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Col. Yamen Abu Suleiman, director of Civil Defense in Khan Yunis, told CNN that an additional 35 bodies were found on Tuesday, bringing the total number to 310. CNN reported it was unable to verify Suleiman’s claims and could not confirm the causes of death among the bodies unearthed.

Later Monday, Biden administration officials said they were looking into the report.

At a news briefing, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was asked to comment on the Gazan agency’s allegations. At the time, the number of bodies was thought to be lower.

“Palestinian civil defense crews have uncovered a mass grave with 180 people, including women, men, and children,” a reporter said, according to Newsweek. “Are you aware of the report and do you have any comment on it?”

“I’ve seen those reports, and we are inquiring about it with the government of Israel,” Miller said.

In a follow-up question, Miller was asked if the U.S. will “press the Israelis to find out more about this issue.”

“That’s exactly what we are doing,” he said.

Suleiman claimed the hands and feet of some of the bodies had been tied “and there were signs of field executions.” He added “we do not know if they were buried alive or executed.”

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) told Newsweek the claims were “baseless and unfounded.”

“In accordance to the effort to locate hostages and missing persons, corpses buried by Palestinians in the area of Nasser Hospital were examined,” the IDF said.

“The examination was carried out respectfully while maintaining the dignity of the deceased,” an IDF spokesperson said Tuesday. “Bodies examined, which did not belong to Israeli hostages, were returned to their place.”

IDF forces conducted a “precise” operation against Hamas in the Nasser Hospital area, the IDF said, in which “about 200 terrorists who were in the hospital were apprehended, medicines intended for Israeli hostages were found undelivered and unused, and a great deal of ammunition was confiscated.”

“The activity was done in a targeted manner and without harming the hospital, the patients and the medical staff,” the IDF added.

The Israeli military has accused Hamas of using hospitals in Gaza as command and hostage detention centers. The terrorist group has denied the claims.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization said Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City — the territory’s largest hospital — had been destroyed in the conflict.

Nicole Wells
a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

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