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Gaza baby girl saved from dead mother’s womb dies in incubator

Sabreen al-Rouh Jouda dies just days after her mother, father and sister were killed in Israel attack on Rafah.

A premature Palestinian baby, who was saved from her mother’s womb after she was killed in an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip, has died after days in an incubator.

Sabreen al-Rouh Jouda died in a Gaza hospital on Thursday after her health deteriorated and medical teams were unable to save her, said her uncle, Rami al-Sheikh Jouda.

Dr Mohammad Salama, head of the emergency neonatal unit at Emirati Hospital in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, who was caring for the baby girl, also confirmed her death on Friday.

“I and other doctors tried to save her, but she died. For me personally, it was a very difficult and painful day,” Salama told the Reuters news agency.

The girl’s mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was rushed to hospital after an Israeli air strike hit the family’s home in Rafah on Saturday.

The girl, who was named Sabreen after her mother, was rescued through a Caesarean section after her mother succumbed to her injuries.

Al-Sakani, who was 30 weeks pregnant, was killed along with her husband and a young daughter.

The Israeli military said it was targeting Hamas fighters and infrastructure in the attack, which predominantly killed women and children.

Weighing just 1.4kg (3.1 pounds), the baby was in severe respiratory distress because she was born prematurely. She was being cared for in an incubator in a neonatal intensive care unit.

“She was born while her respiratory system wasn’t mature, and her immune system was very weak and that is what led to her death. She joined her family as a martyr,” said Salama, the doctor.

The baby girl’s uncle told The Associated Press that she was buried next to her father on Thursday.

“We were attached to this baby in a crazy way,” he said, speaking near her grave in a cemetery in Rafah.

“God had taken something from us but given us something in return”, said the uncle, with the baby surviving after her family died.

“But [now] he has taken them all. My brother’s family is completely wiped out. It’s been deleted from the civil registry. There is no trace of him left behind.”

The baby girl’s uncle crouches next to her grave in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, April 26 [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

The baby is among more than 14,000 children who have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza since the war began on October 7.

More than 34,300 Palestinians across the besieged Palestinian enclave have been killed.

Despite international calls to end the conflict, Israeli leaders have said they plan to move ahead with a ground assault on Rafah.

About 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering in the southern city, which was previously designated as a “safe zone”.

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