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UNICEF: Almost 20,000 babies born in war “hell” in Gaza

GAZA (Palestine Foundation Information Center) The United Nations said Friday that thousands of babies have been born in unimaginable conditions in Gaza since the war began more than three months ago.

UNICEF spokeswoman Tess Ingram, who recently visited the Gaza Strip, said nearly 20,000 babies were born in the war.

“Every 10 minutes, a baby is born in that horrible war. Being a mother should be a cause for celebration. In Gaza, that means another baby is born in hell. The suffering of newborns, while some mothers bleed to death, should keep us awake at night,” Ingram told reporters in Geneva via a video link from Oman.

She described mothers bleeding to death, while one nurse had to perform C-sections on six dead women.

Ingram described “very disturbing” meetings with women caught up in the chaos.

“Mothers face unimaginable challenges when it comes to access to adequate health care, nutrition, and protection before, during, and after childbirth. The situation in which pregnant women and newborns find themselves in the Gaza Strip is incredible and requires more intensive and urgent action,” she said.

The infant mortality rate in Gaza is unknown at this time, Ingram said, adding that it is safe to say “children are dying now because of the humanitarian crisis on the ground, as well as bombs and bullets.”

“Hospital staff, faced with a large number of patients and limited resources, are forced to release mothers from the hospital three hours after a caesarean section. Due to these conditions, mothers are at risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, death, and emotional trauma,” the UN official warned.

She also said that many pregnant women, nursing mothers, and babies live in “inhumane” conditions, including temporary shelters, with poor nutrition and unsafe water.

Because of this, as she warned, “about 135,000 children under the age of two are at risk of serious malnutrition.”

“Humanity can no longer allow this distorted version of normality. Mothers and newborns need a humanitarian truce,” concluded Ingram.

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