Jews and Muslims have lived in Tunisia in peace for decades, but now, gangs have set a synagogue on fire, which burned a Torah scroll, and damaged four Jewish-owned cars Monday night as chaos and sabotage began to break out after the revolution two weeks ago. No injuries were reported.
Peres Trabelsi, spokesman for Tunisia’s 2,000-member Jewish community told foreign news agencies, “I condemn this action and I believe those who did it want to create divisions between Jews and Muslims in Tunisia who have lived for decades in peace.”
The small synagogue is located in the southern city of Gabe. Cars were damaged in Djerba where Al-Qaeda terrorists killed 21 Jews in a synagogue in 2002, the last time a Jewish institution was attacked in the country until this week. Djerba is home to most of Tunisia’s Jews.
After the street revolution that toppled the 23-year regime of Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali, the Israeli Foreign Ministry airlifted 21 Israeli tourists from Djerba.
The ministry, through a third party, asked authorities in Tunisia to “take all required measures to make sure Jewish community institutes as well as premises will not be affected by looting in the street as much as possible, due to the lack of physical security on the street these days.”
Gangs also went on a rampage in schools in the capital, and the army deployed forces to stop the chaos that has followed the street revolution two weeks ago. The revolution toppled the 23-year regime of Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali. The United Nations said 147 people were killed in the uprising.