Palestinians rebury bodies exhumed from Gaza cemetery

Israel's attacks have killed at least 22,722 people in the territory, most of them women and children

By AFP

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 7 Jan 2024, 8:50 AM

Bereaved Palestinians on Saturday reburied bodies exhumed from a cemetery in Gaza City, where the Israeli army has been leading a ground offensive since late October, an AFP video showed.

The footage from the cemetery in Al Tuffah neighbourhood showed bodies wrapped in bags and laid out on mounds of soil. Other bodies were strewn around smashed up graves, as a dozen men clad in masks worked with shovels to rebury them, the video showed.

Hamas on Saturday accused the Israeli military of "destroying 1,100 graves" at the cemetery and "stealing 150 bodies of recently buried martyrs". When reached for comment by AFP, the Israeli army said they were checking the claims without elaborating further.

"We were surprised to see the bodies exhumed" on Saturday morning, said a local man surnamed Aliwa, who was among the people reburying the bodies. He declined to give his first name.

He accused the Israeli army of "running over bodies" with a "bulldozer". Imprinted in the soil near the graves were what looked like track marks.

"We are currently retrieving the corpses present in the cemetery," he said, adding that only a "small number" of bodies had been identified.

Israel has been bombarding the territory since October 7, when Hamas attacked and took hundreds hostage. Israel's attacks have killed at least 22,722 people, most of them women and children, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

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