Palestinian men locked away in jail are smuggling their sperm out of Israeli’s prisons in order to have more children. Though with the help of wives that visit the prison to see their husbands, along with the kids they had already created before being put in the slammer, sperm is quickly being smuggled out of the jails and rushed to a medical facility close by for in vitro fertilization (IVF) to take place.
Take the story of Suad Abu Fayed and her husband who have not been able to have any form of physical contact with one another for over 11 years, according to a Washington Post article. For the years they have not been allowed to contact each other as wife and husband is the same amount of time the man has been kept, locked away in an Israeli prison.
However more recently, Abu Fayed was holding their 8-day-old baby girl who they named Hurriyah. This infant is one of many that are in a growing demographic of babies that were conceived in the past 24 months using IVF. The man’s daughter was conceived thanks to his tricky ways of smuggling his semen out of the prison in an effort to impregnate his wife. He is not the only man behind bars that has attempted this move with alarming success.
There are two main goals of this covert operation according to those that are involved in the scheme. The first goal is to help the wives of the prisoners have offspring while their loved ones are in the slammer. The second aim is to put a dent in Israel’s control over the lives of Palestinians.
Thirty-seven year old Samir Abu Fayed, the father of Hurriyah, is doing an 18-year prison sentence for being convicted of his involvement in terrorist actions. According to the prisoner’s brother, he is a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades which is an armed wing of Palestine’s political force called Fatah.
It is fair to point out that only thoroughly screened relatives of prisoners are allowed to visit but only through a glass divider, allowing for no physical contact. However, young kids are given a brief moment of interaction with their fathers. This is exactly how Hurriyah, whose name means freedom in Arabic, came into this world. Sperm from Abu Fayed was discreetly given to one of the couple’s three older kids, who had all been born before he was thrown in prison. The sperm exchange happened during a visitation session at the Nafha prison in the south of Israel, according to Suad Abu Fayed who is 34-years-old.
After the covert operation, the sperm was rushed over the Razan Medical Center in Nablus—a medical facility that specializes in IVF treatment. By using this center and bringing in her husband’s sperm, the IVF was executed with Hurriyah being living proof that it was a success.
“I know it won’t be easy raising a baby with a husband in jail, but this is our way of breaking Israel’s siege on us,” she said, referring to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, as stated by The Washington Post, then she added, “We are challenging [Israel’s] occupation and getting something beautiful in return.”