Abbas presides over mass wedding in West Bank

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West Bank unemployment is high and the cost of living is rising, putting a traditional wedding out of reach for many.

Nearly 300 couples jumped at the chance of an all-expenses paid wedding party in the West Bank city of Jericho.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas presided over the mass wedding.

His Fatah party funded the event and gave 4,000 dollars (about 2,900 euros) as a wedding present to each couple.

One groom, Alla Abdul Fatah, described the mass wedding as a chance for all people: “I hope next year, and every year after that, such a wedding will be held,” he said.

Amina Saideh, Fateh’s bride said: “The situation is not good, no work, all of us need help.”

Over the years, mass weddings have mainly been performed by Hamas, providing Abbas, many say, with a chance to court popular support.

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