May 27, 2024

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Breaking news on Iran's attack on Israel, the war with Hamas and the situation in Gaza, live: news, reactions and more

Breaking news on Iran's attack on Israel, the war with Hamas and the situation in Gaza, live: news, reactions and more

As 15 more bodies have been recovered around Gaza's al-Shifa hospital, the digging process continues

A United Nations team inspects the grounds of Al-Shifa Hospital following an Israeli attack on April 8. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

15 bodies were recovered Monday from around al-Shifa hospital after the Israeli army withdrew from the area two weeks ago, Gaza residents and health workers told CNN.

Health workers and residents in northern Gaza are searching for their loved ones in what they believe are mass graves after they say Israeli forces killed hundreds of Palestinians and left their bodies to decompose during a two-week siege.

Hundreds of bodies have been recovered from around the hospital compound since the siege ended on April 1, a Gaza civil defense spokesman told CNN last week.

A video shot by CNN on Monday shows medical workers, some at the UN. It shows them wearing marked underwear, walking through piles of sand, and digging up bodies. White body bags were found at the side of the excavated site, some with the words “unidentified body” written on them and others with names of people.

“Today I say goodbye to my mother, who was in Al-Shifa Hospital during the ruthless Israeli occupation of this medical complex, which has become a huge ruin,” Mohammed al-Khatib told CNN-Gazana. “The Israeli army deprived patients, nurses, doctors and displaced people of water, medicine and food.”

Al-Khatib's mother, Qawala al-Khatib, was 75 when she was taken to the hospital three days before the Israeli army besieged the compound and the surrounding al-Rimal neighborhood, and was killed three days later, he said.

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CNN reached out to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for comment on the allegations, but did not receive a response.

Walid Abu-Laila told CNN that he had been searching for his mother since the Israeli hospital siege ended on April 1. He said this Monday that he found her body and could only identify her by “certain marks on her legs and hands” since her toe and another finger were amputated in November.

The video shows Abu-Laila opening a white body bag, which reveals her mother's mutilated body.

“The hospital was barricaded on all sides, bodies scattered everywhere, crushed on the streets by tank rails. When I was called to come and see the unidentified bodies, I opened a bag written 'unidentified' and immediately found my mother's mutilated body,” he said.

Kader al-Zanoun of Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, contributed to this report.