A Palestinian doctor says rare conjoined female twins born in the Gaza Strip are in good health, but will need specialist treatment abroad.
Dr. Allam Abu Hamda, a neonatal specialist at Gaza's Shifa hospital, said on 23 October that the girls were in a "stable" condition and doctors had begun feeding them.
The sisters were born on 21 October by cesarean section after a full-term pregnancy. Similar newborns die within 24 hours of birth, the doctor said.
The sisters are joined at the abdomen and pelvis but they have separate heads and lungs. Palestinian hospitals lack the equipment and expertise to separate the twins.
Hamda said doctors were trying to arrange a transfer of the girls to better equipped hospitals in the US or Saudi Arabia to determine whether they can be separated.
He told the Times of Israel that transferring the girls to a hospital in Israel could also be an option. "If Israel will accept, no problem for us. We need anyone to accept them as soon as possible. We are looking to help these twins," he explained.
"The quicker they are transferred abroad, the better their chances are to be saved. We don't know which centre can deal with this. Their lives are in danger. It's a complicated case."
Hamda added that doctors were continuing to study their situation.
A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories ( COGAT), Israel's Defence Ministry agency that liaises with Palestinians on civil affairs, said it was looking into the matter.
In June, three infants died in hospitals in Gaza after the Palestinian Authority (PA) refused to grant permits for the babies to be treated in Israel, according to terror group Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip.
Rights groups have claimed that the PA reduced the amount of medical aid in Gaza as a ploy to force Hamas to give up territories it controlled in the area.
The PA denied the allegations and said it had not changed the medical referrals system.
"The system and mechanism of medical referrals for patients in the Gaza Strip have not been modified or changed," it said in a statement in July, according to the Middle East Monitor.