Tunisia to outlaw normalisation of ties with Israel?


As tensions between Israel and Gaza rage, Tunisia’s parliament will consider a draft law which would criminalise normalisation of ties with Israel, reports Al-Monitor, October 27. 

Following in the footsteps of neighbouring Libya, normalisation of ties with the Middle Eastern country could result in serious sanctions in Tunisia as a draft bill criminalising such moves appear popular amongst the Tunisian political class and ordinary citizens. 

Libya, a strong advocate for the Palestinian cause particularly under veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi, have promised to act tough on those who normalise ties with Israel. 

This move in Libya was triggered by then Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush having a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.  

After a flurry of protests in Libyan capital Tripoli regarding the meeting, Mangoush was dismissed by the Prime Minister of Libya’s UN-recognised government Abdulhamid Dbeibah. 

The proposed bill will be high on the agenda on October 30 in a session in the Tunisian Parliament and may be approved on that day. 

The original draft law was submitted to parliament in July by The Sovereign National Line bloc, a coalition between the Arab nationalist People’s Movement Party and the leftist United Democratic Patriots Party. 

Youssef Tarshoun, the bloc’s head stated that the draft covers, “crimes of espionage, supporting the Zionist enemy, and carrying weapons against the Palestinians, along with the crime of placing oneself at the mercy of the Zionist entity.”. 

Tarshoun added, the draft law imposes penalties ranging from 6 to 12 years imprisonment as well as a fine ranging from 10,000 Tunisian dinars (2,980 Euros) to 100,000 dinars (29,807 Euros) against anyone who intends to or participates in economic, cultural or military activities with the country. 

Tunisian President Kais Saied claimed that the Abraham Accords, an agreement signed between Israel and Arab countries in late 2020, was a betrayal of Palestinians. 

Not long ago Kais Saied also noted during an emergency UN Security Council meeting in New York that there had been “international silence” regarding Israel’s brutal attack on Gaza. 

Tensions between Israel and Gaza have reached boiling point as Palestinian militants Hamas carried out an assault on Israel’s south from Gaza on October 7. 

Since then, Israel have been relentless. Al Jazeera reported that as of October 29, the country has killed 8,117 Palestinians (many of them children) in the blockaded Palestinian territory in what is a continuation of a 75-year oppression that the Palestinian people have had to endure.  

Following the deadly hospital blast in Gaza on October 17, hundreds of Tunisian demonstrators made their voices heard outside the French Embassy in the capital Tunis, accusing France of being one of the West’s “allies of the Zionists”. 


Read Also: Saied sends message to Tebboune clarifying stance on Israel


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