UN Demands Investigations After Mass Graves Discovered

(UnitedVoice.com) – While pro-Palestine college students combat school administrators and law enforcement officials — and US lawmakers fight amongst themselves — people are dying daily in Gaza as the Israel-Hamas War exacts its toll on the region’s civilian population.

The latest figures from the United Nations, as of April 25, show that more than 34,000 Palestinians have died since Hamas launched its deadly land, sea, and air attack on Israel on October 7. Sadly, that figure includes nearly 15,000 children and almost 10,000 women. Another 77,084 individuals have been wounded, and officials believe more than 7,000 additional bodies are buried under the rubble in Gaza.

A recent report indicated that the United Nations is demanding concurrent investigations after officials discovered mass graves near the demolished sites of two hospitals.

On Tuesday, April 23, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) issued a press release detailing the recent discoveries of mass graves at Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital and Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. The notice advised that someone buried the bodies “deep in the ground and covered [them] with waste.”

The OHCHR said officials identified 42 of 283 bodies recovered from the Khan Younis site and 12 of 30 in Gaza City. The high commission’s spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, confirmed that workers found the bodies of wounded individuals, women, and several elderly persons. She also advised that someone had stripped several of the individuals of their clothing, and their corpses were found with their hands tied.

The press release advised that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, the OHCHR’s head, expressed horror upon learning about the destruction at the two hospitals and the discovery of mass graves. He also called for independent investigations into the graves and the circumstances of the victim’s deaths.

Türk condemned the “intentional killing” of detainees and civilians during a recent call with other authorities to discuss the initiation of those probes. He reminded participants that it’s a war crime to kill or injure innocent civilians and other “hors de combat,” a French legal term used in humanitarian prosecutions that refers to people who are no longer participating in hostilities due to their capture, surrender, or other incapacities.

The United Nations human rights head also spoke out against the “unspeakable suffering” endured by the residents of Gaza during the last several months of fighting. He reiterated his earlier calls for the release of the remaining hostages, the “unfettered flow of humanitarian aid,” and an immediate ceasefire.

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