At least 4,137 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel began bombarding the Palestinian enclave, the Hamas-controlled health ministry said Friday.
The ministry said another 13,162 people have been wounded in the Israeli strikes, which have been ongoing since 7 October.
Among those killed were 16 people who died at the compound of Greek Orthodox church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza City late on Thursday, the ministry said.
Around 500 people had taken refuge at the church, including five members of Caritas staff, along with their families, NGO Cartias Internationalis said in a statement.
“We were devastated to learn of the death of our colleague Viola, 26-year-old, who was killed alongside her husband and their infant daughter” in the strike, the NGO said in a statement.
A Palestinian boy walks at the site of a damaged building following an Israeli raid in Tulkarm in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on 20 October, 2023.
It said at least 17 people were killed and others are still under the rubble.
Witnesses told the strike appeared to have been aimed at a target close to the place of worship where many Gaza residents had taken refuge as the war raged in the Palestinian enclave.
The army said its fighter jets had struck a “command and control centre” belonging to Hamas that was involved in firing rockets towards Israel.
“As a result of the strike a wall of a church in the area was damaged.
The Hamas health ministry also said that since the conflict erupted, 46 medical personnel had been killed and another 85 wounded in the enclave.
Twenty-one health facilities were out of service due to lack of fuel, it added.
Palestinians in Gaza are still waiting for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza from Egypt through the Rafah crossing.
The war in Gaza began after Hamas carried out a deadly raid on southern Israel on 7 October that left more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, killed on Israeli soil.