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Israeli Forces Buried Palestinian Bodies in Mass Graves at Nasser Medical Complex

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
29th April 2024
Israeli Forces Buried Palestinian Bodies in Mass Graves at Nasser Medical Complex
Palestinian bodies found in mass grave at Nasser Medical Complex (Getty)

Israeli military spokesman Avichay Adraee refuted allegations in a post on his personal account on X, claiming that reports of the Israeli army burying Palestinian bodies during its incursion into the Nasser Medical Complex are unfounded. Adraee asserted that the army's actions involved inspecting bodies previously interred by Palestinians during the war in the vicinity of the complex. The objective of this inspection was to locate Israeli prisoners' remains and confirm their absence from these graves. Adraee emphasized that this examination was conducted methodically, ensuring the dignity of the deceased was upheld. Additionally, he stated that bodies not belonging to prisoners were respectfully returned to their original resting places.

Avichay Adraee

Civil Defense Refutes Avichay Adraee’s Claims

In response to Avichay Adraee's claims regarding the Israeli occupation’s alleged failure to bury Palestinians in the Nasser Medical Complex and its surroundings in Khan Younis City, Mohammed Al-Mughayer, the director of Supply and Equipment at the Gaza Civil Defense Agency, refuted these statements. Al-Mughayer revealed that the Civil Defense had identified three graves containing the bodies of civilians within the hospital premises: one situated in front of the morgue, another located behind it, and a third positioned north of Hind Al-Daghma's building. He confirmed that there were indications suggesting possible field executions by the Israeli army against several Palestinians. Additionally, there were suspicions of physical torture inflicted on some individuals, and reports emerged of individuals being buried alive.

Al-Mughayer added that among the 392 bodies buried in the three graves, only 165 have been positively identified. Alarmingly, the identities of 227 bodies remain unidentified and are categorized as unknown. He attributed the high number of unidentified bodies to the Israeli army's deliberate actions, including tampering with the identification marks on the bodies, distorting them, and placing them in bags suspected of accelerating their decomposition.

Al-Mughayer confirmed to Misbar that the occupation intentionally buried the bodies at a depth exceeding three meters. Additionally, they employed black and blue-colored shrouds, consisting of plastic nylon bags known to elevate the body's temperature and hasten its decomposition. This tactic aids the occupation forces in concealing evidence that could expose their crimes.

Al-Mughayer also pointed out the observation of some citizens' hands being bound with plastic ties before their burial. Furthermore, there were signs of gunshot wounds to the head, confirming the occurrence of field executions by the occupation forces in the hospital. Additionally, bodies with open abdomens, sewn in a manner different from the usual methods of wound suturing in the Gaza Strip, were discovered. These findings raise suspicions of organ theft from the bodies, further exacerbating the severity of the situation.

Among the cases documented by Civil Defense was a body dressed in attire typically worn in operating rooms. Additionally, they found the body of a young girl, missing her limbs, also clad in similar operating room attire. 

A U.N. Report Indicates Victims’ Hands Were Tied

According to a report released on April 23 by the United Nations office, it was clarified that the victims' bodies were found with their hands tied and stripped of clothing.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated during a press conference in Geneva that the office had received reports of hundreds of bodies being exhumed, buried deep in the ground and covered with waste, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, central Gaza, and at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, in the north.

Shamdasani further stated, “Among the deceased were allegedly older people, women, and wounded, while others were found with their hands tied and stripped of their clothes.”

A U.N. Report Indicates Victims’ Hands Were Tied

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor Urges Forming an Investigative Committee

In response, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor has called for the establishment of an international investigative committee to probe the numerous mass and random graves in the Gaza Strip, created by the Israeli occupation forces, which contain the bodies of thousands of Palestinian victims since the start of the war on Gaza. They have urged for the dispatch of specialized technical teams to examine the atrocities and identify the victims.

The Euro-Med Monitor highlighted that civil defense teams had unearthed hundreds of bodies from mass graves at Nasser Hospital, preceded by the retrieval of hundreds of bodies from the Al-Shifa Complex. They asserted that these graves are indicative of the crimes perpetrated by the occupying forces during their ongoing war in Gaza.

The Euro-Med Monitor stated that its field teams closely observed the extraction of dozens of victims from mass graves at the Al-Shifa Medical Complex. They documented cases where victims were found with bound hands, and others who were injured but did not receive medical treatment, eventually being executed despite their health conditions.

The Monitor confirmed that the bodies of the recovered victims were in a state of decomposition, with some found as dismembered parts or torn bodies, while others were discovered without heads, presumably crushed by Israeli bulldozers. They underscored their estimates, suggesting that over 13,000 Palestinians are considered missing under the rubble, among the dead in random mass graves, or forcibly held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, with reports indicating that some have been killed within these facilities.

An international investigation committee should be formed into mass graves and specialized technical teams should be sent to inspect and identify the victims

Media Reports and Testimonies Contradict the Israeli Narrative

On April 20, the Anadolu Agency reported the recovery of 190 Palestinian bodies from the courtyards of Nasser Hospital. They documented that a majority of the bodies found in the mass graves were women and children.

The agency observed families gathering and anxiously waiting to locate the bodies of their loved ones. One Palestinian individual mentioned that the occupying forces had altered the clothing of bodies previously buried by families, dressing them in attire featuring the Israeli star and even drawing smiling faces on the bodies. This contradicts Adraee's assertion that the exhumation process was solely aimed at searching for Israeli prisoners while maintaining the dignity of the deceased. Abdullah Abu Mustafa, a witness and father of one of the victims, recounted to Anadolu, "We were taken aback when we saw that the army had removed all the bodies and changed their burial shrouds, replacing them with clothing adorned with Israeli stars and smiling faces."

Contrary to the claims made by the spokesperson of the occupation army, the Anadolu Agency has documented the process of exhuming bodies that have been buried in a random and stacked manner.

Anadolu Agency has documented the process of exhuming bodies that have been buried in a random and stacked manner

Furthermore, the Al-Jazeera news channel documented the Civil Defense teams in Gaza recovering 73 bodies from a mass grave situated in front of the Hind Al-Daghma Kidney Disease Building at Nasser Medical Complex on April 22. This was the second grave discovered by the Civil Defense teams. The estimated number of bodies yet to be found is in the hundreds.

Journalist Ibrahim Qannan from the AlGhad TV channel reported the discovery of several mass graves in the Nasser Complex, highlighting that these graves contain over 400 bodies.

Qannan highlighted the significant challenge of identifying the bodies due to decomposition and also noted the influx of families to Nasser Medical Complex in their efforts to locate the bodies of their loved ones.

Israeli Claim of Non-Targeting Civilians During the Raid on Al-Shifa Complex

On April 1, the Israeli occupation army withdrew from inside Al-Shifa Medical Complex after a two-week siege and invasion, resulting in hundreds of casualties and injuries, as well as the arrest of hundreds of displaced persons and medical personnel.

News reports documented the discovery of victims' bodies, found both inside and around the complex, lying on the ground.

Following the raid and siege of the complex, the Israeli Occupying Forces chief of staff, Herzi Halevi, claimed that the military operation in the complex "achieved its goal and resulted in the assassination of leaders and the arrest of armed individuals from Palestinian factions." He added during a meeting held in the complex with occupation soldiers at the time that "the operation was carried out correctly and professionally and did not target medical teams or patients."

However, Misbar revealed at the time that the Israeli claim was misleading, asserting that the occupation deliberately targeted displaced individuals and medical teams at Al-Shifa Medical Complex. This resulted in the execution of over two hundred displaced persons and five doctors at the complex, along with the direct shooting and killing of 13 children.

Al-Shifa Hospital: Most Prominent Evidence Debunking the Israeli Claims During the Gaza War

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