In the face of ongoing Israeli firepower and depleting fuel reserves, premature infants at Gaza’s largest hospital are now being swathed in foil and positioned near hot water in a desperate attempt to sustain their lives, according to a dire warning from the hospital director.
As the facility struggles to function due to the relentless attacks and dwindling resources, staff at Al-Shifa hospital are engaged in a battle to keep newborns alive.
The dire situation forced them to manually transfer infants from the neonatal unit’s incubators to another section of the hospital after running out of oxygen supplies.
“I was with them a while ago. They are now exposed because we have taken them out of the incubators. We wrap them in foil and put hot water next to them so that we can warm them,” the medical center’s director Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya told Al-Araby TV on Sunday.
Photographs reveal a distressing scene where multiple newborns, removed from their incubators, are huddled together in a single bed at the hospital.
The doctor reported that several children have lost their lives in the intensive care unit and nursery within the past day due to the sustained Israeli bombardment and blockade of Gaza.
This already impoverished and densely populated territory has faced escalating challenges since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants.
Palestinian health officials estimate that Israeli airstrikes have claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people. The imposition of a fuel blockade has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, leading to the shutdown of essential services such as hospitals, water systems, and bakeries that depend on electricity.
Conditions at Al-Shifa have rapidly deteriorated into a “catastrophic” state over the weekend. Heavy fighting has trapped staff, patients, and thousands of sheltering residents inside.
While aid agencies and Hamas health officials describe the situation as dire, Israel maintains that individuals can safely leave the hospital by utilizing an evacuation corridor to the east of the complex.