A medic cares for Sabreen Alrouh Joudeh

A medic cares for Sabreen Alrouh Joudeh, a baby delivered prematurely by Caesarean section minutes before the death of her mother, who was gravely injured in an Israeli air strike, at Emirati Hospital in Rafah, Gaza on April 24, 2024.

(Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

Sabreen, Baby Girl Rescued From Mother's Womb After Israeli Airstrike, Dies

The baby was born last week via an emergency Caesarean section, but doctors were ultimately unable to save her.

A grieving family and a team of medical providers in Rafah, Gaza were desperate this week for a miracle, hoping that newborn Sabreen al-Rouh Jouda would survive after being delivered prematurely moments after her mother died of injuries sustained in an Israeli airstrike.

On Friday, it became clear that the family's hopes would not be realized as doctors announced Sabreen's death.

Dr. Muhammad Salama, head of the emergency neonatal department at Emirati Hospital, where Sabreen was born last week via a Caesarean section that was caught on film and widely reported as outlets searched for any bit of hopeful news out of Gaza, said the baby's lungs were not able to fully absorb oxygen because she was born at just 30 weeks' gestation.

"Every day we have a sad story; every day we have a horrible story," Salama toldNBC News, gesturing to other babies whom doctors and nurses are struggling to care for amid Israel's destruction of the territory's healthcare system. "This baby right here, his father has died. This baby's mother has died. Another two babies in the ICU, one of them came and we cannot know, sadly, if his mother or father is alive."

Sabreen is now one of 16 children killed in two airstrikes last weekend at a housing complex in Rafah, where Israeli officials have said they plan to move forward with a planned ground invasion.

Sabreen's parents and their three-year-old daughter, Malak, were also killed.

Her mother, Sabreen al-Sakani, was rushed to the hospital on Saturday night with extensive injuries that she succumbed to just before doctors performed the emergency Caesarean section.

Sabreen weighed just 3.1 pounds at birth and was in severe respiratory distress, but doctors were able to temporarily stabilize her condition.

Her grandmother was filmed speaking to her as she lay in an incubator earlier this week.

"I swear I will lock you inside my heart," she said. "You will live in blessing."

At least two-thirds of the 34,356 Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) since last October have been women and children, according to the local health ministry. Israel and the U.S., which has contributed billions of dollars in weapons to the IDF, have repeatedly claimed the military is precisely targeting Hamas fighters.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, the IDF has relied on an AI targeting system to identify Hamas targets, but considers bombing suspected militants in their homes "a first option," and has officially considered the killing of up to 100 civilians for every Hamas target an acceptable level of precision.

Israel has also claimed it has designated so-called safe zones, but Palestinians have been killed after moving to areas where the IDF said it wouldn't carry out bombings.

"There are no safe places at all, they are liars, liars," Sabreen's uncle, Rami Jouda, told NBC News. "There is no safe place in Gaza. We are all living under the menace of death."

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.