Thursday, 16 August 2012


Dallal Ziben, 32, gave birth to baby
Muhannad after being artificially
inseminated by 37-year-old husband
Ammar, who is currently serving 32
life sentences in an Israeli prison.
Palestinians are not permitted to
receive conjugal visits, and although
Ziben has not set eyes on her
husband for 15 years, she says she
fell pregnant after the insemination.
Her husband managed to sneak out
his semen from Hadarim prison in
central Israel.
“Praise be to Allah who has blessed us
after a long absence with my husband
in prison,” Ziben told AFP shortly
before going in for an elective
“My husband and I, our two girls and
the family have been waiting for this
for such a long time,” she said.
Ziben already had an 18-month-old
daughter called Basha’er when her
husband, who belongs to the Islamist
Hamas movement, was arrested.
At the time, she was also five months
pregnant with their second daughter,
“I am very happy. This is the first
genuine happiness in our house for
more than 15 years,” smiles Basha’er,
now 16.
“When my mother told us she was
going to get inseminated and give us a
baby brother, we couldn’t believe it,”
she said. “We have always wanted a
brother and now the dream has come
true.”After the expectant mother was
wheeled into the operating theatre, a
group of women from the family
gathered outside to wait, breaking into
celebratory ululation at the first sound
of a baby crying.
Standing outside the operating
theatre, the proud grandmother said
her son-in-law had named the baby
after one of his friends ‘who was a
Asked if the family objected to the way
her daughter fell pregnant, she
responded angrily.
“We are honourable people who are
known for our good reputation and
everyone supports us,” she snapped.
For her son-in-law, who no longer
has any immediate family living in the
Palestinian territories, having a boy
gives him a way of prolonging his line,
she said, explaining that his mother,
father and brother had died, and that
a second brother was living overseas.
Details of how the sperm was
smuggled out of the prison was kept a
closely guarded secret, with the family
refusing to give the slightest
A spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons
Service said she was not aware of the
pregnancy, and that security prisoners
were not allowed conjugal visits, with
the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club
confirming the same information.
“Visits by prisoners’ wives are closely
supervised by prison guards and
there is no way a prisoner could get
time alone with his wife,” said a
Nablus-based spokesman.
Dr Saalem Abu al-Kheizaran, head of
the Razan fertility clinic in Nablus
which carried out the insemination
procedure, said the sperm had been
subjected to a gender separation
process to ensure the couple would
have a son.
“We received a sample of sperm from
the husband in a reliable and clinically
secure way,” he said, without going
into details.“The couple wanted a baby boy, so
we carried out a gender separation
procedure. We tried the insemination
process three times from the same
sample, but the first two attempts
failed,” he said.
Human right
Abu al-Kheizaran said the right to
have a baby was a universal human
“For us it is a humanitarian issue —
everyone has the right to be a parent.
Prison must not stand in the way of
this right,” he told AFP.
Samer Samaro from the Nablus
branch of the prisoners’ ministry
Smuggle sperm
“Having the child is a prisoner’s right.
We hope to someday reach an
agreement with the Israeli side about
this issue,” he said.
Samaro said even Israelis were
allowed that right, including Yigal
Amir, the right-wing extremist who
gunned down Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin in November 1995.
Amir, who was caught trying to
smuggle sperm out of prison in 2006,
was later given permission to
artificially inseminate his wife, who
gave birth to a son in 2007.
Says Samaro: “Even Rabin’s murderer
had a baby while he was in prison, so
why should Palestinians be deprived
of that right?”

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