At least 16 Christians, including 10 from one family, were killed during an attack in Gaza on Thursday evening, 19 October, which provoked the total collapse of a building in the compound of the Greek Orthodox Church. According ACN’s project partners another 15 Christians are trapped under the debris. The Church of Saint Porphyrios building itself was not hit.
Around 400 people, mostly Christians, have been sheltering in the compound since the start of the armed conflict. Among the victims are several young Christians who were part of the “Employment Generation Project” for Christian youth, run by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The Orthodox compound is located a few hundred meters from the Holy Family Catholic Church, where a further 500 Christians are sheltered. Many families from the Greek Orthodox compound have had to relocate to Holy Family, which is already filled to capacity.
According to ACN’s sources, the Catholic compound was also hit on Thursday evening, by stun bombs.
The Christian population in the Gaza Strip has repeatedly been asked to evacuate and move south. However, the Christians have been unwilling to leave due to the lack of safety and guarantees that people moving from northern to southern Gaza will not be targeted. Speaking to ACN, Sister Nabila said: “We will not go. People have nothing, not even basic things. Where should we go? To die in the street? We have elderly people, the Missionaries of Charity are also here, with people with multiple disabilities and elderly. Where should we go?”.
ACN asks its benefactors and friends to offer prayers for the victims, the injured and their families and, in communion with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, requests an immediate halt to the bombing of humanitarian institutions.