‘Signs of Torture’ – 392 Bodies Found in Mass Graves at Nasser Hospital

Mass graves were found in Gaza following Israel's withdrawal. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

During the press conference, a civil defense official shared a video of the victims with signs of torture evident on their bodies which were shackled with plastic restraints.

Gaza’s Civil Defense teams have uncovered the bodies of 392 people buried in mass graves at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

“Civil defense teams have dug up 392 bodies from the mass graves,” Yamen Abu Sulaiman, the head of Gaza’s civil defense agency, told a press conference in the southern city of Rafah on Thursday, reported the Anadolu news agency.

The bodies of children were among the victims.

“We don’t know the reason for the presence of children’s bodies in mass graves at the hospital,” Abu Sulaiman said.

He also said evidence of torture was found on some bodies.

‘Field Executions’

“There are indications of carrying out field executions against some of the victims, while the bodies of other victims carried signs of torture and others were buried alive,” Abu Sulaiman said.

During the press conference, a civil defense official shared a video of the victims with signs of torture evident on their bodies which were shackled with plastic restraints.

Several of the victims “were buried in plastic bags and placed at a depth of three meters, which accelerated their decomposition,” Abu Sulaiman explained.

The civil defense chief said 227 victims have been identified, while 165 others remain unidentified.

He called on the international community to intervene to halt the Israeli onslaught on the Palestinians and “uncover the Israeli crimes against the people of Gaza.”

On Wednesday, Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee denied reports about burying Palestinians in mass graves at the Nasser Hospital.

Israeli ‘Lies’

Gaza’s government media office said Israeli forces “executed” hundreds of displaced, wounded and sick people inside the medical complex.

“The narrative the Israeli occupation is using to try to escape from its crime in the Nasser Medical Complex are just lies to mislead the public opinion, and there is much evidence of this,” the office’s Director, Ismail al-Thawabta said, according to the Middle East Monitor.

Al-Thawabta said some of the dead who were identified “were alive when the occupation army stormed Nasser Medical Complex, and when it left, government crews found them buried.”

This, he continued, “was confirmed by the families of the martyrs who were in contact with their relatives before the hospital was raided.”

“The depth of the mass graves that we found confirms that they were dug by large vehicles such as Israeli occupation bulldozers and machines.”

Medical Staff Abducted

Al-Thawabta explained that Israeli forces “stormed the Nasser Medical Complex with tanks, threatened the medical staff, the sick and the wounded, denied them treatment, and crowded them into an old and narrow building.”

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Nine doctors and medical staff members were taken from the medical complex to an unknown destination, he continued, with the occupation army committing “the crime of enforced disappearance against them.”

The bodies were discovered after the Israeli army withdrew from Khan Yunis on April 7 following a four-month ground offensive in the city.

UN Backs a Probe

On Wednesday Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, said “an independent, effective and transparent investigation into the deaths at Nasser and Al-Shifa hospitals must be conducted.”

He said “At this point, there are many entities on the ground, including the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. And they can follow up on any rights violations that may have occurred at the grounds of hospitals.”

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He however added that “I don’t believe that the situation on the ground is conducive to investigations at this point. Again, there needs to be a halt to fighting and this is something we’ve called for repeatedly.”

Al-Shifa Hospital

Earlier this month, the Civil Defense in Gaza said that hundreds of bodies were found after the Israeli army withdrew from the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and its surroundings in Gaza city, after a two-week siege.

“Dozens of bodies, some of them decomposed, have been recovered from in and around the Al-Shifa medical complex,” the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said, adding that the hospital was now “completely out of service”.

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Footage published by Al-Jazeera showed charred bodies of Palestinians in the streets and roads surrounding the complex.

Medical sources confirmed that hundreds of bodies were found in the complex and the streets surrounding it following the withdrawal of the occupation forces.

Staggering Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,305 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,293 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu, MEMO)

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