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Doctor for conjoined twins in Gaza says they need urgent outside care

Palestinian conjoined twins lie in an incubator on October 22, 2017 at a hospital in Gaza City
MAHMUD HAMS (AFP)
Abu Hamda said the girls' complicated condition 'cannot be dealt with in the Gaza Strip'

Conjoined twins born in Gaza Sunday need to leave the blockaded Palestinian enclave for treatment crucial to their survival, their doctor and a family member said.

"A woman gave birth this morning to Siamese twins joined at the stomach and pelvis," Allam Abu Hamda, head of the neonatal unit at Gaza's Shifa Hospital, told AFP.

Abu Hamda said the girls' complicated condition "cannot be dealt with in the Gaza Strip, so we hope they will be transferred abroad for a separation."

An uncle who preferred not to be named said: "We hope they can leave to do what is necessary for their rare conditions."

Conjoined twins that share key organs have low chances of survival.

The twins, whose condition Abu Hamda said was stable, have one shared leg, but separate hearts and lungs.

Conjoined twins born in Gaza in November 2016 later died.

Israel has maintained a blockade of the enclave for a decade, citing security fears over Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

Disputes between rival factions Fatah and Hamas earlier in the year saw electricity supplies to the Strip slashed and hospitals experienced frequent blackouts. 

In 2010 conjoined twins from Gaza were transferred to Saudi Arabia for surgery to separate them, but doctors in Riyadh said their condition was too delicate to operate and they died.

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