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Prisoner has son after smuggling sperm to wife

Aug. 13, 2012 8:35 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 15, 2012 10:14 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Ammar al-Zein became a father for the third time on Monday, even though he has been jailed in Israel for 15 years.

Al-Zein's wife Dalal Rabayaa, 31, gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 3.8 kg at the Razan Medical Center in Nablus. The proud parents named their son Muhannad after a friend of Ammar's who was killed by Israeli forces, she told Ma'an.

Muhannad was conceived at the Razan clinic by IVF using sperm smuggled from her jailed husband.

"My husband managed to smuggle his sperm from prison about three years ago, and we managed to keep it until I finally gave birth to Muhannad," Dalal said. She declined to give details of how the sperm was smuggled, citing security concerns.

Ammar, from Maythaloun village in the northern West Bank, is serving 25 life sentences in Israel's Hadarim prison. The couple has two daughters, 16-year-old Bashaer and Bisan, 15.

Dr Salim Abu al-Khayzaran told Ma'an the successful birth followed two failed IVF treatments.

He told Agence-France Presse that the sperm had been subjected to a gender separation process to ensure the couple would have a son. He also declined to elaborate on how the sperm was smuggled, but said it was done in a clinically secure way.

A delighted Dalal told Ma'an she had been waiting for a son for years and had finally realized her dream.

"This accomplishment is dedicated to the Palestinian people, namely prisoners and their families," she said.

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