A transgender Palestinian woman and two friends were brutally attacked by a group of men near Ramallah in the central West Bank on Monday.
According to reports, the trans woman — whose name is Sammy — was with friends in the West Bank to attend a doctor’s appointment in the village of Kafr 'Aqab. A group of men reportedly from the Kalandia refugee camp attacked, robbed, and destroyed the vehicle in which the three were traveling.
According to a friend of the victim, the altercation started when a group of young men began recording Sammy and a friend in a clothing store. Afterward they went out to their car and attacked a male friend waiting outside.
"The girls heard the screams, and when they came out of the store to see what was going on, the group of men assaulted them as well,” Miriam told the Israeli news outlet ynetnews. "They stole 52,000 shekels [or $15,000] from Sammy, took her and her friends' phones, and then told them to run away."
The group was able to make it back to the checkpoint at the entrance to the village, where they medical attention for their injuries back in Israel.
After videos of the attack were posted on social media by Mark Halawa, a businessman whose parents are Palestinian refugees, LGBTQ+ people and allies condemned the local police, who stood by and watched as the victims were assaulted.
“Two gay Palestinian youth were spotted in Ramallah and brutally attacked by people while police stood by idle,” Halawa wrote on Monday. “There are no laws to protect [LGBTQ+] people under the Palestinian Authority, where homosexuality is a punishable crime.”
The response from police is unsurprising, however, as Palestinian authoroties have previously threatened to “crack down” on LGBTQ+ events in the West Bank.
Sammy was thrown out by her family after they discovered her gender identity and currently lives in Jaffa, where she is currently receiving gender affirming care from the LGBT Center in Tel Aviv, ynetnews reports.