Rioters in Tunisia have set fire to a historic synagogue in the city of Al Hammah, after a pro-Palestinian demonstration spiralled out of control.
The synagogue, which is no longer an active site of worship but housed the tomb of 16th century Kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Ma’aravi, was vandalised and set on fire by hundreds of rioters according to videos and images posted to social media.
Clips depicted people waving the Palestinian flag and breaking down portions of the synagogue’s stone walls, seemingly without police intervention.
Portions of the walls of the Al Hammah synagogue were reduced to rubble by rioters on Tuesday evening.
The acts of vandalism reduced much of the synagogue to rubble in the hours after a hospital in Gaza City was bombed, a catastrophe which spurred protests at the Israeli embassy in Amman, Jordan and riots in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank.
Israeli and U.S. authorities believe the explosion of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital was caused by an errant rocket launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, but many have blamed Israeli Defense Forces for intentionally bombing the site despite the lack .
En Tunisie, la synagogue d'El Hamma a été détruite et incendiée hier soir par des centaines d'émeutiers, sans la moindre intervention policière. De nombreuses vidéos sur TikTok et Facebook. Et pas la moindre mention dans les médias nationaux https://t.co/U601jWVYWq pic.twitter.com/6F8uIZhoe3— Joseph Hirsch (@josephhirsch5) October 18, 2023
Tunisians have expressed their support for Palestine since the violence between Israel and Hamas broke out, with many taking to the streets to demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinian people. Tunisia, which fostered a flourishing Jewish community for over 2,000 years, currently has a Jewish population of around 1,000. Earlier this year, a terror attack on a synagogue on the island of Djerba saw a gunman kill five people, two of whom were Jewish pilgrims from Israel and France.
As of writing, the Al Hammah synagogue attack on Tuesday has not been reported by Tunisian media outlets.