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.
Palestinian finances are on the brink of ruin after the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid, the head of the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The mounting financial pressures on the Palestinians’ self-ruling entity have sent its debt soaring to $3 billion (£2.3 billion), and led to a severe contraction in its estimated $13 billion GDP economy for the first time in years, Azzam Shawwa told Reuters.