Mass Graves Found at Gaza’s Nasser and al-Shifa Hospitals


Palestinian officials have revealed further details regarding the mass graves found around the Nasser and al-Shifa hospitals. Forensic examination showed that, of the 392 bodies, approximately 20 bodies may have been buried alive, some had suffered mutilation and torture, and others displayed indications of field executions. 

While U.S. officials have called for investigations of the mass graves, Israel dismissed the reports as “fake news.” 

Regional sources report on the issue:

Over 300 bodies were uncovered in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis following sieges by Israeli forces. Al Jazeera explained that Israeli forces withdrew from the sites on April 1 and April 7, respectively, and that the bodies “being retrieved… included women, children, patients and medical staff.”

The New Arab outlined the findings: “Nasser Hospital, alongside Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, contains mass graves of bodies belonging to women, children and the elderly, some showing signs of torture and executions… Twenty bodies also showed signs of being ‘buried alive’ and having their arms bound. Others who were killed still had medical tubes attached, according to the Palestinian Civil Defence member.”

Ravina Shamdasani, the spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “Some of [the bodies] had their hands tied, which of course indicates serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and these need to be subjected to further investigations.” Al-Arabiya also reported that several bodies were buried under “piles of waste.”

Quoting Mohammed Al-Mughayer, the director of the supply and equipment department at the Gaza Civil Defense Agency, Anadolu Ajansi stated that some bodies were found with “opened abdomens and stitched in a manner inconsistent with the usual methods of wound suturing in Gaza, raising suspicions of the disappearance of some organs… Corpses were wearing white robes used by the Israeli army as clothes for detainees in Nasser Hospital, with marks of gunshot wounds to the head…. Many bodies [were] wrapped in black and blue shrouds made of plastic and nylon, which are different than the color of shrouds used in Gaza, raising suspicions that the occupation’s goal was to raise the temperature of the bodies to accelerate their decomposition and conceal evidence.”

Mehr News Agency noted that the United States has called for investigations into the mass grave. “We want answers. We want to see this thoroughly and transparently investigated,” said U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. 

Haaretz reported that Israeli officials called the allegations “baseless and unfounded,” stating “during the IDF’s operation in the area of Nasser Hospital, in accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser Hospital were examined.” The IDF also shared that their operations were conducted “exclusively in places where intelligence indicated the possible presence of hostages.”

The Jerusalem Post presented alternative findings, specifically arguing that “the graves were made before the IDF entered the complex” sometime between January 25 and February 3. The source assessed: “It is unclear who bound and stripped the buried individuals or why they did so, as only Palestinians and medical professionals were present at the scene at that point.”


(Image: Palestinian News & Information Agency in contract with APAimages)

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