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‘Israel’s organized crimes against Gazans blatant examples of genocide’

Palestinian health workers unearth a body buried by Israeli forces inside the Nasser Hospital compound, in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on April 21, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman has strongly condemned the massacre and mass burial of civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip by Israeli forces as clear examples of genocide and war crimes.

Nasser Kan'ani made the remark on Sunday in reaction to the recent discovery of a mass grave at Gaza’s Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis two weeks after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the southern Gaza city.

Gaza's civil defense agency initially said the bodies of 50 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces were retrieved from the mass grave. However, the number was later revised up to 210 as more bodies were unearthed.

“The horrendous and heart-rending news about the massacre and mass burial of hundreds of patients, injured people, and medical staff of the Nasser Hospital inside the complex in Gaza has left the world’s public opinion bewildered and sorrowful,” Kan'ani said.

He added, “Frequent, organized and widespread crimes committed by the Zionist regime against inhabitants of Gaza are blatant examples of genocide and war crimes, and it is incumbent on the international community and international organizations to stop impunity for those who order and commit these crimes.”

He stressed that hospitals and other healthcare facilities are protected under international law, especially the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The Iranian diplomat said Israel is responsible for such crimes and there is no question about its criminal responsibility, adding that even those governments that support the regime could be held responsible on an international level.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran vehemently condemns this horrible catastrophe, urging the secretary general of the United Nations and the rotational president of the Security Council, as well as all countries and responsible members of the international community to not only condemn it, but also use national, regional and international capacities to prosecute and bring to justice those who order and commit them,” Kan'ani concluded.

Israeli forces raided the Nasser hospital and killed dozens of people who were sheltering there back in February following days of intense bombardment.

They attacked Khan Yunis -- Gaza's second-largest city -- in early December, forcing residents to flee their homes.

On April 7, the Israeli military said it had withdrawn its ground forces from Khan Yunis. Since then, displaced Palestinians have been returning to their homes after months of Israeli attacks, which left most of the city in ruins.

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