Marriage Under Fire – Gaza’s Newlyweds Hang on Hope amid Genocide

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

For the last five months, Israel has been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 30,960 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,524 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Despite the extremely difficult circumstances, however, Palestinians do not allow Israel’s genocidal war to deprive them of the joy of getting married and think of their future with hope.

The Palestine Chronicle spoke with two young grooms, who managed to celebrate their weddings, and to another man who was separated from his fiancée but did not give up on the hope of finding and marrying her soon.  

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‘Displaced Newlyweds’

“Like other young people, I dreamed of getting married in a joyful ceremony, according to the customs and traditions of Gaza,” Mohammed al-Madhoun told The Palestine Chronicle. “But instead of spending my honeymoon with my bride, I found myself fleeing with her from one shelter to another in search of safety.”

Al-Madhoun, originally from the southern city of Khan Yunis, got engaged with a girl from the Nuseirat refugee camp, in central Gaza, two months before the war. Their marriage was scheduled for last January, but due to the war, they had to change their plans. 

“We met with my son’s bride and they got married without any ceremonies,” Mohammed’s father, Hajj Abu Mohammed Al-Madhoun, told us. 

The couple took advantage of the one-week truce in November to celebrate the wedding. 

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Just a few days later, however, the Israeli army launched its military operation in Khan Yunis, the city where Mohammed’s family lives.

“We all fled the house under shelling,” Abu Mohammed told us. “My son fled with his bride to the tents, and the newlyweds began their married life as displaced people”

‘Our Honeymoon in a Tent’

Hamada Tamraz also got married during the war. 

“I managed to evacuate with my bride from the Jabaliya refugee camp, in northern Gaza, to Deir al-Balah city in the central Gaza Strip,” Tamraz told us.

“We are now living our honeymoon in tents. We suffer from all sorts of deprivation, but we are trying to go on living, despite everything,” he added.”

“Our only dream, here in Gaza, is to have a safe and stable life, to build a future for us and our children.”

‘They Separated Us’

Mohammed Nassar, from the Nuseirat refugee camp, did not manage to get married. About two weeks after the war, he got engaged to a girl from Khan Yunis.

“During the war, my fiancée and her family fled from Khan Yunis to Rafah, while my family and I fled from the Nuseirat refugee camp to the city of Deir al-Balah,” Nassar explained.

“The occupation separated us and destroyed the happiest moments of our lives,” he continued.

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“For weeks, I have been trying to bring my fiancée and her family to my home in Nuseirat and hold the wedding ceremonies, but to no avail,” Nassar lamented.

“A feeling of sadness prevails over all Gaza residents, death is everywhere, but we will go on living for the sake of the martyrs and for all the sacrifices made by the people of Gaza.”

“The occupation killed joy in our hearts, but we will revive it through marriage, and we will revive joy in all areas of the Gaza Strip, this is a promise,” Nasser concluded.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a correspondent for The Palestine Chronicle in the Gaza Strip.

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