World

Premature Gaza babies evacuated to Egypt as Israeli tanks encircle second hospital

Nov 21, 2023

Gaza [Palestine], November 21: Twenty-eight prematurely born babies evacuated from Gaza's biggest hospital were taken into Egypt for urgent treatment on Monday, while Palestinian authorities and the WHO said 12 people were killed at another Gaza hospital encircled by Israeli tanks.
The newborns had been in north Gaza's Al Shifa hospital, where several others died after their incubators were knocked out amid a collapse of medical services during Israel's military assault on Gaza City.
Israeli forces seized Shifa last week to search for what they said was a tunnel network belonging to Hamas Islamists built underneath. Hundreds of patients, medical staff and displaced people left Shifa at the weekend, with doctors saying they were ejected by troops and Israel saying the departures were voluntary.
Live footage aired by Egypt's Al Qahera TV showed medical staff carefully lifting infants from inside an ambulance and placing them in mobile incubators, which were then wheeled across a car park towards other ambulances.
The babies were transported on Sunday to a hospital in Rafah, on the southern border of Hamas-ruled Gaza, so their condition could be stabilised ahead of transfer to Egypt. The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), TedrosAdhanomGhebreyesus, said 12 had been flown on to Cairo.
All of the evacuated babies were "fighting serious infections", a WHO spokesperson said.
Eight infants have died since doctors at Shifa originally raised an international alarm this month about 39 premature babies at risk from a lack of infection control, clean water and medicines in the neo-natal ward.
Source: Fijian Broadcasting Corporation

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