The Israeli police attacked a tent for mourning the death of Palestinian Walid Abu Daqqah who perished in an Israeli prison due to medical negligence. Waleed who? Waleed Abu Daqqah: A Palestinian whom you should know.
On Monday April 8, 2024, the Israeli police did the unthinkable when they stormed the funeral tent of martyred prisoner Walid Abu Daqqah in the city of Baqa al-Gharbiya in 1948 occupied Palestine. This happened after Walid Abu Daqqah, a 62-year-old Palestinian intellectual and prisoner, died of terminal cancer in an Israeli prison. 
Walid Abu Daqqah spent 38 years in prison after being convicted of commanding a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)-affiliated group that kidnapped and killed an IOF soldier. Although he was not directly convicted of the murder, he was found guilty of leading the group, a charge he consistently denied. Abu Daqqah, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was born in Baqa al-Gharbiyye in 1961. His arrest occurred in 1986, two years after a group of Palestinians- 48 abducted and killed an Israeli occupation soldier named Moshe Tamam. The Israeli military court convicted Abu Daqqah and he was given life sentence without parole, which was later reduced to 37 years.
In 1999, Abu Daqqah met a Palestinian journalist Sanaa Salameh who came to interview prisoners. The two fell in love and later were able to get married inside prison in a moving ceremony of 9prisoners, 30 members of each family members, and an imam to officiate the wedding. Years later, Abu Daqqah requested the Israeli court to allow him to have children given his long-term sentence, but his request was denied. Despite the fact that conjugal visits are forbidden in Israeli prisons for all Palestinians incarcerated there, Walid managed to impregnate his wife from behind bars. A sperm sample was spirited out of his prisoner, and in 2020, he and his wife Sanaa were blessed by God with a baby girl they named Milad, which means life in Arabic.
Palestinian writer Tareq S. Hajjaj wrote extensively about the subject of sperm smuggling from Israeli prisons. He published an article on August 11, 2023, where he stated "Sperm smuggling started in 2012 as a reaction to the Israeli ban on family visitation for Palestinian prisoners. The first successful case of smuggled sperm was in August 2012 when Palestinian prisoner Ammar al-Ziben from Nablus, who was serving a 25-year-sentence, successfully smuggled his sperm to his wife Dallal, bringing to life a baby boy name Muhannad. The story made international news and embarrassed the state of Israel.


According to Hajjaj, there are 115 children who have been born in Gaza through smuggled sperm. Hajjaj added that last June, the wife of a Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Shamali from Shuja'iyya neighborhood in Gaza gave birth to healthy quadruplets. Shamali, who has now two years left on an 18-year sentence, is now able to see the new addition to his family.
There is no available data about the number of Palestinian children born through smuggled sperm. However, Palestinian doctors in the West Bank said, "In vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, which usually costs about $3,000 is provided for free to the wives of prisoners with a long sentence."
After Abu Daqqah completed his 38-year sentence, an Israeli court denied his release even though he was terminally ill and was denied family visit. He was given an additional two years by no other than the fascist Interior Minister Ben-Gvir as a punishment for smuggling his own sperm outside prison to his wife and for smuggling a cell phone inside prison, so Palestinian prisoners can use to contact loved ones in light of the denial of family visitation. 
Aub Daqqah’s life was marked by struggle, and he spent 38 years locked up for his connection with an armed group that abducted and killed an IOF soldier in 1984. Despite finishing his prison term, Abu Daqqah was not released, and he suffered from medical negligence. His wife and daughter were denied visits even when he was in a terminal stage of cancer. While suffering from a serious illness, no one told his loved ones he was dying. His family had not been allowed to visit him since the war broke out and it has yet to receive his body.
His death highlights the inhumanity of such treatment within Israeli prisons. His memories will serve as a symbol of resilience and resistance against the Israeli oppression. It is worth noting here that unlike Palestinian prisoners, Jewish Israeli prisoners are: 1) allowed family and conjugal visits, 2) cannot be re-arrested after release and 3) their bodies must be turned over immediately to their families upon death. No wonder leading human rights groups such Amnesty International and B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories call Israel an ‘apartheid’ state!
Upon learning about his tragic death, his family has requested that Israeli authorities release his body as they have kept it, preventing the family from properly grieving. Amnesty International has also called for the release of Abu Daqqa’s body, condemning the “chilling levels of cruelty” displayed by Israeli authorities during his illness and denying him a final goodbye to his wife and daughter.
Sadly, on Monday evening of April 8, the Israeli police stormed the funeral tent of this Palestinian hero and writer and in the West Bank city of Baqa al-Gharbiya in occupied Palestine on Monday evening, removing the tent and arresting five of the mourners. That is a pure evil of apartheid Israel and a stain on humanity. I still remember when the IOF did the same in 2003 in Rafah to Rachel Corrie's memorial tent in Rafah and the 2022 Israeli security forces attack and beating mourners of Shireen Abu Akleh.
It is worth nothing here that holding the remains of more than 24 hours violates not only Islamic law of burial but also the Jewish law of burial as well which requires burial within 24 hours after the death. At least now, the world knows who the "animals" are: The Israelis.
 Finally, my Condolences to Abu Daqqah family and to all the victims of Israel's brutal military occupation of the Palestinians.
Mahmoud El-Yousseph is a Palestinian freelance writer and retired USAF veteran who lives in Westerville, Ohio. He could be reached at: