Reports which claim that the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City has been destroyed by Hamas militants are a hoax that attempts to cash in on the current conflict in the region.
The hoax first appeared on National Report, which is a satirical website known for carrying false reports with sensational headlines. The report comes at a time, when Israel and Palestine are caught in a bloody war.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, is said to have been built in 326AD and is the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
"After a bloody week of clashes that has left several hundred Palestinians dead, Hamas has exacted revenge by leveling the revered Church of The Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Several hundred Hamas extremists have funneled into the city via a network of underground 'terror tunnels'," the hoax stated.
"Israel soldiers only recently discovered these tunnels and have worked diligently to disable as many as they could. It has been discovered that a number of these tunnels lead directly to Holy sites all over Jerusalem. It is clear that the goal of Hamas is to destroy as many of these monuments as possible."
The report then went on to claim that Hamas militants carried out an overnight raid, during which they looted and destroyed the church.
"Hamas soldiers stormed the church, looting everything in sight before installing explosives and completely demolishing the structure."
There is, however, no truth in the story as Christians in Israel have been helping the Palestinians. In fact, as per reports, several ancient churches have been opened up by the Christains for Palestinians seeking shelter during Israeli raids and missile attacks.
Citing a Reuters report, the Christian Post reported that the 12th Century Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius is currently housing around 1,000 Palestinian refugees.
Until revealed as a hoax, report that Hamas had destroyed Church of the Holy Sepulchre left me utterly devastated. Really funny, guys.
— Fr. James Blomeley (@PriestJames) July 26, 2014
Another wild report that I've been unable to confirm thru any other source: http://t.co/2BG1P71MU0 And you wonder where NJs get their info?
— Wild and Wonderful (@EPWVLaw) July 27, 2014
Does it end? Who will stop these bombings and terror? Israel is retaliating not arming children w bombs http://t.co/T9FpNJG72U
— ^-^ (@cyndigr) July 27, 2014
@Boazziz This report is a total fabrication.It is almost 5:00 pm here in Israel, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is operating as normal
— John James Howarton (@jhowarton) July 26, 2014