Hamas accused Israel on 27 December of mutilating and harvesting the organs of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army during ground operations in Gaza.
The accusation came after Tel Aviv handed over the bodies of 80 dead Palestinians, returning them to Gaza via Kerem Shalom (Karam Salem) crossing.
The remains were returned by truck through the crossing, after having been taken from Gaza and stored in Israel.
The bodies were “from different areas” in Gaza, Hamas said, adding that it was clear Israel “tampered with these bodies.”
“Many cases revealed that organs were stolen from the bodies of these martyrs,” the statement added.
“What the enemy did can only be described as a war crime, a heinous crime, and a blatant violation of the sanctity and dignity of the dead.”
The Government Media Office in Gaza said in a statement that Israel refused to reveal the identities of the bodies it handed over, as well as the places in Gaza from which they were taken.
Such practices by the Israeli army have been common throughout this war, the statement said, adding that graves in Jabalia, north Gaza, were recently dug up and emptied.
The media office demanded the formation of “a completely independent international committee” to investigate these crimes.
Marwan al-Hams, director of the Yousef al-Najjar hospital in the southern city of Rafah, told Anadolu Agency that the UN had informed the facility in advance of the arrival of a number of bodies.
“The bodies arrived inside a container, some intact, while others were in pieces, and some others had decomposed,” Hams said.
He added that they would be inspected for possible “war crimes” and transferred to the cemetery. The bodies have since been laid to rest at Rafah’s Tel al-Sultan cemetery.
Earlier this month, the Israeli military rounded up dozens of Palestinian men from northern Gaza, forcibly stripping them of their clothes and lining them up on the street. They were searched and humiliated before being taken in trucks to an unknown location, according to eyewitnesses.
Images and footage circulating on social media, clearly captured by soldiers, showed dozens of men stripped down to their underwear, blindfolded, and with their hands behind their backs.