A group of 28 premature babies from Gaza have been evacuated from a hospital inside the besieged Palestinian enclave to Egypt to receive treatment, according to Egyptian television footage and a Palestinian hospital doctor.
“The babies arrived to me from al-Shifa Hospital. They were in a catastrophic condition when they got here,” said Dr Mohammad Salama, head of the neonatal unit at Al-Helal Emirati Maternity Hospital in Rafah in southern Gaza.
Medical staff on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing were seen on Monday carefully picking up babies from inside ambulances and placing them in mobile incubators, which were then wheeled across a car park towards other ambulances.
The babies, from a total of 31 who were moved on Sunday from the besieged al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to the maternity hospital in Rafah as a first step towards evacuation, wore only nappies and tiny green hats.
“The 28 babies have now safely arrived in Egypt. Three babies still remain at the Emarati Hospital and continue to receive treatment,” a World Health Organization spokesperson said in an emailed response to the Reuters news agency.
Asked about the babies’ conditions, he said: “All babies are fighting serious infections and continue needing healthcare.”