Israeli Military's Operations in Gaza Raise Concerns over Cemetery Destruction

Monday January 22, 2024 - 13:14:25
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Staff Reporter
Khan Yunis, Gaza Strip (diplomat.so) - A recent investigation by CNN has brought to light the destruction of at least 16 cemeteries by the Israeli occupation army during its ground attack in Gaza. The destruction involved the overturning of gravestones, displacement of soil, and, in some instances, the exhumation of bodies.
The incident in question occurred in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, during an escalation in fighting earlier this week. The Israeli military claimed that the destruction was part of a search for the remains of hostages allegedly taken by Hamas in October.

Satellite images and social media footage reviewed by CNN provided evidence of the extensive damage inflicted on the cemeteries. Legal experts consulted by the network suggested that Israel's actions may potentially constitute "war crimes," as reported by Sky News Arabia.

The Israeli occupation army's spokesperson, when questioned about the destruction of the cemeteries, was unable to provide a clear explanation but mentioned that targeting these sites was sometimes necessary, alleging that Hamas used them for military purposes.

According to the Israeli military, the rescue of hostages and the location and return of their bodies are among its primary objectives in Gaza, justifying the transfer of bodies from certain cemeteries. The army emphasized that the process of identifying hostages adheres to professional standards and respects the deceased.

In response to concerns raised, the occupation army's spokesperson stated, "The bodies identified are not those of hostages, and they are being returned with dignity and respect." Despite these assurances, the destruction of cemeteries has sparked international scrutiny, with experts questioning the legality and justification for such actions. The international community awaits further developments and clarifications regarding these events in Gaza.

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