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Travel plea for conjoined twins to leave blockaded Gaza

Israel has maintained blockade of enclave for decade, citing security fears regarding Hamas
Palestinian conjoined twins lie in incubator at nursery on Sunday at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City (AFP)

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

Israel has maintained a blockade of the enclave for a decade, citing security fears over Hamas, which is ruling over the Gaza Strip.

"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.

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".

Hamda told The Times of Israel in a phone call: “Their lives are in danger. It’s a complicated case.”

He said that one of the babies looks “OK,” but the other is “suffering” and had to be placed in chemical ventilation.

“The quicker they are transferred abroad, the better their chances are to be saved,” he said.

An uncle who preferred not to be identified 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.

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 also died.

Israel-Gaza Strip border separation barrier built by Israel (AFP)