Tension from the incessant rocket fire caused a significant increase in births in southern Israel.
By United with Israel Staff
Between Tuesday and Wednesday last week, nearly twice the usual amount of babies were born in Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. This was due to about 450 rockets being shot into Israel, according to a nurse at the hospital. Ashkelon is a mere 8 miles from the Gaza Strip has been repeatedly targeted during Palestinian rocket attacks.
Ilana Polet, a head nurse in the maternity ward, said that tensions from the rocket attacks can set labor into motion, according to Times of Israel.
While the average number of births at Barzilai during that time frame is generally 12 to 14 babies, the hospital delivered 21 babies over a 36-hour period. The births took place in the hospital’s bomb shelter.
Each time a rocket could potentially land near a residential area, a red alert siren is sounded, sending people rushing for shelter. In Ashkelon and the surrounding areas, incessant incoming rockets caused pregnant women to run for shelters a number of times throughout the day.
Revital Kalif, 30, gave birth to her second child on Tuesday afternoon last week at Barzilai. She said that she was used to the sirens, according to the Times.
“It’s not a pleasant experience at all,” Kalif said of giving birth during rocket attacks. “I left a small child at home and an amputee mother, and we don’t have a rocket shelter at home. People are also afraid to come visit — family, friends and colleagues.”
A picture of 10 of the smiling mothers with their new babies was posted on Facebook. Included was the caption, “As the Greek poet, Dinos Christianopoulos, so eloquently stated: ‘They tried to bury us…but they didn’t realize we were seeds.'”
At press time, the picture received over 3,000 likes, 6,500 shares and nearly 400 comments.