THE WORLDPOST
10/14/2013 02:56 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2013

Palestinian Woman In Gaza Pregnant With 'Prison Baby' After Sperm Smuggled From Israeli Jail: Reports

A young Palestinian woman in Gaza is pregnant with a baby boy after her husband's sperm was smuggled out of an Israeli prison, according to multiple reports.

Hana al-Za'anin, 26, was given vitamins and injected with drugs to increase her ovulation for three months before she was inseminated with an egg fertilized by her imprisoned husband's sperm, Al-Monitor reports.

The sperm was covertly carried from the Israeli prison where her husband, Tamer, 28, has been incarcerated since 2006. The sample was brought into a Gaza City lab, where doctors completed the in-vitro fertilization process, according to The Guardian.

Tamer had been given a 12-year sentence shortly after marrying al-Za'anin for his membership in the radical group Islamic Jihad.

The sperm-smuggling operation took about six hours before the semen could be put into a freezer at the al-Basma fertility center, The Guardian notes, adding that this is the first time a "prison baby" has been born in Gaza.

Plans for similar operations have also reportedly been coordinated in the West Bank (the larger of the Palestinian territories), where a Palestinian doctor recently said he was helping about 50 women complete the procedure. The first such operation that apparently resulted in a birth in the West Bank was in August 2012; the baby boy, named Muhanned, was born to a woman who says the boy's father is Ammar al-Ziben, who at the time had been in jail in Israel for nearly 15 years.

The Israeli Prisons Service has expressed doubts about these reports.

“Due to technological and security restrictions that apply to prisoners in their relationship with family members, one can question the ability to smuggle as claimed," Prison Authority spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told NBC News earlier this year.

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