The UN Security Council on Friday called for an immediate and independent investigation into mass graves allegedly containing hundreds of bodies near hospitals in Gaza.

In a statement, members of the council expressed their “deep concern over reports of the discovery of mass graves, in and around the Nasser and Al-Shifa medical facilities in Gaza, where several hundred bodies, including women, children and older persons, were buried.”

The members stressed the need for “accountability” for any violations of international law and called on investigators to be given “unimpeded access to all locations of mass graves in Gaza to conduct immediate, independent, thorough, comprehensive, transparent and impartial investigations.”

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Hospitals in the Gaza Strip have been repeatedly targeted since the beginning of the Israeli military operation in the Palestinian territory, following the October 7 attack.

Israel has accused Hamas of using medical facilities as command centers and to hold hostages abducted during the initial attack.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in April that Al-Shifa, in Gaza City, had been reduced to an “empty shell,” with many bodies found in the area.

The Israeli army has said around 200 Palestinians were killed during its military operations there.

Bodies have reportedly been found buried in two graves in the hospital’s courtyard.

The UN rights office in late April had itself called for an independent investigation into reports of mass graves at Al-Shifa and at the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Yunis.

Gaza officials said at the time that health workers at the Nasser complex had uncovered hundreds of bodies of Palestinians they alleged had been killed and buried by Israeli forces.

Israel’s army has dismissed the claims as “baseless and unfounded.”

The statement Friday from the Security Council did not say who would conduct the investigations.

But it “reaffirmed the importance of allowing families to know the fate and whereabouts of their missing relatives, consistent with international humanitarian law.”

Israeli genocide against Palestinians has killed at least 34,943 people in the Gaza Strip, mostly women and children, the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory said Friday.