An investigation conducted by Sanad News Monitoring and Verification Agency in Al Jazeera revealed that the Israeli army deliberately targeted the Greek Orthodox Church in the center of Gaza City, which was sheltering displaced people, leaving martyrs and great destruction, contrary to the occupation's narrative.

The investigation found that the shelling was directly targeting the church building on October 19, and followed a video released by the Israeli military spokesperson of the strike on the church building.

Location of St. Porphyrios Church and Philip the Evangelist Church of the Anglican Diocese (Island)

An Israeli military spokesman claimed in a statement on October 21 that Israeli warplanes bombed in the Zeitoun area a command and control center affiliated with the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in an area near the Greek Orthodox Church.

The spokesman added that "any damage caused by the Israeli raid is collateral damage and was not intended behind the Israeli operation."

On the other hand, the government media office in Gaza said that the occupation army bombed the church building on October 19 during the shelter of dozens of Christian families there, killing 20 people, including 18 Christians.

The bombing of the church came two days after the bombing that targeted the adjacent Arab Baptist National Hospital in Gaza City, which was subjected last Tuesday evening to a large Israeli massacre that left 471 martyrs, and the hospital belongs to the Evangelical Episcopal Church in Jerusalem.

Who bombed the church?

Sanad's investigation relied on a video released by the IDF spokesperson of the new raid that targeted the church building, an event that is approximately 120 meters away from the scene of the bombing that targeted the Baptist Hospital in Gaza City, which took place two days earlier.

Statement regarding the raid on an area close to the Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza:

Yesterday, IDF warplanes targeted the command and control center of a Hamas operative involved in firing rockets and mortars at Israel.

This command center was using...

— Avichai Edrei (@AvichayAdraee) October 21, 2023

The IDF Spokesperson's video shows two markers, one of which is a targeting circle such as a circle of aiming (targeting) on a residential building, and the second is a + targeting sign on a church building, as in the following image:

The video shows two signs, one of which is a targeting circle (a circle of correction) on a residential building, and the second is a target sign in the form of + on a building belonging to the church (Al-Jazeera)

Here is the analysis of the video scene by scene, in an attempt to monitor the fall of the missile and its trajectory, which appears in the second (6 + 4) of the video and we will show the path of the missile according to the following shots:

Image (1) At the beginning of the 6th second the rocket will not appear (Al Jazeera)

Image (2) records the first appearance of the missile (Al Jazeera)

Photo (3) The route of the missile is further shown (Al Jazeera)

Photo (4) The track is shown here more clearly (Al Jazeera)

Photo (5) A clearer appearance of the missile's trajectory during its fall (Al-Jazeera)

Photo (6) shows the moment of the rocket of the building (Al-Jazeera)

Photo (7) shows the missile coming into contact with the building and its explosion, and the explosion exiting from the roof of the building (Al-Jazeera)

After this scene, the explosion occurs, followed by a cloud and then a column of smoke upwards revealing the site of the explosion, in yellow the site of the explosion and the direction of the main explosive tent upwards, with other explosive waves from the sides placed a red circle on one of them.

Smoke coming out of the building on which the word church was placed (Al-Jazeera)

Then smoke comes out of the building on which the word church is placed.

Then smoke comes out of the building on which the word church (Al-Jazeera) was placed.

After analyzing the video, we review the scene on a single image before the targeting, we put punctuation marks for the scene from 1-5.

The following figures indicate the main features of the area, as described in the IDF Spokesperson's video:

  • (1) The building on which the IDF sign appeared in the video, which Israel claimed it targeted.
    (2) The building on which the word church was placed(3) The building on which the missile guidance circle appears for launch and we proved that the rocket exploded (
    4) The area where the rocket entered the building

    (5) An area next to Building No. 1

(Al Jazeera)

To see the place more clearly, we cited a Google Maps image taken in May 2022 of the same area:

Archive photo from Google Maps 2022 (Al Jazeera)

Matching the places, we find that the rocket targeted the building numbered (3) passing through point No. (4), to show that the geographical location of the church building, which was destroyed by the Israeli bombardment, is located through the coordinates

31°30'14.05"N 34°27'44.54"E

This building is an annex to the church and belongs to it and special church events are held in it. The logo hung in the sign inside Building No. 3 of the church that reads "Arab Orthodox Scout Group" can be seen and the extensive destruction of the place, which confirms beyond any doubt that the Israeli shelling was of the church and not a Hamas building, and that the damage and martyrs who fell in the bombing were not "collateral damage," the army said.

Church Annex Building (Island)

Projecting the previous footage and data on a video clip on the ground was documented on the second day of the destruction that befell the targeted site.

The debris can be seen in the video as clearly as shown in the images.

Traces of debris and place of entry of the rocket (Al Jazeera)

The investigation concluded that the Israeli army deliberately targeted the displaced in the church building with a direct missile, which led to material and human losses.

The crater caused by the rocket (Al Jazeera)

St. Porphyrios Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest church in the Gaza Strip still open, located next to a mosque in the Old City of Old Gaza, built on top of St. Porphyrios Mausoleum.

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem issued a statement condemning the Israeli bombardment as a war crime.