After the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, Israel cut off all supply routes to the Gaza Strip, and the Gaza Strip is facing a severe fuel shortage. According to the United Nations, the lives of 120 newborn babies in incubators in hospitals in the Gaza Strip are at risk due to the lack of fuel.
“We currently have 120 newborns in incubators, of which 70 are ventilated. If the fuel runs out, the lives of the children in the incubators will be at risk,” UNICEF spokesperson Jonathan Cricks said.
According to the UN Population Fund, about 160 women give birth a day in Gaza, and an estimated 50,000 pregnant women across the territory of 2.3 million people.
The first batch of 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid entered the Gaza Strip on Saturday through the Rafah crossing with Egypt, but Israel is blocking fuel and electricity supplies critical to running hospitals, supporting several other essential services.
Hospitals have faced severe shortages of medicine, fuel and water since October 7, not only for the thousands injured in more than two weeks of Israeli bombardment after the Hamas attack, but also for ordinary patients.
Power is a major concern in Gaza’s seven specialist wards treating premature babies. These wards help babies breathe and provide critical support, for example when their organs are not developed enough.