UPDATES: 31 OCTOBER
Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church was NOT hit in yesterday’s blast.
Yesterday’s blast hit the Arab Orthodox Cultural Center and the Orthodox Christian School were damaged in the strike. We do not know if anyone was sheltering in those locations. Reports are mixed. Unconfirmed sources suggested that there were refugees there. Our most trusted sources indicate that these locations might have been vacant. We are still working to confirm whether or not there were any civilian refugees in the Cultural Center and School.
There are no reported casualties at the Arab Orthodox Cultural Center that we are aware of at this time.
St. Porphyrios Orthodox Church is several blocks away from the Arab Orthodox Cultural Center, and was unaffected by yesterday’s strike.
St Porphyrios Orthodox Church
30 October 2023
10:00 PM local time
We have just received reports from two sources within St. Porphyrios Church that the church has just been hit by a missile, they believe. We are working to try to clarify the situation as quickly as possible, and we will update as soon as we know more.
Palestinian news outlets confirm strikes on the Greek Orthodox School and the Orthodox Cultural Center. Sources inside the church compound contacted the Order of Saint George the Great Martyr to inform us that they had been hit again at the church compound.
In the midst of the bombardment and blackouts, contact with our sources is difficult, but we will continue to speak to them as much as possible.
UPDATES: HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR
Throughout the morning today, sources in Gaza and the West Bank contacted us to let us know that the Government Office of Information (or possibly the Office of News; the translation was difficult to interpret) had alerted them that “Israeli forces are threatening to strike the Arab Orthodox Cultural Center, which already houses 1000 refugees, and the Orthodox School, which houses at least 500 refugees.”
The Arab Orthodox Cultural Center is very near Shifa Hospital in Gaza, but is not within a few blocks of the church compound of St. Porphyrios.
The Church, monastery, school, and cultural center are all connected but are not located in the same compound. All are housing refugees, a majority of whom are women and children.
Palestinian news sources confirm the strike at the Arab Orthodox Community Center.
We are unsure if this was the only blast, but it is the only one we can confirm at this time.