Gaza baby born by C-section after both parents killed in Israeli airstrike

Born premature and already an orphan, Sabreen Jouda came into the world seconds after her mother died.

Sabreen’s birth came after a deadly weekend in Rafah as 22 people, including 18 children, were killed by air raids

Israeli strikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah overnight killed 22 people, including 18 children, health officials said on Sunday.

Amidst the violence and chaos, doctors were able to save the life of an unborn baby as her mother lay dying from a head injury.

Born premature and already an orphan, Sabreen Jouda came into the world seconds after her mother died.

Their home was hit by an Israeli airstrike shortly before midnight on Saturday.

The family had been, like many other Palestinians, trying to shelter from the war in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah.

Sabreen’s father was also killed, along with her four-year-old sister.

Paramedics learned that her mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was 30 weeks pregnant, so rushed her to hospital where medical workers performed an emergency cesarean section.

Once she was born Sabreen was struggling to breathe so medical staff laid her out in the recovery position on a small piece of carpet as others gently pumped air into her open mouth.

Sabreen Jouda was delivered prematurely after her mother was killed in an Israeli strike along with her father and sister. / Credit: AP

The note: “The martyr Sabreen al-Sakani’s baby” was written on the newborn’s nappy.

“We can say there is some progress in her health condition, but the situation is still at risk,” Dr. Mohammad Salameh, head of the unit, said. “This child should have been in the mother’s womb at this time, but she was deprived of this right.”

At least two thirds of the more than 34,000 Palestinians killed in Gaza since the war began have been children and women, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The other Israeli airstrike in Rafah overnight killed 17 children and two women from an extended family.

Israel has carried out near-daily air raids on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million has sought refuge from fighting elsewhere in the region.

It has also vowed to expand its ground offensive against the Hamas militant group to the city on the border with Egypt despite calls for restraint, including from the US.

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