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“The life of young LGBT people on the Palestinian streets, especially in Gaza, — this is hell", — says a 27-year-old gay man from Gaza who hides his sexuality and any signs that might identify him.
Young gay men in the PA and Gaza live in constant fear that family and friends will find out the truth. This can be fatal, even at the hands of close relatives, “to save the family from shame.”
A Palestinian gay man who recently fled to Canada to save his life said that “in It is better for Gaza, under Hamas rule, to convert to Judaism and leave Islam, or even better to be an Israeli spy, but not admit that you are gay. Hamas can hang you by the lower part of your body.
Young members of the Arab LGBT community in the PA spoke of how many of them are subjected to severe punishment even in the family. One of the shocking phenomena is the damage to various parts of the body, as a threat of damage to the genitals. And all this in order to save gays “from the disease that struck them.”
The Palestinian Authority passed no laws for or against gay rights, but the PA President issued an order on May 20, 1994, according to which the laws that were in force until June 5, 1967 in Judea, Samaria and Gaza would remain in force. Under the old legislation, homosexuality is not prohibited in PA, but illegal in Gaza.
However, gay rights are not protected in either the PA or Gaza. The Palestinian Authority does not have specific civil rights legislation protecting LGBT people from discrimination or persecution.
Hamas has already introduced Islamic Sharia law into the judiciary in Gaza, making the situation of young gay men even more difficult.According to data released by the Arab LGBTQ community in East Jerusalem, Arab society has a very high suicide rate among young gay men compared to Western societies .
A number of LGBTQ Palestinian Arab Facebook pages operate openly. But young people post under false names to hide their identity.
Many young PA Arabs belonging to the LGBT community have moved border or to Israel, fearing for their lives in the PA or Gaza.
LGBTQ Arabs from the PA do not always manage to escape violence against them. An Arab boy who took refuge in one of the LGBT shelters in Tel -Aviv, was stabbed to death two years ago by his cousin, who tracked him down “saving the honor of the family.”
On Sunday, the Israeli government announced that residence permits in Israel are open to refugees, including The wake for Palestinian gays who have been persecuted in the PA will now include the option to work in Israel, allowing you to work in any industry. Permits will be temporary until a permanent solution is found in the region or in another country.
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