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Official: 2,000 Palestinians missing after Israel army withdrew from Gaza

April 22, 2024 at 9:25 am

A view of street, filled with debris of destroyed buildings, as extent of destruction comes to surface following the withdrawal of Israeli army from the northern part of Gaza’s en-Nasirat Refugee Camp in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on April 18, 2024. [Ashraf Amra – Anadolu Agency]

Some 2,000 Palestinians have been found to be missing following the Israeli occupation army’s withdrawal from several areas across Gaza, spokesman for the Civil Defence in the Strip, Major Mahmoud Basal, has said.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Basal said over 150 bodies were found and around 500 people were reported missing in the aftermath of the Khan Yunis massacre following the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces.

He expressed deep concern regarding the fate of those missing, as their whereabouts are unknown, some of whom have been buried in unmarked graves.

Read: 190 bodies found in mass grave at hospital in Gaza’s Khan Yunis

Basal explained that the Israeli occupation forcibly disappearances Palestinians as part of a systematic strategy, and often bulldozes bodies and buries them before retreating.

Women and children make up the vast majority of victims found in mass graves, he added.

Israel is ethnically cleansing Gaza, Basal warned, adding that many of the deceased were found naked, with their identities unknown as their bodies were too decomposed to identify them, raising concerns about the use of new and previously unseen weapons that had caused victims’ bodies to disintegrate and turn into ash.

Basal urged international institutions to investigate these serious violations and to identify the types of weapons used in these attacks.

For the 198th day in a row, the Israeli occupation army continues its aggression against the Gaza Strip, which led to the death of 34,049 people and the injury of 76,901 others, in addition to the displacement of about 85 percent of the Strip population, according to Palestinian and international organisations.