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Gay Palestinian Seeks Israeli Citizenship

Gay Palestinian Seeks Israeli Citizenship


Majed Koka, a gay Palestinian who faces persecution at home, awaits a reply from the Israeli Interior Ministry 15 months after requesting legal residency on humanitarian grounds.

According to Haaretz, "For the last eight years, Koka has lived with a partner, an Israeli citizen. In 2002, the two even signed a partnership agreement and registered themselves as married with the municipality - though legally, the state does not recognize gay marriage."

Koka, 26, tried to apply for refugee status at the local office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, but he was rejected because the agency does not deal with Palestinians. In the meantime, as he waits to hear about his citizenship request, he continues to be arrested frequently because he is living in Israel illegally.

However, according to Haaretz, Koka knows that he cannot return to the West Bank.

"If I returned to Nablus, it would be like throwing paper into a fire," he said. "If I returned I'd be in big trouble, one long nightmare."

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