Gaza preterm children sent to Egypt due to infection fears

The 28 neonates were evacuated from the besieged al Shifa hospital and subsequently transported to the Emirati hospital located in the southern region of Gaza.

Egypt has received the initial group of premature infants evacuated from the main hospital in Gaza for medical treatment.

Egyptian and Palestinian Red Crescent media outlets report that the 28 infants were transferred from the besieged al Shifa hospital to the Emirati facility in southern Gaza.

Medical personnel were seen on Egyptian television footage removing infants from an ambulance, depositing them in mobile incubators, and then wheeling them towards other ambulances.

Health officials first reported 31 preterm newborns transferred safely to the facility. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has since reported that three infants remain at the Emirati hospital.

The infants presently undergoing medical treatment in Egypt are suspected to have “serious infections,” as stated by the WHO.

Concerns and WHO Statements

According to the health ministry operated by Hamas, eight infants have perished since physicians at al Shifa raised international concern this month regarding 39 premature babies who are at risk due to a lack of clean water and medications.

The Israeli ministry claims over 13,000 Palestinian civilians have died in Gaza, drawing criticism.

Due to its negative consequences on territorial institutions, the Israeli military has come under fire.

Hospital Damage and Additional Concerns

Combat around an additional plant in northern Gaza raised concerns about a further evacuation on Monday.

The second floor of the Indonesian hospital was damaged by a shell, according to health officials who reported that 700 patients and staff were subject to Israeli fire, as reported by the health ministry, which is administered by Hamas.

Israeli tanks fired around the compound, killing 12 Palestinians and injuring scores, the ministry said.

The purported assault on the Indonesian hospital has “appalled” the director-general of the World Health Organisation.

“Citizens and medical personnel should never be subjected to such atrocities, but particularly within a hospital,” Tedros Ghebreyesus wrote on the social media platform X.

No initial statement was issued by the Israeli military.

Israeli Military Presence and Hospital Conditions

Hospital staff member Marwan Abdallah told the AP that Israeli tanks were operating less than 200 metres away. He also mentioned that snipers were visible from rooftops nearby.

The background noise was the sound of gunfire as he spoke on the telephone.

Mr. Abdallah stated that the hospital, which was among those forced to suspend operations overnight due to a fuel shortage, received scores of fatalities and wounded from overnight airstrikes and shelling.

Medics and displaced individuals, according to him, are terrified that Israel will besiege and force the hospital to evacuate.

Nahed Abu Taaema, director of Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, told Reuters that “tanks were besieging the Indonesian Hospital.” However, he added that “communications there are nearly severed.”

International Concerns and Protections for Hospitals

Human Rights Watch cautioned that hospitals are entitled to unique protections under the laws of war. They would forfeit those protections “only if it could be demonstrated that harmful activities were conducted from the premises.”

According to Israel, Hamas utilised civilians as human shields and maintained a significant command centre beneath al Shifa. Israel estimates that the group’s October 7 attack killed 1,200 people, 242 of whom were returned to Gaza as prisoners.

Critics assert that Israel’s offensive punishes the 2.3 million Palestinians residing on the territory collectively.

Israeli strikes near hospitals draw Palestinians onto Gaza roadway.

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