Tunisia president Saied hosts religious leaders after synagogue attack

Tunisian president Saied hosts religious leaders after synagogue attack

By Christian George

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Wednesday said Tunisia was a country of “tolerance and coexistence” as he hosts Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders following a deadly mass shooting outside a local synagogue on May 9.

The attack on the Djerba island claimed not less than five lives thereby causing fear during the annual Jewish pilgrimage at the historic Ghriba synagogue, the oldest in Africa.

He explained that the interfaith meeting attests to the tolerance and coexistence that have characterised Tunisia for centuries.”

Religious leaders in attendance included Tunisia’s Grand Rabbi Haim Bittan, Mufti Hichem ben Mahmoud and Archbishop Ilario Antoniazzi.

According to the New Arab, the gunman, a police officer, killed three other officers and two worshippers, a French-Tunisian and an Israeli-Tunisian man, before being shot dead by police.

The president added that investigation is ongoing to ascertain if the gunman had accomplices.

He suspected that the attack was aimed to “undermine Tunisia and its stability, and sow discord and division”.

“You can live in peace, and we will guarantee your safety,” Saied continued, “distinction between Judaism and Zionism”, rejecting any “normalisation” with Israel and calling on the international community to “put an end to the tragedy of the Palestinian people”.

Much later on Wednesday, Mosaique FM radio reported that four people linked to the gunman and suspected of involvement in the attack have so far been arrested.