The wife of a Palestinian prisoner who has been jailed for almost 14 years gave birth to twins on Thursday after using her husbands’ sperm smuggled from jail.
Nine months after his wife gave birth to their first daughter, Ziad al-Qawasmi from Hebron spent two years in jail before being sentenced for a further 13 years.
Ziad has five brothers in Israeli jails, while two others were killed by Israeli forces. Another brother was deported to Gaza, where he now lives.
According to the monthly magazine Counter Punch, the first Palestinian child born out of artificial insemination of its kind was reported in 2012, as the father had been behind Israeli bars since 1998.
Over the past two years, there has been an increase in infants conceived by in vitro fertilization to help prisoners’ wives have children while their husbands are behind bars. Six cases were reported in 2013.
Clinics have become more advanced, community awareness has increased and religious clerics are blessing the practice because of the efforts of many people and organizations, mainly the Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights.
“750,000 Palestinians have been arrested by Israel since 1967 – many serve long sentences,” said Doctor Salem Abu Khaizaran of the Razan Medical Center in Nablus, a West Bank facility that aided the pregnancies.
“The families suffer, and our services provide a way out.”
The sperm can stay viable for around 12 hours, though it depends on the quality of the sperm and the conditions of its transmission. Doctors say samples usually arrive in eye-dropper containers, chips bags and other makeshift containers.
Many hail the difficult and sensitive procedure as an important contribution to the Palestinian resistance movement.
“The message we want to send is that for every man imprisoned for life, a new baby will come to life going past the Israeli jail’,” Ahrar director voiced out. ‘’If Israel intends to destroy the life of a Palestinian and prevents him to have children, their plan will fail.”
Source: Al-Akhbar English