Pic shows: Huwayda, the mother with her twins.
A Palestinian man 13 years into a 27-year sentence in an Israeli prison has managed to become a father after he smuggled sperm out to impregnate his wife.
Ahmed al-Sokani, 35, from Gaza reportedly told fellow inmates that even if he couldn’t escape, he still intended to make sure his sperm made an escape and it appears that he managed to pull it off.
As a result his wife Huwayda gave birth this week to twins, a boy named Motaz and a girl named Siwar.
And incredible though it may seem, he is not the first to smuggle out sperm for the in-vitro fertilisation of a partner.
According to Abdullah Qandil, a spokesman for the Waed Captive and Liberators Society, a Palestinian nongovernmental organization (NGO), some 50 children have been born this way – 10 of them in the Gaza Strip and 40 in the West Bank.
According to Huwayda, the birth of Motaz and Siwar represents a “message of victory” from all Palestinian detainees languishing in Israeli prisons.
Holding the newborn twins at Gaza City’s Al-Quds Hospital, she told Anadolu Agency (AA), a state-run press agency in Turkey: “I can’t put my happiness into words.”
Several Palestinian Muslim scholars – including Ikrima Sabri, a former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, and Sheikh Hamid al-Bitawi, a former head of the Palestinian Scholar’s League who died in 2012 – have issued legal opinions (fatwas) allowing wives to be inseminated by sperm smuggled from their incarcerated husbands serving out lengthy jail terms in Israel.
Muhannad al-Zein was the first child to be born this way. His mother delivered a baby using sperm smuggled from her husband, Ammar al-Zein, a long-time detainee from the West Bank. When asked how exactly sperm was smuggled out of Israeli jails, sources spoken to have so far refrained from answering due to security reasons.
According to a recent study conducted by the Prisoner’s Center for Studies, a Palestinian NGO, some 7,000 Palestinians are currently being held in jails in Israel, including 476 serving out single or multiple life sentences.

Amjad Abu Asab, head of the committee, said the Israeli central court sentenced Amaal Mahmoud Al-Shawish, 48, to a year in jail in addition to imposing a fine on her.

Al-Shawish was detained in March 2015 while visiting her son Muhammad, who was serving a five-year sentence, at a prison in the Negev desert of southern Israel. She was accused at the time of “providing services” to prisoners by attempting to smuggle a cellphone into the prison.

She was released on on April 22, 2015 and placed under house arrest until her trial was completed. At the time she was released to house arrest, she was also fined 15,000 shekels ($3,800). Separately, Israeli forces also released Nawras Abu Ghazalah, 24, on a 2,000 shekel bail on Saturday.

Nawras’ brother Ihab told Ma’an that Nawras was detained by Israeli forces from their family home in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City for writing “our time has come” on his Facebook page, amid an increasing crackdown by Israel on Palestinian activists, journalists, and civilians for alleged “incitement” on social media.

His detention was extended on Tuesday.Al-Shawish’s and Abu Ghazalah’s heavy fines were the result of the ongoing Israeli policy of routinely charging fines to Palestinian detainees upon their release from Israeli jails.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) generally paid such fines on behalf of Palestinians held in Israeli jails until March 2015.
At the time the PA was paying 13 million shekels ($3.65 million) a year to Israel, spending up to 4,000 shekels on each fine, according to PA committee of prisoners’ affairs, Issa Qaraqe.
All lawyers who worked with Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody were notified at the time that they should avoid any plea bargains with the Israeli prosecution that includes payment of fines.
“This is a dangerous policy and blackmail whose goal is to incriminate the legitimate Palestinian national struggle against occupation,” Qaraqe announced during the PA policy change regarding payment of prison fines.
In 2013, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society reported that Israeli prisons had also been issuing fines for minor infractions without legal basis.
While fines appear relatively small for minor infractions, between 300-800 NIS ($80-$200), payments cause financial hardships on the prisoners and their families, and prison time is extended if the fines are not paid.