October 20 (Reuters) – Former US Representative Justin Amash said on Friday that a number of his relatives were killed when an Israeli air strike bombed a Greek Orthodox church in the Gaza Strip during the night.
“Our family is hurting deeply,” Amash wrote on X. “May God protect all Christians in Gaza – and all suffering Israelis and Palestinians, whatever their religion or belief.”
Palestinian officials said at least 500 Muslims and Christians took refuge in the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrios from Israeli bombing, and the Hamas-run government’s health ministry said 16 people were killed.
The Israeli army said that part of the church was damaged in a raid on a nearby militant command center, and that it was reviewing the incident.
The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem condemned the attack in a statement.
Amash, who is Palestinian-American, represented Michigan as a Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2021. An outspoken critic of former Republican President Donald Trump, Amash left the party in 2019 and later joined the Libertarian Party.
Israel has besieged the Gaza Strip since Hamas killed 1,400 people in southern Israel on October 7. More than 4,100 Palestinians have been killed, according to Palestinian health officials, and more than a million Palestinians have been left homeless, according to the United Nations.
Reported by Joseph Ax. Edited by Daniel Wallis
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