AP PHOTOS: Babies born prematurely in Gaza have been evacuated to Egypt

By means ofThe Associated Press

November 20, 2023, 3:02 PM

A nurse prepares premature babies for transport to Egypt after they were evacuated from Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to a hospital in Rafah, Gaza Strip, on Monday, November 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

The Associated Press

Twenty-eight babies born prematurely in Gaza City’s besieged Shifa hospital have been transported to Egypt, where their parents and health workers hope they can receive the treatment they need to grow.

As they waited to be evacuated to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing on Monday, the premature babies were cared for at a hospital in the border town.

So small that four of the premature babies fit in a crib and there is still room to spare. Their identification cuffs hung loosely around their ankles, emphasizing their small limbs. The babies were too fragile to be exposed to their families at large and were bottle-fed by medics and nurses.

Finally the opportunity came for them to leave and volunteers from the Palestinian Red Crescent carried the babies around the hospital – four small children lined up on a stretcher.

The World Health Organization organized the evacuation of 31 babies from Shifa on Sunday. Three were taken to Emirates Hospital in Rafah and are in good health, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society. The Israeli army stormed Shifa days ago, saying it had evidence that Hamas militants had built a command post under the hospital, a claim hospital staff and Hamas deny.

The hospital ran out of supplies and fuel to run the last generator more than a week ago. Gaza’s Health Ministry says more than 250 seriously ill or injured patients remain stranded in the compound.