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Israeli brothers poisoned by pesticides leave intensive care

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two brothers poisoned after inhaling pesticides in their Jerusalem home were moved out of intensive care.

Michael Gross, 7, and Yitzhak, 5, were well enough to join a music therapy session, the Hebrew-language Israeli newspaper Yediot Acharonot reported Tuesday. The newspaper featured a photo of the boys playing a large harp.

They will be allowed to return home in the coming weeks and attend physical therapy on an outpatient basis, according to Yediot.

Last week, the brothers were disconnected from oxygen-pumping machines as doctors waited for the toxins, for which there is no known cure, to leave their bodies. They squeezed their father’s hand and responded to his voice.

Their sisters — Avigail, 1, and Yael, 4 — died from the poison.

The boys’ parents, Michal and Shimon Gross, who sat shiva for their daughters while running to the hospital to be with their sons, called on Israelis and Jews around the world to pray for the recovery of their sons.

The entire family became ill on Jan. 21 and sought medical attention for diarrhea and vomiting, but medical staff failed to diagnose their condition as poisoning. One of the girls stopped breathing the following day; both girls died in a Jerusalem hospital.

The exterminator, who used poison lethal to humans, remains under house arrest. He had left the poison in a closed container in the apartment planning to complete the job the following day.

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