As Israel continued its deadly bombardment in Gaza overnight, there was new life amid the carnage for one family with newborn quadruplets.
Iman al-Masri, who was displaced from the city of Beit Hanoun, gave birth to four babies on Dec. 18. One is named after a missing grandfather. Another is still too weak to leave the hospital.
But all-Masri, a mother of seven, is doing her best to keep her family safe, sheltering with them in a school building. Her husband, Ammar, has given up his food so other members of his family can eat.
“Strikes occur very often,” al-Masri says. “My husband Ammar wakes up to cover the newborns, because we were worried broken glass would fall on them.”
The war is taking an especially steep toll on families, and Israel says it has no plans to stop the bombing until Hamas is destroyed. It accuses Hamas of using civilians, like the al-Masris, as human shields.
Over 80 days of bombardment has turned entire neighborhoods to rubble and killed over 21,000, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health. Humanitarian workers say hospitals have been decimated and facilities are overwhelmed.
“There’s no way to keep up with the scale of injuries and trauma and suffering that’s coming through these doors,” said Sean Casey, an emergency medical team coordinator with the World Health Organization, after touring some of Gaza’s battered health care facilities.
In one wrenching moment, two young girls followed their injured mother into a hospital, only to soon learn that she hadn’t survived.
The Israeli military is expanding its offensive into central Gaza, targeting Hamas’ leadership, while creating another mass exodus of people, many already displaced, who are looking for any place they can find safety.