A still from a viral video posted by the state of Israel referencing the "IDF Sperm Retrieval Unit."

IDF Sperm Retrieval Unit

Part of a series on 2023-2024 Hamas-Israel Conflict. [View Related Entries]

Updated Nov 16, 2023 at 10:57AM EST by Zach.

Added Nov 15, 2023 at 11:43AM EST by Aidan Walker.

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IDF Sperm Retrieval Unit refers to a program run by the Israeli state and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that seeks to collect viable sperm from the dead bodies of recently killed soldiers or civilians in order to use it for insemination at a later date. The medical procedure, known as posthumous sperm retrieval (PSR), was discussed in a viral video posted by Israel's official X / Twitter account in mid-November 2023 that subsequently sparked considerable discussion and memes online.


On November 14th, 2023, the official X account of the state of Israel posted a video about a failed postmortem sperm extraction of a man who was killed by Hamas terrorists during the October 7th, 2023, attack on Israel. According to the animation, his wife had called for the sperm seeking to "retrieve his seed," but the body was found too late and exposed to too much heat to yield viable sperm.[1]

The video (seen below) went viral shortly after, garnering over 7.3 million views, 2,100 likes, 7,200 reposts and 3,100 comments in just over a day.

The first posthumous sperm retrieval procedure (PSR) was successfully performed in 1980.[2] According to experts, the sperm must be extracted within 24 hours of death for it to be viable. The procedure has been considered controversial, with many medical practitioners wondering about the ethics of using a dead person's sperm. In Israel, postmortem sperm extraction has a decently long history. Usually, only a spouse can demand the procedure, but Israeli courts in a 2007 and then in a 2016 court case ruled that parents of a dead man could extract his sperm and use it to inseminate a surrogate.[3][4]

Following the start of the 2023 Israel-Hamas Conflict, doctors in Israel specializing in embryology were reportedly "inundated" with requests for postmortem sperm retrieval.[5] On November 9th, 2023, the Israel health ministry moved to cut red tape that slowed down authorization of the process, setting up "a special unit that works 24/7 with the IDF and the four hospitals housing sperm banks." Reportedly, in October and the first week of November, 33 postmortem sperm retrieval operations had been carried out on four dead civilians and 29 dead soldiers.[6]


Immediately after the Israeli state's official X account posted the animated video on November 14th, 2023, numerous online commentators expressed shock upon seeing it. Many found the animated video disturbing and the entire idea macabre, while others considered it a baffling PR move. For example, that same day, X user @Srirachachau made a comment about the clip (seen below) that received over 8,000 likes in a day.[8]

Mr. Chau @Srirachachau IDF revealing they have a sperm retrieval unit like it's normal...really shows you that they aren't used to any sort of criticism 6:24 PM Nov 14, 2023 301.2K Views 38 โ€ข 593 7.8K 303 ... โ†‘

Others joked about the idea of an "IDF sperm retrieval unit" and the procedures that might be practiced to extract viable reproductive fluid from a corpse. On November 14th, X user @GloomyNarwhal posted jokingly about how the procedure would be performed, earning over 400 likes in a day (seen below, left).[9] Some, like user @collectdust (seen below, right), who received almost 40 likes on November 15th, connected the developments back to a 2013 dril post.[10]

endora b------- @collectdust. 9h what a truly weird time for people to learn about postmortem sperm retrieval... and also of course dril was already there wint @dril Aug 30, 2013 the military industrial complex spent $99bil on dixie cups to ensure that not a single drop of our troops genetically superior c-- is wasted ๅฃไผ 17 5 33 : 772 ุงู„ wampyric mag @maggiecsiebert for the last f------ time, yes, i am a veteran. i risked my life every day in the sperm retrieval unit. so yes, i am entitled to a 15% discount at this fuddruckers 4:51 PM Nov 14, 2023 1,371 Views 178 60 ๅฃ : [โ†’

Certain political commentators, arguing that Israel is an "ethnostate," tied the state's expressed concern with preserving the bloodlines of soldiers to a eugenicist desire to control and homogenize its population. For example, on November 15th, X user @aedison (seen below, left) called the policy reflective of Israel's "ethnostate" status, receiving over 200 likes in seven hours.[11] Also that day, user @scumbelievable (seen below, right) described the procedure involved and accused Israel of being "obsessed with bloodlines," earning over 2,400 likes in less than a similar timeframe.[12]

aedison.bsky.social @aedison. 7h "hey guys let's try and keep it quiet that we're a brutal ethnostate almost singularly focused on fertility and racial purity" "but we can publicize our dead soldier sperm retrieval program yeah?" "yeah that's normal. people love babies, it makes us more sympathetic if anything" 2 128 232 โ‚6K ... : ๅฃไผ Gretchen Felker-Martin @scumbelievable i don't know what you can say about a nation so obsessed with bloodlines and ethnic purity that it shoves cattle prods up dead soldiers' assholes to harvest their sperm that the whole thing doesn't say for itself, you know? 1:27 AM . Nov 15, 2023 84.6K Views 26 308 2.4K 160 : ์†Œ

Due to similarities with the Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000 and their "gene-seed" (a unique genetic material used to turn normal humans into super-humans within the lore) regarding the "sperm retrieval unit," memes comparing the two also appeared in communities like /r/Grimdank in mid-November 2023.[13] For example, on November 15th, Redditor holyshitisurvivedit posted one such meme to /r/Grimdank[14] that received over 2,600 upvotes in 15 hours (seen below).

BROTHER, WHEN I SAID RETRIEVE OUR FALLEN BRETHREN'S GENE-SEEDโ“‡ UPDATE DESK Israel At War According to a report in Haaretz, sperm has been retrieved from 33 men in the last month four of them civilians and the rest soldiers. Health Ministry cuts re tape to save sperm fror IDF's fallen Doctors have performed an o soldiers killed since Oct. 7. imgflip.com 'We Operate 24/7: The Ras to Preserve Israeli Soldiers Sperm "We look for and prefer sperm that are moving. But even sperm that is motile does not mean that it is not alive. We know how to make it mo after it is unfrozen," said Dr. Yuval Or, head of the IVF unit at Kap Medical Center. Y During Israel's battle with Hamas in Gaza, the authorities have ramped up efforts to per sperm utilization from fallen soldiers - and left the ethical questions for later โ’ธHAARETZ Save Dap Ozan Read SHAYLEE ATARI E 2 HOURS TO GET MY USB O'S SPERM SAMPLE AFTER HE SACRIFICED HIS LIFE, WHO CAN H I @Israel - 18h Shaylee Atary's husband Yahav was murdered by Hamas terrorists. She did everything in her power to retrieve his sperm so that their dream of having more children would liv Show more t stop there. In 1999 the first baby was born of erm retrieval (PMSR), whereby sperm is extracte th, and via one of the existing artificial d for impregnation. The technology had be for as not until 1999 that a baby was born usi THIS IS NOT WHAT I HAD IN MIND

Various Examples

stuart hall & oates @riseandgrindcor. 19h Replying to @mags_mclaugh Sperm Retrieval Unit SAC WILL 17 5 BE BACK 256 โ‚18K : ๅฃไผ wampyric mag @maggiecsiebert for the last f------ time, yes, i am a veteran. i risked my life every day in the sperm retrieval unit. so yes, i am entitled to a 15% discount at this fuddruckers 4:51 PM Nov 14, 2023 1,371 Views 178 60 ๅฃ : [โ†’

the introverted hater @violentlyepic i went to the sperm retrieval unit and everybody knew you 8:01 PM Nov 14, 2023 4,501 Views 17 3 72 1 : (โ†’ brown areolas enthusiast @elonluvrboy. 17h You're laughing, Israel has a dead solider jerking off, sperm retrieval unit and you're laughing 1 27 1 3 20 โ‚1.6K ๅฃไผ Genderless Burger Experience @commiegoth. 15h Let's be real the IDF having a sperm retrieval unit for ~fallen Israelis~ is like ten thousand percent ethnonationalist eugenicist s--- don't even kid yourself. "Bring back our children" in reference to f------ spermatozoa you might as well be posting the 14 words at this point. Shaylee Atary's husband Yahav was murdered by Hamas terrorists. She did everything in her power to retrieve his sperm so that their dream of having more children would live on even without Yahav. Unfortunately she was unsuccessful. There are still so many families that we can save. Every minute counts. BRING BACK OUR CHILDREN NOW. Credit: Yuval Haker Eden Foxiniano 17 5 3 34 โ‚830 ๅฃไผ

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