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Image taken today of one of the hospitals in Gaza that have been destroyed. Alamy Stock Photo
Gaza

Five premature babies found dead in Gaza hospital, says region's health ministry

A health ministry spokesperson said Israeli soldiers blocked access to the ICU at the paediatric facility, and doctors were finally able to get into the ward last night.

FIVE PREMATURE BABIES have been found dead at a hospital in Gaza City during a pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas, the Hamas-run health ministry today said.

Before a temporary truce in the seven-week war came into force on Friday, several hospitals in the northern Gaza Strip had been targeted by Israeli raids, with some evacuated on the orders of the Israeli army.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP that Israeli soldiers had blocked access to the intensive care unit at Al-Nasr paediatric facility, and doctors were finally “able to get into the ward on Tuesday night”.

There, Qudra said, “the occupation (Israeli) forces left five premature babies” who were found “partly decomposed”.

“The soldiers forbade the families from going near” the newborns before Tuesday, he said.

The Israeli army said it was unable to immediately comment on the matter when contacted by AFP.

Earlier this month, the world followed the fate of 39 premature babies trapped in another major Gaza City hospital, Al-Shifa, which was besieged and ultimately raided by Israeli forces.

Eight of the infants died due to a lack of electricity to run their incubators, the Hamas-run health ministry said.

Another 31 were evacuated, most of whom went on to Egypt for treatment.

© AFP 2023