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Gaza: two of the premature babies who were to be evacuated died, according to the WHO

Two of 33 premature babies scheduled to be evacuated from al-Chifa hospital in Gaza died the night before their evacuation, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

• Read also: 29 of 31 premature babies evacuated from al-Chifa in Gaza have arrived in Egypt

• Read also: Hamas Health Ministry announces 12 dead in strikes on Gaza hospital

33 premature babies in al-Chifa were scheduled to be evacuated from the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, (…) two of these premature babies died during that night due to lack of care,” declared a WHO spokesperson, Christian Lindmeier, during a regular press briefing in Geneva.

Of the 33 premature babies, three are still in the Emirates hospital in southern Gaza, according to a spokesperson for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), James Elder.

In addition, 28 others arrived in Egypt on Monday through the Rafah crossing point, the only exit from Gaza to the outside that is not controlled by Israel. They arrived from al-Chifa hospital on Sunday and stopped at the Emirates hospital before leaving Palestinian territory.

Speaking by videoconference from Cairo, the Unicef ​​spokesperson indicated that twenty of the 28 babies evacuated to Egypt were traveling without their mothers.

“Seven mothers with eight babies,” he said, adding that two of the babies were twins.

The Israeli army said it “helped facilitate” the evacuation of the babies from al-Chifa on Sunday.

The Israeli army, at war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, launched a raid on al-Chifa last week, claiming that it housed a base of the Palestinian Islamist movement, which the latter denies.

The war was sparked by Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israeli soil on October 7, which left around 1,200 people dead, mainly civilians, according to authorities. The Israeli army also estimates that around 240 hostages were taken by Hamas to Gaza.

In the Gaza Strip, more than 13,300 people were killed in Israeli bombings, including more than 5,600 children, according to the Hamas government.

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