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Search for loved ones after 283 bodies found in Khan Younis mass grave

A woman looks among the bodies found in a mass grave in Khan Younis
A woman looks among the bodies found in a mass grave in Khan Younis Copyright Screenshot from AP video 4490160
Copyright Screenshot from AP video 4490160
By Euronews with AP, EBU
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EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says no progress has been made towards a ceasefire deal in Gaza and the humanitarian situation in the enclave remains a “catastrophe”.

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The Palestinian Civil Defence has said it has uncovered 283 bodies from a mass grave inside the grounds of the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

The temporary burial site was used when Israeli forces were attacking the facility in a second siege in March which left the hospital non-operational.

The Civil Defence unit said people resorted to digging graves in the hospital yard and that some of the bodies were people killed during the initial siege and later in an Israeli military raid.

After the military withdrew from Khan Younis earlier this month, residents have been returning to the site in search of the bodies of their loved ones.

“I came here for the fifth day looking for the body of my son Jamal,” said the mother of a missing boy, Jamal-Eddin Abu al-Ola. “They told us that there was a mass grave here and every day I came here to identify the body, but unfortunately I did not find my son.”

Meanwhile, at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borell gave a grim assessment of the status of ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas.

Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza
Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed buildings after an Israeli airstrike in Rafah refugee camp, southern GazaIsmael Abu Dayyah/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

“There is no prospect of a ceasefire and there is no real easing of the humanitarian catastrophe,” he said. “Sorry to say, there is no progress on any one of them, significant progress."

Ceasefire and prisoner exchange talks have been ongoing in Cairo for weeks but have yielded little in the way of results.

Last week Hamas rejected an Israel-proposed ceasefire, reiterating its core demands are the complete withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza, the return of displaces residents and reconstruction.

Israel says its priority is the return of the hostages still being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Israel exchanged Palestinian prisoners for Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in a November truce but since then, all efforts to establish another humanitarian pause have failed.

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