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Saturday 20 September 2014

Gaza's youngest orphan: Baby girl born by caesarean after mother is killed in air strike

Mother and father killed in air strike - Doctor

Published 29/07/2014 | 13:26

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A Palestinian doctor treats 3-day-old Shaymaa al-Sheikh Ali at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. The baby's mother, 24-year-old Shaymaa Hussein al-Sheikh Ali, who was killed by shrapnel from an airstrike on her family home, posthumously gave birth by Caesarean section at Al Aqsa hospital on Thursday. Doctors said they expect the infant to remain hospitalized for about 5 weeks. The baby's father, Ibrahim Sheikh Ali, was wounded along with several others in the strike. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)
A Palestinian doctor treats 3-day-old Shaymaa al-Sheikh Ali at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. The baby's mother, 24-year-old Shaymaa Hussein al-Sheikh Ali, who was killed by shrapnel from an airstrike on her family home, posthumously gave birth by Caesarean section at Al Aqsa hospital on Thursday. Doctors said they expect the infant to remain hospitalized for about 5 weeks. The baby's father, Ibrahim Sheikh Ali, was wounded along with several others in the strike. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

A premature baby girl whose mother died in an air strike is fighting for her life after being delivered by medics in Gaza via a caesarean section.

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Shaymaa Hussein al Sheikh Ali was heavily pregnant when an Israeli air strike hit the roof of her family home in Deir al-Balah on Thursday.

Surgeons delivered her baby daughter, who has also been named Shaymaa, at a Gaza hospital on Monday after doctors found the infant still had a heartbeat.

A doctor at the hospital where the infant is being treated said: “The mother and father were killed. The pregnant mother was brought here and when we checked the foetus it was alive, so the doctors did fast surgery and brought the baby out breathing.

"She is alive, so the doctors did fast surgery and brought the baby out breathing. She is in a serious condition. She is alive using the machines and we hope she will be better so she can be moved to her grandmother.”

Her grandmother was quoted by Sky News as saying two floors inside the family home collapsed after the air strike hit.

The infant is currently in a stable condition after suffering a shortage of oxygen. She is expected to remain in hospital for the next five weeks.

Overnight, the conflict between Israel and Gaza escalated with the heaviest night of strikes during three weeks of fighting, after the Israeli Prime Minister warned of a "prolonged" military campaign that will continue until it is confident Hamas' network of tunnels have been destroyed.

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