Behind bars: Palestinian babies born using smuggled sperm of imprisoned fathers

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Behind bars: Palestinian babies born using smuggled sperm of imprisoned fathers

Palestinians in Israeli maximum-security prisons are managing to continue their bloodlines using smuggled sperm. RT Arabic has visited a family in Jerusalem, where two babies have been born this way.

Samia Mashahra’s son came into the world despite her husband not being home in East Jerusalem’s Jabal Al-Mukaaber area for more than 16 years. The newborn was named Eid (meaning “holiday” in Arabic).

The father of the family, Fahmi, has been incarcerated since his first daughter was only one month old. His imprisonment, however, did not stop the couple from having their second child, Aziza, who is already five years old.

And now the sisters have a brother – thanks to Fahmi’s mother, who smuggled his sperm out of the prison to get her daughter pregnant. Little Eid became the symbol of freedom for the family, who still hope that “all prisoners will be released.”

Inmates manage to pass on their biomaterial through a current or a newly released inmate, Amjad Abu Asab from Jerusalem Civil Committee for Palestinian Prisoners explained to RT. Then women head to IVF laboratories with the sperm. Some seven children were born this way in Jerusalem.

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However, Israeli officials have expressed doubt over the claims, stressing that all meetings between prisoners and their relatives are strictly monitored.

Around 5,500 Palestinian detainees are being held in Israel Prison Service (IPS) facilities. Israel has often been often criticized for its administrative detention, as people are thrown in prisons “without charge, trial, conviction or meaningful due process,”according to the UN.