Palestinian Authorities ban LGBT+ groups from activities in the West Bank

The ban was announced after LGBT+ group 'Al-Qaws' released plans to hold a gathering for its members in Nablus, known locally as a "queer camp".

Palestinian Authorities ban LGBT+ groups from activities in the West Bank
Image: Al-Qaws

Palestinian Authorities (PA) are reportedly banning all LGBT+ members from activities in the West Bank.

The ban comes after a Palestinian LGBT+ group ‘Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society’ announced that they were planning to hold an event for its members at the end of August.

As a result of the ban by Palestinian Authorities, the group will no longer be able to hold a gathering which was due to be held in Nablus, a city in the northern West Bank, known as a “queer camp”.

According to the Times of Israel, it would’ve provided “a place for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth from Palestine to meet, learn about the basic concepts of gender pluralism and explore the different sides of our human sexuality”.

A spokesperson for the PA Police, Luay Zreikat, told the Jerusalem Post that activities from the organisation are “harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society.”

Zreikat also claimed that the activities of the group were “unrelated to religions and Palestinian traditions and customs, especially in the city of Nablus,” and that “dubious parties” were working to “create discord and harm civic peace in Palestinian society.”

He warned that PA police would arrest anyone caught violating the law and asked Palestinians to report any violation of the law.

Al-Qaws said it would continue organising despite the threats from authorities.

“The Palestinian police announcement about our activities is very unfortunate,” the group stated in response to the new law.

“It’s very strange that they are accusing us of being a suspicious entity working to take apart Palestinian society. Al-Qaws is a Palestinian organisation that has been operating since 2001 and is carrying out educational and professional programs on sexual and gender diversity. We totally reject the attempt to create an atmosphere of prosecution and intimidation, as well threats of arrest.”

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