The Israeli military said Saturday it will aid the evacuation of babies from Gaza’s largest hospital, amid intense fighting around the facility between soldiers and Palestinian militants.
“The staff of the Al Shifa hospital has requested that tomorrow, we will help the babies in the pediatric department to get to a safer hospital. We will provide the assistance needed,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a televised briefing.
Earlier Saturday, medics said two premature babies had died at the hospital in Gaza City when the neonatal intensive care unit stopped working due to lack of power.
“There is a real risk to the lives of 37 other premature infants,” Physicians for Human Rights Israel said, citing doctors at Al Shifa hospital.
A surgeon at the facility, Mohammed Obeid, confirmed the newborn deaths and said an adult patient also died because there was no electricity for his ventilator.
“We want someone to give us the guarantee that they can evacuate the patients, because we have about 600 inpatients,” he said, in an audio recording published by medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
Speaking to AFP by phone, witnesses at the hospital said there was relentless gunfire, air strikes and artillery fire which prevented people moving even within the medical complex.