Participants take part in the annual Jerusalem Gay Pride parade on August 2, 2018. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

Palestinian Authority Bans LGBT Activities in West Bank

The Palestinian Authority has banned members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community from conducting any activities in the West Bank. The ban was imposed after the Al-Qaws organization – which holds events and provides services and counseling for the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli LGBT communities – announced plans for a gathering later this month in Nablus. Al-Qaws was established in 2001 with the aim of “fighting for vibrant Palestinian cultural and social change… and promoting new ideas about the role of gender and sexual diversity.” In a statement, a spokesman for the PA police said that the decision was made because Al-Qaws’ cause “go[es] against and infringe[s] upon the higher principles and values of Palestinian society.” The spokesman also claimed that “suspicious parties” were attempting to “sow discord and undermine Palestinian society’s peaceful state of affairs,” and vowed to track down Al-Qaws’ staff and turn them over to judicial authorities.

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