Saudi doctors said Friday that it is not possible to safely separate conjoined twins born in the Gaza Strip and sent to Riyadh for treatment.
The lives of the two-week-old girls born joined at the chest with conjoined hearts would be too much at risk in a separation procedure, Saudi Health Minister Dr. Abdullah al-Rabeeah said in a statement issued through the SPA news agency.
Doctors had found the girls Ritaj and Rittal Abu Assi had serious defects in their heart, liver and digestive systems, he said.
Saudi King Abdullah had sponsored their transfer Tuesday from besieged Gaza to Riyadh to see if separation at the King Abdulaziz Medical City hospital was possible.
Doctors did not comment on the medical status of the girls, but on Wednesday they were said to be in critical condition.
The hospital has a unit specializing in conjoined twins and Rabeeah frequently leads separation operations.
Explore further: Chile government rejects 14 year-old's plea for euthanasia