Gaza’s IVF Center Devastated By Israeli Strike, Inflicting Deep Loss

Gaza‘s largest fertility clinic fell victim to an Israeli shell, resulting in catastrophic consequences. The explosion ruptured five liquid nitrogen tanks in the clinic’s embryology unit, leading to the destruction of over 4,000 embryos, along with 1,000 sperm and unfertilized egg specimens.

This single event exemplified the profound toll of Israel’s prolonged assault on Gaza’s 2.3 million residents.

Loss of 5,000 embryos reverberates, shattering hopes of parenthood (Credits: Reuters)

Established in 1997 by Bahaeldeen Ghalayini, a Cambridge-trained obstetrician and gynecologist, the clinic offered hope to hundreds of Palestinian couples grappling with infertility. The loss of these embryos, their last chance for parenthood, left many devastated.

Seba Jaafarawi’s journey epitomizes the emotional rollercoaster endured by couples seeking fertility treatments in Gaza. After enduring three years of arduous treatments, Jaafarawi’s successful IVF attempt brought fleeting joy.

However, amidst escalating conflict, her pregnancy became fraught with uncertainty. Israeli attacks and supply shortages exacerbated her anxiety, ultimately culminating in the loss of her pregnancy.

The clinic’s chief embryologist, Mohammed Ajjour, faced insurmountable challenges in maintaining the tanks’ liquid nitrogen levels amid Gaza’s dire circumstances.

Gaza's fertility clinic devastation epitomizes human cost of conflict (Credits: AP Photo)
Gaza’s fertility clinic devastation epitomizes the human cost of conflict (Credits: AP Photo)

As Israeli incursions escalated, Ajjour’s ability to monitor the tanks became perilous, leaving the embryos vulnerable.

Despite the devastation, hope endured for Jaafarawi, who aspired to retrieve her remaining embryos and undergo IVF once more.

However, her aspirations were dashed when the clinic suffered a direct hit from an Israeli shell, extinguishing any chance of salvaging the embryos.