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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Sabreen, Baby Girl Rescued From Mother's Womb After Israeli Airstrike, Dies

Sabreen's grandmother watching over her clinging to life -- video screenshot via X

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams

A grieving family and a team of medical providers in Rafah, Gaza were desperate this week for a miracle, hoping that newborn Sabreen al-Rouh Jouda would survive after being delivered prematurely moments after her mother died of injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike.

On Friday, it became clear that the family's hopes would not be realized as doctors announced Sabreen's death.

Dr. Muhammad Salama, head of the emergency neonatal department at Emirati Hospital, where Sabreen was born last week via a Caesarean section that was caught on film and widely reported as outlets searched for any bit of hopeful news out of Gaza, said the baby's lungs were not able to fully absorb oxygen because she was born at just 30 weeks' gestation.

"Every day we have a sad story; every day we have a horrible story," Salama toldNBC News, gesturing to other babies whom doctors and nurses are struggling to care for amid Israel's destruction of the territory's healthcare system. "This baby right here, his father has died. This baby's mother has died. Another two babies in the ICU, one of them came and we cannot know, sadly, if his mother or father is alive."

Sabreen is now one of 16 children killed in two airstrikes last weekend at a housing complex in Rafah, where Israeli officials have said they plan to move forward with a planned ground invasion.

Sabreen's parents and their three-year-old daughter, Malak, were also killed.

Her mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was rushed to the hospital on Saturday night with extensive injuries that she succumbed to just before doctors performed the emergency Caesarean section.

Sabreen weighed just 3.1 pounds at birth and was in severe respiratory distress, but doctors were able to temporarily stabilize her condition.

Her grandmother was filmed speaking to her as she lay in an incubator earlier this week.

"I swear I will lock you inside my heart," she said. "You will live in blessing."

At least two-thirds of the 34,356 Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since last October have been women and children, according to the local health ministry. Israel and the U.S., which has contributed billions of dollars in weapons to the IDF, have repeatedly claimed the military is precisely targeting Hamas fighters.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, the IDF has relied on an AI targeting system to identify Hamas targets, but considers bombing suspected militants in their homes "a first option," and has officially considered the killing of up to 100 civilians for every Hamas target an acceptable level of precision.

Israel has also claimed it has designated so-called safe zones, but Palestinians have been killed after moving to areas where the IDF said it wouldn't carry out bombings.

"There are no safe places at all, they are liars, liars," Sabreen's uncle, Rami Jouda, told NBC News. "There is no safe place in Gaza. We are all living under the menace of death."

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.



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