Premature babies evacuated from Gaza arrive in Egypt – as World Health Organisation warns they have ‘serious infections’ | World News

Premature babies evacuated from Gaza arrive in Egypt – as World Health Organisation warns they have ‘serious infections’ | World News

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A first group of prematurely-born babies evacuated from Gaza’s largest hospital has arrived in Egypt for treatment.

The 28 infants were transported from the Emirati hospital in southern Gaza having been removed from the besieged al Shifa hospital, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent and Egyptian media.

Egyptian TV footage showed medics lifting babies from inside an ambulance and placing them in mobile incubators, which were then wheeled towards other ambulances.

Israel-Gaza latest: Tanks ‘200 metres from hospital’

Health officials initially said a total of 31 premature babies had been safely moved to the facility, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) said three babies still remain at the Emirati hospital.

The babies now being treated in Egypt have “serious infections”, according to the WHO.

Eight infants have died since doctors at al Shifa raised international concern this month about 39 premature babies at risk from a lack of clean water and medicines, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Image:
The premature babies were evacuated from al Shifa

Israel has been criticised for the number of civilian deaths reported in Gaza, with the ministry claiming more than 13,000 Palestinians have been killed.

The Israeli military has come under particular scrutiny because of the impact on the territory’s hospitals.

Reports of fighting around another facility in northern Gaza on Monday have raised fears another evacuation will have to take place.

A shell struck the second floor of the Indonesian Hospital, where health officials said 700 patients along with staff were under Israeli fire, according to the Hamas-led health ministry.

The ministry claims at least 12 Palestinians were killed and dozens were wounded by firing into the complex, which was encircled by Israeli tanks.

The WHO’s director-general said he is “appalled” by the reported attack on the Indonesian Hospital.

“Health workers and civilians should never have to be exposed to such horror, and especially while inside a hospital,” Tedros Ghebreyesus said on social media platform X.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Image:
Smoke seen rising over the al Shifa hospital earlier in the conflict

Marwan Abdallah, a medical worker at the facility, told the AP news agency Israeli tanks were operating less than 200m from the hospital, and Israeli snipers could be seen on roofs nearby.

As he spoke over the phone, the sound of gunfire could be heard in the background.

Mr Abdallah said the hospital – among those forced to cease operations due to the fuel shortage – received dozens of dead and wounded after airstrikes and shelling overnight.

He said medical staff and displaced people fear Israel will besiege the hospital and force its evacuation.

Read more:
Israel presents most convincing evidence yet of Hamas activity at al Shifa

Israel has questions to answer after worrying Gaza hospital report

Nahed Abu Taaema, director of Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza, told Reuters they had information that “tanks were besieging the Indonesian Hospital” but that “communications there are almost cut”.

Human Rights Watch warned hospitals have special protections under the laws of war and only lose that status “if it can be shown that harmful acts have been carried out from the premises”.

Israel claims Hamas uses civilians as human shields and operated a major command hub beneath al Shifa. Around 1,200 people were killed in the group’s 7 October attack, Israel says, with 242 taken back to Gaza as hostages.

Critics say Israel’s offensive amounts to collective punishment of the territory’s 2.3 million Palestinians.

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Premature babies evacuated from Gaza arrive in Egypt – as World Health Organisation warns they have ‘serious infections’ | World News

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