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UN calls for ‘credible and independent’ probe into Gaza mass graves

April 23, 2024 at 12:04 pm

Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarricat at the UN Headquarters in New York, US on 12 December 2022 [Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images]

The spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, described reports of the discovery of a mass grave in Gaza yesterday as “extremely troubling” and called for a “credible and independent” investigation into the site.

The Civil Defence Agency in Gaza said yesterday that 283 bodies have now been discovered in a mass grave at Khan Yunis’s Nasser Hospital in the southern part of the Strip. The discovery was made after the Israeli army withdrew from the area following extensive violations, according to Palestinian reports.

Dujarric described the reports as “extremely troubling” and stressed the importance of conducting a thorough and independent investigation at all grave sites. He also called for a ceasefire in Gaza to bring an end to the ongoing conflict in the region.

“Yet another reason, as if we needed one, for all of these sites to be fully investigated in a way that is credible and independent. And yet another reason why we need a ceasefire, why we need to see an end to this conflict, why we need to see greater access for humanitarians, for humanitarian goods, greater protection of hospitals. We need to see the hostages released. I mean, it just reinforces all the points that we’ve been making,” he said.

The Israeli army has been waging a destructive war on Gaza since 7 October, with US support, resulting in around 112,000 fatalities and casualties, most of whom are children and women, prompting Tel Aviv to face trial before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on charges of “genocide”.

Concurrently with its war on Gaza, the Israeli army and settlers have escalated raids, incursions and arrests in the occupied West Bank, leading to the deaths of 486 Palestinians and injuring around 4,900 others, with approximately 8,400 arrests made, according to Palestinian institutions.

READ: Bodies of 73 more Palestinians found in Nasser Hospital mass grave