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Mass grave found in courtyard of Shifa Hospital

April 16, 2024 at 9:49 am

Palestinian forensic and civil defence recover human remains at the grounds of Al-Shifa hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, which was reduced to ashes by a two-week Israeli raid, on 8 April, 2024 [-/AFP via Getty Images]

A mass grave where Palestinians were buried by the Israeli occupation army has been discovered in the courtyard of the Shifa Medical Complex, west of Gaza City, the Government Media Office announced yesterday.

Ten bodies were discovered in the grave, the statement said, adding that they were executed and buried by the Israeli army during its military operation in the hospital.

Motasem Salah, director of the Gaza Emergency Operations Centre in the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza, said: “The first mass grave was discovered in the Al-Shifa Medical Complex after 10 bodies were found buried in front of the reception area of the complex [in the hospital’s front courtyard].”

“Some of the bodies found were decomposed, while some were only body parts, with parts belonging to women.”

He added: “These bodies are being dealt with by a joint committee that includes the Ministries of Health, Justice, Forensic Evidence and Medical Services in the Palestinian Ministry of Interior.”

He pointed out that the bodies will be buried after the Palestinian families identify them and after the legal committee completes its work.

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Medical sources told Anadolu news agency that “The bodies of the people who were recovered from the grave were executed by the Israeli army and buried haphazardly in the hospital’s front courtyard.”

The medical sources indicated that, in addition to the ten bodies found, dozens of others were discovered decomposed, burned, dismembered and buried collectively or individually in various parts of Al-Shifa’s grounds. Further searches are being carried out to determine the number of bodies which have been buried in the hospital, they added.

There was no immediate comment from the Israelis regarding the mass grave.

The Civil Defence Service in Gaza had previously announced the recovery of 409 bodies from the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, and the Shifa Medical Complex and its surroundings, west of Gaza City, after the Israeli forces withdrew from the two areas.