1706191837 War between Israel and Hamas In the south of the

War between Israel and Hamas: In the south of the Gaza Strip "Some women give birth on the streets"denounces a doctor Franceinfo

In Rafah, on the border with Egypt, where displaced people are flocking, women are giving birth in squalid sanitary conditions and waiting for hours in makeshift tents.

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Published on January 25, 2024 12:48 p.m. Updated on January 25, 2024 1:46 p.m

Reading time: 2 minutesSmoke after an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip, October 17, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Smoke after an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip, October 17, 2023. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Ibrahim is only a few hours old. He was born in a tent in Rafah on the Egyptian border. Her grandmother Samia is angry. She wonders what the child has done to live in such an environment: “Under what conditions will this child grow up?” she asks.

Despite American, Egyptian and Qatari attempts, the war in Gaza continues: talks between Israel and Hamas are at a standstill. The city of Khan Younes remains the epicenter of clashes between the IDF and the Palestinian Islamist organization in the southern Gaza Strip. The south of the enclave, near the border with Egypt, has become a vast camp for displaced people, where life continues as best as possible despite fighting nearby. Women give birth in makeshift tents under deplorable hygienic conditions.

“His mother is on the floor. There isn't even a mattress. She doesn't have access to the toilet. We're on the street, in the cold. We have no clothes for him, no blankets.” This child is innocent. His father, we were told that he was dead and others told us that he might be in the hands of the Israelis,” denounces Samia, the grandmother of the very little Ibrahim.

“Shortly after giving birth, mothers have to return to their tent”

According to the United Nations, 1.7 million Gazans have been displaced since the war began, with 60% of them flocking to Rafah. As the fighting in Khan Younes intensifies, there are more and more of them every day and there is only one maternity ward. It is headed by Doctor Haidar Abu Sneymeh.

“I have 50 beds and two operating rooms. In the last 24 hours we managed 250 deliveries. I don’t have enough staff or enough equipment to handle all of this.”

Haidar Abu Sneymeh

at franceinfo

“We don’t even have a stitch anymore,” the doctor adds. “Some women give birth on the streets and those who are admitted give birth on the floor in the hospital corridors. I placed two babies in each incubator. Immediately afterwards “After giving birth, mothers must invariably return to their tent. Even those who have had a caesarean section have to leave the tent after a maximum of ten or twelve hours,” he explains disillusionedly. In this catastrophe, the doctor explains, miscarriages and premature births are increasing at a dizzying rate.