Smuggled sperm brings baby joy to Gaza prisoner's family

Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:23am EST
 
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By Nidal al-Mughrabi

GAZA (Reuters) - The wife of a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail gave birth on Friday to a boy born from sperm smuggled into Gaza, her family said, the first successful pregnancy of its kind in the embattled coastal enclave.

The procedure follows several similar cases last year in the West Bank, and Palestinians view such births as an act of defiance against Israel's jail policies.

"I am tired and very, very happy," said mother Hana al-Za'anin, her voice weak, hours after delivering baby al-Hassan.

Speaking from a hospital bed in Gaza City, she told Reuters Israel had banned her from visiting her husband since his arrest in 2006, citing unspecified "security reasons."

Most of Gaza's 1.8 million people are barred from entering Israel for the same reason, although it allows some merchants and seriously ill people to enter its territory from Gaza.

Gaza has been run by the Islamist group Hamas since 2007. Israel has enforced a blockade on the territory and has fought a round of bloody battles with the militant party.

Al-Za'anin declined to say how the sperm was conveyed out of prison, but said its journey to a medical lab in Gaza, where two specialists were waiting for it, took around six hours.

Her husband Tamer was arrested in an Israeli army incursion into the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun and jailed for 12 years for belonging to the Islamic Jihad militant group.   Continued...

 
Palestinian baby boy Al-Hassan, the son of Palestinian prisoner Tamer al-Za'an (pictured in poster), who was conceived with al-Za'anin's sperm smuggled out of an Israeli prison, is held by al-Za'an's brother as his mother Hana rests on a bed at a hospital in Gaza City January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem