Torture, executions, and live burials: UN experts on Gaza mass graves

The UN experts are urging the occupation to end its aggression against Gaza, demanding that the states who arm it end the export of weapons “immediately”.

May 6, 2024

UN experts have once again lambasted the ongoing and systematic aggression against Palestinians in Gaza, expressing they are horrified at details surrounding mass graves that have been found in the Strip at the Nasser and al-Shifa medical complexes.

According to the experts, many of the 390 bodies discovered exhibited “signs of torture and summary executions and potential instances of people buried alive.”

They stated that as of April 29, 2024, 14,500 Palestinians dead in Gaza were minors while 9,500 were women. Another 77,643 people have been wounded with 75% of them believed to be women, while over 8,000 others are reported missing or beneath the rubble, at least half of whom can be assumed to be women and children.

In addition, an estimated 63 women, including 37 mothers, are martyred every day, and 17,000 Palestinian children are thought to have been orphaned since the aggression on Gaza began.

1.7 million people are internally displaced, and 1.1 million are nearing famine. UN assessments show a number of women and girls have been forcibly taken by the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) since the onslaught began.

Not only that, but the IOF destroyed Gaza’s largest IVF clinic.

Experts elaborated that there continues to be “appalling treatment” of pregnant and lactating women, citing that the bombardment of hospitals and medical resources has placed nearly 50,000 pregnant women and 20,000 infants at “unimaginable risk”.

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More than 183 women give birth without painkillers daily, and hundreds of babies have died from the lack of electricity to power incubators.

The experts cited that these circumstances have led to a 300% rise in miscarriages.

Not only is basic healthcare scarce and menstrual hygiene supplies extremely difficult to procure, but the personal safety and privacy of women are being stripped away by the “mass destruction of housing and precarious tent living conditions,” which have affected women and girls “disproportionately”.

The experts recalled the saving of a premature baby, who was rescued from her dead mother’s womb after she was killed by an Israeli strike and later died in an incubator.

They expressed feeling appalled by ongoing accounts of sexual assault and abuse against women and girls, especially those imprisoned by the IOF, adding that the Israeli occupation has consistently failed to conduct an independent, unbiased, and effective inquiry into the documented crimes.

“We are appalled that women are being targeted by Israel with such vicious, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, seemingly sparing no means to destroy their lives and deny them their fundamental human rights.”

The UN experts are urging the occupation to end its aggression against Gaza and demanding that states that arm it end the export of weapons “immediately” since these weapons are being used to “kill and maim innocent women and children.”

“There can be no more excuses,” they stressed.

US official accused IOF of sexually abusing Palestinian women

In March, The Jerusalem Post reported that in an interview for 103FM, Israeli general Amir Avivi recalled how during a meeting with the State Department official responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio, the US official accused the IOF of “systematically” sexually assaulting Palestinian women.

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Aviv explained that he was “shaken” during the meeting, citing that during the casual discussions about the situation, the officially “suddenly” accused the IOF of “systematically sexually abusing Palestinian women.”

The general explained that he believed the accusations to be “disconnected from reality,” even though the US official cited evidence from the UN presented to the Israeli government.

In February, UN experts raised concern over “credible allegations” of grave human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

According to the information, Palestinian women and girls were arbitrarily executed in Gaza along with their family members, even while fleeing, and, on at least one occasion, women detained were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food.

The experts expressed they were “particularly distressed” about reports of detained women and girls being subjected to numerous forms of sexual assault, like being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers.

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