UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an internal investigation of the newly found mass graves in Gaza.

“I am deeply alarmed by reports that mass graves have been discovered in several locations in Gaza, including Al Shifa Medical Complex and Nasser Medical Complex. In Nasser alone, over 390 bodies have reportedly been exhumed,” he said on Tuesday.

There are competing narratives around several of these mass graves, including serious allegations that some of those buried were unlawfully killed, he told reporters as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

“It is imperative that independent international investigators, with forensic expertise, are allowed immediate access to the sites of these mass graves, to establish the precise circumstances under which hundreds of Palestinians lost their lives and were buried, or reburied.”

The families of the dead and missing have a right to know what happened. And the world has a right to accountability for any violations of international law that may have taken place, the UN Chief said.

Hospitals, health workers, patients, and all civilians must be protected. The human rights of all must be respected, Guterres added.

The health system in Gaza has been decimated by the war. Two-thirds of hospitals and health centers are out of action. Many of those that remain are seriously damaged. Some hospitals now resemble cemeteries, he noted. –(IANS)