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Prostitution in the Palestinian territories

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Prostitution in the Palestinian territories is illegal, under Palestinian Authority law.[1][2][3][4] Ramallah has a few prostitutes, but long-term abstinence is common, as premarital sex is seen as taboo in the territories.[5] A recent report by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and SAWA-All the Women Together Today and Tomorrow, a Palestinian NGO, suggests that an increasing number of women are taking up prostitution in the face of poverty and violence.[6][7][8]


Under Ottoman rule, there were no laws on prostitution.[9]

After coming under British control during WW1, the attitude of the Authorities towards prostitution reflected those of Britain. Ordinances were issued in 1925 (under High Commissioner Herbert Samuel) and 1927 (under Herbert Plumer introduced laws on prostitution similar to those in Britain. Soliciting, living off the earnings of prostitutes and the keeping of brothels were outlawed.[9]

There is evidence that in WW2, military authorities regulated brothels for soldiers, including medical examinations.[9]


  1. ^ "Flourishing Palestinian sex trade exposed in new report". Haaretz. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  2. ^ "Report lifts veil on trafficking, prostitution of Palestinian women". CNN. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Trafficking and Forced Prostitution of Palestinian Women and Girls: Forms of Modern Day Slavery". UNHCR. Retrieved 2012-12-10. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Dark secrets of the White City". Haaretz. Retrieved 2012-12-10. 
  5. ^ Gutman, Matt, "Sex and the Single Palestinian" ABC News July 12, 2007.
  6. ^ "Rare report on prostitution in Palestinian territories". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2009-12-27. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Trafficking and Forced Prostitution of Palestinian Women and Girls : Forms of Modern Day Slavery" (PDF). Retrieved 16 October 2017. 
  8. ^ Massad, Salwa G; Karam, Rita; Brown, Ryan; Glick, Peter; Shaheen, Mohammed; Linnemayr, Sebastian; Khammash, Umaiyeh (24 November 2014). "Perceptions of sexual risk behavior among Palestinian youth in the West Bank: a qualitative investigation". BMC Public Health. 14. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1213. PMC 4247558Freely accessible. PMID 25420532. Retrieved 16 October 2017 – via PubMed Central. 
  9. ^ a b c García, Magaly Rodríguez; van Voss, Lex Heerma; Nederveen Meerkerk, Elise van (21 Sep 2017). Selling Sex in the City: A Global History of Prostitution, 1600s-2000s. BRILL. pp. 337 – 338. ISBN 978-9004346246. 


"Trafficking and Forced Prostitution of Palestinian Women and Girls: Forms of Modern Day Slavery" UNIFEM 2008