Gaza doctors save baby from womb of mother killed in Israeli airstrike

Girl delivered via emergency caesarean section as woman lay dying from head injuries in Rafah



Doctors in Gaza have saved a baby from the womb of her mother as she lay dying from head injuries sustained in an in Israeli airstrike. The girl was delivered via an emergency caesarean section at a hospital in Rafah.

The woman, Sabreen al-Sakani, was 30 weeks pregnant when her family home was hit by an airstrike. Her husband, Shoukri, and their three-year-old daughter, Malak, also died.

“We managed to save the baby,” Ahmad Fawzi al-Muqayyad, a doctor at the Kuwaiti hospital in Rafah, told Sky News. “The mother was in a very critical condition. Her brain was exposed, so we saved one of the two.”

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On Sunday the baby lay wriggling and crying in an incubator in the neonatal unit of the nearby Emirati hospital. The tag around her wrist bore her dead mother’s name.

The baby would stay in hospital for three to four weeks, Dr Mohammad Salama, the head of the unit, told news agencies on Sunday.

“After that we will see about her leaving, and where this child will go, to the family, to the aunt or uncle or grandparents. Here is the biggest tragedy: even if this child survives, she was born an orphan,” he said.

The baby’s grandmother Mirvat al-Sakani told Associated Press that she would take care of her.

“She is a memory of her father. I will take care of her,” she said. “My son was also with them. My son became body parts and they have not found him yet. They have nothing to do with anything. Why are they targeting them? We don’t know why, how? We do not know.”

At least two-thirds of the more than 34,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza since this war began have been children and women, according to the territory’s health ministry.

Another Israeli airstrike in Rafah overnight killed 17 children and two women from an extended family.

The children came from the Abdel Aal family, according to Palestinian health officials. “Did you see one man in all of those killed?” said Saqr Abdel Aal, a Palestinian man whose family were among the dead, grieving over the body of a child in a white shroud. “All are women and children. My entire identity has been wiped out, with my wife, children and everyone.”

Mohammad al-Behairi said his daughter and grandchild were still under the rubble. “It’s a feeling of sadness, depression. We have nothing left in this life to cry for, what feeling shall we have? When you lose your children, when you lose the closest of your loved ones, how will your feeling be?” he said.

Asked about the casualties in Rafah, an Israeli military spokesperson said various militant targets were struck in Gaza.

More than half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have crowded into Rafah, seeking shelter from the Israeli offensive that has laid waste to much of the Gaza Strip over the past six months.

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Israel is threatening a ground offensive into the area, where the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said fighters from the militant group Hamas must be eliminated to ensure Israel’s victory in the war.

Netanyahu has said a date for a Rafah ground invasion has been set, but is yet to publicly present a plan to protect the people sheltering there.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report






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