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Gaza Strip: Group wedding celebrated under relief tents

24-10-2003 News Release 03/134

A group wedding was celebrated under ICRC relief tents this week by families whose homes in Rafah had been destroyed in the Israeli military operation conducted on 11 and 12 October. The grooms invited friends and relatives from Rafah and the neighbouring towns to take part in the festivities.

" After my house was demolished, I thought I'd never get married " , said Mohammed, aged 28. But after talking to friends from his neighbourhood, Mohammed discovered that there were several young men in the same situation. More than 250 families in the Yebna refugee camp had had their homes destroyed in the military operation and at least 10 men had been planning to get married. They all decided to put the tragedy behind them and celebrate their weddings on the same date, using tents provided by the ICRC.

" At least 1,000 people were gathered at the playground in Rafah, where the tents had been raised " , said Iyad Nasr, an ICRC representative. “The local community provided food. It was a huge celebration, with people dancing and singing and playing drums.”

Last week the ICRC distributed relief to 259 families (over 1,800 people) in Rafah whose homes had been totally or partly destroyed in the military operation.

The ICRC has been working in Israel and the occupied/autonomous territories since 1967. In the Gaza Strip, it helps people whose homes have been destroyed or damaged or whose movements are restricted by military operations. The organization also monitors compliance with international humanitarian law, mainly the Fourth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians. In addition, it visits people detained by the Palestinian Authority to monitor their treatment and living conditions.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Iyad Nasr, ICRC Gaza, tel. ++972 8 282 88 74