Over 30 premature babies were safely transferred on Sunday from Shifa, the central hospital in the Gaza Strip, to another hospital in the south, and from there they will be transferred to Egypt – medical officials said.
The fate of the premature babies at the Shifa Hospital caught the world’s attention after pictures were released showing doctors trying to warm them up.Palestinian officials reported that a power outage disabled incubators and other equipment in Shifa, while food, water, and medical supplies ran out, in the shadow of fighting between IDF forces and terrorists outside the hospital.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, wrote on social media that the “very sick” babies were evacuated from Shifa, along with six health workers and ten staff members.
According to him, they were evacuated to a hospital in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where they are receiving urgent treatment. The evacuation, apparently, was coordinated with the IDF, which controls the area.
A WHO team that visited the hospital yesterday said 291 patients were still there, including infants, trauma victims with severe infectious injuries, and others with spinal injuries unable to move.
Over 2,500 people left Shifa
According to the WHO, about 2,500 displaced people, patients, and medical staff left Shifa Hospital yesterday morning. It was also reported that 25 members of the medical staff remained in the compound, along with the patients.
“Patients and members of the medical staff with whom they spoke were terrified for their safety and health, and begged for evacuation,” said the WHO, which described Shifa as a “death zone.”
Israel claims that Hamas maintains a vast headquarters inside Shifa and below the hospital. Purging the terrorist organization’s presence was defined as one of the most important steps in the overthrow of his rule, one of the primary war goals that began following the murderous attack on October 7 in which more than 1,200 Israelis were massacred.
Hamas and the hospital staff deny the claims, and Israel’s opponents in the world accuse it of harming civilians. Israel and the United States blame Hamas, which uses civilians as human shields and operates out of non-military facilities.