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Middle East

Israel-Gaza conflict: Baby girl born by caesarean after mother is killed in air strike

Doctors say Shaymaa was born two weeks premature after her parents were hit by a strike at their family home

A premature baby girl whose mother died in an air strike is fighting for her life after being delivered by medics in Gaza via a caesarean section.

Shaymaa Hussein al Sheikh Ali was heavily pregnant when an Israeli air strike hit the roof of her family home in Deir al-Balah on Thursday.

Surgeons delivered her baby daughter, who has also been named Shaymaa, at a Gaza hospital on Monday after doctors found the infant still had a heartbeat.

A doctor at the hospital where the infant is being treated told Reuters: “The mother and father were killed. The pregnant mother was brought here and when we checked the foetus it was alive, so the doctors did fast surgery and brought the baby out breathing.

"She is in a serious condition. She is alive using the machines and we hope she will be better so she can be moved to her grandmother.”

Her grandmother was quoted by Sky News as saying two floors inside the family home collapsed after the air strike hit.

Video: Israeli airstrikes on Gaza resume with deadly consequences

The infant is currently in a stable condition after suffering a shortage of oxygen. She is expected to remain in hospital for the next five weeks.

Overnight, the conflict between Israel and Gaza escalated with the heaviest night of strikes during three weeks of fighting, after the Israeli Prime Minister warned of a "prolonged" military campaign that will continue until it is confident Hamas' network of tunnels have been destroyed.