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UN calls for investigation into mass graves uncovered at two Gaza hospitals raided by Israel

AP – The United Nations (UN) called on Tuesday for “a clear, transparent and credible investigation” of mass graves uncovered at two major hospitals in war-torn Gaza that were raided by Israeli troops.

Credible investigators must have access to the sites, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters, and added that more journalists need to be able to work safely in Gaza to report on the facts.

UN human rights Chief Volker Türk said he was “horrified” by the destruction of the Shifa medical center in Gaza City and Nasser Hospital in the southern city of Khan Younis as well as the reported discovery of mass graves in and around the facilities after the Israelis left.

He called for independent and transparent investigations into the deaths, saying that “given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators. Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law,” Türk said.

“And the intentional killing of civilians, detainees and others who are ‘hors de combat’ (incapable of engaging in combat) is a war crime.”

United States (US) State Department spokesman Vedant Patel on Tuesday called the reports of mass graves at the hospitals “incredibly troubling” and said US officials have asked the Israeli government for information.

The Palestinian civil defence in the Gaza Strip said on Monday that it had uncovered 283 bodies from a temporary burial ground inside the main hospital in Khan Younis.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk. PHOTO: AP