The Islamic rulers of Gaza organized a collective wedding party Thursday for 100 couples, distributing almost a month's salary on grooms who celebrated without their brides in observance of Islamic law.This human interest article, almost as an aside, points out that Gaza's Hamas leaders give money to the people it likes - and doesn't help anyone else.
The party, sponsored by the head of the Hamas government, featured a band of drummers, Islamic songs and chocolate bars. About 2,000 relatives attended the party, including the brides, who sat in the audience.
"This is an Islamic wedding. The men are separated from the women," explained Ashraf al-Rifi of Hamas, who helped organize the party.
Despite economic sanctions imposed on Gaza, Hamas has been paying regular cash stipends and monthly allowances to supporters and workers, using money from smuggling and indirect aid.
The wedding party was the latest example. Each groom received a financial donation of $300 (€210), almost a month's salary in the impoverished territory.
The grooms, wearing green sashes with Hamas' name plastered on it, walked from the mosque nearby to the local park where the party was held. They then stood on a stage and swayed to the drumbeats. They were flanked by little girls dressed as brides.
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