Gaza: Baby saved from womb of Palestinian woman killed in Israeli strikes on Rafah

Gaza: Baby saved from womb of Palestinian woman killed in Israeli strikes on Rafah
The baby was saved via an emergency C-section by doctors in Rafah, after her mother was killed in a deadly Israeli strike on Rafah.
2 min read
21 April, 2024
The baby girl weighed 1.4 kilogrammes and was immediately placed in an incubator [Getty/file photo]

Doctors in war-hit Gaza successfully delivered a baby girl from a pregnant Palestinian woman who was killed by Israeli strikes in Rafah on Saturday.

In videos shared online, medical staff could be seen carrying out an emergency caesarean section on the pregnant woman, followed by resuscitation procedures once the baby was rescued from the mother's womb at Rafah’s Kuwaiti Hospital.

The woman, identified as Sabreen Al-Sakani, her husband Shoukri Ahmed Joudeh, and their three-year-old daughter Malak were killed in an Israeli missile strike targeting a house in Rafah, leaving the foetus without an immediate family.

The baby, weighing 1.4 kg, was stable and improving gradually, said Doctor Mohammed Salama, as cited by Reuters.

She was placed in an incubator in the Rafah hospital alongside another infant, with the words "The baby of the martyr Sabreen Al-Sakani" written on tape across her chest, the news agency said.

Overnight Israeli strikes killed 22 people in Rafah, where most of the Gaza Strip's population have fled to, including 18 children.

Israel began its military onslaught in the Gaza Strip over six months ago, killing 34,097 Palestinians – mostly women and children.

Rafah is the southernmost city in the territory, and now shelters 1.4 million displaced Palestinians, who fled death and destruction in other parts of the territory.

An Israeli ground invasion of the city, which borders Egypt, has been looming, despite international warnings against such a move.

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Several UN agencies, NGOs and world leaders – including US President Joe Biden – cautioned that an assault on Rafah would have catastrophic consequences.

Israel has insisted the ground invasion will go ahead, and claims that the city is the “last Hamas stronghold” in the Gaza Strip.

Pregnant women in Gaza are faced with multiple dangers. Thousands are at risk of malnutrition, jeapordising  fetal growth and the health of the expectant mother.

Pregnant women are also forced to give birth in catastrophic circumstances, either in overcrowded camps or hospitals, where medical equipment is increasingly scarce - all while Israeli bombs rain down on the territory.

Last January, UNICEF described giving birth in Gaza as "hell". In March, the World Health Organisation said that around 24,000 babies have been born in the territory since October 7.