Palestinian prisoner's wife delivers baby via smuggled semen

Ramallah, Aug 13 (IANS) A Palestinian prisoner's wife Monday delivered a baby conceived through artificial insemination after the father's semen was smuggled out from his Israeli prison.

The baby was born in a hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus and doctors said the process was unprecedented, Xinhua reported.

"The operation and the birth succeeded and the mother and the baby are in good health," said Salem Abu Khaizaran, a doctor at the birth centre.

The prisoner, Ammar Al-Zabn, tried three times to have children via artificial fertilisation over the past four weeks. But his attempts failed for several reasons, he said.

The couple had a daughter before the man was arrested.

"I'm very happy at having a son who would take care of me and his sister in the future," said the mother.

Ziad Abu Ein, deputy minister of prisoners' affairs of the Palestinian National Authority, said Israel must allow Palestinian prisoners to have sex with their wives since Israeli prisoners are granted this right.

Israel holds 4,700 Palestinian prisoners, over 500 of them serving life sentences.