Jerusalem, Jan 6 (EFE).- The Palestinian government in Gaza, controlled by the Islamist group Hamas, accused the Israeli Army on Saturday of exhuming 1,100 graves and stealing 150 bodies recently buried at a cemetery in the besieged strip.
The alleged exhumation took place in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City, where, according to Gaza authorities, Israeli bulldozers “razed” the cemetery, resulting in the “desecration” of the deceased.
The bodies were reportedly transported to an “unknown destination, once again raising suspicions” of organ theft, a statement released by the Gaza government said.
Strongly condemning what it termed a “heinous crime,” the government of the coastal enclave asserted that that act highlighted the brutality of the “immoral Israeli occupation” in Gaza.
The government expressed disappointment over the silence of international organizations operating in the strip in response to what it described as “terrible crimes committed by the Israeli Army.”
Rami Abdu, the director of the rights group Euro-Med Monitor, also alleged the desecration of the graveyard by the Israeli Army.
“Israeli bulldozers ruthlessly dug and destroyed al-Batish cemetery, meant for emergencies. Bodies, including my cousin’s, buried recently, are now scattered,” Abdu posted on the social media site X.
“It’s devastating not being able to locate my cousin and friends. The disrespect for the deceased is beyond comprehension.”
The Gaza government and Hamas have previously reported cases where bodies returned by Israel to Gaza had their organs “stolen,” which they consider a war crime.
In response, the Israeli government has stated that it takes the bodies to determine if they correspond to hostages murdered by the Islamist group.
Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7, following a massive attack by the Islamist group that included rocket launches and the infiltration of thousands of militants who massacred about 1,200 people and kidnapped 250 in towns near Gaza.
Since then, the Israeli Army has launched a brutal air, land, and sea offensive in the Palestinian enclave, killing more than 22,600 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly.
The death toll is likely more than that since an estimated 7,000 bodies are buried under the rubble of razed buildings, and 58,000 people have sustained injuries, according to Gaza authorities. EFE