Gaza conjoined twins leave for Saudi Arabia for separation surgery

18:19, April 07, 2010      

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Egypt on Tuesday opened its border with Gaza to let two Siamese twins and their family members travel to Saudi Arabia where they will undergo a separation surgery, officials said.

A Palestinian official at Rafah crossing point said on condition of anonymity that the crossing was exceptionally open for the travel of the baby girls Rital and Ritag.

The two seven-day-old babies are joined at the abdomen and Gaza 's hospital can not separate them.

The father, Yasser Abu Assi, appealed to the Palestinian health ministry for help and Saudi King Abdullah had reportedly ordered that the conjoined twins be admitted at a specialized clinic in the kingdom.

Abu Assi told Xinhua that King Abdullah decided to send an airplane to the Egyptian city of El-Arish in Sinai to pick up the twins and their family.

The twins should have flown to Saudi Arabia earlier, Abu Assi said, but a power-struggle between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in the West Bank reflected negatively on his case.

"I was a victim of Fatah-Hamas differences," the father said, noting that each health ministry in the two Palestinian administrations wanted to be contacted by Saudi Arabia to claim that it facilitated the departure of the babies.

"My wife and I experienced very tense moments waiting the arrangements to complete and this has endangered the life of my children," he added.

Source: Xinhua


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