A Palestinian prisoner has reportedly fathered a son after his sperm was smuggled out of an Israeli prison where he was serving a life sentence.
Ammar Ziban's wife, Dallal, was artificially inseminated using her husband's sperm and gave birth to a son, Muhannad, in a hospital in Nablus in the West Bank, according to reports.
Ammar has been in prison since 1998 after he was sentenced for acts carried out as a member of militant group Hamas. Palestinian prisoners are not permitted conjugal visits and how the sperm was smuggled out of the jail is still unclear. The couple have not seen each other for more than 15 years.
Dr Salem Abu al-Kheizaran, head of the Razan fertility clinic in Nablus, which carried out the artificial insemination, told AFP: 'We received a sample of sperm from the husband in a reliable and clinically secure way', without providing further details.
The couple already had an 18-month-old daughter, Bashaer, when Ammar was arrested. At the time Dallal was also five months pregnant with a second daughter, Bisan. The two girls are now aged 14 and 16-years-old.
Dallal said: 'The girls are going to go to college, then get married and move to their homes and my husband did not want me to be alone, so he wanted me to have a baby who can be with me'.
told AFP that the sperm had been separated to make sure the couple had a son. 'The couple wanted a baby boy, so we carried out a gender
separation procedure', he said.
'We tried the insemination process three times from the same sample, but the first two attempts failed', he added. 'For us it is a humanitarian issue - everyone has the right to be a parent. Prison must not stand in the way of this right'.