The Palestinian Authority banned members of the Palestinian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community from carrying out any activities in the West Bank.
The ban came after the grassroots group Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society (Arabic for “the bow”), which engages and supports Palestinians who identify as LGBTQ, was planning to hold a gathering for its members in Nablus at the end of the month. The group operates both in the West Bank and among Arab-Israelis.
Earlier this month, Al-Qaws held an event in Nablus about sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society. The PA police, however, learned about the event only days after it was held.
Al-Qaws is a civil society organization established in 2001 with the goal of “fighting for vibrant Palestinian cultural and social change, building LGBTQ communities and promoting new ideas about the role of gender and sexual diversity in political activism, civil society institutions, media, and everyday life.”
The group has offices only in east Jerusalem and Haifa.
Explaining the decision to ban the LGBTQ group from operating in PA-controlled areas, Luay Zreikat, spokesperson for the PA Police, said that such activities are “harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society.”
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SOURCE: The Jerusalem Post, Khaled Abu Toameh