Gazan Bridegrooms End Up In Jail Over Unpaid Debts

Bridegrooms in the Gaza Strip are finding marriage a path to debtors’ prison rather than to happiness. Wedding celebrations cost around $10,000 in the Palestinian enclave, but a tradition of strong family ties and large gatherings often trumps financial common sense, Reuters reported. So with unemployment in Gaza topping 50% and the economy in a parlous state, many bridegrooms turn for help to money-lending associations that offer wedding loans ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, but repayment often becomes impossible. A spokesman for the police in Gaza, which is governed by the Islamist Hamas group, said that of 100,000 debt-default cases opened last year, 22% involved marriage loans. Read more

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