Gaza civil defence says 50 bodies killed and buried by Israeli army unearthed at hospital

Gaza civil defence says 50 bodies killed and buried by Israeli army unearthed at hospital
Gaza civil defence says 50 bodies killed and buried by Israeli army unearthed at hospital

Health workers at a hospital in the southern Gaza Strip have unearthed dozens of bodies of people killed during Israel’s siege of the medical facility.

Gaza’s civil defence said on Sunday that health workers had uncovered at least 50 bodies of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at a hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis.

In a statement to AFP, the civil defence agency said the remains were discovered in the courtyard of Nasser Medical Complex.

“Inside the Nasser Medical complex there are mass graves dug by the Israeli occupation … we were shocked by the presence of bodies of 50 martyrs in one of the pits yesterday,” Mahmoud Bassal, spokesman for the civil defence agency, told AFP.

“We are continuing the search operation today and are waiting for all graves to be exhumed in order to give a final number of martyrs.”

He added that some of those killed had been tortured.

“There were no clothes on some bodies, which certainly indicates (the victims) faced torture and abuse,” Bassal said.

Israeli tanks and armoured vehicles surrounded the hospital on March 26. The Israeli military said it was checking the reports.

In a separate statement on Sunday, Hamas condemned what it said was a “mass grave of those executed in cold blood and buried with military bulldozers in the hospital’s courtyard”.

It said more than 50 bodies had been recovered there.

Several of the bodies wrapped in white shrouds were later collected by relatives, said an AFP photographer who reported that civil defence workers were seen exhuming bodies from the courtyard on Sunday.

Hospitals in Gaza have been deliberately targeted in the Israeli assault.

The World Health Organization said on April 6 that the Palestinian territory’s largest hospital, Al-Shifa in Gaza City, had been reduced to ashes by an Israeli siege last month, leaving an “empty shell” containing many bodies.

WHO staff who gained access to the devastated facility described horrifying scenes of bodies only partly buried, their limbs sticking out, and the stench of decomposition.

Over 34,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed by Israel’s indiscriminate assault on the Gaza Strip, which began on October 7 after a Hamas surprise attack on southern Israel.

The Israeli bombardment and siege have laid waist to large swathes of the enclave and pushed it to the brink of famine.

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