Two of the 33 premature babies to be evacuated from Gaza’s al-Chifa hospital died the night before they were to be evacuated, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.
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33 premature babies in al-Shifa had to be evacuated from the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip on Sunday.
“Unfortunately, (…) two of these premature babies died during that night due to lack of attention,” a WHO spokesman, Christian Lindmeier, said during a regular press conference in Geneva.
Of the 33 premature babies, three are still in the Emirates hospital in southern Gaza, according to a spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), James Elder.
In addition, 28 more arrived in Egypt on Monday through the Rafah crossing, Gaza’s only exit to the outside that is not controlled by Israel. They arrived from al-Chifa hospital on Sunday and stopped at the Emirates hospital before leaving the Palestinian territory.
Speaking via video conference from Cairo, the Unicef spokesman indicated that twenty of the 28 babies evacuated to Egypt were traveling without their mothers.
“Seven mothers with eight babies,” he said, adding that two of the babies were twins.
The Israeli military said it “helped facilitate” the evacuation of the babies from al-Chifa on Sunday.
The Israeli army, at war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, launched a raid on al-Chifa last week, claiming it housed a base of the Palestinian Islamist movement, which the latter denies.
The war was sparked by Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which left about 1,200 people dead, mostly civilians, according to authorities. The Israeli military also estimates that Hamas took about 240 hostages in Gaza.
In the Gaza Strip, more than 13,300 people were killed in Israeli bombings, including more than 5,600 children, according to the Hamas government.