Tunisian Parliament speaker Ibrahim Bouderbela postponed a session on a vote on a draft law that would criminalise the normalisation of ties with Israel, reports The National.
A vote was supposed to take place on October 30 however it was pushed back which mobilised anger on the streets of Tunis just outside the parliament.
The protesters formed a sea of Palestinian flags and focused their criticism on Bouderbela as an already Palestine-sympathetic Maghreb region sees a rise in support for the state amidst escalation of tensions between Israel and Gaza.
Around 8,600 Palestinians have been slaughtered by Israel since October 7, the date of Hamas’ assault on Israel from Gaza.
Following an explosion at a hospital in Gaza on October 12, hundreds gathered outside the French Embassy in Tunisia to direct their criticism at the West, particularly France, for continually cozying up to Israel.
Regarding the postponement of the vote, a member of the Tunisian Anti-Normalisation Campaign named Ela Hedef told The National, “The draft law has been discussed in previous parliaments and every time it failed to pass as it never reached the necessary votes threshold. They (members of parliament) always came up with vague excuses to justify that,”.
The bill was proposed back in July by The Sovereign National Line bloc, a coalition between the nationalist People’s Movement Party and the left-wing United Democratic Patriots Party.
Mohamed Ali, an MP that is part of the bloc expressed his frustration at the delay and affirmed that, “the law is going to pass no matter what, whether there are opposers or supporters, it is going to pass”.
In recent times, 97 MPs have approved the draft law which shows that a move to criminalise ties with Israel is seemingly popular amongst the Tunisian political class.