Foreign Ministry officials confirmed Thursday that a baby born in Nepal via surrogacy to an Israeli couple had died just one day after birth.
The baby died overnight into Thursday, Channel 10 reported, while at a makeshift hospital set up in a tent in capital city in Kathmandu after two earthquakes wreaked havoc on the country last month.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the baby was being held with nine other infants in the hospital tent, set up to isolate the newborns from other patients.
While the cause of the infant's death has not been published, officials are looking into the possibility he died of congenital heart failure. The shoddy conditions of the tent and the lack of accessibility to adequate treatment also likely played a role.
In the wake of the earthquakes and the dangerous situation in Nepal, the Israeli Justice Ministry shortened the upwards of a month procedure to bringing surrogate babies born to Israeli couples back into Israel down to a week.
The order, which allowed infants to enter Israel without undergoing the required tissue test for proof of a genetic link to an Israeli citizen, was just rescinded two days ago.
According to a Justice Ministry statement on Tuesday, official information had been received from Nepal's government to suggest medical and hygienic conditions had improved, enabling newborn Israeli-bound babies to remain in the country.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Interior Minister Silvan Shalom told Channel 10 on Thursday that he would work to immediately put all surrogate babies remaining in Nepal on a flight to Israel.
"In times like these, when there were two earthquakes in Nepal and premature infants are waiting outside of a hospital in a tent… we must first bring them to Israel and only then test them," Shalom declared.