Following CiF Watch post, Guardian amends ‘terrorist sperm’ story


On Oct. 14 we posted about a bizarre story by Harriet Sherwood alleging that the sperm of a Palestinian terrorist prisoner was smuggled out of an Israeli jail and used to impregnate a Palestinian woman in Gaza.  

Though the veracity of the Palestinian claim that the baby, shown above, was in fact the result of smuggled sperm, was questioned by Israeli prison officials, we focused on the inaccurate claim by Sherwood that the Palestinian donor (Tamer Za’anin) was merely convicted of membership in a “militant’ organization.

Sherwood wrote the following:

Za’anin, who had been denied permission by Israel to visit her husband in prison since his conviction for membership of the militant organisation Islamic Jihad just a few months after their marriage, consulted [the fertility doctor] by phone. 

We demonstrated, per Israeli court records, that Za’anin not only belonged to a terror organization, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but volunteered for their military wing (Al-Quds Brigades), and was convicted after pleading guilty to four counts of being an accessory to attempted murder, a plea bargain in which he admitted his active participation in several terror attacks.

Today, we noticed that the article was amended (on October 15) to include details of Za’anin’s criminal record. The passage in question now reads:

Za’anin, who had been denied permission by Israel to visit her husband in prison since his conviction on four counts of aiding in attempted murder and for membership of the militant organisation Islamic Jihad just a few months after their marriage, consulted him by phone.

We commend Guardian editors on their revision to Sherwood’s story.

5 comments on “Following CiF Watch post, Guardian amends ‘terrorist sperm’ story

  1. Bravo Adam! Naturally, The Groan’s readership will shift their criticism to say that ‘it’s not murder, it’s ‘freedom fighting.”

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