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IDF: Palestinian and UN claims it dug mass graves in Gaza ‘baseless and unfounded’

Gaza officials claim IDF killed hundreds and buried them in mass graves

People work to move into a cemetery bodies of Palestinians killed and buried at Nasser hospital, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, April 21, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Ramadan Abed)

Israel Defense Forces rejected claims that it murdered hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and buried them in mass graves as “baseless and unfounded.”

Ismail al-Thawabta, the head of the Hamas government media office in Gaza, claimed over the weekend that a mass grave with 283 bodies had been found on the grounds of Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis.

Palestinian officials claimed some of the bodies found at Nasser Hospital were handcuffed, shot in the head, or wearing detainee uniforms, and accused Israeli soldiers of murdering and burying the bodies to conceal the evidence.

On Tuesday, the IDF stated that its troops had searched for the bodies of Israeli hostages at the site and later returned the bodies to their burial place after an examination.

”The examination of the bodies was done while respecting the dignity of the dead,” the IDF said, calling the accusations ”baseless and unfounded.”

The army added that the soldiers acted with care and had only followed intelligence indicating the possible presence of hostages.

Palestinians were documented burying bodies at and around Nasser Hospital several times over recent weeks, according to the Times of Israel.

In addition, geolocation experts on 𝕏 claimed to have identified the location of the alleged newly discovered mass grave as the same location where bodies had been buried by Palestinians weeks ago.

UN officials, including High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, echoed accusations against the IDF on Tuesday, expressing horror at reports and calling for an international investigation.

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

A spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights office added that some of the bodies found at Nasser Hospital ”had their hands tied, which of course indicates serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and these need to be subjected to further investigations."

In a targeted raid of the hospital in February, the IDF said it had captured around 200 terrorists who had hidden there, along with medicine intended for Israeli hostages.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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