people were killed on October 20 while they were sheltering in the compound of Saint Porphyrius Church, the oldest church still in use in Gaza, when it was hit by Israeli bombardment.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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