A mass wedding ceremony sponsored by the Islamic Jihad organization in the Gaza Strip, 222 Gazan couples got married in Gaza city on Friday, Maan news agency reported.

In addition to lowering the marriage costs for the grooms, who most of them are sons or brothers of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, the mass wedding had another goal which is changing the intense situation in the city after the latest wave of assassinations and the latest clashes between the Palestinian Authority security forces and Hamas armed groups.

Khalil Al-Bahtini, one of the organizers of the event, said the idea is not new, it has been thought of some years ago, however, according to Al-Bahtini, the situation in the Gaza Strip, in addition to the lack of funds, did not allow holding such a mass activity.

He said that many local Palestinian companies supported the idea financially.

For a couple to join the wedding, they need a marriage certificate, and a place to accommodate the couple after the wedding to be ready no later than one week of the wedding date.

In Islam, the couple can be legally married by and certified clergy before the actually wedding ceremony.  This allows them to go out together, but the marriage becomes fully legal when they move to live together.

Tens of thousands of people attended the biggest Palestinian wedding ever, in addition to the huge media coverage.

Al-Bahtini said that there will be a gift of USD 200 to 300 to each couple, in addition to other gifts that local companies offered to the couples like wedding rings, bed rooms.  150 thousand water bottles were given as donations in this heat.

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