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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

United Nations seeks inquiry into Gaza mass graves

Palestinian Civil Defence said over the weekend that it had found a mass grave containing 283 bodies on the grounds of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, two weeks after a similar mass grave was found at Shifa Hospital

Liam Stack, Hiba Yazbek, Nick Cumming-Bruce New York Published 25.04.24, 09:33 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

The UN human rights office on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into two mass graves found after Israeli forces withdrew from hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including one discovered days ago over which Israeli and Palestinian authorities offered differing accounts.

Palestinian Civil Defence said over the weekend that it had found a mass grave containing 283 bodies on the grounds of Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, two weeks after a similar mass grave was found at Shifa Hospital.

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Mahmoud Basal, a spokesperson for Palestinian Civil Defence, an emergency services organization, said some of the bodies found in Khan Younis were handcuffed, shot in the head or wearing detainee uniforms. He accused Israeli forces of killing and burying them. Israel’s military declined to address those claims on Tuesday, and they could not be independently verified.

On Tuesday, hours after the top UN human rights official called for an inquiry into the mass graves, the Israeli military said that its forces had exhumed bodies that were buried by Palestinians “in the area” of Nasser Hospital and examined them as part of an effort to locate hostages. It did not comment on the report of the mass grave at Shifa.

The Israeli military declined to say how many bodies troops had exhumed and reburied, how they died or whether the remains of any hostages had been found at the site. It also did not say how the bodies had been examined to determine if they were those of Israeli hostages. “The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased,” the statement said.

New York Times News Service

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