February 1, 2011
Arsonists strike Tunisian synagogue
The Torah scrolls at a Tunisian synagogue were burned in a fire reportedly set by arsonists.
The synagogue in the southern Gabes region was set ablaze Monday night. Jewish community leader Perez Trabelsi told the French news agency AFP about the scrolls and criticized police for not stopping the attack.
“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,” Trabelsi told Reuters.
Trabelsi is the head of the Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba. Al-Qaida terrorists bombed the synagogue in 2002, killing 21 people, including 16 tourists.
Ten Tunisian Jews made aliyah to Israel with the help of the Jewish Agency in late January amid political upheaval and violence in Tunisia that led to the overthrow of President Zein el-Abbadin Bin Ali.
About 1,500 Jews are living in Tunisia. Some 1,100 Tunisian Jews live in Djerba, with the rest in the capital city of Tunis.