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Nearly 300 bodies were found in a mass grave at Gaza Hospital, according to Gaza Civil Defense

Nearly 300 bodies were found in a mass grave at Gaza Hospital, according to Gaza Civil Defense

Ahmed Salem/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Palestinian health workers recover buried bodies from a mass grave at the Nasser Medical Hospital complex in Khan Yunis, Gaza, on April 21.



CNN

a A mass grave containing approximately 300 bodies It was detected in a hospital Khan Yunis city, south of the Gaza StripCivil defense workers in Gaza said Monday, following Withdrawal of Israeli forces from the area earlier this month.

Colonel Yamen Abu Suleiman, director of the Civil Defense in Khan Yunis, told CNN on Monday that “73 bodies were recovered today” in the courtyard of the Al-Nasser Medical Complex, bringing “the total number to 283.”

Suleiman claimed that some bodies were found with their hands and feet tied, and “there were traces of field executions.” We do not know whether they were buried alive or executed. Most of the bodies are decomposed.”

CNN is unable to verify Suleiman's claims and cannot confirm the causes of death among the bodies that were exhumed.

CNN has reached out to the IDF for comment following the discovery of the mass grave, including whether the bodies that were buried at the hospital have been exhumed for DNA testing, and whether they have been reburied. CNN sent several questions to the Israeli army on Sunday and Monday.

Earlier, Khan Yunis Civil Defense spokesman and head of the search mission, Raed Saqr, told CNN that they were searching for the bodies of another 400 people missing after the Israeli army left on April 7.

A CNN correspondent who visited the scene on Sunday said people buried the bodies of their family members who were killed on the hospital grounds in January as a temporary measure. When they returned after the Israeli withdrawal, they found the bodies had been exhumed – apparently because the IDF had done so Using DNA testing to determine And whether any of the hostages held in Gaza were among the dead.

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The source said that the bodies were then placed in at least one mass grave.

One of the men at the scene told CNN that the body of his 21-year-old son, who was killed in January, has not yet been found.

“I haven't found him yet. We buried him there. But we can't find him. We wanted to make a proper grave for him.”

Another man, whose brother Alaa was also killed in January, said: “I am here today looking for him. I have been coming to the hospital for the past two weeks trying to find him. I hope I can find him.”

Pointing to a fallen palm tree, the man said that his brother was temporarily buried in that spot.

“I buried him over there on the side, but I couldn’t find him. The Israelis dug up the bodies and replaced them. They did DNA tests and misplaced all the bodies.”

The man's mother said they searched for two weeks and were unable to find his body.

Another woman told CNN that she spent 10 days searching for the body of her daughter, who was killed and buried on the hospital grounds in late January after a nearby apartment building was bombed.

A witness said that doctors were forced to take off their clothes due to the cold at Nasser Hospital in Gaza, while the Israeli army announced the arrest of Hamas activists there.

She said that the Israelis “exhumed the bodies and replaced them.” She and her uncle’s wife were buried at the same hour.”

The mother added: We found the body of her uncle’s wife. “But the rest we can’t find.”

Saqr told CNN on Sunday that civil defense personnel have been searching for bodies in the medical complex for three days now, and the operation is still ongoing.

He added: “We have information that there are 400 people missing, and we are continuing to search for the rest of the bodies.”

The Israeli army said it transported dozens of bodies from Gaza for DNA testing in Israel, before returning the remains in containers.

The area around the Nasser Medical Complex saw intense bombing and fighting in January and February. At the time, CNN reported that bodies were being buried on hospital grounds due to the lack of safe access to the cemeteries.