• Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Israel denies its troops buried Palestinians in Gaza mass grave

Israel denies its troops buried Palestinians in Gaza mass grave

Geneva, 23 April 2024 (dpa/MIA) - The bodies discovered in a mass grave in the Gaza Strip were not buried by Israeli soldiers but by Palestinians, according to Israel's embassy in Geneva.

"The claim that the [Israel Defense Forces] buried Palestinian bodies is baseless and unfounded," said an embassy statement released on Tuesday evening.

Soldiers only examined the bodies in the grave in search of Israeli hostages, the dignity of the deceased was respected, and the bodies of Palestinians were returned to the same place, it continued.

"The examination was conducted in a careful manner and exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages," the embassy said.

Palestinian civil defence teams in Gaza eported on Monday that a mass grave with 283 bodies was located near the Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Yunis.

According to the office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk, which cited the civil defence, some bodies had bound hands. 

Türk on Tuesday said he was "horrified" at the reported discovery of mass graves near hospitals in Gaza and called for an independent investigation into the causes of the deaths.

There have also been reports of bodies found at the al-Shifa medical complex in Gaza City.

Under international humanitarian law, hospitals are entitled to special protection.

In his remarks, Türk noted that "the intentional killing of civilians, detainees, and others who are hors de combat [out of action due to injury] is a war crime."

Photo: MIA archive