Gaza health official says 31 premature babies evacuated from Al-Shifa hospital
The move came a day after hundreds fled the hospital - Gaza's largest, which the World Health Organisation has described as a "death zone". This after Al-Shifa's director said the Israeli army had ordered it to be evacuated.
KHAN YUNIS - A top health official in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip said all 31 premature babies at Al-Shifa hospital had been evacuated Sunday from the facility which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described as a "death zone".
Mohammed Zaqut, director general of hospitals in Gaza, told AFP "All 31 premature babies in Al-Shifa hospital... have been evacuated" along with three doctors and two nurses.
"Preparations are underway" for them to enter Egypt, he added.
The move came a day after hundreds fled the hospital, Gaza's largest, after Al-Shifa's director said the Israeli army had ordered it to be evacuated.
Israel denied ordering the move.
An AFP journalist at the scene saw crowds of sick, injured and displaced people walking towards the seafront, with the health ministry saying 120 patients had stayed behind, among them a number of premature babies.
"Many patients cannot leave the hospital as they are in the ICU beds or the baby incubators," Ahmed al-Mokhallalati, a doctor at the hospital, wrote Saturday on X, formerly Twitter.
In a statement early on Sunday, the WHO said it had visited Al-Shifa on a "very high-risk mission" on Saturday.
It described the facility as a "death zone" and said it was "urgently developing plans for the immediate evacuation of the remaining patients, staff and their families".
It said 291 patients and 25 health workers were still inside the hospital in figures issued several hours before the babies were evacuated.