Aug 2 2009
…NOT flower girls as many have suggested.
AL-JAZEERA confirms that the Palestinian celebration for 450 couples was indeed a wedding. In a mass wedding organised by Hamas, 450 young couples got married in the Gaza Strip.
“We are saying to the world and to America that you cannot deny us joy and happiness,” Zahar told the men, all of whom were dressed in identical black suits and hailed from the nearby Jabalia refugee camp.
Each groom received a present of 500 dollars from Hamas, which said its workers had also contributed five percent of their monthly salaries to add to the wedding gift.
The 450 brides shared none of the glamour, taking seats among the audience of around 1,000 party guests: most couples had already taken part in religious ceremonies elsewhere, with more marriages planned for the next few days.
Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin explains how the event represented a rare display of Palestinian unity.
Original raw video footage of the ‘brides.’
UPDATE: On the other hand…I just received a message from Tim Marshall of Sky News who claims the girls are bridesmaids, not brides. Perhaps Tim will provide us with some photos of the brides.
I was there. We filmed it. They are NOT the brides. The brides were in the audience. The girlls are neices, cousins, having the time of their livess dressing up. The brides aare in the audience. Hamas does enough terrible things without people having to make things up. Its cultural.
Tim Marshalll. sky news. gaza. blogs.news.sky.com/foreignmatters
Well, I emailed Tim asking him to provide photos or other evidence that the little girls were bridesmaids and not brides but nothing so far. Debbie Schlussel received the same comment from Tim and this was her reply to him:
Ah, yet another HAMAS-pandering “journalist” working for Rupert Murdoch. Don’t think FOX News is different from this guy. If he told the truth, he wouldn’t be in Gaza any longer, or they’d kill him. DS
Still no reply from Tim, so I guess Debbie’s assessment was correct.
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