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article imageGaza 'miracle baby' dies due to power cuts

By Brett Wilkins     Jul 31, 2014 in World
Khan Yunis - An unborn Palestinian baby saved from her mother's womb after the woman was killed by Israeli forces has died in a Gaza intensive care unit.
Agence France-Presse reports six-day-old Shayma Sheikh al-Eid, named after her slain mother, died in Khan Younis Hospital in southern Gaza on Wednesday.
The baby's mother was 23 years old and eight months pregnant when she was killed in an Israeli tank attack on her family's Deir al-Balah home. The woman was trapped beneath the rubble of her home after it was blasted by the tank. She was rescued by paramedics, but died on the way to the hospital.
Doctors then noticed movement in al-Eid's belly and, determining she was 36 weeks pregnant, performed an emergency Caesarian section to deliver the premature child.
Baby Shayma was deprived of oxygen between the time of her mother's death and her delivery.
"This deficiency caused the baby to asphyxiate unexpectedly, rendering her brain dead," Dr. Abdel Karem al-Bawab, head of maternity at Nasser Hospital, told AFP.
"I was hoping she would stay alive because she's a connection to my daughter," grieving mother and grandmother Mirvat Qanan told Zoomin.TV.
Hospital officials said power cuts played a role in the infant's death. On Tuesday, Gaza's only power plant was destroyed, leaving the densely populated enclave of mostly refugees without electricity or running water and raising the threat of an even greater humanitarian crisis.
"The ongoing electricity shortages played a role because her oxygen tubes did not work properly and we had to resuscitate her more than once manually," al-Bawab said of the baby.
As a 72-hour ceasefire was announced on Friday, it was also announced that the death toll from Israel's Operation Protective Edge offensive had surpassed that of the 2008-2009 Cast Lead campaign.
The Gaza Health Ministry says 1,437 Palestinians have been killed and 8,265 wounded since Israel began targeting Hamas and other militants on July 8. More than 350 children, 150 women and 60 elderly Gazans are among the dead. More than 440,000 people have been displaced, according to the United Nations.
Israel is attempting to destroy militants' rockets, thousands of which have been fired indiscriminately into the Jewish state, and tunnels, which are used to smuggle weapons and fighters into Israel.
Israel's vaunted Iron Dome missile defense system has successfully intercepted hundreds of rockets, but one Israeli civilian has been killed by rocket fire, while another died after being struck by shrapnel from a mortar. A Thai farmer has also been killed. Fifty-six Israeli soldiers have died in combat.
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