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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Baby girl just born 17 days ago killed in Israeli attack

The tragedy struck when Princess Aisha was a mere 17 days old. In the early hours of a Tuesday morning, an Israeli airstrike razed her family's three-story apartment building in Rafah.

Baby girl just born 17 days ago killed in Israeli attack

Born into the tumultuous backdrop of a southern Gaza city, Princess Aisha’s brief life unfolded against the grim tableau of daily bombardments. In a hospital devoid of electricity, she came into the world on December 2, named by her family as “al-Amira Aisha” — a poignant appellation that spoke of hope even in the face of adversity. The Emirati Red Crescent Hospital in Rafah, where she was born, lacked power, emblematic of the dire circumstances that had engulfed the region.

Princess Aisha’s fragile existence was marred by the continuation of hostilities, as the Israeli airstrikes resumed less than 48 hours after her birth, shattering a week-long ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The precariousness of her surroundings was further underscored by the collapse of basic infrastructure, leaving hospitals struggling to function. The very facility that welcomed her into the world now stood as a symbol of the challenges facing the besieged Gaza enclave.

The tragedy struck when Princess Aisha was a mere 17 days old. In the early hours of a Tuesday morning, an Israeli airstrike razed her family’s three-story apartment building in Rafah. As her extended family slept, the strike claimed the lives of 27 people, including Princess Aisha and her 2-year-old brother, Ahmed. Suzan Zoarab, the infant’s grandmother and a survivor of the blast, recounted the heart-wrenching experience from the side of her injured son’s hospital bed.

Continuous Israeli bombardment 

The Zoarab family, defying the widespread displacement that had forced many to abandon their homes, chose to remain in their apartment building. It was a decision rooted in the belief that the ground floor would offer greater safety. Tragically, this belief proved devastatingly wrong, as at least 13 members of the family, including a journalist named Adel, lost their lives when the building collapsed.

Princess Aisha’s fate is intertwined with the broader Palestinian narrative of loss and displacement. The death toll in Gaza nears an alarming 20,000, with the vast majority falling victim to the unrelenting Israeli airstrikes. These attacks, some of the most destructive in the 21st century, have displaced over 1.9 million people, representing more than 80% of the territory’s population.

More to read: Hamas chief due in Egypt for Gaza ceasefire talks

Amid the widespread destruction, the health infrastructure in Gaza is on the brink of collapse. As of Monday, 28 of Gaza’s 36 hospitals were reported as out of service, with only eight health facilities partially operational. The dire situation extends to approximately 50,000 pregnant Palestinian women, facing the challenges of bringing new life into a world torn by conflict and devastation.