Women & ChildrenWorld

Over 50,000 Pregnant Women In Gaza Living In Fear Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has had a profound impact on the lives of the people of Gaza, particularly pregnant women. Over 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza are living in fear and uncertainty, unsure if their pregnancies will last until term due to the stress and fear brought on by the war.

Haneen Mousa, a mother of two daughters aged two and three, and currently three months pregnant, is one of these women. She was forced out of her home in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip due to the looming threat of a major Israeli ground invasion. Her pregnancy is in jeopardy due to the constant stress and fear brought on by the war, which has lasted for the past 12 days. Mousa’s concerns about the impact of the war on her pregnancy are compounded by bleeding episodes, and she desperately needs a medical examination.

However, the unrelenting Israeli bombing campaign has made it nearly impossible for most pregnant women in Gaza to access medical services or see a doctor. “My emotional well-being has been profoundly affected. I’m overwhelmed by fear for my daughters and the unborn child in my womb. The tears seem uncontainable,” she told Middle East Eye.

Mousa escaped Jabalia as the situation became increasingly “horrifying”, as hundreds of thousands of people fled northern Gaza to the south following Israel’s warnings for residents to either leave or face its air strikes. The 28-year-old mother has sought refuge at her parent’s residence in the al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the heart of the Gaza Strip.

“The journey from my home to al-Maghazi was a harrowing experience. Children cried out in fear, men and women were in a state of panic, and it seemed as though they were disoriented, not knowing where to seek refuge,” she said. “Pregnancy hormones already substantially impact a mother’s emotional well-being, but the ongoing war has intensified my distress.”

Access to the internet has been severely restricted, making it difficult for people to stay up-to-date with the situation on the ground. It was through a radio broadcast that Mousa found out that the clinic she used to visit for prenatal check-ups had been bombed. Meanwhile, her attempts to contact an obstetrician and gynecologist have failed, as communication in Gaza has been severely disrupted after Israel’s military struck the enclave’s main telecom companies.

Adnan Radi, a doctor at al-Awda Hospital, told MEE that around 50,000 pregnant women in the Gaza Strip have been unable to access prenatal care since the war started on October 7. This has led to a significant increase in stress and anxiety among these women, further complicating their pregnancies.

The situation continues to evolve with each passing day. As per recent updates from Al Jazeera, Iran has warned Israel to immediately halt its “war crimes” against Gaza or it could face “a huge earthquake” of resistance. More than 320 Palestinians have been killed in the past 24 hours, including many women and children killed in Israeli air raids on convoys fleeing Gaza City.

The conflict that began on October 7th has become one of the deadliest wars for both sides with more than 4,000 dead. More than a million people have fled their homes in Gaza Strip ahead of an expected Israel invasion that seeks to eliminate Hamas’ leadership after its deadly incursion.

The international community is closely monitoring this situation. President Joe Biden announced that U.S. will provide $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians affected by conflict in Gaza and West Bank. However, aid groups warn an Israeli ground offensive could hasten a humanitarian crisis.

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