UN demands international probe into “mass graves” unearthed near Gaza hospitals

World

Published: 2024-04-23 15:49

Last Updated: 2024-05-27 07:18


Unidentified bodies killed by “Israeli” bombardment were buried by Gaza’s authorities in Khan Yunis. (November, 2023) (Photo: AFP)
Unidentified bodies killed by “Israeli” bombardment were buried by Gaza’s authorities in Khan Yunis. (November, 2023) (Photo: AFP)

The United Nations called for an international investigation into reports of mass graves unearthed at two Gaza hospitals -Nasser Hospital and Al-Shifa Hospital-after being subject to “Israeli” strikes and raids, with the UN saying that “war crimes may have been committed” at those two sites.

The UN Human Rights Office said it was "horrified" by the destruction of Gaza's biggest hospital, Al-Shifa in Gaza City, and its second largest, the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis - in a statement cited by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

It demanded an “independent, effective and transparent investigation into the deaths.”

"Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators," said Volek Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law," he added, "and the intentional killing of civilians, detainees and others who are hors de combat is a war crime."

The office said it had no access to independent information as to what had transpired at the two hospitals.

UN spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, said efforts were under way to corroborate reports and details given by Gaza authorities in which they say 283 bodies were exhumed from Nasser hospital, including 42 that had been identified.

"Victims had reportedly been buried deep in the ground and covered with waste," Shamdasani told reporters.

“Older people, women and wounded were reportedly among the dead,” she said, “Others were allegedly found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

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