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Autonomy May Offer Civil Weddings

A Palestinian Reno? A group of businessmen has proposed making it possible for Israelis to have civil weddings in the Palestinian autonomous areas.

Civil marriages are not performed in Israel.

Until now, Jewish citizens who did not want to marry through the Orthodox rabbinate have often flown to Cyprus for a civil ceremony.

Now, they would have to drive no farther than Gaza or Jericho.

A group of Israeli and Palestinian entrepreneurs recently raised the matter with Freij Abu Medein, the Palestinian Authority official in charge of legal issues, the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot reported.

Abu Medein apparently was not adverse to the idea.

“An office has been opened in Jericho where Israelis will soon be able to marry,” he was quoted as saying.

But Interior Minister Eli Suissa has put his foot down, saying that the new government has to find an overall solution to the problem.

There is another hitch to getting hitched this way: The Palestinian self-rule areas do not represent a sovereign state, which could complicate government recognition of civil marriages performed there.

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