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Gaza mass grave: Almost 400 bodies have been found, says Palestinian Civil Defense



CNN

Gaza authorities completed their search of mass graves at a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip and said they discovered a total of 392 bodies, some of whom were still wearing surgical gowns.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, a Palestinian Civil Defense official in Gaza said workers had identified 165 bodies at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area at the start of the month.

They are still examining the remaining 227 bodies to determine their identities, Mohammed Al Mighayyer said at the press conference in Rafah. “We found three mass graves, the first in front of the morgue, the second behind the morgue and the third to the north of the dialysis building,” he added.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said any suggestion that it buried Palestinian bodies in mass graves was false and that a grave in the Nasser compound was dug by Palestinians in Gaza a few months ago.

Gaza Civil Defense acknowledged that around 100 bodies had been buried in graves at Nasser Hospital before the IDF operation.

A CNN reporter who visited the site Sunday spoke to people who said they buried the bodies of family members who were killed on the hospital grounds as a temporary measure in January . When they returned after the withdrawal of the Israeli army on April 7, they discovered that the bodies had been dug up and then placed in at least one mass grave, not all where they had been initially buried, the rapporteur said. .

The Palestinian Civil Defense also showed graphic images on a television screen during the press conference. CNN reviewed photos that appear to show several almost unrecognizable bodies at the complex. The images also include decomposed bodies of children.

A CNN reporter who visited the scene on Sunday and Monday saw several decomposed bodies dressed in surgical gowns. Photos reviewed by CNN show several bodies still wearing hospital bracelets.

CNN footage also shows the decomposed bodies of several other children at the complex.

Al Mighayyer stated that the Civil Defense “witnessed the presence of bodies of children in the mass graves of the Nasser medical complex, which proves the crimes of genocide.” Although the group says it continues to examine the bodies, it suspects that at least 20 civilians were buried alive in the compound, but it has not explained how it knew this or provided evidence, while continuing his investigation.

Al Mighayyer also claimed that there had been cases of executions of patients who were receiving treatment at the hospital. He said several bodies were found with gunshot wounds to the head and wounds to the body.

CNN is unable to verify these claims or confirm the causes of death of the people whose bodies were discovered, and it is unclear who is responsible for their deaths.

CNN interviewed a father on camera as he identified the decomposing body of his 15-year-old son by the clothes he was wearing.

The man looked at his son’s lifeless body, pointed at him and said, “That’s my son, I can see him by his shirt.” » The footage shows him kneeling and holding his son’s head, inspecting it from behind and confirming once again that it is indeed his son. “Oh my God, he’s dead. He is dead,” he said, wiping his tears.

Al Mighayyer told the press conference that Gaza’s Palestinian Civil Defense had “discovered marks of torture on (some) bodies.” CNN cannot independently verify these claims.

Al Mighayyer added that Israeli forces buried several bodies in plastic bags “at a depth of three meters, which caused them to decompose quickly.” “The occupation deliberately concealed the evidence of its crimes in the Nasser compound by changing the plastic envelopes several times,” he claimed. A video recorded by CNN shows bodies wrapped in three different colored shrouds: white, black and blue.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not respond to specific questions about the allegations made regarding the grave sites.

In response to a question from CNN about the mass graves, the IDF shared a link to a post on X from its international spokesperson Nadav Shoshani, who commented on a video of Palestinians digging a mass grave at the compound. Shoshani wrote in her post: “Misinformation is circulating regarding a mass grave discovered at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. The grave in question was dug – by Gazans – a few months ago. This fact is corroborated by social media documentation posted by Gazans at the time of the burial, as shown in the video below.

He added: “Any attempt to accuse Israel of burying civilians in mass graves is categorically false and a mere example of a disinformation campaign aimed at delegitimizing Israel. »

The Israeli military said it had removed dozens of bodies from Gaza for DNA testing in Israel, before returning the remains in containers.

The Palestinian Civil Defense in Gaza called on the United Nations to form an international committee to investigate the mass graves at the Nasser compound.

Asked about the Nasser hospital mass graves at a United Nations briefing in New York on Thursday, Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, said the organization had called for an international investigation, but said how this would play out was “unclear at this time”. “.

“Investigators, wherever they come from, would need to have access to Gaza, which would require permission from a number of countries, including Israel,” he added.

Amnesty International also called for an investigation into the mass graves at Nasser Hospital and another hospital in Gaza, the Al-Shifa Medical Complex, saying it was “urgent to grant access to independent human rights investigators.” “.

“Mass graves are potential crime scenes offering vital and time-sensitive forensic evidence; they must be protected until professional forensic experts with the necessary skills and resources can safely carry out adequate exhumations and accurate identification of the remains,” he adds.

Amnesty International also called for an investigation into the mass graves at the two hospitals in Gaza.

When reached for comment, the Israeli military also referred to an earlier CNN statement regarding claims that Israeli troops buried dozens of Palestinians in a mass grave on the hospital grounds , saying they were “baseless and baseless.”

It adds: “During the IDF operation in the Nasser Hospital area, in line with efforts to locate the hostages and missing persons, the corpses buried by the Palestinians in the Nasser Hospital area were examined. The examination was carried out carefully and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages.

The IDF continued: “At the end of February, IDF forces carried out a precise and targeted operation against the terrorist organization Hamas in the Nasser Hospital area. During the operation, approximately 200 hospitalized terrorists were apprehended, medicines intended for the Israeli hostages were found undelivered and unused, and a large quantity of ammunition was confiscated. The activity was carried out in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, patients and medical staff.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

News Source : www.cnn.com
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With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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