UPDATE - Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza was NOT bombed by Israel

gaza Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza Israel

This story is from the 10/10 the updated story is here

The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza was not bombed as initially reported by Palestinian sources.

Despite rumours, the Facebook page for Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church has denied that it was destroyed today in a bombing by Israel.

This church, formally under the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, is the oldest Cathedral of Gaza and the third oldest in the whole world. The Christian community here goes back to 395 AD when it was part of the Eastern Roman Empire.

The Church of Saint Porphyrius or St. Porphyrius Church (Greek: Εκκλησία του Αγίου Πορφυρίου) is a Greek Orthodox Christian church located in the Zaytun Quarter of the Old City of Gaza and is named after the 5th-century bishop of Gaza, Saint Porphyrius, whose tomb is situated in the northeastern corner of the church.

Elsewhere, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for Hamas to cease its attacks and release hostages.

In remarks on Monday, he also urged all parties to allow UN access to deliver humanitarian assistance to Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip.

Guterres reiterated that only negotiated peace and “the long-held vision of a two-State solution,” can bring stability to the region.
The secretary-general condemned the “abhorrent attacks by Hamas and others against Israeli towns and villages in the Gaza periphery.”

Guterres said that while he recognized “the legitimate grievances of the Palestinian people,” nothing can justify acts of terror, maiming, killing and the abduction of civilians.

“I am deeply distressed by today’s announcement that Israel will initiate a complete siege of the Gaza Strip, nothing allowed in — no electricity, food, or fuel,” the secretary-general said.

Israel's Minister of Defense said he has ordered the "complete siege" of Gaza, cutting off electricity, food, fuel and water to the enclave. This comes as Israel has pounded Gaza with airstrikes and formally declared war on Hamas Sunday.

More than 550 Palestinians have died, according to Gaza's health ministry, and medical care has been complicated by Israel cutting power to the territory.

At least 900 people have been killed in the Hamas attacks on Israel, Israel’s Army Radio reported on Monday.

We are at war with Hamas following the “brutal slaughter of civilians,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said in a video statement on Monday.

He said Hamas’ attack is a “historical massacre that the world will not forget. That Israel will never forgive.”

“During the slaughter, they begin kidnapping hostages. Dragging babies, mothers, and elderly holocaust survivors on wheelchairs,” he added.

He thanked the international community for its support.

“The people of Israel stand united. We will regain control and bring back security and stability. We will defeat terror because there is no other choice,” he said. “We trust this support will continue as we meet the challenge of fighting terror.”

He said the safety of the hostages is Hamas’ responsibility, he said.

“We fight for our homeland, and we will win,” Cohen concluded.

A near constant sound of explosions coming from Gaza is echoing throughout Ashdod, a city some 35 kilometers (21 miles) north of the enclave.

The strikes sound like a thunderstorm and are causing vibrations.

The IDF said in a statement issued about two hours ago that it had attacked 130 Hamas targets in Gaza with airstrikes in the preceding three hours.

“Throughout the last 24 hours, Air Force planes have been carrying out extensive attacks along the length and breadth of the Gaza Strip, wreaking havoc on Hamas terrorists,” the IDF statement said at that time.

Since then, the strikes have continued.

As of 7:45 p.m. local time, the bombing appeared to be almost continuous, with numerous loud thuds heard every minute.

At the same time, rockets continued to be fired from Gaza, albeit at much slower pace, and intercepted by air defences.

READ MORE: War in Israel: "We haven't experienced anything yet, the worst is yet to come," says Greek living in Tel Aviv.

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