Gaza: 49 bodies found in third mass grave at Al-Shifa hospital

Gaza: 49 bodies found in third mass grave at Al-Shifa hospital
Al-Shifa has repeatedly been targeted by Israeli raids throughout the war in Gaza, leading to the killings of scores of victims, many now found buried,
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At least three mass grave have been found at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza [Getty/file photo]

Gaza health workers uncovered on Wednesday at least 49 bodies at Al-Shifa hospital, a medical official and Hamas authorities said, the latest such discovery at the facility previously raided and sieged by Israeli forces.

The Israeli military has repeatedly targeted Al-Shifa, the Palestinian territory's largest hospital, and other medical facilities in its deadly war in the enclave, ongoing for over seven months.

Motassem Salah, head of the emergency department at Al-Shifa, told journalists that "a third mass grave was found inside this hospital."

The Gaza government media office said in a separate statement that at least 49 bodies had been recovered from the site on the premises of Al-Shifa.

The statement accused Israel of "killings inside and outside hospitals", without offering further information concerning the bodies found on Wednesday.

The Israeli military did not immediately comment.

AFP footage from Al-Shifa hospital showed at least a dozen bodies wrapped in black plastic body bags.

Standing in front of the ruins of the hospital, which was devastated by two weeks of fighting in March, Salah said several of the bodies had decomposed.

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Last month, around 30 bodies were reported found buried in two other graves in the hospital courtyard.

After the Israeli assault in March, the World Health Organisation said Al-Shifa had been reduced to ashes, leaving behind an "empty shell" with many bodies.

Israeli forces were firing at the hospital, claiming to target to Hamas, despite the number of patients inside.

Gaza's Civil Defence agency reported at least "300 martyrs" in the two-week battle.

On Wednesday, the media office said health workers continued to uncover bodies from the complex.

So far 520 bodies have been recovered from "seven mass graves" found at three different hospitals across Gaza in recent weeks, the media office said.

Israel's military onslaught beginning on October 7 has killed 34,844 people in Gaza, mostly women and children. Over 1 million Palestinians are now fearing for their lives as an offensive in Rafah looms.