JERUSALEM, Israel - The Palestinian Authority has officially banned a Palestinian LGBTQ rights group from holding activities in the West Bank.
Palestinian police spokesman Louay Arzeika said in a statement Saturday that events hosted by organizations like Al-Qaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society "go against and infringe upon the higher principles and values of Palestinian society."
He added that the group's activities are "harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society" and are "unrelated to religions and Palestinian traditions and customs, especially in the city of Nablus."
The Al-Qaws group said in a Facebook post that Palestinian police are also urging citizens to report any "suspicious" LGBTQ activities.
The crackdown came after police learned that Al-Qaws was attempting to host a gathering for its member's at the end of August in the city of Nablus.
The group condemns the police's actions and vowed to continue fighting for LGBTQ issues.
"AlQaws condemns the use of prosecution, intimidation, and threats of arrest, be it by the police or members of society. We have always been public and accessible about our work, through maintaining an active website, social media presence, and engagement in civil society. However, we have never received threats to this extent before," it said in a statement.