Mon 27-May-2024

Gaza’s streets and squares turned into mass graves

Saturday 16-December-2023

After documenting 120 mass graves for burying the martyrs’ bodies in Gaza, the Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor reveals a chapter of the ongoing suffering experienced by Gazans today amid the relentless aggression lasting for more than two months. The spread of martyrs’ bodies in the streets, alleys, inside homes, and the demolished buildings on the heads of their inhabitants is exacerbating an anticipated health catastrophe in Gaza.

According to a previous statement, the Euro-Med justifies resorting to random mass graves in residential neighborhoods, house courtyards, roads, wedding halls, and sports stadiums due to the difficulty of accessing main cemeteries. Those who roam the devastated enclave can observe with the naked eye the proliferation of improvised graves dug within public squares, hospitals, spaces between streets, schools, playgrounds, markets, and house courtyards.

Gaza residents consider this a necessary measure, considering it temporary until a “humanitarian truce or ceasefire” is announced. They assure that they will transfer the bodies to the main and official cemeteries in the cities.

Hospitals’ courtyards were turned into mass graves, as exemplified by the “Shifa Medical Complex,” which during its siege in November turned into a real cemetery. The complex’s administration was forced to bury dozens of martyrs in scattered mass graves within its premises, corridors, and various facilities after some bodies decomposed, and the Israeli army refused to allow their removal for burial.

Munir al-Barsh, the Director-General of the Ministry of Health, previously announced that the administration of the Shifa complex had to bury around 100 bodies of Palestinians who were injured by Israeli shelling and breathed their last inside the hospital in November. This was according to an earlier statement by the Director-General of the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip.

The Al-Quds Hospital affiliated with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in the Tal Al-Hawa neighborhood, west of Gaza City, and the Indonesian Hospital in the north of the enclave also witnessed random burial operations within their premises.

A doctor at Al-Quds Hospital told Anadolu Agency: “The administration decided to bury some martyrs whose bodies began to decompose in a small garden in the new building during its siege.” He continued, saying, “We were forced to take this step due to the congestion of martyrs and the spread of the smell of decomposing bodies in the hospital corridors before it was forcibly evacuated in November, and the (Israeli) army refused to remove and bury the bodies in the cemeteries.”

In the face of ongoing attacks, Palestinians resorted to burying martyrs in mass graves dug inside a market in Jabalia camp, next to shops, squares, and streets. An individual in Jabalia, unable to reach the main cemetery due to ongoing shelling, buried his father’s body inside a schoolyard in the camp.

The Israeli crime of desecrating graves, such as the grave-digging incident in Jabalia cemetery, is another proof of Israel’s brutality and cruelty, which no longer cares about the living or the martyrs in Gaza. Videos from Gaza inhabitants documented the heinous act of attacking the graves of their loved ones.

Journalist Adham Al-Sharif, working for a local newspaper in Gaza City, revealed how, with the increasing number of martyrs and their accumulation in hospitals, the difficulty of movement and transportation, and the inability to reach many cemeteries, citizens and medical staff resorted to burying martyrs in new mass graves.

“120 martyrs of unknown identity were buried after finding an empty piece of land in the Daraj neighborhood, east of Gaza City, with an area not exceeding 500 square meters, belonging to a citizen,” according to Al-Sharif.

Al-Sharif emphasizes the ongoing crime against the neighborhoods of Gaza and its martyrs, stating, “This land that has turned into a cemetery for the martyrs did not escape the aggression, as the (Israeli) army targeted an adjacent residential building, and its debris fell on the graves, burying several martyrs under the rubble and above the graves.”

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