Dad wants grandkids from slain sons’ sperm

RAMAT GAN, Israel (AFP) — Two years since Israeli soldier Amit Ben Ygal — an only child — died in service, his father has not given up hope of becoming a grandfather.

For now posthumous in vitro fertilization rights are reserved only for the widows of fallen soldiers in Israel.

But a draft law seeks to expand such rights to their parents, with an activist insisting Israel has a “moral obligation” to families whose children died in service.

“Amit was everything in my life,” father Baruch, 53, told AFP. “I want to be happy again… The army has a responsibility to help me become a grandfather.”

His 21-year-old son was struck in the head by a stone hurled at him by a Palestinian during an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank on 12 May 2020.

The father had sperm extracted within 72 hours of his son’s killing, quick enough for it to be frozen and remain viable for IVF.

He plans to use the late son’s sperm to produce a grandchild with a female volunteer, but cannot do so until lawmakers approve the bill, which passed its first hurdle in parliament but has also raised ethical concerns.

Ben Ygal and Amit’s mother were divorced. The father and son lived together in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan, where Amit’s room has been transformed into a mausoleum.

Baruch told AFP that “it’s hard to say ‘he died.’ I can say it for my father, but not for Amit.”

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