Palestinians in Gaza took part in a mass wedding ceremony for 330 couples. A large audience attended the charity-funded ceremony in Beit Lahia, north of Gaza city, including members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.
The photos below show the grooms' party attended by their families and young sisters, their friends, and the public. The brides' ceremony is held in a separate indoors venue due to the conservative nature of that part of the Gaza Strip.
Palestinians performed the traditional Palestinian dance called Dabkeh and the children waved the Palestinian flag in celebration.
Over the past years, a number of mass weddings have taken place in Gaza. The events are often externally funded in an effort to assist couples struggling under blockade and from unemployment. In this instance, the charity provided the couples with $700 each to help start a new life together.
Ismail Haniyeh, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, was also among the guests. In a speech at the ceremony, Haniyeh pointed out that this mass wedding is a celebration of life and joy despite the blockade and the pain caused by Israel's repeated attacks on the Gaza Strip.
Haniyeh also confirmed that his movement will do all that is in their power to set the appropriate atmosphere for the upcoming local elections, saying Hamas has decided to take part in the elections for national considerations.
"The local elections will restore balance to Palestinian political life," he said in his speech.
He added: "Hamas has decided to actively participate in these elections and take part in bearing the common responsibility in the service of the Palestinian people."