Top PA diplomat in UK denies discrimination against LGBTQ in the West Bank

In August, the Palestinian Authority banned the LGBTQ group Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society from carrying out any activity in the West Bank.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
September 3, 2019 06:46
1 minute read.
LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018

LGBT flag on Jerusalem's King George Street, July 31, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

A prominent Palestinian diplomat in the UK assured on Friday that the Palestinian leaders and institutions do not discriminate against the LGBTQ community, despite a group being banned from carrying out activities in the West Bank.

Responding to a letter by 60 Labour MPs and Peers, the head of the Palestinian Mission in the UK Husam Zomlot said that “Palestine honours and respects the dignity of all Palestinians and does not discriminate or tolerate any form of discrimination,” according to a report by the Jewish Chronicle

 
In August, the Palestinian Authority banned the LGBTQ group Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society (Arabic for “the bow”) from carrying out any activity in the West Bank.

The group engages and supports Palestinians who identify as LGBTQ and operates both in the West Bank and among Arab-Israelis.

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.”

Zreikat said that the group’s activities were completely “unrelated to religions and Palestinian traditions and customs, especially in the city of Nablus.”

When the ban was issued, Al Qaws was planning to hold an event in the city.

In a letter addressed to MP Wes Streeting, Zomlot also said that the spokesperson’s remarks “reflected his personal view and did not represent the views of the Palestinian government,” and that his statement was immediately removed.

According to the Jewish Chronicle, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was not among those who signed the letter.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.


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