Gay Israeli-Palestinian couple stuck in bureaucratic nightmare

September 29, 2010

Media attention has recently focused on the effort to obtain residency rights for children of foreign workers. But Majed Koka is not a foreign worker. He is a gay Palestinian man from the West Bank who came to Israel at age 14 because in his hometown of Nablus, he never could have lived openly as a gay man.

“If I returned to Nablus, it would be like throwing paper into a fire,” said Koka, 26, who has been living in Tel Aviv for the last 12 years.

“If I returned I’d be in big trouble, one long nightmare.”

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.

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