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The girl in the incubator becomes a symbol of Gaza’s suffering


A little defenseless girl, plucked from her dead mother’s womb, brings the war in Gaza so incredibly close. She becomes a reminder that we must continue to see and react to the atrocities and not shut down.

Even though we don’t want it, a war fatigue arises. It is hard to take in the news from Gaza day after day of new bombings, new death tolls, new abuses. We defend ourselves and shut down and the war disappears a little further away.

But then suddenly she appears in the news feed. The little bird-thin girl in the incubator, with tubes in her nose and an oxygen meter on her feet and a diaper so big she almost disappears in it. Born at week 30 by caesarean section, plucked from her dead mother’s womb. Already an orphan, already a victim of the ruthless war.

Her parents and four-year-old sister had sought shelter in their house during an Israeli bomb attack on the Gaza city of Rafah when the bomb struck and killed the entire family. When the emergency personnel realized that the woman in the family was pregnant, she was taken to Kuwait Hospital in Gaza and an emergency caesarean section was performed and the baby girl was born. Today she is being cared for in an incubator in the neonatal unit at another hospital. And she has become a symbol of how desperately ruthless the war is.

About 19,000 orphans in Gaza

The numbers we read in the news are unimaginable. More than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed since last October. Of them, over 10,000 are women. Around 19,000 children are now said to be orphans in Gaza. The little girl in the incubator is one of those children.

Due to Israel’s bombing, only 28% of hospitals in Gaza are partially functional, according to our partner Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS), and they have an occupancy rate of an unimaginable 323%. The acute shortage of medicines and equipment combined with the enormous increase in medical needs and the increase in infectious diseases in the wake of the war means that the health care system is facing a total collapse. Human suffering is increasing day by day, hour by hour.

You can help save lives

The salvation for many is our partner PMRS. On foot, they seek out the injured and sick. We don’t yet know if their staff were involved in the rescue of the little girl, but we know that every day they save lives – with their own lives at stake. And thanks to the support of our donors, they can continue their vital work.

We cannot predict what future the little girl in the incubator has ahead of her. But let her be a wake-up call to us all that war is still just as ruthless, cruel and inhumane, no matter how war-weary we are in our minds. Your support is still needed.

Here you can make a donation to our fundraiser for PMRS (only in Sweden) or here (international donations). Thank you.

By: Malin Kihlström