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HomeisraelFormer Rep. Justin Amash says family members killed in Gaza church after...

Former Rep. Justin Amash says family members killed in Gaza church after Israeli airstrike

Former Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a Libertarian, said Friday that several of his relatives were killed in a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza that was damaged by an Israeli airstrike amid the war between Israel forces and Hamas terrorists.

The explosion struck the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius Thursday evening and knocked down a wall of the church. At least 500 displaced Muslims and Christians had taken shelter in the church, where the Hamas-run government’s health ministry said at least 16 were killed.

The Israeli military said a strike on a nearby command center damaged part of the church, and that the incident is under investigation. The military said the church was not the target of the strike.

Amash, who represented Michigan’s third congressional district until he left the U.S. House in 2021, confirmed the death of his relatives on social media.

The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem said in a statement after the church was damaged that it “expresses its strongest condemnation of the Israeli air strike that has struck its church compound in the city of Gaza.”

More than 5,600 people have been killed in Gaza and Israel since Hamas launched its largest attack against Israel in decades on October 7, leading to retaliatory action from Israeli forces. Thousands more have been wounded, and many others have been taken hostage by Hamas and raped, tortured and murdered.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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