Gaza, November 1, 2023
The Israeli military bombarded and destroyed the Orthodox Cultural Center in the Tel Al Hawa neighborhood of Gaza early yesterday morning.
The Gaza government earlier reported that the Israeli government had threatened to bomb the center, which was sheltering around 1,000 people.
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a statement yesterday condemning the attack and what it called “Israel’s unwarranted determination to destroy the civil infrastructure and social service centers, as well as shelters for civilians trapped in the besieged enclave.”
The Church’s statemen reads in full:
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a statement this morning, condemning the Israeli military’s bombardment of the Orthodox Cultural Center in the Tel Al Hawa neighborhood of Gaza earlier today. In this statement, the Patriarchate emphasizes that this attack represents a stark embodiment of Israel’s unwarranted determination to destroy the civil infrastructure and social service centers, as well as shelters for civilians trapped in the besieged enclave. The Patriarchate highlights that social, cultural, and sports centers have become vital providers of essential humanitarian services and safe havens for those affected by Israeli airstrikes targeting residential areas.
The Patriarchate further expressed that this assault on the Orthodox Cultural Center and its service facilities constitutes a direct and unjustified attack on one of the pillars of culture and social services in Gaza.
The Patriarchate also notes with grave concern that the Israeli military has targeted 19 places of worship, including mosques and churches, in Gaza during the past three weeks of the devastating conflict. Such attacks on civilians, particularly children, and the deliberate destruction of civilian infrastructure, cannot be justified on rational or humanitarian grounds and are fundamentally at odds with even the most basic moral values.
The Patriarchate reiterates its firm demand for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and pledges to continue its international efforts to achieve this goal as soon as possible.
“In times of crisis and adversity, we turn to the words of Psalms 34:18, which remind us that ‘The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ We pray for peace, justice, and a swift end to the suffering in Gaza,” said the Patriarchate’s statement.
18 Orthodox Christians and others were killed when a blast rocked the church halls at St. Porphyrios of Gaza Monastery last month. Funeral and memorial prayers for victims of Gaza monastery blastThe monastery has been sheltering hundreds since the present conflict began on October 7, but two church halls where they were being housed collapsed when the monastery was hit on Thursday night.
“>Their funeral was served by His Eminence Archbishop Alexios of Tiberias, who has I will not leave my flock, I will die a dignified death if that is my fate—Archbishop in GazaHis Eminence Archbishop Alexios of Tiberias of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is determined to remain with his flock in Gaza, despite the obvious danger.”>vowed to remain with his flock to the end.
Nine children were Mass Baptism at monastery in middle of Gaza violenceA mass Baptism for children was held this weekend at the monastery that has been housing hundreds of Gaza residents since the war began earlier this month.
“>recently baptized at the St. Porphyrios Church.
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