In Brief: Israel to offer work visas to persecuted LGBT Palestinians

Hilton Beach at Tel Aviv Pride, Tel Aviv Israel 1640001 > Ted Eytan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Knesset committee for foreign workers, headed by Labor MK Ibtisam Mara’ana, has this week considered the need for work visas for LGBT Palestinians facing persecution in the West Bank and Gaza.

The hearing took place after the High Court ruled that Israel’s welfare-based permits also included the possibility of working in Israel.

Starting the discussion, Mara’ana welcomed the Israeli government’s decision to grant work permits to Palestinians who have suffered intimidatory violence in the West Bank and Gaza.

After hearing testimonies from LGBT Palestinians, the committee also called on the welfare and finance ministries to create a vocational training programme for Palestinians granted work visas to live in Israel.

“This is an important event for a small group and it is necessary to establish the inter-ministerial committee that will formulate a welfare package and constitute one clear address for them to go to, the committee concluded.

According to Pew Research, 93 percent of Palestinians are opposed to homosexuality, among the highest in the world.

Palestine has been named by Forbes as one of the worst countries in the world for LGBT+ travellers.

Homosexuality is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment under the Palestinian Authority and faces the death penalty in Gaza.