Dallal Ziben, 32, gave birth to baby Muhannad after being artificially inseminated by 37-year-old husband Ammar, who is currently serving 32 life sentences in an Israeli prison.
Palestinians are not permitted to receive conjugal visits, and although Ziben has not set eyes on her husband for 15 years, she says she fell pregnant after the insemination.
Her husband managed to sneak out his semen from Hadarim prison in central Israel.
“Praise be to Allah who has blessed us after a long absence with my husband in prison,” Ziben told AFP shortly before going in for an elective Caesarean.
“My husband and I, our two girls and the family have been waiting for this for such a long time,” she said.
Ziben already had an 18-month-old daughter called Basha’er when her husband, who belongs to the Islamist Hamas movement, was arrested.
At the time, she was also five months pregnant with their second daughter, Bissan.
“I am very happy. This is the first genuine happiness in our house for more than 15 years,” smiles Basha’er, now 16.
“When my mother told us she was going to get inseminated and give us a baby brother, we couldn’t believe it,” she said. “We have always wanted a brother and now the dream has come true.”
Cries of joy
After the expectant mother was wheeled into the operating theatre, a group of women from the family gathered outside to wait, breaking into celebratory ululation at the first sound of a baby crying.
Standing outside the operating theatre, the proud grandmother said her son-in-law had named the baby after one of his friends ‘who was a martyr’.
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