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Former West Michigan congressman says Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed family members

Justin Amash U.S. House of Representatives photo
Former U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township, MI-3)

Former U.S. Representative Justin Amash confirmed the deaths on X and Facebook social media accounts.

On his Facebook page, former U.S. Representative Justin Amash re-posted his X account message that several of his relatives living in Gaza were killed last week when an Israeli air assault struck a Greek Orthodox Church where they sought shelter.

The Grand Rapids Republican wrote, “I was really worried about this. With great sadness, I have now confirmed that several of my relatives (including Viola and Yara pictured here) were killed at Saint Porphyrius Orthodox Church in Gaza, where they had been sheltering, when part of the complex was destroyed as the result of an Israeli airstrike. Give rest, O Lord, to their souls, and may their memories be eternal. The Palestinian Christian community has endured so much. Our family is hurting badly. May God watch over all Christians in Gaza – and all Israelis and Palestinians who are suffering, whatever their religion or creed.”

Amash, who is of Palestinian descent, also posted a photo taken October 9,1956. The day Amash says America welcomed his father and family, all Palestinian Christian refugees.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.