Sunday, May 19, 2024

Israel turns down US calls for investigating into Gaza mass graves

Israel will not carry out further probes into mass graves found at Gaza hospitals, as it has already investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing by its troops, Spokesman for the Israeli army Nadav Shoshani has told Politico. Hundreds of Palestinians' bodies have been discovered from the graves.

On Wednesday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that Washington wanted to see the deaths “thoroughly and transparently investigated.”

Officials in Gaza have said a total of 392 bodies, including those of children and women, with signs of torture and executions, have so far been found at makeshift burial sites at two hospitals that were earlier raided by the Israeli military.

Shoshani told Politico on Friday that reports of Israeli troops having anything to do with the burials were “fake news.”

When asked whether that meant that Israel would not investigate the matter, he replied: “Investigate what?”

“We gave answers. We don’t bury people in mass graves. Not something we do,” the spokesman insisted, without specifying to whom those answers were given.

An unnamed US official told Politico that “the Israelis have told us privately what they’ve said publicly, that they totally reject the allegations”. However, the source stressed that the authorities in Washington “aren’t in a position to validate that, and would like a thorough and transparent investigation into the reports”.

Israel earlier said its forces had to fight inside the Nasser and Al-Shifa hospitals because Hamas militants used them as their bases – a claim that both the Palestinian armed group and medics have denied.

Sullivan’s call for a probe into the mass graves came on the same day that US President Joe Biden signed a $95 billion foreign aid package, which included $26.4 billion in military assistance for Israel.

The death toll from Israel’s airstrikes and ground offensive in Gaza over the past six months has reached 34,356, with 77,368 others wounded, according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry.

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