About 30 premature babies were evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the Ministry of Health reported. The children remained there on Saturday after most of the patients had left the facility. They are to be taken to hospitals in Egypt.
On Saturday, the World Health Organization team (WHO), who visited the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, reported that among the patients who were not evacuated there were over 30 premature babies. A total of 291 patients remained in the hospital after the evacuation – these included: children in extremely critical condition, trauma survivors with seriously infected wounds, and people with spinal injuries who are unable to move.
As the BBC writes, WHO and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) claim that 31 premature babies have been evacuated since Sunday. PRCS spokeswoman Nebal Farsakh said the children had to be “wrapped in foil to maintain their body temperature” during the evacuation.
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The AP agency reported that the WHO joined the evacuation operation from the hospital on Sunday. A convoy of ambulances escorted by vehicles was seen south of Gaza UN, heading north towards the city. On Saturday morning, approximately 2,500 displaced people, patients and medical staff evacuated from the hospital.
WHO said its team was able to move around the hospital for an hour. At that time, he noted that 25 medical staff remained there, caring for patients who had not been evacuated. “The patients and medical staff they spoke to were very fearful for their safety and health and begged to be evacuated,” the WHO said, describing Al-Shifa Hospital as a “death zone.”
The health ministry, controlled by the Hamas terrorist organization, claimed that patients at the hospital around which the clashes took place were dying due to lack of fuel to generate electricity. Electricity supplies, in turn, are a condition for the operation of life-saving equipment, including incubators for premature babies.
Israel in turn, he presented recordings of conversations between representatives of Palestinian institutions, which allegedly show that Hamas is taking fuel intended for the civilian population of the Gaza Strip.
Many of them “lost parents as a result of bombings”
Nebal Farsakh of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society told the BBC that many of the 31 children evacuated to Rafah hospital on Sunday “lost their parents as a result of the bombings” carried out by Israel.
She stated that the surviving parents were ordered to leave Gaza City – where Al-Shifa Hospital is located – before the children were evacuated, and their current whereabouts are unknown. Farsakh added that there was no information on whether the children would be transferred from Rafah to the new facility.
Israeli services shelled the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip, claiming that Hamas was hiding under the building. On Saturday evening, Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said that soldiers were working in a tunnel shaft located at Al-Shifa Hospital. He announced that further information on this subject would be made public soon.
The newborns were in the hospital under the care of mentally and physically exhausted doctors
The newborns were in the hospital under the care of mentally and physically exhausted doctors. The photos published by Reuters show children lying several on top of each other on a bed. Some of them are wrapped in green cloth to help maintain body temperature.
– Yesterday I had 39 children, and today I have 36. I don’t know how long they will last. I may lose another two today or within one hour, said the doctor treating them, Dr. Mohamed Tabasza, in a telephone interview.
Premature babies, which weigh less than 1.5 kg and in some cases as little as 700-800 grams, should lie individually in incubators where the temperature and humidity can be regulated according to their individual needs.
However, due to the lack of power during the weekend, they had to be moved to regular beds, Tabasza said. The children were placed side by side, surrounded by packages of diapers, boxes of gauze and plastic bags.
Main photo source: Reuters