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U.S. Refuses to Back U.N. Calls for Probe into Mass Graves at Gaza Hospitals

HeadlineApr 24, 2024

The Senate approved sending more money to Israel on the same day that the United Nations called for an independent probe into the discovery of over 300 bodies in a mass grave at the Nasser Medical Complex following Israel’s siege on the hospital. Ravina Shamdasani is the spokesperson for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Ravina Shamdasani: “We are horrified also by the destruction of Al-Nasser Medical Complex and Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the reports of the discovery of mass graves in and around facilities. And we call for independent, effective, transparent investigations into the deaths. Given the prevailing climate of impunity, this should include international investigators. Hospitals are entitled to very special protection under international humanitarian law. And let’s be clear: The intentional killing of civilians, detainees and others who are hors de combat is a war crime.”

On Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel refused to support the U.N. call for a probe into the mass graves in Gaza. Patel was questioned by journalist Said Arikat.

Said Arikat: “More than 300 bodies have been found. The United Nations is asking or calling for an independent investigation. Would you support such an investigation for this matter?”

Vedant Patel: “Right now, Said, we are asking for more information.”

Said Arikat: “Right.”

Vedant Patel: “That is where — that is squarely where we are leaving the conversation.”

Said Arikat: “Right.”

Vedant Patel: “I don’t have any details to match, confirm or offer as it relates to that. We’re aware of those reports, and we have asked the government of Israel for additional clarity and information. And that’s where I’m at.”

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