Although it is currently believed that the Palestinian population has relatively high twinning rates, to our knowledge no specific studies on this have yet been conducted. Therefore, and as a first step in our institutional program to develop medical and social care, as well as research programs specifically directed to twins in this area of the world, a number of observations have been conducted in order to gather estimates of twinning rates in the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem and the West Bank of the Jordan. This corresponds to the regions of Judea and Samaria, largely composed of small villages where most of the population lives, as well as a number of more important centers, such as Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron.
Although we have, unfortunately, been unable to obtain vital statistics on the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank from the administrative offices of Judea and Samaria, information on total maternities and twin maternities by sex, for the period 1984-1988, was kindly provided by all Arab hospitals and maternity clinics in Jerusalem, and also by the United Nations Refugees World Agencies (UNRWA) with respect to the refugee camps.
The population we have studied, therefore, is limited to the Palestinians of East Jerusalem and the West Bank refugee camps, and corresponds to about one-third of the entire Palestinian population of the area. However, it does include both an urban setting (East Jerusalem) as well as a rural one (the refugee camps), and both Moslems and Christians, so it can be safely considered as representative of the entire Palestinian population. As for the period considered, we elected to limit our survey to the five-year period 1984-1988 because the records for then are considered to be more reliable than they had been previously, when little, if anything, was known on statistics, particularly on twin statistics relating to the West Bank population.