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Israeli military bulldozes 16 cemeteries in Gaza: Report

22 Jan 2024 - 22:32

The Israeli military has destroyed at least 16 cemeteries in Gaza, US news agency CNN reported over the weekend, citing satellite imagery and social media footage.

The army demolished the graveyards during its ground operation using bulldozers and even extracted some bodies from graves, it said.
Legal experts quoted in the report emphasized that deliberately destroying religious sites like cemeteries and turning them into military targets violates international law, suggesting that Israel's actions could be considered war crimes.
Based on its analysis of the satellite images and videos, CNN said that in other cases, the army appears to have used cemeteries as military outposts, with bulldozers turning several graveyards into staging grounds.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed to CNN that they had dug up some graves in Gaza, claiming it was done to determine whether Israeli hostages seized during the Oct. 7 cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas were buried there.
He alleged that the cemeteries were used by Hamas for "military purposes," saying the Israeli military had no other option but to target them.
The Israeli military also confirmed to Anadolu that they opened some graves in Gaza to extract bodies.
They argued that this was done to determine whether Israelis reportedly held by Hamas were buried there and said they conduct sensitive hostage rescue operations in specific locations where information indicates the potential presence of hostages' bodies in response to critical intelligence or operational information.
Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, killing at least 25,105 Palestinians and injuring 62,681. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.
The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Confrontations broke out today between local residents and Israeli occupation forces following an Israeli military raid into the town of Beit Ummar, located to the north of Hebron.
Muhammad Awad, a local activist, said Israeli forces raided several houses in the said town, where they vandalized and destroyed furniture
The occupying military forces also broke into Palestinian-owned lands belonging to local families across several neighborhoods in Beit Ummar.
In the aftermath of the military incursion, confrontations broke out with the Israeli forces, during which the occupation forces randomly fired live bullets towards locals, but no injuries were reported.
Israeli forces further seized a vehicle owned by local citizen Muhammad Adi, and forced him to drive it to the entrance of the illegal colonial settlement of Kermei Tzurcolony.
Israeli forces also broke into the town of Dura, south the city, where they detained two people after raiding their homes and tampering with their contents, they also raided the town of Al-Dhahiriya in the south, and detained another.
In a related context, Israeli forces continue to set up several flying military checkpoints at the entrances to Hebron, its towns, villages and camps, and close a number of main and secondary roads with iron gates, cement cubes and earth mounds.

Story Code: 622533

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Taghribnews (TNA)