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Middle East

West Bank Samaritans fight extinction

Community sees increase in numbers but couples risk birth defects as a result of dwindling gene pool.
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2013 08:23

Many people know the story of 'The Good Samaritan' in the Bible - but most are not aware that the Samaritans remain to this day a religious community living in what is now the West Bank.

Over thousands of years, their numbers plummeted so much that they nearly died out in the early 20th century.

But the community has seen an increase in numbers since then, with couples risking birth defects as a result of the dwindling gene pool.

Al Jazeera's Jane Ferguson reports from Mount Gerizin, West Bank.

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Al Jazeera
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