UN human rights chief calls for investigation into mass graves found at Gaza hospitals

The United Nations has called for an independent investigation into mass graves discovered in the Gaza Strip’s two main hospitals. 

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, said on Tuesday he was “horrified” by the destruction of the medical facilities and called for “independent, effective and transparent investigations”.

About 200 bodies have been exhumed in recent days from a mass grave at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, the Palestinian Civil Protection in the Gaza Strip reported on Monday. Last week, another mass grave was found near al-Shifa Hospital.

“Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should involve international investigators,” Türk said. “Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. The deliberate killing of civilians, prisoners and other people considered ‘outside combat’ is a war crime.”

Israel denied being responsible for mass graves in a statement on Tuesday. Its forces say they only exhumed and reburied bodies there as part of a search for hostages being held by Hamas. 


People walk past destroyed buildings in Khan Younis, 22 April 2024. Israel pulled its ground forces from Khan Younis on 7 April after carrying out what it called a "precise and limited operation" at the Nasser Medical Complex, one of the biggest hospitals in the Palestinian territory © PHOTO AFP

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