IDF admits digging up Gaza graves 


GAZA: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has admitted that it dug up Palestinian graves in a Gaza cemetery.

Footage emerged earlier this week from a bulldozed graveyard in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, showing cracked gravestones and some human remains left exposed.

In a statement given to American broadcaster NBC, the IDF said it had dug up graves in the cemetery to see if dead hostages were buried there.

“The hostage identification process, conducted at a secure and alternative location, ensures optimal professional conditions and respect for the deceased,” it said, despite photographs from the graveyard showing extensive damage.

“Bodies determined not to be those of hostages are returned with dignity and respect.

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“If not for Hamas’s reprehensible decision to take Israeli men, women, children and babies as hostages, the need for such searches … would not exist.

Meanwhile the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said it killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s deputy propaganda chief in an air strike.

It said Wael Abu Fanounah was responsible for producing propaganda videos of hostages and clipping up footage of rocket fire on Israel.

In a joint statement, the IDF and Shin Bet did not say where the operation took place.

They accused Abu Fanounah of previously acting as deputy to Khalil Bahtini, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s deputy commander in northern Gaza

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