Mass wedding for 13 prisoners deported to Qatar


DOHA (Ma’an) — Thirteen Palestinian prisoners who were freed and deported to Doha in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap joined hands in a mass wedding in the Qatari capital Friday evening.

Palestinian ambassador to Qatar Muneer Ghannam attended the wedding along with Hamas’ chief in exile Khalid Mashaal, who delivered a speech to mark the occasion.

“Our happy occasions are nationalistic occasions, and at the same time our nationalistic occasions are happy occasions,” Mashaal said in his speech in a reference to the prisoner swap.

Mashaal also talked about Palestinian reconciliation reiterating that it is a necessity and a nationalistic duty.

Islamic cleric sheikh Yousif Al-Qaradawi also talked during the ceremony. He tackled the situation in Syria, then congratulated the Palestinian couples applauding Qatar for hosting the ceremony. He prayed that a day will come when “crowds of Muslims enter Al-Aqsa Mosque chanting Allah Akbar.”

Sheikh Qaradawi also denounced Israeli violations against the Palestinians stating that Israeli settlements “were taking everything, while the Palestinians who inherited the land from their fathers and grandfathers are not taking anything, nor can they find land to build homes for their families.”

Palestinian families living in Doha hosted the couples in the morning to perform traditional Palestinian rites such as the groom bath and shave.

The Emiri Court of Qatar funded the mass wedding.

The brides were Palestinians living in Qatar, and others from the West Bank.

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