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Sunday 21 September 2014

'Miracle' baby girl delivered from mother hit by Israeli air strike

Israel agrees to 12-hour ceasefire - as toll rises to over 800 dead, 5200 wounded

Published 25/07/2014 | 18:05

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A premature baby girl delivered from the womb of a fatally wounded woman during an Israeli air strike has been deemed a ‘miracle’.

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The 23-year-old woman was killed after an airstrike hit a house in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

An emergency C-section was carried out on the woman to save the infant.

Dr Fadi Al-Khrote, who was on the team of medics who carried out the operation, told Al-Jazeera the child was a ‘miracle’ as the woman had been clinically dead for ten minutes before the operation finished. An unborn baby would not be expected to survive for any longer than five minutes after their mother died.

A Palestinian man holds a girl, whom medics said was injured in an Israeli shelling at a U.N-run school sheltering Palestinian refugees, at a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip. Reuters/Finbarr O'Reilly
Smoke from an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Thursday, July 24, 2014. Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as Hamas militants stuck to their demand for the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade in the face of U.S. efforts to reach a cease-fire. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A Palestinian reacts following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike on a building in Gaza City July 24, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Meanwhile, Israel have agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire, beginning early tomorrow morning.

An Israeli official has reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry that they will begin a 12-hour pause in Gaza hostilities starting at 7am Israeli time (5am Irish time) tomorrow.

The Israeli Security Council had earlier rejected international proposals for a ceasefire in its fight against Islamist militants in Gaza.

The proposal by Secretary of State John Kerry calls for a temporary truce during which Israel and Hamas would hold indirect talks about easing the border closure of the blockaded Gaza Strip. Hamas has demanded that Gaza's crossings be opened.

Israel TV reports that Israel's Security Cabinet - which groups top ministers on security issues - rejected the proposal in its current form, mainly because it would mean Israel has to cut short an ongoing effort to destroy Hamas military tunnels under the Gaza-Israel border.

There was no immediate Israeli government comment.

Israel's 18-day military operation in the Gaza Strip fuelled new unrest in the West Bank, where five Palestinians were killed during protests.

Also today, Israel's military announced that an Israeli soldier whom Hamas had claimed to have captured in Gaza earlier this week was in fact killed in battle that day.

The capture of an Israeli soldier could have been a game changer in Israel-Hamas fighting and the international efforts to end it.

US secretary of state John Kerry UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri met twice in Cairo today to try to bring a week-long pause in the Israel-Hamas fighting, beginning as soon as this weekend.

Mr Kerry delayed his anticipated departure from Egypt for several hours to talk again by phone to Qatari officials who are serving as a go-between with Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organisation and cannot negotiate with directly.

Over the last week, in his travels from Cairo to Ramallah to Israel, Mr Kerry has made clear that he wanted to secure at least a temporary pause in the violence before he returned to Washington. But US efforts have been frustrated by deeply-ingrained hostilities between Israel and Palestinian officials, and by mistrust among Middle East nations who have taken sides in the conflict even as they agree to push for a ceasefire.

The West Bank has become increasingly restive over Israel's Gaza operation, in which more than 800 Palestinians were killed and more than 5,200 wounded since July 8, according to Palestinian health officials.

In the West Bank, protests against the Gaza operation operation erupted today in the northern village of Hawara, near the city of Nablus, and the southern village of Beit Omar, near the city of Hebron.

Palestinian hospital officials said three Palestinians were killed in Beit Omar and two in Hawara.

The mayor of Hawara, Mouin Idmeidi, said he and hundreds of others from the village participated in a protest after emerging from a local mosque following Friday noon prayers.

Hawara is located along a main north-south thoroughfare that is also used by Israeli motorists. Idmeidi said an Israeli motorist slowed down as he passed the march and fired at the group.

The mayor said four people were wounded and that one of them, a 19-year-old, died at Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus of his injuries.

After the shooting, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli troops who opened fire, killing a 22-year-old from Hawara, the mayor said.

Rafidiyeh hospital confirmed the deaths.

In Beit Omar, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian stone-throwers. Hebron hospital officials said three Palestinians were killed.

The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports.

Yesterday, thousands of Palestinians clashes with Israeli forces at a West Bank checkpoint and in east Jerusalem, the largest protests in those areas in several years.

Meanwhile, the leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group has vowed to support Palestinian militants battling Israeli troops in Gaza.

In his first remarks on the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict that erupted on July 8, Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel that it's "suicide" to continue waging war in the Gaza Strip.

Nasrallah says Hezbollah is closely following the Israel-Hamas fighting and that his followers will do "everything we can" to help the Palestinians. He did not elaborate.

Hezbollah has long been one of the closest allies of Hamas.

Nasrallah spoke on Friday during a rare public appearance before thousands of supporters in southern Beirut, marking Al Quds Day - a day of solidarity with Palestinians that Arabs traditionally observe on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Al-Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem.

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