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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Emergency Evacuation: 31 Premature Babies Safely Moved from Al-Shifa Hospital

At Gaza City’s Al-Shifa Hospital, the Palestine Red Crescent Society evacuated thirty-one preterm babies.

According to the statement released by the Red Crescent, the infants were transported by ambulances to the southern part of the Gaza Strip, in anticipation of their eventual transfer to Emirates Hospital located in Rafah. The evacuation was carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Thirty-one preterm babies were evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital as part of a plan to move them to Egypt, according to a medical source at the Al-Shifa Medical Complex who requested that his name not be revealed for security reasons. 

He informed Anadolu that WHO delegates paid a brief visit to Al-Shifa Medical Complex on Saturday, spending less than an hour inspecting patients, including premature infants, and the hospital’s front yard. He emphasized that the organization plans to evacuate all 250 individuals from the complex on Monday, comprising 25 medical team members and 225 displaced individuals and patients unable to be evacuated due to mobility issues. He noted the ongoing presence of Israeli forces at the hospital, conducting searches, including in areas where displaced individuals and patients exited on Saturday, and digging in the rear courtyard. 

He also mentioned that the Al-Shati refugee camp and the Al-Remal area close to the port are two places in the complex’s proximity where gunshots and the sound of shells being fired are occasionally heard. After its courtyard was converted to a medical facility for treating the injured from Israel’s ongoing raids on the city, Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City was said to be operating with incredibly little funding by another medical source.

Complex cases are reportedly being sent to the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip for treatment, according to the source. Local Palestinian sources and eyewitnesses report that Israeli forces are stationed in the Shujaiya district of Gaza City, within 500 meters (1,640 feet) from Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital. 

The Israeli army gave an hour to the Al-Shifa complex administration on Saturday, as per a Palestinian medical source who informed Anadolu. However, due to challenging cases that prevented them from leaving and the presence of numerous premature babies, it was not possible to evacuate everyone from the hospital.

The Israeli army released a statement in which it said that it had acted at the request of the hospital’s director, Mohammed Abu Silmiyah, to permit the displaced people in Gaza to travel south in a secure manner, rather than requesting the evacuation of patients and medical personnel. According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, forty-one patients, including four premature babies, have died during the last eight days. The ministry also claims that no food or water supplies have reached the Al-Shifa complex.


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