Mass Grave with 283 Bodies Discovered at Gaza Hospital, Prompting Calls for Investigation

Horrific mass grave uncovered in Gaza hospital, with over 283 bodies found, some showing signs of execution. Egypt calls for international probe into reported Israeli atrocities amid ongoing conflict.

Muthana Al-Najjar
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Mass Grave with 283 Bodies Discovered at Gaza Hospital, Prompting Calls for Investigation

Mass Grave with 283 Bodies Discovered at Gaza Hospital, Prompting Calls for Investigation

A mass grave containing at least 283 bodies has been uncovered at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis, Gaza, according to the Gaza civil defense agency.

The discovery was made in the courtyard of the hospital, which had been raided by Israeli forces before their recent withdrawal from the area.

Col. Yamen Abu Suleiman, director of Civil Defense in Khan Younis, stated that some of the bodies were found with their hands and feet tied, showing signs of possible field executions. The exact causes of death have not yet been verified. The civil defense teams are continuing to search the hospital grounds, as they estimate an additional 400 people are still missing.

Witnesses reported that the bodies had been temporarily buried in the hospital grounds in January and February due to intense bombardment and combat in the area, which made safe access to cemeteries impossible. The Israeli military has said it removed dozens of bodies from Gaza for DNA testing in Israel before returning the remains.

The discovery of the mass grave has prompted Egypt to call for an international investigation into the reported incident. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry described the situation as "regrettable and disgraceful" and urged the international community to intervene to halt Israeli violations and hold perpetrators accountable.

Why this matters: The reported mass grave discovery comes amid Israel's ongoing military offensive on Gaza since October 2022, which has resulted in the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and the displacement of 85% of Gaza's population. Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, with an interim ruling ordering it to stop genocidal acts and ensure humanitarian assistance reaches civilians in Gaza.

Asmaa al-Shorbaji, a Palestinian resident who was searching the hospital grounds for the bodies of loved ones, described the scene as "a difficult one, beyond what you can imagine." Relatives have been coming to the site to retrieve and rebury their family members killed during the Israeli siege.

The discovery of the mass grave at Nasser Hospital follows reports of at least two other mass graves found in Khan Younis. Gaza authorities expect to find another 200 bodies in the coming days as they continue their search. "This is just one of at least three mass graves found at the site," stated Ismail al-Thawabta, head of the Hamas government media office.

The ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict has now entered its 200th day, with the Palestinian health ministry reporting at least 34,151 Palestinians killed and 77,084 wounded since the start of the war in October. The United Nations has called for a full investigation into the mass grave discovery, while the United States has expressed concerns about human rights abuses by Israel and threatened to condition support if steps are not taken to protect aid workers and civilians.

Key Takeaways

  • A mass grave with 283+ bodies was found at Nasser Medical Complex in Gaza.
  • Some bodies showed signs of possible field executions, causes unknown.
  • Israel removed dozens of bodies for DNA testing before returning remains.
  • Egypt calls for international probe into reported mass grave incident.
  • The ongoing Israeli-Gaza conflict has killed over 34,000 Palestinians since Oct 2022.