As many as 37 premature babies could die at a Gaza hospital after electricity shortages closed its neo-natal ward.

Two premature infants have already died at the Al Shifa hospital in Gaza City and there is a “real risk” to 37 others, medical charity Physicians for Human Rights Israel has said.

“I’m afraid if we leave these children in this unit in this condition we are allowing them to die… they are premature babies,” Dr Marwan Abu Saada, the hospital’s head of surgery, told the BBC.

He said the infants, who have been wrapped in blankets and are lined up in rows on adult beds in a surgical theatre, need intensive care, artificial respiration and life support equipment.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said late on Saturday that it would evacuate the babies to a different hospital after Al Shifa medics pleaded for a rescue.

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