Abusing of a Gaza couple who just lost three babies

Gideon Levy & Alex Levac Haaretz 31/01/20

Wafa raises the appallingly tiny palm of her daughter, as though hoping to hold onto her so she won’t slip away like her three other newborn siblings did. Selin is a 2-month-old preemie, who weighed 500 grams (17.6 ounces) when she was born in the 25th week of her mother’s pregnancy. The physicians of the neonatal intensive care unit of Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem are still fighting for her life. Her sister and two brothers – Ilin, Daeb and Kayiz – died one after the other within a few days, after their birth on November 24. Now only Selin remains, breathing by means of an artificial respirator, inside an incubator with a network of tubes attached to her miniature body, her mother softly caressing her hand.

Amazingly, it’s Selin, the smallest of the four, who is still alive. Dr. Sudqi Hamada, a physician in the unit, believes the tiny infant “can do it,” and will survive … Two months have passed since the birth that ended so tragically. Since then, the parents, Wafa and Mohammed Ralaban, have had to grapple not only with the death of their children and with the battle to save the life of their surviving daughter. They were also forced to fight for the right to be by their babies’ side in the hospital. If it had been up to the occupation authorities, they would long since have been expelled back to Gaza, leaving the preemies behind for the doctors to save. Had it not been for a determined and devoted struggle by the Physicians for Human Rights Israel NGO – along with the mobilization of the staff at Makassed – the parents and their tiny offspring would have been separated at birth…
Wafa was initially given a permit to stay in Israel for just three days and had not yet given birth when it expired. According to PHRI, there are cases in which Palestinian women who have high-risk pregnancies and give birth in Israel are forced to return to Gaza and leave their infant to struggle alone. Inhumanity knows no bounds.

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