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A Palestinian baby in Gaza is born an orphan by emergency caesarean section after an Israeli attack

Vaseline 3 months ago

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — Sabreen Jouda was born seconds after her mother left it.

Their home was hit by an Israeli airstrike shortly before midnight on Saturday. Until then, the family, like so many other Palestinians, tried to shelter from the war in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city.

Sabreen’s father was murdered. Her four-year-old sister was murdered. Her mother was murdered.

But emergency services discovered that her mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was 30 weeks pregnant. In a rush at the Kuwaiti hospital where the bodies were taken, medical workers performed an emergency caesarean section.

Little Sabreen was almost dead herself, fighting to breathe. Her tiny body lay in the recovery position on a small patch of carpet as medical workers gently pumped air into her open mouth. A gloved hand tapped her chest.

She survived.

On Sunday, in the hours after the airstrike, she whimpered and writhed in an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit of the nearby Emirati hospital. She was wearing a diaper too big for her and her identity was scrawled in pen on a piece of tape around her chest: “The baby of the martyr Sabreen al-Sakani.”

“We can say that there has been some progress in her health condition, but the situation is still in danger,” said Dr. Mohammad Salameh, head of the unit. “This child should have been in the mother’s womb at that moment, but this right was taken away from her.”

He described her as a premature orphan girl.

But she’s not alone.

‘Welcome to her. She is the daughter of my dear son. I will take care of her. She is my love, my soul. She is a reminder of her father. I will take care of her,” said Ahalam al-Kurdi, her paternal grandmother. She clutched her chest and rocked in sadness.

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, at least two-thirds of the more than 34,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza since the war began are children and women.

The other Israeli airstrike on Rafah killed seventeen children and two women from an extended family in one night.

Not everyone recovers immediately after such attacks.

“My son was also with them. My son became body parts and they haven’t found him yet. They don’t recognize him,” said Mirvat al-Sakani, Sabreen’s grandmother. “They have nothing to do with anything. Why are they targeting them? We don’t know why, how? We do not know.”

On Sunday, the survivors buried the dead. Children in bloodied wrappings were stuffed into body bags and into the dusty ground as families wailed.

Little boys watched and tried to hold their ground at the edge of a grave.


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