Call me baby maybe? No way, says Israel to smuggled-sperm children
The Israeli occupation’s prison service is denying visiting rights to children of prisoners who were conceived through in-vitro fertilisation using smuggled sperm.
The Palestinian prisoners in question have offered to undergo DNA tests to prove fatherhood, but the Israeli Prison Service has not agreed to make such exceptions, saying it does not recognise those children according to an article in Gulf News.
The Israeli announcement came after Lida Al Rimawi, wife of Abdul Karim Al Rimawi, submitted a request for her newborn baby boy, Majid, to visit his father who is serving a 25-year sentence in an Israeli jail. Her request was turned down by the Israeli Prison Service, which claimed that such requests are banned for children who were conceived after the father’s arrest by the Israeli occupation.
This Israeli decision has shed light on the hardships children born from smuggled sperm may face in future if Israeli authorities do not issue them identity cards, given that the identity card is the most important document for Palestinians living in the Palestinian territories. Without this card, a Palestinian becomes an illegal overstaying person in the territories.
For the time being, the Palestinian Interior Ministry issues children born via smuggled sperm birth certificates and completes the official and legal procedures for all newborn babies.
However, the Israel side has said it rejects semen smuggling and does not recognise the resulting children, labelling them illegal and illegitimate.
In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoner Movement strongly condemned the Israeli insistence to not recognise the children of Palestinian prisoners serving long prison terms.
“The movement categorically rejects the Israeli announcement which is an unprecedented collective punishment put on the Palestinian prisoners especially those with extended prison terms who have nonetheless managed to make their dreams come true,” said the statement.
“A child’s visit to his jailed father is secured by international conventions and the prisoners will approach the courts and lodge official complaints against the Israeli authorities to force them reverse their course of action which splits Palestinian fathers from their legitimate children.” Razan Medical Centre for Infertility & IVF in Nablus said it was ready to provide DNA tests for all the children produced via smuggled sperm once they are provided with samples from the jailed fathers.
“We are ready to provide every baby born from smuggled sperm with DNA tests to prove the fatherhood of the jailed fathers,” Dr Zaid Al Nasser, a specialist at the centre, told Gulf News in an interview.
“The Israelis do not have the right to reject family visits by those newborn children to their jailed fathers,” he stressed.
“The Israeli claims that those children are not offspring of the jailed Palestinian prisoners are totally baseless and untrue and this issue can be easily proved with the DNA tests which can be carried out.”
He said that a total of 26 wives of jailed husbands have conceived at the centre by IVF using sperm smuggled from their jailed husbands. He added that 60 other wives are freezing the sperm of their jailed husbands to undergo IVF shortly.
Palestinian prisoners have been smuggling their sperms via the visiting families to their wives to conceive and produce children, but the Israeli Prison Service have not banned the secret process as they have failed to discover the way the sperms are smuggled.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Higher Sharia Judicial Council had authorised the process as acceptable by Islamic standards.