Opposite the morgue in Gaza city, babies are born.
Since Operation Protective Edge began, Al Shifa hospital is overwhelmed by wounded and dead. In the emergency room, on the operation table or in the morgue. In times of war, the number of prematurely born babies rises due to the stress and the fear that many women suffer and which makes them give birth before due time. The midwifes in Al Shifa maternity clinic, opposite the morgue, are busy delivering babies.
The place had caught my eye since the first time I visited the morgue during Operation Cast Lead in November 2012. While waiting to be let inside the morgue, I noticed veiled women looking out the windows onto the crowd of mourners outside. I was told this was the maternity clinic. This eerie coexistence of birth and death does make sense in the Gaza strip.
5300 babies were born in the Gaza strip during the war in July-August 2014. Out of these over 3000 babies were born prematurely.