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White House seeks 'answers' from Israel on Gaza mass graves

White House seeks 'answers' from Israel on Gaza mass graves
2 min read
The US has said it wanted answers from Israel regarding mass graves discovered at two hospitals in Gaza which were destroyed by Israeli forces.
Health workers have unearthed hundreds of bodies at the hospital [Getty]

The White House said Wednesday it wanted "answers" from Israeli authorities after the discovery of mass graves at two Gaza hospitals destroyed in Israeli sieges.

Gaza's Civil Defense agency said the day prior that health workers uncovered nearly 340 bodies of people killed and buried by Israeli forces at the Nasser hospital in Khan Younis.

Around 30 bodies were reported found buried in two graves in the Al-Shifa hospital courtyard in Gaza City.

"We want answers," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters. "We want to see this thoroughly and transparently investigated."

The discoveries prompted the United Nations to demand an independent probe into the situation, backed by the European Union.

Israeli army spokesman Major Nadav Shoshani claimed the grave at Nasser hospital "was dug - by Gazans - a few months ago."

The Israeli army only acknowledged that corpses had been examined by soldiers searching for hostages.

The mass graves were discovered weeks after Israeli forces ended a three-month occupation of Khan Younis, where they repeatedly attacked the Nasser hospital and reportedly carried out executions on the spot.

The hospital was considered one of the Gaza Strip's biggest but by February was barely functioning after the Israeli army launched a deadly raid on it, where hundreds were detained and medical staff beaten.

Hospitals, which have protection under international law, have repeatedly come under Israeli bombardment over more than six months of war.

Israel has accused, without evidence, Palestinian group Hamas of using medical facilities as command centers and to hold hostages abducted during its attack on southern Israel on October 7, which set off the war. Hamas has outright denied the claims.

The October 7 attack resulted in the deaths of around 1,170 people in Israel, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures. Hamas says it came in retaliation to Israel's decades-long occupation and aggression against the Palestinians.

Israel's unprecedented air and ground offensive has killed at least 34,262 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory's health ministry.