Israelis' Homes Raided in Fertility Clinic Probe

Income tax investigators yesterday raided the homes of two Israeli doctors implicated in a crackdown by Romanian authorities on an Israeli-owned fertility clinic in Bucharest. The doctors are suspected of illegally trafficking human ova.

The investigators came to the homes of Prof. Natan Levit and Dr. Genia Ziskind in the early morning and confiscated computers and documents.

Sources close to the family say they were surprised at the raid, which occurred at "a sensitive and stressful time for all involved."

On Monday, Romanian police raided Sabyc, an Israeli-owned clinic in Bucharest, and arrested gynecologist Harry Miron (Mironescu) and his son Yair Miron, both Israelis. They are accused of illegal trade in ova.

The Romanian authorities say the clinic took advantage of poor women who donated eggs for money, which is illegal in Romania.

One of the women reportedly told the Bucharest police that she had no idea that the act was illegal and that she did it because she was desperate for money.

According to Channel 2, Romanian media reported that the total income of the clinic was 20 million euros, and that 20,000 euros in cash was found on the premises.

Meanwhile, prominent doctors joined calls by Knesset members to expedite the regulation of egg donations in Israel. Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is currently reviewing a bill the Knesset has passed in a first reading, which aims to legalize egg donations for "financial compensation."