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Premature Babies Evacuated from Gaza’s Shifa Hospital

Written by on November 19, 2023

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

  • Two Palestinians were killed overnight in Israeli raids on the occupied West Bank.
  • 31 babies have been evacuated from Shifa Hospital
  • Israeli airstrikes kill scores at a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza.
  • President Biden said Saturday the Palestinian Authority should ultimately govern the Gaza Strip and the West Bank following the Israel-Hamas war.
  • Israel is widening its war against Hamas in southern Gaza.
  • Israel denies reports that it ordered the evacuation of Shifa Hospital.
  • Palestinian telecommunications company partially restores phone and internet services in Gaza after fuel shipments arrive.

 

At least 31 premature babies have been evacuated from Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, according to Palestinian health authorities. The infants will be transferred to medical facilities in Egypt.

The Palestinian Red Cresent said on X, former Twitter, that “Today, PRCS emergency medical services teams, in coordination by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), successfully evacuated 31 premature babies” from the hospital.

Israeli forces had raided the hospital last week as part of their military operations against Hamas.

A World Health Organization team toured Shifa Saturday and reported that there were 32 babies in need of care.

The team, which was able to spend an hour at the hospital, said what was “once the largest, most advanced, and best equipped hospital in Gaza” was now a “death zone.”

Israel’s military has been searching Shifa Hospital for traces of a Hamas command center that it alleges was located under the building — a claim Hamas and the hospital staff deny.

Meanwhile, dozens of displaced civilians were killed or wounded Saturday in Israeli airstrikes, including one on a school in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees reported.

“The scenes were horrifying. Corpses of women and children were on the ground. Others were screaming for help,” wounded survivor Ahmed Radwan told The Associated Press by phone of Israel’s attack on the camp’s Fakhoura school.

The shrouded bodies of people killed in Israeli bombardment on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, are laid out for identification by relatives, in front of the morgue of the Al-Nasr hospital on Nov. 19, 2023,
The shrouded bodies of people killed in Israeli bombardment on Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, are laid out for identification by relatives, in front of the morgue of the Al-Nasr hospital on Nov. 19, 2023,

AP photos from a local hospital showed more than 20 bodies wrapped in bloodstained sheets.

“These attacks cannot become commonplace, they must stop. A humanitarian cease-fire cannot wait any longer,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini posted Saturday morning on the social media platform X.

In response, the Israeli military said only that its troops were active in the Jabaliya area “with the aim of hitting terrorists” while trying to minimize civilian harm.

On Saturday, the military warned civilians in parts of southern Gaza to leave. On Friday, Israel had issued new warnings for Palestinians in the southern city of Khan Younis to relocate from areas of the Gaza Strip where Israeli officials earlier had told people it was safe.

“We’re asking people to relocate,” Mark Regev, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told MSNBC. “I know it’s not easy for many of them, but we don’t want to see civilians caught up in the crossfire.”

Palestinian authorities in Gaza now say more than 12,000 people — about 5,000 of them children — have been killed since Israel launched a major air and ground offensive in response to the October 7 Hamas terror attack that killed more than 1,200 people in southern Israel. Hamas has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S., U.K, EU and others.

The United Nations deems those figures credible, though they have not been updated since November 10 because of the collapse of services and communications at hospitals in northern Gaza.

Israel said 57 of its soldiers had been killed in Gaza since it entered the territory.

On Saturday, Israeli airstrikes killed at least 47 people in Khan Younis and the vicinity, medics said.

One airstrike hit two apartment buildings in Khan Younis, killing 26 Palestinians and wounding 23, health officials said. Six more were killed a few kilometers north when a house in the town of Deir Al-Balah was bombed, health officials said.

Internet and phone service was restored to the Gaza Strip on Saturday, ending a telecommunications outage the Palestinian telecommunications company Paltel said. The outage had forced the United Nations to shut down critical aid deliveries.

 

This picture taken from southern Israel shows Israeli flags flying over destroyed buildings inside the Gaza Strip on Nov. 19, 2023,

 

VOA United Nations correspondent Margaret Besheer contributed to this report. Some information for this article came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.


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