Over 60 babies born from sperm smuggled by Palestinian prisoners

Through in vitro fertilization and smuggled sperm, jailed Palestinians have been able to conceive children.

November 28, 2018 12:22
1 minute read.
Hana lies on a bed next to her baby boy al-Hassan, who was conceived in 2014

Hana, the wife of Palestinian prisoner Tamer al-Za'anin (pictured in poster), lies on a bed next to her baby boy al-Hassan, who was conceived with al-Za'anin's sperm smuggled out of an Israeli prison, at a hospital in Gaza City January 10, 2014. (photo credit: REUTERS/SUHAIB SALEM)


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Saed Muhammed Ali Salah, a Palestinian prisoner serving a 27-year-sentence in Israeli prison, just became a father. Denied conjugal visits with his wife, Salah had to think outside the box.

According to Wafa, Salah's wife conceived their newborn, Ayyed, after his sperm was smuggled out of prison. This method has become an increasingly popular means for incarcerated Palestinian men to continue their bloodlines.
Salah has had two children born through in vitro fertilization. One-day-old Ayyed brings the count of Palestinian children conceived with smuggled sperm to 67.

The technique, designed to help women conceive using a small tube of their husband's sperm, was developed at the Razan fertility clinic in Nablus, a department of the Specialized Arab Hospital.

Razan provides the service to wives of prisoners for free. The normal cost of the procedure is around $3,000.

“It’s a revolution. So many prisoners have succeeded in smuggling sperm and becoming fathers,” Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian Authority Prisoner Affairs Minister, said. “They strive to maintain families and this is a great challenge taking into account the harsh reality inside Israeli prisons.”

Hana Herbst, an IPS spokesperson explained there is a rigorous process to prevent smuggling and asserted, “any illegal smuggling attempts are dealt with by disciplinary or administrative means."

Dima Abumaria contributed to this report

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