Babies Being Born In Gaza Not Of 'Normal' Size: UN

Doctors still working in the beseiged strip report small and sickly newborns, stillbirths and women who are forced to undergo C-sections without adequate anesthesia

Babies Being Born In Gaza Not Of 'Normal' Size: UN

An official of the United Nations has said that doctors who are still operating in the besieged Gaza Strip report the delivery of babies who are not of the normal size or weight as six months of war has left their mothers severely malnourished.

"Doctors are reporting that they no longer see normal-sized babies," said Dominic Allen, a UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative for the State of Palestine, in a video news conference from Jerusalem.

"What they do see though, tragically, is more stillborn births... and more neonatal deaths, caused in part by malnutrition, dehydration and complications," Allen said after visiting hospitals still providing maternity services in the north of Gaza.

The official said that some 180 women are giving birth daily across the devastated and starving strip.

The stress, fear, exhaustion and malnutrition for mothers has caused the rate of complicated deliveries to double from the pre-war rates. The lack of necessary supplies and doctors only further complicates matters.

"We have had reports of insufficient anesthetic being available" for Caesarean sections, "which again is unthinkable," Allen said.

He said the situation has deteriorated to a point where it constitutes as more than simply a humanitarian crisis. "It is a crisis of humanity... beyond catastrophic."

Israel has waged a brutal war of attrition on Gaza and other parts of occupied Palestine since October 7, 2023, when a rare Hamas incursion left over 1,000 people dead. Israel's devastating bombing campaign and ground offensive to neutralise the militant Hamas has in turn killed over 31,490 Palestinians, including over 12,000 children.