Alarming footage shows Israel left premature babies to die alone in Gaza hospital it forcefully evacuated

The New Arab Staff

29 November, 2023

A correspondent for the Arabic language channel Al-Mashhad TV reported from inside the Al Nasr Children’s Hospital the discovery of decomposing bodies of several premature babies left alone in the hospital Israel forcefully evacuated.

According to reports at the time, the doctors communicated with both the Israeli military and the International Committee of the Red Cross to warn about the risk to the babies in ICU [GETTY]

Premature babies were left to die in an intensive care unit (ICU) in one of Gaza’s hospitals after medical staff were forced to evacuate by the Israeli forces, according to a chilling video report by Al-Mashhad TV.

The disturbing footage was recorded in the aftermath of Israel’s siege on the Al-Nasr Children’s Hospital in western Gaza, as the pause in the fighting brought to the forefront the scale of Israel’s destruction in the strip.

A correspondent for Al-Mashhad TV entered the hospital this week and discovered the bodies of five babies laid out on separate beds in the paediatric hospital’s ICU.

In the footage, the equipment to support the babies can be seen attached to their beds, with the video edited to blur out the bodies of the babies which were described as “decomposing”.

Earlier in November, medical staff were forced to evacuate sick and injured patients at Al-Nasr hospital as Israeli shelling in the hospital vicinity intensified and the Israeli army ordered them to leave, in spite of the logistical difficulties of evacuating some patients and babies.

On 9 November, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Israeli artillery bombardment had hit the hospital.

The next day, hospital director Mustafa al-Kalhalut said the facility had become inoperable.

“One attack targeted the hospital’s gate and the other was directed at the departments in the hospital,” he said in a statement. “The hospital suffered great damage and the patients were left without oxygen resulting in the death of one child.”

At the time, the international medical organisation Doctors Without Borders said that medical workers had to abandon premature babies in incubators as they were forced to evacuate.

According to reports at the time, the doctors communicated with both the Israeli military and the International Committee of the Red Cross to warn about the risk to the babies in the ICU.

Doctors at the hospital also reported that power supplies had been compromised when the hospital’s main generator was hit by shelling.

The four-day truce between Hamas and Israel was extended by an extra two days and is due to expire on Wednesday night.

The temporary pause in fighting has created a brief opportunity for Palestinians and those inside Gaza to survey the wreckage of six weeks of war which has killed 15,000 people in the enclave, including over 200 medical professionals, and over 8,000 children.

Hospitals have been on the frontline of Israel’s bombing campaign against Gaza which had a catastrophic impact on healthcare access for the besieged population.

Despite global outrage, Israeli forces attempted to justify these assaults by claiming that Hamas uses medical facilities to hide weapons and as operation command centres. Yet, Israel has so far failed to provide any evidence to support those claims.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, 26 out of the 35 hospitals across Gaza were non-functional because of damage sustained during the military assault or lack of power due to fuel shortages.

Doctors’ ability to treat the thousands of wounded or perform life-saving surgeries has been severely compromised and exacerbated by a shortage of medical supplies.

Under international humanitarian law, hospitals are protected civilian objects and should not be targeted unless it can be proven they are being used by a party to commit an ‘act harmful to the enemy‘.

The United Nation’s children agency, UNICEF, warned on 10 November that children’s health in Gaza was “hanging by a thread” as a result of the attacks which left healthcare facilities on the brink of breakdown across the enclave.

The report also warned that the lifesaving equipment at the Al-Nasr hospital had been damaged in an attack.

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