skip to Main Content

Justice For All Announces Submission to the International Criminal Court on the Destruction of Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church

Justice For All, an organization dedicated to human rights and accountability, has submitted a detailed document to the International Criminal Court (ICC) under the provisions of the Rome Statute. This submission focuses on the tragic destruction of Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza City, asserting that this act constitutes a war crime.
Background of the Case:
On October 19, 2023, the historic Saint Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church, one of the oldest functioning churches globally and a landmark dating back to 425 CE, was severely damaged by Israeli airstrikes. These strikes not only compromised the structural integrity of this ancient site but also resulted in the loss of 18 civilian lives, including a three-month-old Palestinian child, who were seeking refuge within its walls.
Context and Impact of the Attack:
Saint Porphyrius has stood as a beacon of faith and heritage for nearly 1,600 years. It is deeply woven into the fabric of the local community, serving as a spiritual home for Gaza’s Christian minority and a sanctuary for displaced Palestinians. The attack occurred despite the church’s known status as a non-combatant shelter, highlighting a blatant disregard for international laws that protect such sacred sites during conflicts.
The strike has been met with international outrage, with various religious and humanitarian organizations condemning the attack and describing it as a severe violation of international norms, including the Hague Convention, the Geneva Conventions, and UNESCO’s conventions on the protection of cultural property.
Legal Framework and Allegations:
Our submission emphasizes the following violations under the Rome Statute:
  • Article 8(2)(b)(ii): Intentional attacks against non-military civilian objects.
  • Article 8(2)(b)(iv): Attacks causing excessive collateral damage to civilian life and objects.
  • Article 8(2)(b)(v) and (ix): Prohibitions against targeting buildings dedicated to religion and other cultural purposes that are not military objectives.
These allegations are supported by evidence indicating the absence of any military advantage in the targeting of the church, suggesting that the attack was intended to inflict maximum cultural and psychological damage on the Palestinian community.
Call for Justice:
Justice For All implores the ICC to recognize the assault on Saint Porphyrius Church as a war crime and to initiate proceedings against those responsible for this deplorable act. Our submissions seek not only justice for the victims but also aim to reaffirm the international commitment to protecting cultural heritage and civilian life during armed conflicts.
As we submit this document, Justice For All remains committed to upholding the principles of justice, human rights, and the sanctity of cultural and religious sites worldwide. We stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza and all those who seek to preserve humanity’s rich cultural legacies in the face of conflict.
Back To Top