Israel Desecrates Cemeteries in Khan Yunis – CNN Says It is ‘Systematic Practice’

Israel is systematically desecrating cemeteries in Gaza. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel desecrated several cemeteries in the city of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Monday morning, during its ground offensive.

According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Israeli tanks and military vehicles bulldozed and destroyed gravestones, overturning soil in the Bani Suhaila cemetery, east of Khan Yunis.

Israeli military vehicles also reportedly dug up graves in several cemeteries in the city. 

This is not the first time Israeli forces have desecrated Palestinian places of burial in Gaza. 

CNN Investigation

According to an investigation published by American CNN on Saturday, “the Israeli military has desecrated at least 16 cemeteries in its ground offensive in Gaza (…) leaving gravestones ruined, soil upturned, and, in some cases, bodies unearthed.”

Through the analysis of satellite imagery and social media footage, CNN was able to assess that “the evidence reveals a systemic practice where Israeli ground forces have advanced across the Gaza Strip.”

According to CNN, the Israeli military spokesperson “could not account for the destruction of the 16 cemeteries CNN provided coordinates for, but said the military sometimes has ‘no other choice’ but to target cemeteries it claimed Hamas uses for military purposes.”

According to the American network, the Israeli military also “used cemeteries as military outposts”.

“CNN’s analysis of satellite imagery and videos showed that Israeli bulldozers turned multiple cemeteries into staging grounds, leveling large swaths and erecting berms to fortify their positions.”

The intentional destruction of cemeteries and religious sites is a clear violation of international law and could amount to war crimes. 

“International law experts say the desecration of burial grounds contravenes the Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty that established and governs the International Criminal Court (ICC) to adjudicate war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression,” CNN noted.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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