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WHO: 28 babies evacuated from Gaza’s biggest hospital to Egypt

WHO: 28 babies evacuated from Gaza’s biggest hospital to Egypt
November 20
22:11 2023

At least, 28 prematurely born babies have been evacuated from Al Shifa, Gaza’s biggest hospital, to Egypt for urgent treatment.

Announcing the development in a statement on X, Tedros Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said the Palestinian Red Cross led the evacuation along with some partners.

“All babies are fighting serious infections and other conditions and need specialised medical care,” the statement reads.

“WHO remains gravely concerned about the safety and health needs of more than 250 patients and 20 health workers who remain at Al-Shifa Hospital.


“Planning is ongoing to evacuate the remaining patients, their families and the health care workers.”

An initial 31 babies were first transported on Sunday to another hospital in Rafah, on the southern border of Gaza, so their condition could be stabilised ahead of transfer to Egypt.

However, only 28 arrived in Egypt on Monday through the Rafah crossing, which is the only entry and exit point to the Palestinian territory that is not controlled by Israel.


Two of the babies reportedly stayed at Emirati Hospital in the southern city of Rafah and the third baby did not transfer to Egypt as his parents are currently in northern Gaza.

It was also reported that the babies transferred on Monday were placed in incubators.

Several other newborns in Al Shifa hospital had died after their incubators were knocked out amid a collapse of medical services in Gaza.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces had raided Al-Shifa, in what the military described as a “precise and targeted operation” against Hamas, the Palestinian militant group.


A spokesperson for Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had said the raid was based on intelligence with an aim to defeat Hamas and rescue the hostages taken by the militant group in the October 7 attack.

Israel claimed the hospital included a Hamas command centre, an allegation denied by officials of the facility and Hamas.

Israel also accused Hamas of continuing to use the large hospital complex for military purposes which, it claimed, “jeopardizes the hospital’s protected status under international law”.


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