NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Four women are pregnant after smuggling their husbands' sperm out of Israeli jails, a clinic in Nablus announced Thursday.
At a news conference at the Razan Medical Center, Dr Salem Abu Khaizaran said the four successful pregnancies were a huge achievement, and that many insemination attempts had failed.
"We don’t intervene and ask how they smuggled sperm from prison and get it to Nablus. There are many failed attempts because the sperm die and so prisoners have to keep trying until it works," Abu Khaizaran said.
"We believe that this is a human right especially as these prisoners are spending long sentences in prisons and a woman's biological clock is short so maybe when her husband comes out she won't be able to have a child."
The doctor said the clinic provided free treatment to the wives of political prisoners as a social and humanitarian contribution to Palestinians who sacrifice their lives for their homeland. The center is storing dozens of samples of frozen sperm from prisoners of all factions, he added.
The prisoners whose wives are pregnant were identified as Ali Nazzal, from Qalqiliya, who is sentenced to 25 years, Osama al-Silawi from Jenin, serving four life sentences and 55 years, Rafat al-Qarawi of Ramallah, sentenced to 15 years, and a fourth prisoner from Jericho.
The center insists on the presence of a close relative of each spouse at the procedure.
Nazzal's wife told Ma'an she was initially reluctant to go through with the operation.
"At the beginning I refused this principle especially as I am completely banned from visiting my husband, but now I am convinced especially as it doesn't contradict religions and the sperm is my husband's," she said.
Al-Qarawi's mother told reporters her daughter-in-law's pregnancy followed several failed attempts.
"We tried many times before it succeeded. The assassin of Rabin isn't better than Palestinian prisoners," she said, adding that conjugal visits were a natural right of prisoners.
Yigal Amir, who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, was allowed conjugal prison visits in which resulted in the birth of his son in 2007.