CNN: At least 16 cemeteries in Gaza have been desecrated by Israeli forces; other media reports: bodies of the dead are stolen

The American New York Times newspaper verified the occupation’s destruction of a number of other cemeteries, including the cemetery in Sheikh Ajlin, a neighborhood in Gaza City, and the Beit Lahia cemetery in the northern Gaza Strip, which extends over an area estimated at 23 square metres.

The BBC also verified other cemeteries destroyed by the occupation army, including the Al-Faluga cemetery, which is located near the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, and the Al-Shujaiya cemetery, located in the northern Gaza Strip.

A CNN investigation revealed that the Israeli military "desecrated at least 16 cemeteries in its ground assault on Gaza, destroying tombstones, turning over soil, and in some cases, exhuming bodies."

According to international law, the deliberate destruction of religious sites, such as cemeteries, violates international law and may amount to a war crime, except under narrow circumstances related to this site becoming a military target, and according to what legal experts said to the American “CNN” network; Israel's actions could amount to war crimes.

According to international law, a deliberate attack on a cemetery could amount to a war crime, and what Israel is doing goes beyond all international norms and laws, as the occupation army has been deliberately bulldozing the graves of Palestinian martyrs in the Gaza Strip since the start of the ground operation in the Strip, and digging up the graves to extract the bodies, and then Steal some bodies.

On Friday, the Israeli army admitted to destroying a cemetery in the city of Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip, and exhuming graves there, under the pretext of searching for the bodies of Israeli detainees.

In a written statement from the Israeli army in response to a question by an Anadolu Agency correspondent about the matter, he said, “Within the framework of important intelligence and operational information, the Israeli army is carrying out operations to rescue the bodies of hostages in sensitive and specific locations, based on information indicating the possibility of finding the bodies of hostages there.”

He added that the bodies in the graves “turned out to be not those of Israeli prisoners, and so they were respectfully returned to the graves,” he claimed.

This is the first time that the Israeli army has acknowledged the exhumation of bodies, after numerous angry reports spread on social media sites, showing traces of the destruction left by the occupation forces in many graves, stealing bodies and leaving human remains exposed.

There are many examples of cemeteries that were bulldozed and destroyed by the occupation. The retreat of Israeli military vehicles from the vicinity of the Nasser Medical Complex in the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip revealed the army’s destruction of a cemetery in the city and exhuming a number of graves in it.

The cemetery had previously been subjected to heavy bombardment by Israeli artillery and warplanes. Which caused the destruction of hundreds of graves there.

In the Shujaiya neighborhood in Gaza City, Israeli forces destroyed part of the Tunisian cemetery to establish a temporary military site. The Israeli army also established a military site over a cemetery in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip - also - which is one of the oldest cemeteries in Gaza and extends over an area of approximately 20 square metres.

150 bodies stolen

The occupation also destroyed the Al-Tuffah Cemetery, east of Gaza. The government media office in the Gaza Strip confirmed that the occupation army exhumed 1,100 graves in the cemetery and stole 150 bodies. It said that the occupation mechanisms bulldozed the Al-Tuffah Cemetery and removed the bodies of the martyrs and the dead from it, “trampling them and insulting their dignity, without any consideration for the sanctity of the dead or Cemeteries".


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